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5 Book Cover Design Tips for Self-Publishing Authors

If you’ve written a book, you’ve likely imagined what the cover might look like. While you may have a creative vision for your book design, learning about this process can help you choose an eye-catching cover that increases consumer interest in your book. In this post, I share five book cover design tips to consider when planning your book design.

5 book cover design tips for self-publishing authors

Whether you’re hiring a book cover designer or creating the cover yourself, here are five book cover design tips to consider:

1. Seek professional design help

While designing your own book cover might save you some money upfront, it will probably cost you sales in the long run. Unless you have experience in design, I strongly recommend hiring a professional book cover designer. These professionals can work with you to create an eye-catching cover that aligns with current design trends within the genre. During this collaboration, it’s important to be flexible. While you can explain what you want your cover to look like, ask your designer if they have any suggestions or different ideas. Consider showing them examples of book covers within your genre that you like to give them a better idea of your vision.

If you choose to create your own book cover, invest in an easy-to-use design platform like Canva Pro. The pro-version of this design platform gives you access to more fonts and design options than a free service. Here are some links to other design sites you might use to create your book cover:

2. Do your research

Whether you’re designing your cover or hiring a professional, I recommend perusing the covers of the current bestsellers in your book’s genre listed on Amazon. You might notice that many of the bestsellers within a genre have similar colors, fonts, or images. This consistency allows readers to know the book’s genre simply by glimpsing the cover. So when you plan your book’s cover, ensure it fits the genre that you’re writing in so potential readers can determine whether your book might interest them. When perusing book covers on Amazon, take note of:

  • the fonts, like Sarif or Sans Sarif

  • capital letters or sentence case

  • bold lettering vs. standard

  • colors (for example, many business authors use red and yellow)

  • images (author’s face on the cover, images of dollar signs, or a romantic couple)

For example, at the time of writing, most of the bestselling books in the crime thrillers category have titles in all capital letters, Sans Serif font, the title and author name spanning the entire book cover, and bright, bold, contrasting colors.

Below I'm sharing a snapshot of the bestseller category for crime thrillers so you can spot the similarities I've listed above: