Getting a Book Cover Design That Works for You

By: Ebonye Gussine Wilkins

Book cover design is not fun. It’s a painstaking process, which involves a lot of revisions and adjustments. There is so much that goes into it, yet some people do not realize how important it is to take care when designing a book cover. I’ve covered why you should hire a professional book cover designer, and I’ve also mentioned that you have to have the right team to make that happen.

Most indie authors want an affordable book design package. They want a cover that will pop, and an interior design layout that makes a novel easier to read. The typesetting is no problem for a professional (please, never use Microsoft Word to do interior layout, and don’t allow anyone else to do that for you. That is a big no-no). The book cover design poses the biggest problem.

Yes, there are tons of people who can give you a nice looking book cover design for a reasonable fee. It might look really good, but if it is using non-exclusive stock art/photo, then you’re eventually going to run into problems. Non-exclusive stock art is cheap, but you run the risk of a popular image being used in a thousand places, and your book cover will get lost in the mix. The other problem you may run into, is another author using the same photo for their book design. When that happens, it is very difficult for readers to tell it apart.

Don’t let this happen to you.

However, it should be noted that if you don’t have big plans for your book (and not everyone does, some people only distribute their work locally, or they are more concerned about getting the content out) that stock art may serve you just fine. But if you imagine your book being sold nationwide, on Amazon, worldwide, or in a highly trafficked place of any kind, you’re going to have to take your book design a step further.

You should ask for exclusive artwork. You can usually solve this problem yourself by taking a photo or using an illustration that you commissioned. However, keep in mind that if you take a photo of a popular place (such as the Grand Canyon or a famous store front) you run the risk of still having art that is too similar to other art that already exists.

There are exclusive stock art options that can be bought. It can get run you a few hundred dollars (sometimes a lot more) but you don’t run the risk of someone else having that artwork. This can give you a great peace of mind.

There are also pre-made book covers that use exclusive art that you can purchase for less money than a custom design, and no one else will be sold the same work. However, there are a lot of pre-made book covers, so read carefully and ask questions to make sure that you have an exclusive cover.

Do you think a stock art book cover can work for you? Or would you prefer an exclusive cover?

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