There are so many considerations for Indie authors when they decide on their fiction book cover. There’s the picture design first:
1. Should the image be a photograph or a graphic? Photographs always seem to me as if the author is writing about real serious people, whereas a graphic gives me a more frivolous impression.
Above: These books use a mixture of graphic and photo images to convey their message. Note their use of text to attract attention. ‘The Beach House’, a print book, was the only one that used a written font – usually not a good idea for Indie publishers because it is so hard to read in a thumbnail image.
2. Does the picture convey to the potential reader what the contents describe? Can a reader be misled about the genre?
Author and blogger Joanna Penn warns that “fiction titles need to:
- Communicate a promise to the reader – which is further aligned to the cover images – which mesh perfectly with what the customer expects in the book. If there’s anything that jars the reader in any imperceptible way, they won’t buy.
- Resonate with genre – for example, literary fiction author Roz Morris commented on our podcast interview about a book she was originally calling Comeback, but actually that title was more like a thriller movie featuring Liam Neeson, not a literary masterpiece. So she changed it to Ever Rest. “ Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn
Where to find a good (cheap) designer
Indie authors are recommended to find a good cover designer and Fiverr.com is one place where you can find a designer who produces graphics or book covers to suit the style of your book.
3. But don’t be carried away by the designer’s cleverness in their past work; make sure it matches the concept you want to convey:
- Moody or romantic
- Humorous or witty
- Matter-of-fact or practical
- Crime or mystery
Here are a selection of covers offered by Fiverr designer. You can see that designers can be very flexible and if you give them a clear description of what you want
Many Fiverr designers come from different cultures where earning a ‘fiver’ is big money. Be aware that they also need an understanding of the culture where your story takes place. Check out their work before committing yourself to a cover designer. Be prepared to use more than one designer until you find the cover that’s right for your book. That doesn’t mean not paying the original designer, even if you don’t use their design. You engaged them and they did the work.
Consider your font and font size on your eBook cover title
4. Title size are really important for eBooks, especially. When eBook covers are reduced in size unless the title is in a large font it will be hard to read. Rule of thumb I’ve heard is that the title should take up one third of the depth of the cover.
Take a look at the covers shown below:
They follow the title size rule quite closely.
According to Kate Harper in her book ‘How to make an E-Book Cover – for Non-Designers’ : “The main purpose of an online book cover is to encourage the customer to click on the title and read the book’s description, sample pages, index and table of contents. But if your cover doesn’t grab their attention from the beginning, they may just pass it by.”
Kate’s book takes you through the steps of making a quality eBook cover in both Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop. So if you really can’t afford to employ a designer (good designs cost more than $5 with Fiverr) and you have some copyright-free graphics you want to use, then this eBook would be great. It certainly gave me help in understanding the special needs of Indie publishing and e-Covers.
5. Choose a font that is easy to read and fits the content of your story.
When you’re creating a cover the font you choose is vital. Just like the options I listed under Point 3, different fonts convey different levels of urgency, mystery or intrigue.
The images above were from an exercise I did to look at the types of fonts and what they conveyed. I am NOT writing a novel called Dead in the Water – so go ahead if you’re so inclined! A couple of them seemed too hard to read easily, and others did not convey the seriousness of death I thought such a title deserved. Of course, this is all subjective and the best you can do when choosing a font for your cover page is to show a few people and get some feedback.
Is your name more important that your eBook title?
Definitely not if you’re publishing your first few books. After you’ve become a ‘discovered’ writer then you can bring your name up into larger font size. Here are some writers who totally ignore the rule:
Any guesses why?
Yes, once you have a following, your fans will read whatever you write because they know they’ll enjoy a good read. Unknown authors must let the Title and Cover of their book create a little anticipation and draw the reader into the book. Or at least to read the sample pages.