6 Tips For A Book Cover Design Worth A Double Take + Examples

Writing a book is a challenging task. You put years of soul searching, researching, writing, double-checking, double guessing, and waiting for the moment of truth. The moment your hard work comes to fruit and the book goes on sale. 

While writing is definitely a creative pursuit and gratuitous in itself, the sales number matters too. You do want people to read your book and be happy with it. One of the greatest joys of writing a book is when the audience connects with it. 

Book cover design by Kimp

Everyone wants their books to be a success. And for authors who have spent a lot of time building a community, this can happen even with minimal promotional efforts. 

But what if you are a new writer? What if you wanted this book to reach more audiences – even bigger than your community? You have to really push hard on marketing and promoting the book for that to happen. And it all begins with a good book cover design.

A good book cover design can greatly improve the success of your book, and in this blog by Kimp, you will know why and how to land a great book cover. Everyone will stop by your book if you follow the tips our team has curated. 

So let’s get started. 

Why do you need a good book cover design?

Many feel that designing a book cover is a task that has probably the least importance. But this is simply not true. 

Did you know that 79% of people say they have picked a book because the book cover influenced them? Yes, and that is a huge number that no author or publishing company will want to ignore. 

A good book cover can : 

  • Show the audience what they can expect from your book 
  • Appeal to a certain audience that may not have otherwise picked up your book 
  • Help you stand out in a crowded bookstore and beat out the competition 

All these are definitely things that you want from your book, and the book cover can get those for you. 

But how hard is it to design a book cover? Do you really need to spend time or deal with a professional team to get it done? 

Well, it can be quite challenging to design your book cover because it is so far removed from writing. And there are too many technical details and smaller details to count. You must get everything right to make it work for you. 

Usually, designing for displaying on a computer is much more different than designing for print. You may be looking to print and publish your book online, so it is important to work with someone who understands these distinctions. 

If you want to work with a team that can deliver a book cover worth a double-take, you can connect with Kimp Graphics and get started. 

Or you can learn a bit more about book cover designs and then take a call. 

If you chose the latter, scroll on to know more. 

4 Elements of a book cover design 

Before we get into designing the best book cover for you, let us understand what makes it work. The design elements individually must work so that they can create a meaningful, aesthetic, and effective big picture. 

Like most designs, you must experiment with each of these design elements to see what works best for you. But we can give you an overview so that you know what to look out for. 

Book cover design by Kimp
1. Color 

What do you remember about the cover of your favorite book? The color, right? In fact, that’s what you use to point out to many people even before the title. Why? Because it is one of the most striking features of a book cover. Picking the right color can change the impact of your book cover. If you choose a color that your audience associates with a particular genre or theme, they will definitely stop by to take a look. 

2. Font 

After the color, it is the font that grabs the reader’s attention. And the font you choose for your title and the subtitle can truly impact how your audience feels about the book. The font you pick can even tell them what the book is about and if it will appeal to them.

For example, R L Stine’s Fear Street Novels were written in a jagged font that looks like dripping blood. Now, this told the reader anything they needed to know about the book. 

Now, he has done non-gore books too, and the font makes it easier for the audience to separate it from the Fear Street novels. So pick the right font, and you will not have to tell your audience anything explicitly. 

Book cover design by Kimp
3. Images 

More often than not, this is the focal point of your book cover, so it is important to make a good choice. The image ties up the whole picture and tells the audience a story even before they open your book.

The thing about picking images for your book cover is that not everyone has the luxury to have a photoshoot for their book. Many authors and publishing houses work with stock images, and it is perfectly fine. As long as you check the licensing and ensure it is all in line, stock images can be wonderful. 

If you do not want your book to feature a random stock image, you can also work with a design team like Kimp Graphics to work up an illustration, doodle, or even edit the stock image to suit your book better. 

4. Branding 

Books have branding too. This may be the author’s name, the publisher’s name, and anything more. If the author has a logo, that takes prominence too. In each genre, customers expect a different branding style. In some, the author’s name is more important such as in Fantasy, but in generic children’s books, the branding can be a little more subtle. 

You must fix the placement of your branding on the book cover design so that you can work into the layout. Remember, we do not want clutter. Even if the book cover design is not minimalistic, the various elements should not clash among themselves. 

6 tips for the best book cover design 

We know why the book cover design is important to make everyone stop and stare. And we know what goes into it. But as anyone who has ever decided to self-design a book cover, it is safe to assume that there is a lot more to it. 

How you play with these design elements, the best practices you adopt or ignore, and the many decisions you make decide how the book cover design turns out. 

To ensure you make all the right decisions, the Kimp team has compiled some of the best tips for your book cover design. 

Let’s dive right into it. 

1. Let the cover reflect the book 

What do we want from the book cover design? That a reader who may not know about the existence of the book will walk towards it and pick it up out of curiosity. But it takes a lot to generate that curiosity. So how do you get your book cover to do that?

  • Pick a design style that reflects your genre: You can spot a comic book or a graphic novel cover anywhere, right? It is because they always have a Pop Art style of a book cover. This makes it easier for the audience to spot it and pick it up. 
  • Choose colors that convey the genre and mood of the book. Colors and moods have a huge relationship, there is no denying it. So pick red or orange if it is a romantic book and pick green if it is a book on happiness. Customers will automatically come to your book. 

Kimp Tip: Ensure that the colors you pick for your book cover design reflect the same way online too. Even if you are not releasing an ebook, you will promote your book online and display the color. Work with a design team and ensure they pick the Pantone color system for color consistency. 

Looking to implement these insights for your book cover design? Sign up for a Kimp Graphics subscription today! 

Book cover design by Kimp
2. Choose a Minimalistic style 

Rule number one in design has always been that the lesser you have in design, the harder customers will focus on the design. In short, less is always more. And your book cover design is no exception. 

In our previous sections, we spoke of how colors, fonts, images, and branding influence the reader in picking up a book. But how can they play their role efficiently if the customer cannot focus on them? That is exactly what happens when there are too many elements on the cover.

Picking a minimalistic design style for your book cover ensures that you end up focusing on one or two important elements while the rest take a backseat. Remember the intent here is to make people stop and come back to you. When they are there, you can impress them further. 

Kimp Tip: When you are implementing a minimalistic style for your book, ensure that you pick one or two colors, a single font for all the text, and one image to pull the audience. Less is more applies to all elements, unless the design theme demands it. If you go overboard in any element, ensure you are happy if that is the focal element.

Want to know which design element to hero in your book cover design? Work with Kimp Graphics and see a few iterations before picking one? 

Book cover design by Kimp
3. Choose the right format 

Books come in many shapes and sizes. Before you dive into designing a book cover, you need to pick the right format. Some questions to ask and have answers to are :

  • What is the size of the book? Is it going to be a traditional size, or are you going for a long format? 
  • Are you publishing the book as a paperback, hardcover, or ebook? If you are going for all three, the designs have to vary to match these formats. 
  • What is the paper quality of the book cover? Is it glossy or a matte finish? 

Your design will vary based on what your answers to these questions are. 

For designs that you must print, the paper quality specifically plays a vital role in deciding the output. The sizes are also important to know how to compose the design in terms of margin, visual hierarchy, and so on. 

Do not miss including these details in your design brief. 

Wondering how to write a design brief? We have just the guide for you here

Book cover design by Kimp
4. Think about your audience 

You know your audience better than anyone. You have been conversing with them, writing for them, and diving into their psyche for a long time now. Those insights also come in handy when you are working on your book cover design. 

Just like tuning the tone and content of a book to the audience, we also like to customize our design to the audience we are catering to. It makes it much more impactful. 

So what details about your audience can help your design team?

  • Demographic details like age, gender, race, income levels, location, and so on
  • Cultural inputs if any 
  • Pop culture inputs like the fandoms they are a part of, and so on.

This gives us an insight into who they are and what they may like. It makes the book cover design much more meaningful.

For example, if the audience likes Pop culture and comic books, you know that the book cover carrying Pop Art will be an instant hit. Similarly, if they like combat video games, we know that a dark color theme will work well. 

Kimp Tip: Include as many details as you can in the design brief along with images of the other best-selling books that your audience enjoys. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and these examples are the data points on which to base your book cover design.

Book cover design by Kimp
5. Position for promotion 

It is a buyer’s market, which means that you have to actively think of promoting your book. And that starts with the book cover design. Before you finalize the design, consider how the design would look on different platforms.

  • Does the design look good as a thumbnail? Can it work on an ebook listing site, social media platform, and your website? 
  • How does the back cover look? Does it match the vibe and design style of the front cover? Can it fit all the details and still not maintain the theme?
  • What is the spine looking like? Do not forget that this is the part most readers browsing in a bookstore look at. It has to absolutely stand out.
  • Can the book’s cover design work well on posters, flyers, billboards, and so on?

Consider all these placements before you sign off on any book cover design. That way, you do not have to worry about redoing them or adopting them for promotional activities. 

Kimp Tip: If you are working on social media platforms, you need motion graphics without a doubt. Ensure you have some GIFs, book cover animations, and a video montage in your kitty before you go live. They can push your reach to an unprecedented level quickly.

Looking for a team that can pull off graphic design and motion graphics? Well, check out our Kimp Graphics + Video package today! 

Book cover design by Kimp
6. Work with mockups 

Designing a book cover is a challenging and long process. Sometimes, by the time the concept art is final, you have forgotten what the design brief was. And more often, you still have any lingering doubts about the final book cover design.

This is why we recommend that all our clients look at mockups to get a feel of what the actual design will look like before they give us a yes. 

When you look at a 1080×1080 image, it can be hard to imagine it as a book cover. When you sign with Kimp Graphics, you don’t have to imagine. Our team delivers the selected designs as mockups so that you can make an easier choice. 

Mockups usually show the book cover will look – front, back, spine, and all. This way, you know what to expect when the cover goes to print. 

Even during the printing stage, we recommend starting small so that there is an opportunity to tweak, color correct, and finesse the cover.

First impressions are important, and you must be happy with how the cover looks before the book goes into print. 

Create breathtaking book covers with Kimp

Are you ready to launch your book into the market? Can you not wait for the feedback to trickle in? We get the excitement, and that is why we urge you to pay attention to the book cover design too. 

We know that once a reader opens the book, they will not put it down. So help them take the first step towards your book with the best book cover design. 

And if you are worried about expenses or the process, just hop over to our website and choose the Kimp Graphics + Video subscription. With unlimited designs, requests, and a graphic design + motion graphics package at a flat monthly fee, this is the plan for you. 

So why wait? 

Sign up today!