Perhaps you really can’t judge a book by its cover … but most buyers will anyway, at least to some degree. Readers seeing your book for the first time will draw a number of conclusions about you, your story and the quality of your product within milliseconds, often based solely on the impressions created by the cover art.
A strong cover that grabs attention and conveys the mood, genre or themes in a story is truly an art – a very important one. It’s the first aspect of your book that can make or break the sale and, for that reason, it counts more than most others.
While there are templates on the market you can use to create your own cover, It’s difficult for an inexperienced designer to get the most out of a prefab cover design. Custom design from an artist with specialized training in design principals, and experience in the field, will produce far more effective art, and the service can pay for itself in increased traffic to your book page that translates into increased sales.
Getting the most out of custom cover design comes down to make the most of the relationship with your designer. Here are five ways to choose a book cover designer for the most desirable outcome:
- Get to know their style. Any designer worth his salt has a portfolio you can view, including an online portfolio on a business webpage or website. His or her page will probably include background information as well. While each book cover is different and your needs are unique, you’ll likely recognize a signature style with each designer. Choose a designer whose style and approach best fit the vision you have for your cover art.
- Determine a communications plan. Reach an understanding with your designer of choice right up front about how you’ll communicate, what you want to accomplish with each meeting or call, how the work will proceed and about your expectations. Facilitating the communication process opens the door for more effective communication.
- Make the most of those meetings. Be honest about your wants and needs. Straightforward discussions in the early stages will prevent any confusion down the road and will help your designer deliver their best work to you. Good designers are conscientious about their work; they welcome and need straight talk from you because they want every client happy – and successful.
- Trust the designer’s expertise. It can be hard for some authors – even after lengthy, open discussions with a talented designer – to fully hand over the reigns of their cover art to someone else. Take comfort in knowing that your designer has very specialized training and experience in the art of book cover design. After all, if anyone could design a winning book cover, everyone would be doing it and selling millions of copies.
- Keep an open mind. An exceptional designer can often deliver you the book cover you never knew you wanted. She’s a conceptual, out-of-box visionary who sees things in your story or themes that may not be obvious to you, but may be irresistible to potential buyers. Trust that vision! It’ll rarely steer you wrong.
Of course, if you begin working with a designer and the collaboration never really “gels,” know when to start over with another designer. If a designer doesn’t seem to understand your needs, fails to respond to concerns or is not receptive to your input, these may be signs that the two of you are simply not compatible. Don’t be afraid to move on to a designer with whom you “click” – then let them run with it.