The 5 Things Your Book Cover Needs

I know as a writer or author, the design of your book cover is probably the last thing on your mind.

But imagine your book is sitting on the shelves of bookstores going completely unnoticed despite the amazing words within it. The hard truth is, that unless your customers know you prior to finding your book, the first thing they’ll see is your book cover.

You’ve heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but that’s exactly what people will do with your words. The design of your cover can decide in a split second whether or not a reader is drawn to your book, and you want to make sure that you’re displaying the right visuals to attract the right reader.


Whether you hire out your design or you do-it-yourself, here are some things to keep in mind as you are creating your book cover.

Even with the most ingenious content, a poorly designed book cover can lose you countless sales.

Whether you hire out your design or you do-it-yourself, here are some things to keep in mind as you are creating your book cover.

Be Intentional

No matter what your book cover ends up looking like, the design must be on purpose. Every font choice, color scheme, and layout decision needs to be there on purpose. What do you want people to think when they see your cover? Ask yourself what type of person you’re appealing to and make a cover based on what they like, not on what you like.

Give Emotional Context

In one glance, a customer should get a feel for what your book is about by the visuals they see. Is it a thriller? Give it an erie feel. Is it a self-help book? Make a design that is inviting and comfortable. Romance? Make it speak passion. Think about the emotions that you want to draw out of people by the art on your cover and then satisfy their emotions with a story to match.

 Be Readable

Simple, I know. But no less important. Make sure you can read the title from 20 feet away. Strive of a design that is easily understandable and readable, even from across the bookstore.

Be Memorable

You want to make an impression on your potential readers right away. Make them look twice, give them some eye-candy, if you will. If they can remember your book cover, they’re more likely to remember your book. Go for classic designs, modern twists, or designs that challenge the mind to look deeper. This will draw people in and make them flip it around to learn more about what it contains.

Keep It Simple

Lastly, keep it simple. Things don’t have to be complicated to include all of these design necessities. Hire a designer that you know will create something timeless and be sure to communicate all the emotions you’d like to trigger and how you’d like your book cover to appear on the shelves.

In the end, people will judge your book by it’s cover at first, until they realize that under that sharp cover is a magnificent story.

Remember, before you launch your book into the world check out our FREE Checklist.