I just finished designing my latest book cover for Emily Hill at A.V. Harrison Publishing. Working with Emily is always a blast because she is open-minded and has fun themes. But more importantly, she trusts me. She also realizes the work involved and knows that a professionally designed cover has value and will pay for itself through book sales.
Many people think that book cover design is easy and involves nothing more than finding a cheap or free image and typing the book’s title across a PowerPoint slide, and presto, book cover! Emerging authors may not realize that if their book cover isn’t designed with the highly-competitive book market in mind, they will lose the confidence of their reader before they hit the ‘Buy’ button (hey, they did it themselves and are proud of their work and cost savings!) Designing your own cover may actually cost you sales and distribution.
Designing a book cover or editing a manuscript only appears effortless and easy because professionals make it look that way—they know what they're doing and are good at what they do. I applaud the confidence and determination of those trying to go it alone, but knowing when to get help is just as commendable.
I thought it might be helpful—and fun—to highlight part of the process of designing a book cover to give authors a better idea of what is involved and what they are paying for when they choose to bring in a professional designer who has invested time and money in education and software. And depending on how you do business and file your taxes, all or part of the cost of your book cover designs may be deductible—consult with your Accountant.
In the slideshow below, I have highlighted some of the stages in the design of the book cover for A.V. Harrison Publishing's Ghost Stories, Tales of Terror, the second installment of short-stories in a four-part series.
After chatting with Emily about this series, we decided to highlight one of the characters from her favorite story in the book: the uninvited dinner guest; a wolf-like beast with red eyes. To keep with the look and feel of book one of the series, we decided it would be best to keep the cover to a photograph, rather than creating an illustration. This is where the fun started for me!