Good cover design will make your book stand out, but what is good cover design? The article suggests that writers look at the competition, both in hard copy and online, and then make a list of what works and what doesn’t.
A great design needs to work across all formats – print and as a thumbnail. Detailed backgrounds and pictures can get lost in a thumbnail version, something the writer should bear in mind.
The cover design also needs to convey the book’s genre. While writers might shy away from being pigeon-holed, readers do need visual clues to help them decide if they want to read your book. If you’ve written something that is aimed at the chick lit market, then the book cover needs to resemble others in that genre. Ditto crime.
If the cover design doesn’t match the genre, then you risk getting bad reviews as the reader was expecting something different.
Fonts need to be legible in thumbnail size and designs should avoid typography that is over-complicated or blends into the background.
The article also advises that the writer should think about sequels, as this will have an impact on the design. Books that are in a series should look roughly similar so that readers recognise an author they have read (and hopefully enjoyed) before.
Naturally enough, the article advises that writers use professional designers with book cover experience. In addition, the spine and back cover should be properly designed too so that the books looks the part.