5 Tips for Designing a Great Book Cover | Design Tips

Once your book is finished and has been edited through to the final print ready content, now it's time to redirect your energy toward one of the hardest tasks - creating the cover. Most authors make the mistake of waiting until they are done writing to think about what they want the book to look like. So to save yourself a few headaches we put together some important tips to help you create a great book cover.

Create a subhead

If your title is more than 10 words re-think the title. In the event you need to add a description use a subhead instead of trying to jam everything together into the title. By breaking it up your cover will be more aesthetically pleasing and make a greater visual impact on your readers.

Do some research

Take a trip down to the book store and look at a few different books. What do you like? What catches your eye? Take notes on what visual elements attracted you to the book and try to incorporate them into your own design.


Black ink looks good on white paper because it creates the greatest contrast. If you have a purple background with blue text not only will people not be able to read it very well, but the text won't have the same impact. Also remember that not every publication or website that shows a picture of your book will be reproducing it in full color so your design also has to look good in black and white.

The five foot rule.

If you can't read the text on the spine of your book from 5 feet away....Neither can your readers. You want to appeal to your hardcore fans but also to the people browsing through the book store make sure that your title is easy to read and sparks some interest. For books that may not be intended for distribution in a retail environment, compelling design and legible identification on the spine are still key elements to a professional looking and easy to find product.


Keep them short and sweet. If your potential consumer isn't captivated in 10 words or less fewer you’re going to loose them. It's the same principle as a billboard, if you’re driving 75 m.p.h you don't have time nor do you want to read a whole paragraph. You need to catch the attention of your target audience that is walking through the book store in a similar fashion. For books outside a retail environment, your purpose for using blurbs is similar: to catch the attention of your intended audience.