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.