5 Essential Tips for an Effective Book Cover Design and Title

When it comes to selling more books, a great cover design and title can make all the difference. To help your book stand out from the crowd, there are five essential tips you should consider when creating your book’s title and cover. Read on to find out what they are!


Choose Colors That Reflect the Genre

Different genres have different associated colours, so your book cover should reflect the genre you’re writing in. For example, lighter colours like blues, greens, and pinks are associated with romance novels while darker shades of purple and grey signify mystery or suspense. Pick colour combinations that match the mood of your book and will intrigue prospective readers.


Don’t forget to use a colour contrast checker to ensure the readability of text with your chosen colour combinations. There are loads of free tools online, if your initial colours don’t work, play around with the colour tones until you find a winning combination.


Take a walk to your nearest bookstore and look at the shelves, what stands out most to you, especially those in your genre? I’d also advise taking a look on Amazon, most people consume their books having bought them online, whether it’s as audio, ebook or ordering a hard copy. Your design needs to grab attention even as a thumbnail so make a note of what’s standing out to you. 


Pick colour combinations that match the mood of your book and will intrigue prospective readers.


Make Your Title Pop

The title of your book should be distinctive, captivating, and direct. Using big, bold font can help make a quick impression on readers; think about the titles you see on bestseller shelves in bookstores, and again online. 

You want your title to pique curiosity and stand out from the crowd. Simplicity is key; don’t use too many words or overly complex language. Make sure it’s easy to read and get right to the point of what the book is about.


Having done your market research, you’ll know the importance of getting the title right. If I’d stuck with “Follow Your Yellow Brick Road”, rather than changing to “Becoming the GOAT*” it would not have had the same impact. The latter is far more aligned with my audience. 


The title of your book should be distinctive, captivating, and direct.


Make It Visually Appealing with Creative Layout Techniques

Including a combination of visually appealing and strategically placed design features can make your book cover look more appealing to prospective readers. Techniques such as starring elements of the titles, using different typography styles for different text, highlighting words with colour, using shadows or reflections, or combining font with illustrations can all be used to enhance your book’s visual appeal and make it stand out from the crowd. Having said that, don’t go overboard with differing fonts, you want to be using 2 different fonts, 3 at a push if they aren’t too different. Any more will become distracting and you need to make sure your fonts are legible. Too curly and people can’t read at a quick glance. 


One thing to bear in mind is, to make sure your name is big enough. Now, obviously, you don’t want it bigger than the title and taking up all of the space but too many new authors hide their name away or forget about it altogether. Be bold, be proud.


Incorporate Subtitles and Taglines to Maximize Your Message

Subtitles and taglines are additional components that can be added to your book cover and title. Along with incorporating words, you should also consider using a phrase that complements your title. This isn’t necessary for fiction writers unless you feel the title needs a little explanation. For non-fiction, the subtitle should be a snapshot of what the reader will get out of the book, without being too long or detailed. Taglines, on the other hand, should be brief and punchy - a small collection of words or a single phrase that captures readers’ attention and helps them remember the title.


Exercise Caution with Borders and Backgrounds for Professional Results

Opting for flashy or overly busy images as a border around your book title and cover may be visually appealing but it can also detract from your title's legibility. It’s important to remember that the more attention-grabbing elements you use, the less easily readers will be able to make out what is printed on your cover. To ensure maximum clarity and professionalism, keep backgrounds and borders clean and simple yet effective.


The more attention-grabbing elements you use, the less easily readers will be able to make out what is printed on your cover.


If in doubt, use your audience. It’s great content to engage your audience on social media or through a focus group by asking their opinion on a couple of ideas. If you’re not already in my Aspiring Author’s Community, come and join us and ask the group’s opinion about your ideas.

An Easy Guide for Aspiring Authors in Identifying Your Audience

If you don’t know who you are writing for, you’re essentially writing for yourself. Having a thorough understanding of your target audience is essential in creating meaningful connections with potential customers. Yes, you may well have readers from beyond your inner circle but you cannot cater for everyone in your writing. 

What is a target audience?

Let’s start with the whole population. Whatever book you are writing, there is no way it will be appealing to the whole population. So narrowing it down from there, you have people who like reading books, not all of those are interested in your genre. 

Narrowing it down again, you get to those people who buy books and ARE interested in your genre but aren’t might not be ready to buy your book. You can build awareness with these people to transfer them into the next category. Those who know, like and trust you and are ready to buy your book. Those who will be entertained and or helped by your book.


Define Your Target Audience

The first step in understanding your target audience is to define who they are. Consider demographic questions such as age, gender, location, income, and family size. What kind of activities do they enjoy, what values and beliefs drive their decisions, and how do they perceive your brand? Where so they hang out, both in person and online? Create an image of this person, give them a name and focus on them as you write. Focusing on your target audience doesn’t mean other people won’t find and buy your book. It just helps ensure your writing is focused on those who will relate to and get the most from your book.


Analyse Your Current Database

Analysing your current database gives you valuable insights into who might make good prospects for your target market, whether these are personal connections or those from an existing business. Examine how many customers purchased from you in the last six months, what types of products they bought, and how much they spent. You can also look at how long customers have been with your company and their social media activities to get an idea of which customers are most engaged. Finally, review any surveys or customer feedback collected while they were interacting with your brand.

On a personal level, who are the people who are always there for you, supporting you, interested in what you have to say and will potentially buy your book. Do any of these people fall into your target audience? Will they go above and beyond to help you promote your work to your target audience?


Market Research for book readers

Surveys and questionnaires are one of the most effective methods for understanding your audience. They allow you to find out what consumers think about your existing products or services, what they would like to see improved in the future, and even new product ideas. Be sure to craft questions that will give you useful feedback from customers – open-ended questions are the most effective for gaining insights into customer preferences and opinions. 


Why not ask your existing customers and/ or personal connections what three things they associate with you. These will likely be the things that resonate with your potential readers and give you a starting point to narrow your audience down. 


Market research can help you find out what consumers think about your products or services, what they would like to see improved, and even new product ideas.


Why is it important to know your target audience?

To write for an audience, you need to know how that audience speak. You would not write a book for 10 and 11-year-olds the same as you would for an adult, or for a 3-year-old. 


If you’re writing fiction, is the age group you have in mind going to be interested in your characters and plot. If it’s non-fiction is the content relevant and appropriate for your target audience. In 2022, I wrote Becoming the GOAT*, it was a book for teenagers. I started off with a different title but after doing some market research of my target audience it became apparent I needed to change the title. It’s a personal development book and while adults have bought, read and loved it, some of the content is not aimed at adult readers. After requests I am planning on re-writing it as an adult version. 


Knowing your target audience is also key in knowing where to market your book . . . TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, they all have different demographics of users and you’ll be more likely to reach your ideal reader on the right platform. 


Knowing your target audience is key in knowing where to market your book.


Market research and identifying your reader is something I dive deeper into in my Aspiring Author’s Programme.

AI Book Writing

I asked Chat GPT to help me write this blog about using AI tools to write a book

Here are the three reasons that I believe you should consider using AI tools to support your book writing (and Chat GPT agrees with me, its content is in italics).

Time Saving

You can use AI tools to outline the structure of your book or even just a chapter. This can save time and overthinking and enable you to get started writing. It's also useful when it comes to marketing; if you need content writing for social media, there are plenty of AI tools that can help you with mapping out what you want to include.


My eldest, Maya, was completing some work for school. She was staring at a blank page so we turned to ChatGPT for some inspiration. She did a great job of reflecting on what was produced and making it her own, drawing in evidence from other sources. Yes it helped her to get her work done but it also gave her a confidence boost.


One of the primary benefits of using AI to write a book is the time savings it can provide. With the help of AI tools such as language models, writers can generate ideas, outlines, and even entire paragraphs of text quickly and easily. These models can analyze massive amounts of data and generate new content that is similar in style and tone to the writer's existing work.


AI tools can save time and overthinking and enable you to get started writing.

Grammar checking

Improves quality. You may already be familiar with using Grammarly and Hemmingway. Interestingly they don't always agree with each other but they're both great tools to get started with before reaching out to a human editor.


Another significant advantage of using AI to write a book is the ability to analyze and improve the quality of the writing. AI-powered tools can detect and correct grammar and spelling errors, suggest synonyms and sentence restructuring, and even provide feedback on the readability and flow of the text. This can help writers produce more polished and engaging prose that resonates with readers.


AI tools can analyze and help improve the quality of your writing.


New Ideas

One place where AI can be helpful is in getting started when you’re stuck. You have probably been hit with Writer's block at some point, staring at a blank page or maybe not even getting that far because you know you're not going to come up with anything amazing.


Last week I was fortunate to hear renowned crime writer, Ann Cleeves speaking at a book launch event for Down’s Syndrome North East. She said that she’d been told that if you get stuck when you’re writing just have someone burst through the door.

Obviously, that won’t work for all genres of books, so AI can be your equivalent of someone bursting through the door. If you have a dose of Writer’s block, then why not put a question to an AI tool to ask it for some inspiration? It is much easier to work from a page with writing already on it; you can edit it, use it for ideas or bin it entirely but it will at least have started your brain working and back in the creativity zone. 


Moreover, AI can help writers generate new ideas and overcome writer's block. Writing prompts, character and plot suggestions, and other creative prompts generated by AI can inspire new and innovative storylines that writers may not have otherwise considered.


AI can help writers generate new ideas and overcome writer's block.


My Human Response …

I wanted to share what the output was when I asked an AI tool, as well as incorporate my experience and thoughts. Of course, it depends on what you put in as to what output you receive. A bit like an oven, if you stick rubbish in, get your controls wrong, you get rubbish out.


One minor irritation of mine is that it wrote in American English when I am UK English.

As well as advantages, it would be remiss of me not to highlight concerns over using AI tools to write a book.


Writing Style

Personally, I do not advocate using AI tools to write an entire book. If you set out to write a book it's generally to ensure your voice is heard, your expertise and build your credibility. If you ask AI to write for you, you absolutely MUST reflect on what's produced and make it your own.


Would you want a book out there that potentially other people have their names on the exact same copy? Absolutely not, so adapt whatever you get from AI into your own style, incorporating your own experiences. After all, that's what's going to make it engaging.


However, there are also challenges to using AI in book writing. One of the main concerns is the potential loss of creative control over the work. Writers may worry that the content generated by AI tools will not reflect their unique writing style or voice, leading to a lack of authenticity in the final product.


So far I have only used the free tools for book wiring, however, I do pay for a platform to support with SEO and AI writing. I love it! As the whole area of AI develops there will be more and more at your disposal. If you're going to venture into AI book writing, then make sure you know what it is you want and do your research.


Another challenge is the cost of using AI-powered writing tools. While some tools are available for free or at a low cost, more advanced AI-powered writing platforms may come with a high price tag, making them inaccessible to some writers.



In addition, there is an ethical concern about using AI-generated content in the book industry. While AI can help streamline the writing process, there is a risk that it may replace human creativity entirely, leading to a lack of diversity in storytelling and a decrease in the value placed on human writers.


Despite these challenges, the use of AI in book writing is becoming more prevalent, and it is likely that we will see more sophisticated AI-powered writing tools in the future. As with any technology, it is essential to weigh the benefits against the challenges and decide if AI is the right choice for your writing process.


In conclusion, the use of AI in book writing has the potential to revolutionize the way we create and consume literature. While there are challenges to using AI-powered writing tools, the benefits of time savings, improved quality, and creative inspiration make it a valuable option for writers looking to streamline their writing process. As AI continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how it shapes the future of the book industry.



I have briefly explored whether it would be of any use for illustrations. Now I am not for one minute planning on getting rid of my illustrator, she is fab but I wondered whether it was possible. Well, here are some results and tweaks along with the request I entered. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to whether we’ve reached a point where AI can take the place of an illustrator or not!


In short, this was just an insight into the pros and cons of using AI. I will be going more in-depth into the areas above in future blogs.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, head over and leave a comment on LinkedIn, FacebookInstagram or Twitter.


Unicorn Flying with blonde children on its back.


Flying cute unicorn

(I’m not entirely sure why it has two horns and three front legs!)

Watercolour image of a unicorn

The Business Benefits of Writing a Book in Your Field of Expertise

Writing a book related to your area of expertise may seem like a daunting task, but it can have significant benefits for your business. Establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry can help you attract new clients or customers, increase credibility and authority, and even generate additional income streams. In this article, we'll look at some of the key benefits of writing a book on your chosen subject matter.


Establishing Credibility and Thought Leadership

Writing a book in your field of expertise can significantly boost your credibility among peers, clients, and potential customers. By sharing unique insights and valuable knowledge, you establish yourself as an authority in the industry.


Writing a book in your field of expertise not only shows that you have a deep understanding of the subject matter but also demonstrates your commitment to sharing that knowledge with others. It allows you to communicate directly with readers and build a relationship of trust and credibility. By positioning yourself as a thought leader, you increase your visibility within the industry and can attract new clients or customers who are seeking expert advice. Your book becomes a powerful tool for establishing yourself as an authority in your field and can help you stand out among competitors.


As well as the opportunities that come directly from the book itself, it can open up doors to new opportunities, such as speaking engagements, podcasts, consulting gigs, and more. 


Writing a book in your field of expertise allows you share unique insights and valuable knowledge.


Increased Visibility and Brand Recognition

A well-written book can attract a wider audience by enhancing brand visibility and recall. It offers high-level exposure to people who may be interested in using your products or services.


One of the most valuable benefits of writing a book in your field of expertise is the increased visibility and brand recognition it provides. By positioning yourself as an expert and thought leader, you can attract a wider audience and increase your brand's visibility among potential clients or customers. When readers see your name associated with a published book, they are more likely to view you as an authority in your industry. This can lead to increased trust and credibility, which can ultimately result in more business opportunities. Additionally, by showcasing your knowledge and insights in a well-written book, you can build long-term relationships with readers who may become loyal customers or advocates for your brand.


A well-written book can attract a wider audience and increase your brand's visibility.


Networking Opportunities

Publishing a book provides opportunities to make connections with other professionals in your industry. You can also use the launch of the book as an opportunity for networking events.

Writing a book allows the readers an insight into who you are and how you work, it’s an opportunity for them to get to know you and build trust.


Writing and publishing a book in your field of expertise can open doors to connecting with other industry professionals. It provides the opportunity to reach out to experts or influencers for quotes, interviews or endorsements for the book, which can elevate one’s credibility within the industry. In addition, hosting launch events or speaking engagements around the book’s release gives authors an opportunity to meet with readers, industry professionals and potential business contacts. These events provide opportunities for networking that may lead to collaborations, referral partnerships or even new career opportunities. By establishing oneself as a thought leader through a published book, a person has a better chance of being recognised and remembered by potential clients or employers in their respective fields.


Writing and publishing a book in your field of expertise can open doors to connecting with other industry professionals.


New Revenue streams

Apart from being a valuable asset for building credibility, books can generate revenue through direct sales, speaking engagements, licensing deals or rights sold for movies or TV shows.


Writing a book in your field of expertise can generate new revenue streams for your business. If you self-publish the book, you can earn direct profits from book sales. In addition, speaking engagements related to the book’s content can generate additional revenue and establish your business as an authority in your industry. Licensing deals or selling movie/TV rights can also generate revenue and provide further exposure for you and your business. Ultimately, writing a book has the potential to become a valuable asset for generating new opportunities and revenue streams within your business.


If you have potential clients who are not currently able to afford your services then a book is a way for them to access your expertise on a level appropriate for them. It also has the potential to act as a lead magnet. It brings people into your world and has the potential to convert them into paying clients down the road.


Writing a book in your field of expertise can generate new revenue streams for your business.


Opportunity for Personal Growth

Finally, writing a book requires extensive research and critical thinking which leads to personal development beyond just work-related accomplishments. It has also been shown to improve writing habits and communication skills leading to positive outcomes both personally and professionally.


Writing a book in your field of expertise is not just a way to establish yourself as an authority in your industry, but it also provides an opportunity for personal growth. The process of researching and organising the content for the book requires critical thinking skills, which can be valuable assets in both personal and professional settings. In addition, the act of writing itself can improve communication skills and lead to better writing habits. The act of collating all of your expertise together in a format of a book makes you look at your knowledge differently, you critically reflect on what you know and can give. This in turn can positively impact your future offerings, your self-worth and much more. These skills can translate into other areas of life, making writing a valuable pursuit beyond its business benefits. So, consider writing a book not just as a way to grow your business, but also as a way to grow personally.


If you’re ready to get started in writing and publishing your book, come and join my Aspiring Author Programme.