Articles tagged "book covers"

How do you judge a book? By its cover, of course.

The following is a guest post courtesy of Ron Miller, see the author’s information below.

Making sure your book has a good cover is like making sure you are neatly dressed and well groomed when going on a job interview.

Although everyone says you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, this really doesn’t apply to books themselves. In fact, the cover is one of the most important parts of a book. It’s the first thing anyone will ever see and for that reason it needs to make a good impression. If a cover is unreadable, looks amateurish or misrepresents a book, the potential reader may give it a pass and move on to the next book in a catalog or bookshelf.

There are no hard and fast rules in book cover design. Just take a look at some of the superb covers displayed here . They are all creative, effective and no two look alike. Yet, they all follow the same basic guidelines. Even if you are not an artist or designer, you can still make a cover that – while perhaps not as artistic or inventive as some of these covers – can still be attractive and effective. Here are some basic rules of thumb to keep in mind:

  • The most important thing on a bookcover is the book’s title.
  • Keep things simple typographically. You may own a thousand fonts, but there is no need to feel compelled to use them all. Especially avoid really fancy, decorative fonts or using a lot of Photoshop effects on the title. If no one can read the title of your book, you may as well not have it on the cover at all.
  • Likewise, keep your artwork simple. Try to limit yourself to just one image that best represents the book’s genre or what it is about. Avoid the temptation to create a “kitchen sink” cover, where you try to cram in everything you think is important.
  • Another reason for simplicity is that a cover needs to work at all sizes—and even in B&W. Most people will first see your cover as a thumbnail image on a webpage. Therefore, it needs to be as readable at postage stamp size as it is on the actual printed book.

Having read these suggestions, go back to the Indie Cover page and see how many of those covers reflect these ideas.

About the Author:

In addition to the books he has published with Lulu, Ron Miller is the author/illustrator of more than fifty commercially published books. These have received numerous commendations and awards, including a Hugo, the IAF Manuscript Award, the Booklist Editor’s Award and the American Institute of Physics Award of Excellence. Several of his books have been Book-of-the-Month Club feature selections. In addition to the artwork he does for his own books, Miller provides illustrations for magazines such as Scientific American, Astronomy and Discover. Specializing in science fiction and fantasy, he has also created several hundred book covers for publishers such as Tor, Baen, Berkley/Ace, Warner, Easton Press, Subterranean Press and many others.

Black Cat Studios

Judging a book by its cover isn’t such a bad idea after all

The saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but that old adage was crafted before our new Lulu Cover Wizard came about. Now, Lulu has made it easier than ever to create a professional cover for your book, without the cost that comes along with a professional designer.

A great book cover can open doors for your book, and the new Lulu Cover Wizard provides our creators with the tools to get noticed. The new Lulu Cover Wizard is entirely browser based, so there is no need to download any software. It also auto-calculates the dimensions of your book to ensure a proper full-bleed print.  There are various themes, colors, and fonts to choose from, and you even have the option to use your own personal or professional Fotolia images for your book cover. And, when you sign up with Fotolia through Lulu, receive special discounts, too.

 


The New Lulu Cover Wizard

The New Lulu Cover Wizard

Tips and Tricks: Cover Design

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but most people do

How many times have you picked up a book because it looked interesting?

Make sure your creation makes a lasting impression with an attractive, well-designed cover. It’s a great way to attract and pique the viewer’s interest and make your book stand out from the crowd.

With these helpfl guidelines, design the cover that will showcase your book in an extraordinary way.

Before designing you cover you should:

  • Identify the target audience: Consider their interests, reading levels, background.
  • Determine the purpose of your message you want to present and plan your cover layout around it.
  • Select appropriate typefaces and organize the text and graphics.

::Audience::

Remember that you are not designing for yourself; you are designing to communicate to others. Take the audiences needs, skills, and abilities, into account when developing your design.

::Layout::

Decide what you want the reader to see or read first and position it accordingly, then decide what you want the reader to read or see next.

Make the most important element you want your readers to see the largest and the least important element the smallest. A few ways to do that is to:

  • Establish a hierarchy of type sizes for headlines, subheads, etc.
  • Be consistent with formatting.
  • Use lines to organize information.
  • Outline a photo or separate it from other elements. The use of space (negative space), is very important as it gives the eye a visual rest, makes a layout easy to follow and can drown attention.

Color on a book-cover can convey moods, create images, attract attention, and identify objects, among other things. When you choose colors – think about the following:

  • Highlighting important elements such as headlines and subheads.
  • Attracting the eye.
  • Creating a mood.
  • Provoking thought or emotion.

Red – Energy, Passion, Power, Excitement Orange – Happy, Confident, Creative, Adventurous

Yellow – Wisdom, Playful, Satisfying, Optimistic Green – Health, Contentment, Harmony

Blue – Honesty, Integrity, Trustworthiness Violet – Mystic, Beauty, Inspiration

Brown – Easiness, Passivity Black - Finality, Transitional Color

:: Typography::

Key tips: Choose a font that embodies the personality of your book or theme. Aggressive, Violent, Peaceful, Confusion……..You should use two typefaces but make sure they are very different. If you decide to use only one font, choose one that has different variations.

::Images and Graphics::

Your Cover: the first impression on your readers. Once you have decided what type of feeling you want to create, choose an image. Don’t forget, unusual shapes can be used to attract attention. There are basically three types of shapes: Geometric shapes (a triangle), natural shapes (a being, plant, pet etc.) and abstract shapes (an illustration)

If you don’t have your own image and you are looking for one, check out public domain, royalty free graphics web sites or subscription graphics online services that charge a membership fee for unlimited graphics downloads….

Here are some helpful links:

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

http://www.freefoto.com/browse/04-00-0?ffid=04-00-0

http://www.pdphoto.org/

http://search.creativecommons.org/

http://www.clipart.com/en/

Lulu’s Services Marketplace:

If you would like the help of an expert, visit Lulu At Your Service: a Services Marketplace and find a designer near you.