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How To Make A Book Cover

So, you’ve finished your final draft, and you’re finally ready to move onto the final stage of publishing. You are ready to create a book cover for your novel.

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If you’re reading this, you may be wondering if you can design your own book cover from scratch. Sure, doing so will save you some cash, but it will also cost you time, patience, and, (potentially) quality. 

If you are set on designing your own book cover, or you’re simply wondering if it is even possible, look no further. 

In this guide, we will cover all you need to know about designing a cover for your future bestseller.

Can I Create My Own Book Cover?

While we personally recommend that you hire a professional to design your book cover for you, it is entirely possible that you can design your own book cover.

However, in order to do this, you will need to be pretty artistic with a keen eye for detail.

You can’t just find a random image online and slap any old font over it; you want it to look professional.

In order to create your own book cover, there are several factors that will need to be considered. You’ll need to take the following elements into account:

  • The genre
  • The tone
  • The target audience
  • The themes/motifs

Each of these points will all contribute to what the book cover should look like.

For example, if you’ve written a humorous novel aimed at 13-year-olds, but the book cover is made up using dark colors and scary imagery, it probably won’t sell well.

While this is an exaggerated example, you get the point. There are so many things that you will need to think about if you really want to design your own book cover.

If you really believe that you can do it – and do it successfully – then, good for you. Below, we have listed some tips for you to follow to make sure that you design your book cover to the best of your abilities.

Here is what you need to do.

Create A Mood Board

The best way to come up with an idea for your book cover is to start with a mood board.

You can create a physical collage, using clip outs from magazines and print-outs from your phone/computer, or you can create a mood board on sites like Pinterest.

By gathering images that represent your book, you can work out which themes stand out, and should be represented on the cover.

You may be surprised at what ideas come to you while creating a mood board. This is a great way to open up your imagination, and discover what themes in your book work best as an image.

Use A Professional Design Software

You know the old saying, ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’? 

Ignore that.

People will judge your book cover, especially if it looks cheap and quickly thrown together.

Use a professional design software to create it. Canva is free to use, but you will be limited to certain tools. It may be worth paying a fee to use programs like Adobe, Vexels, and DIY Book Covers.

Illustrations Vs. Photographs

You’ll need to decide whether you want to use illustrations or photography for your cover.

If you’re a natural painter or sketch artist, you could create the illustrations yourself, and the same goes if you’re a gifted photographer. 

Alternatively, you could pay for a commission if you’re not an artistic kinda person. This will cost you, but it’ll be worth it overall.

Choose A Color Palette

Get familiar with color theory, and work out what kind of vibe you want your book cover to give off to the reader. All colors represent different emotions, so it’s important to know which colors represent your book the best.

Red, for example, represents danger and lust, which would work well for a thriller. Yellow is a happier color, and would work better for a children’s book.

Choose The Right Font

The font you choose for your book cover will make all the difference. If you use a basic font, or something too funky (Comic Sans is a no-no), it’ll make the book appear unprofessional. 

Try not to overthink the font. It should be large and bold enough that the reader notices it, but it’ll need to be simple enough that the reader can read it easily. 

Ask For Opinions

Once you’ve finished a couple of rough drafts, and you think you’re happy with the final outcome, it’s time to get other people’s opinions.

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Perhaps you have more than one design that you like, and you can’t decide which one to pick.

By asking opinions on the cover, other people can help you by letting you know which one they prefer. Go with the majority vote.

PickFu is a great website to use if you’re stuck between two designs. People can vote for which one they prefer, giving you some insight into what your future readers will want to see.

View It As A Thumbnail

More often than not, it is best to keep your book cover as simple as possible. If you add too many details, it’ll look like an overwhelmingly blurry mess when viewed as a thumbnail.

You want the image to appear clear, even when it is reduced in size. When you’re finished designing, resize it to make it smaller, and work out if the cover still looks good as a thumbnail. 

If not, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board.

Print Out A Mock-Up

Last but not least, you’ll want to print out a mock-up of the cover. Work out the dimensions of the cover, and print it off to view it in its final form. 

If you like what you see, then there will be no reason for you not to use this as your final cover. If you notice anything you’d like to change, you can go back and make some changes.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of steps that will need to be taken in order to create your own book cover, and it will require a lot of time and effort on your part.

However, if done correctly, this can be a very rewarding experience. 

As a result, you can feel proud, knowing that you created every single aspect of your book. Just be sure that you spend enough time on this process to make it look the best that you can.

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