Write and Reading for pleasure…..
with Hephiklis Publications
10 Tips For Creating Fantastic Book Cover Designs – Joshua Jadon
There is this common saying – Don’t always judge a book by its cover, people accept the saying but do otherwise consciously, unconsciously and subconsciously. Yes, the title of a book plays an important role in attracting readers but the cover design plays a more important role.
When designing the cover of your book, you need to bear in mind that it will be among several other books in the Bookstore . It could be among hundreds of books in the same genre. So, you need to design your book cover in such a way that it will stand out and attract attention. It is after a prospective buyer picks it that he or she will now see the title. The exception to this rule is when a buyer already has a particular book in mind.
When you stumble on a book, only two things will make you decide to read it or ignore it – The cover design and the title. Here are a few tips that would make your book cover design the “bomb”.
- Genre matters
When designing a book cover, you need to start by considering the genre. The cover image used for a novel should be different from the one used for educational material. For example, for a book on mathematics, a little play of figures will be appropriate cover image.
- Have your target audience in mind
In designing the cover of your book, you should think about the likely readers. For a book meant forkids between 3 and 7 years, you need to make use of a combination of several bright and catchy colors with colorful images. These will make the book very attractive. Suffice to say this will be a ridiculous idea if the book is meant for teenagers or full grown adults. Secondly, ladies find pink irresistible. If the book is strictly for ladies, feminine colors like pink should be used. On the other hand, if it is for men, avoid making use of a combination of colors. One or two is okay. And dark colors should be the best. Since a dark color gives a touch of masculinity. You can’t go wrong with either an all black cover or white cover.
- Easily legible title
The title of the book should be bold and clear. It should be legible from a distance. To achieve this, there should be a good contrast between the color of font and the background color of the book cover. Not only that, if the book is meant for adults, you should avoid fanciful fonts. It depicts lack of seriousness to adults. Examples of fonts to avoid are Papyrus and Comic Sans. Also another suggestion would be to not use of more than two fonts on the whole book cover.
- The design has to be unique
To avoid legal issues, stay away from using copyrighted symbols and images. Your image has to be as unique as possible. To this end, it is not advisable to even use design found on any Microsoft application image templates or clip arts. Really, nothing is wrong with it. In fact, that is what the clip arts are meant for. The problem is that it could be seen as lack of creativity.
- Use proper illustration
Wherever necessary, you can make use of illustrated photos or images on the cover of the book. It often attracts attention to a book more than the title itself. In fact you could make your illustrative image incorporate the message and the title so it will merely call maximum attention to the illustration.
- Try to avoid clichés in your title
Sometimes you may think using common words will attract readers more. It is true to an extent. But that is if you can draw the line between a common word and a cliché. If not, it is better to completely avoid using common words as it has a way of sending a wrong signal to prospective readers that idea and message in the book will likely be something they have come across several times before.
- Compare several design ideas
The more cover designs you come across the more ideas you have. So, you need to do a quick research on cover designs of books that belong to the same genre as yours. Selectbest -sellers within your genre and look at the kind of designs they have. Needless to say cover design would have played an enormous role in the success of the books.
- Create more than one design
To get one good design, you need to create three to four designs that are suitable for your book and select the best thereafter. This is much better than just creating one design. When it comes to situations like this, individual differences will definitely come into play. The design that appears to be the best in your own opinion may not really be the best generally. This is why you should select a few people to judge. Thereafter, you can make use of the design with the highest number of votes.
- Subject your design to constructive criticism
You also need a handful of publishing Proffesionals to critique your design before you make use of it. Sometimes you may not be able to see the faults in your own work. This is why you should allow experienced individuals to point them out for you. Definitely, working on their critiques (if any) will make your design a fantastic one.
- Outsource it if you can
Finally, if you can afford it, you should outsource the design of you book cover to an expert. No matter how hard you try, you can’t outperform someone who does it as a profession.
The Process of Writing – Howard of Warwick
I’ve written eight historical humour novels so far. Six of them were in my Brother Hermitage series and two very un-straight histories. Each time I start to write a novel I need a “conceit”. What is the core idea around which the tale will be spun? Is it that a character holds a simple but very misguided philosophy? Is it how someone could be killed while sitting on the Garderobe? Is it that King Harold didn’t die at Hastings after all? I tried starting one novel before I had an idea firm in my mind, hoping that the writing would bring it out; I ended up re-writing the whole thing. Others may work differently but I know I need that central point.
Having completed the first title, The Heretics of De’Ath, I sent it around the publishers with no luck. So in 2010 I uploaded the book onto Amazon, hopeful that someone out there might find the blurb amusing and intriguing enough to download. In the first year seven people took up the offer and I was quite pleased. I wasn’t expecting millions but seven downloads with a couple of warm reviews was very pleasant.
It was only in 2012, on clearing out old bookmarks from my computer, that I discoveredHeretics was selling 1000 a month and was hitting the Amazon Top Ten in historical fiction. That was enough motivation to get on with the second title I’d been planning. Looking through the reviews, I was hugely encouraged by the reception. Peopled loved the characters and the humour and wanted more. Nothing prompts writing like a reader. Of course, some disliked it, but it was clear my style simply was not for them. There would be real danger in trying to “write to the reviews”. I’d risk losing my author’s voice and alienate those who did like what I was doing. Comments like Cadfael meets Clouseau or Terry Pratchett does 1066 were very kind and inspiring.
My writing comes alive when I make myself laugh. Out loud, and at my own jokes! Laughing is a joy and writing it down is great. Being editor, publisher, sales director, proof reader and author, I have to go with what I believe in, so I have always written what I find funny and kept my fingers crossed that readers will agree. With reviews, I can take inspiration from those who find it all “hilarious” “or laugh out loud funny” or who advise people not to read in public because the noises will be embarrassing.
The process of writing the series has always been about fun and seeing what grand historical moment I can misinterpret. Historical fiction can sometimes be slightly pompous and my starting point is always, “what if they got it wrong” – such as the reporting of the Battle of Hastings, or the Doomsday Book. Simple ideas that can have humour woven through them. And characters who are real in the sense that they muck things up as often as they get them right – just like the rest of us.
In each book, wound around that central conceit, I’ve known how it was going to start and how it was going to end – roughly. The most recent outing for the historical comedy detective Brother Hermitage was written with the plot and the text open side by side. I could quickly change the plot as a chapter developed and look ahead to what the implications of that might be. I’d plot out a chapter at a time and then write it.
Each book then has several read-throughs and I’ll read it aloud as well because I find that helps when writing “funny” – you can see if the joke works pretty quickly and, if it doesn’t, then I’ll rewrite it until it does – or remove it altogether. Using Lulu I also print a proof copy to carry around and mark up. Sometimes the words flow and sometimes they crawl. I imagine it’s the same for all writers. Writing is a pleasurable activity for me, made even better by knowing that I have readers waiting, nay demanding the next Brother Hermitage instalment.
Howard of Warwick is the author of the world’s best-selling historical crime comedy series. The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage have sold over 40,000 copies in eBook and paperback.
He’s also done some very questionable things to the great events of the past in the Doomsday Book (No, Not That One) and The Magna Carta (Or Is It?).
Monthly e-Book Cover Design Awards by Joel Friedlander
Let’s Have Some Rules, Please
Badges for Winners
Consulting With The Book Designer