Eye-Catching Book Covers: 10 Pivotal Strategies

Book covers sell your book for youThe potency of book covers in the realm of publishing is immeasurable. A compelling book cover can serve as a powerful marketing tool, influencing the book’s sales trajectory. As proven by R.L. Mathewson, a self-published author, a well-thought-out book cover design can cause sales to skyrocket. Her daily sales leaped from a mere handful to over a thousand after she redesigned her book cover.

It’s no secret that book covers play a vital role in a book’s success. In the competitive literary marketplace, a book cover is the first interaction a potential reader has with your book. A visually appealing, professionally designed book cover can pique a reader’s curiosity, encourage further exploration, and ultimately, spur them to purchase.

As such, understanding the importance of book covers in determining a book’s market success is paramount for authors. The book cover functions as a visual shorthand, encapsulating the book’s genre, tone, and narrative, thereby guiding potential readers. An investment in the design of book covers can truly pay dividends in increased sales and wider audience reach.

Crafting Your Own Book Covers

Designing your own book covers isn’t solely reserved for professional designers or those with deep pockets. Thanks to the plethora of affordable design software and online tools, authors can now venture into the domain of book cover design. These tools offer user-friendly interfaces and customizable templates that can empower authors to create their own eye-catching book covers.

Though creating book covers can seem daunting initially, with a little practice, authors can start producing professional-looking designs. By harnessing these tools and software, authors can maintain greater control over their book’s aesthetic appeal and make critical design decisions that align with their book’s essence. DIY book cover design also offers the added advantage of reduced costs, a factor that self-published authors will find particularly appealing.

Some do it yourself book cover tools include:

It’s important, however, to remember that while designing your own book covers, understanding your audience and market trends is crucial. Research successful book covers in your genre, keep an eye on the latest design trends, and don’t hesitate to seek feedback. A well-designed book cover can enhance the book’s marketability, elevating it from being just another title on the shelf to a compelling must-read.

Essential Elements of Book Covers

The realm of book covers may seem subjective, with personal preferences playing a significant role. However, there are a few universal elements that most successful book covers share. First, book covers must feature the right fonts. Depending on the genre, certain typefaces might be more suitable than others. The fonts should also be appropriately sized to ensure readability.

Second, the images or graphics on book covers need to convey the tone or theme of the book without cluttering the design. The imagery should invite potential readers into the book’s world, enticing them to learn more. Again, appropriateness to the genre is a factor to consider. A thriller, for instance, might call for darker, moodier imagery compared to a lighthearted romance novel.

Finally, the overall layout, including the spacing of elements and the color palette, should offer a visually pleasing experience. Proper spacing can enhance readability, while the right color choices can evoke certain emotions, further aligning with the book’s theme. It’s these nuanced decisions in the design of book covers that can spell the difference between an average and a highly successful book cover.

The Pitfalls of Poor Book Cover Design

Conversely, there are several mistakes to avoid when designing book covers. An inappropriate font choice or poorly sized fonts can make the book cover look amateurish and can even discourage potential readers. If your book’s title can’t be easily read when the cover is viewed as a thumbnail – a common way readers view books online – they’re less likely to click on it for further information.

Similarly, overcrowding your book cover with too much text can confuse and overwhelm readers. Balance is key. While it’s crucial to provide enough information, such as the title, author’s name, and perhaps a tagline or quote, stuffing too much text on the cover can detract from the book’s visual appeal.

Lastly, poor color choices, or an inconsistent color theme, can create a visually jarring experience. Colors can profoundly impact a viewer’s emotions and responses. Therefore, understanding color psychology can be a valuable tool when designing book covers. A poorly designed cover could, unfortunately, doom an otherwise well-written book to obscurity.

Types of Book Covers

It’s important to remember that book covers will need to be adapted for different formats, from digital to print versions. As self-published authors have the ability to offer their books in multiple formats, understanding the requirements of each format is critical. For instance, a Kindle version will only require a front cover, whereas a paperback version will need a front, spine, and back cover design.

Adapting book covers for different formats allows readers to choose their preferred way of consuming content. Notably, different formats require different specifications. An audiobook, for example, typically requires a square, front cover graphic. Therefore, planning for various formats from the onset can save authors time and ensure consistency across all versions of the book.

When commissioning a book cover design, it can be advantageous to request all format variants at once. This ensures consistency in design across formats and can potentially offer cost benefits. Remember, each version of your book cover continues to serve as a powerful marketing tool, no matter the format.

A great strategy for self-published authors is to publish your book in as many different formats as possible. Since all formats appears on the same Amazon book page, you’ll find yourself making more money if you give your readers a choice. Some people like audiobooks, others eBooks (Kindle) and still others enjoy a good paperback or even hardcover.

You’ll need a different cover for each format.

  • Kindle – This is just a front cover.
  • Paperback – This is a front, spine and back cover. You can optionally use a PDF or Adobe Indesign template to format your cover.
  • Hardcover – This is also a front, spine and back. It is formatted using a PDF file, and is different than the one for paperback.
  • Audiobook – This is a square, front cover graphic.

When I hire an artist to create my cover, I get all four of them at the same time, so I only have to go back to them once.

Investing in a Professional Designer

While DIY book cover design is certainly feasible, if your budget allows, hiring a professional designer can be a worthwhile investment. Professional designers bring their expertise in typography, color theory, layout design, and market trends to the table, resulting in a polished and marketable book cover.

A professionally designed book cover not only speaks volumes about the quality of the book but can also significantly enhance its marketability. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, a well-designed, eye-catching book cover can set a book apart, making it more likely to catch a reader’s eye and result in a sale.

Remember, your book cover is your first marketing tool. As such, it’s worth considering allocating a portion of your budget to secure a professionally designed cover that can help ensure your book gets the attention it deserves.

Working with Your Book Cover Designer

Working with a book cover designer can be a collaborative and rewarding process. It involves conveying your vision, expectations, and any specific requirements you may have for your book cover. A good designer will take the time to understand your book’s theme, genre, and target audience before commencing their design work.

Your book cover designer can offer valuable insights and suggestions, helping you to create a cover that not only looks great but also appeals to your target readership. It’s essential, however, to remember that communication is key. Be clear about your expectations, responsive to ideas, and open to feedback.

In conclusion, the importance of a well-designed book cover cannot be overstated. Whether you choose to design your own or hire a professional, remember that your book cover serves as a crucial marketing tool. It can significantly impact your book’s sales and success. So, invest the time and effort in creating a book cover that truly represents your book and appeals to your target readers.

Richard Lowe
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Collaborating with a book cover designer will certainly help me with my books. It really does take up so much of my time because I am very indecisive.

Nikki Wayne

The book cover is really important in the market because there are a lot of people who are easily captivated by the first time they see the book itself and not on the content of it.


I have to admit that I tend to read a book by its cover. It is good to have a good design that is appealing to readers.

Catherine Kay

Your post delves into the art of creating eye-catching book covers. Thank you for sharing these essential strategies for creating captivating book covers!


It can be challenging to create all the different formats when you’re publishing books across multiple platforms, but I enjoy designing book covers!

Emily Michelle Fata

Crafting your own book covers is a big task, but so worth it! No one knows better what you want than yourself.


A good book cover is important to catch one’s eye. Makes sense to hire a professional.


The old saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover” seems fitting. But, I find myself really drawn to books with interesting covers and intriguing images. Great tips for authors to find the right cover.


I feel like after all the time and effort it takes to write a book, investing in a professional designer for the cover is just smart. All the writing means nothing if no one picks up the book!