We’ve all heard the idiom, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Unfortunately, when it comes to selling books, these are not words to live by.
After the hardest part is behind you (writing your book), you then have to start thinking about designing your cover. Whether you design it yourself or hire a professional, it’s important that a concept is readily established to guide the process.
Depending on book genre, your cover may have a pre-established aesthetic to follow. It’s helpful to look at books you own or go to the bookstore to examine different covers from your genre. This can give you an idea of what you like or dislike about cover design.
It’s exciting to see the different design routes taken to convey the contents of a book. Think about some of your favorite classics and their different covers. What stands out to you? Take Animal Farm by George Orwell, for example. While there have been many versions printed, most of the covers depict its allegorical figure, the pig, “Old Major.”
In many cases, book covers do not follow a design pattern to reflect its contents in a literal way. Choosing instead to focus on typography, a single image, or color scheme, this approach can be an effective and evocative way to sell books by simply creating a feeling.