Do’s and Don’ts in Book Cover Design


Among many others, a book’s finest weapon to get the reader’s attention is their visual appearance – the book cover. If it’s beautiful and interesting, the reader will assume that the content is equally beautiful and interesting, so they will proceed to the next step: reading about the book and finding out whether this is the book for them. The hardest part is to get the reader to pick up the book into his hand or to click on the book title to find out more online. Getting a great book cover has to be at the top of one author’s key priorities.

This guide will give you an idea about do’s and don’ts in the book cover design world.


1. Size of the cover

Keep in mind the size of the cover people will be seeing online. It’s very small, so as you have little space to present your book to the reader, make them notice your book, and keep simple. The recommendation from Amazon for ebook covers is 600 x 800 px. Communicate with your readers through the book cover. Let them know which genre the book is. Don’t mix photos and illustration on your background. Pick one and stick with it.

2. Additional text

Do not add additional text except from your name and the book title, as it will be too small to notice and therefore unnecessary. If you are publishing a book series, it would be good to incorporate that into your book cover. Adding for example “Book 3” to the text on the book cover, could save a lot of time to your readers and will neatly let them know that you’ve written a book series. Be sure that the color of the text on the cover does not blend in with the background picture and that it is readable.


3.More about book series

If you are writing a book series, keep your design simple and use the same design for each series, but with slight alterations. For example, darker or lighter background, different font color or using the same font, size and text placing. Also, if you are using the same design you can emphasize the text which explains the number of the series. If you want to change the design or just the background image completely, be sure to be consistent with the first book and use a similar solution. You can see some great examples on this page.


3. Leave an impression

If you’re a self published author, it may be harder for you to get your book out there. You have to stand out. Consider paying  a professional to make a book cover for you and be sure that the cover best describes what the book is about. People do judge books by their covers and it is really important that your book gives a great first impression. Keep it simple and don’t have too much going. Simple, but not empty.


4. Typography

This is also one very important part of your book cover. The font that you are using can also say a lot about what your book is about, as well as the selection of your background image. Be sure to always use typography that is clear, readable and which best describes the mood of your book. Title should always be bigger than your name, unless you are well known and acclaimed author. Don’t use a lot of colors or typefaces on the book cover. Three top’s will work best for both typefaces and colors. Use typefaces according to your book genre. For example, for non fiction, it’s always best to use simple simple serif or sans-serif fonts.


5. And finally

Be original, but find inspiration everywhere. Browse through other author’s book covers online and see what you like and what you don’t like. Save the covers you like, so that your designer can have a better feeling of how the book cover is supposed to look, in what mood is it supposed to be and which font you think would best work for your book.



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