Thursday, April 6, 2017

E is for Eye-catching Covers: 9 Tips on Finding a Great Book Designer #AtoZChallenge

The #AtoZChallenge 2017 Theme at Operation Awesome is the Publishing Journey.

If you’re searching for a book designer, the options seem endless. My Twitter feed is full of freelance designers. So, how do you choose the right designer for your book? You probably have an idea of how you’d like it to look, but also would like an expert to add in her ideas.

At Rebelight Publishing, I’ve had the privilege of working with a fantastic designer. Over and over, Melanie Matheson has produced stand-out book covers that have thrilled our authors and readers alike. She has over twenty-years experience in book design, so she knows her stuff. Recently I had a conversation with Melanie about how authors can spot a good designer and what elements they should be looking for in cover design. Here’s the advice she gave.

  1. Take some time to look around a bookstore and see what stands out. The ones that stand out are fresh and new and interesting. That’s what you want for your book. You don’t want it to blend in with all the rest.
  2. Take off your writer hat and put on your reader hat. What type of cover would make you want to pick up and read your book? What writers want on covers and what readers want are often two very different things.
  3. If you see a book cover you like, find out who designed it.
  4. Look for someone who is honest and a good communicator.
  5. Make sure you feel comfortable with whoever you choose otherwise it will be difficult to convey what you want and to ask for changes.
  6. Ask to see the designer’s portfolio. You are hiring the designer for a job, so treat early conversations like an interview. Ask questions.
  7. Hiring an inexperienced book designer my save you money initially, but you’ll end up paying more at the printer when costly changes have to be made to fix mistakes.
  8. Book covers are their own design specialty. Someone who specializes in corporate logos, may not be the best choice for a book designer. Find someone who has experience producing book covers and interiors and who loves books.
  9. As much as you may think you know exactly what you want for your book cover, keep an open mind and allow the designer to do their creative work. Trust their expertise.

 Thank you to Melanie for lending her expertise to us today!

#AtoZchallenge 2017 Operation Awesome _letter title_


  1. Thanks for sharing such vital information. A book cover is the first impression the reader has of the book and it really needs to be appealing enough to catch the reader's attention.



  2. I never realized so much thinking has to go into the cover of a book.... Interesting... Thanks for visiting my blog :)

  3. I'm definitely drawn to a book cover that stands out. Doesn't always mean I'll buy it, but I'll pick it up which is half way to leaving the shop with it.

    Phillip | E is for Envelope Exchange

  4. I have had two book covers designed for me, and the others I have done myself. I started doing them myself when I found it hard to put into words what I wanted and drew it out instead. That's when I realised I already had my cover!

  5. Thank you for the insight into book covers. I design my own, so I'm always open to new thoughts.

  6. Useful tips for authors. As a reader I am drawn to covers that tell a story, or at least hint at one.


  7. They always say you can't judge a book by its cover, but most people definitely do. A great cover is a HUGE marketing tool!

    26 Things To Hate About Writing: E is for Edits

  8. Very useful. As writers we have to get all the details right. Great theme for the blog hop.

  9. Love that Subversion cover. Just the right amount of creepy.

  10. I like the Red Stone cover. Solid colors like those are what grab my attention. I'm fortunate to be married to a graphic artist who does my covers, but this is all very good information.
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

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