When I first started learning graphic design I never thought I’d be designing book covers, but having an author for a wife, I’ve designed several covers for her, and her friends, giving me the practice and knowledge to design covers and give your book the perfect first impression it needs.
I usually start out by sending the author to stock photo sites with the instructions to find several photos they like. You are the author. You know this book better than anyone else. You know what pictures will best represent your book.
Once you, the author, have selected two or three photos you like, I, the designer, go to work.
I come up with several different fonts that compliment the photo, I match colors, and add effects. I come up with at least three concepts and send them back to the author. Usually, the author will really like one, sometimes two, and make some small suggestions.
I’ll make the edits the author suggested because, in reality, this is your book, and send them back. The author has now settled on a cover they like.
We then go through the revisions cycle, making sure the title and author name are how you want, and add anything else to the cover you’d like. We even start working on the back cover if it’s a print book,
making sure the cover copy is clear and stands out against the background photo.
Next comes the spine, sometimes the trickiest part to design. To design the spine the book has to be completed with an accurate page count. If you are using CreateSpace, you can choose what type of paper to use in your book: white or cream. Cream is a thicker paper and will make the difference for the spine. Once the final page count is given, I design the spine, and send it back to you. You make any suggestions you feel can make
it look better and we work toward a final approval.
Sometimes authors feel the need to send the cover concepts to everyone they know in return for opinions. The problem is these people don’t know your story, they haven’t spent their blood and sweat creating this book. They may make suggestions that will ruin your cover. I’d suggest maybe sending it to one or two people you know an seeing what they think. See if it’s something they’d be interested in, but when it all comes down to it, you the author, you know the book and you know if the cover works or doesn’t.
Kevin Jaffa has been designing for four years. He specializes in branding, web design, and, thanks to his wife, book cover design. When Kevin isn’t designing he loves taking pictures, or going to movies. You can see his work at kevinjaffa.com. If you are interested in working with him, you can contact him on his website or email at firstname.lastname@example.org