Writing Tips

7 Tips for Effective Book Covers by Zoe Anderson

7 Tips for Effective Book Covers


Despite all the warnings to do exactly the opposite, people can and do judge a book by its cover. When you’ve worked so hard writing your book and you’re eager to share it with the world, the last thing you want to do is create a cover that dissuades people from taking an interest in all the things you want to say. In some aspects, the design of your cover is almost as important as the book itself.

  1. Don’t Focus On Yourself

Popular TV personalities often feature themselves on the cover of their books. This is because they’re their own brand, and people will be willing to purchase the book based on recognition. If you’re still new in the game, putting yourself on the cover may be a bad idea. People don’t know who you are, so they’re apt to walk right past it.

  1. Pick a Great Color Scheme

A black cover with white text will look sharp, but people aren’t going to catch it with the corner of their eye. Creating an appealing color scheme can draw people in upon first sight. Just make sure your contrast doesn’t make it hard to read your text or cause certain design elements to clash.

  1. Leave Graphics to the Professionals

You’re an author, and that’s your talent. Designers have a talent all of their own, and you’re going to need them now. Using clipart or graphics that you’ve thrown together on your own may not be the wisest move. Instead, go to a site like Gumtree and hire a professional designer to create crisp, beautiful graphics for the cover of your book.

  1. Don’t Crowd the Cover with Text

You may be proud of some of the reviews you’ve received, particularly if you’ve received them from noteworthy individuals. It’s great to include these reviews somewhere within your book, but crowding the cover with them may not be the wisest idea. People may see clouds of text all over your cover and feel distracted and overwhelmed.

  1. Choose the Right Font

Certain fonts have reputations for appearing unprofessional, or even laughable. These are usually computer fonts that have been around for decades, being overused every step of the way. You want a font that looks clean and professional, and there’s nothing wrong with using a font that features some stylistic elements. Just make sure it’s easy to read and appropriate for your book.

  1. Simple is Usually Better

If you aren’t sure which direction you want to go, don’t go crazy. There are plenty of incredible artful book covers, but you’ll usually find them on books that specifically relate to art. If yours doesn’t, there’s no reason to commission the painting of a masterpiece to use as your cover. It’s not always appropriate to go for bold stylistic choices. If you don’t feel like they fit with the aura of your book, go a different way.

  1. Take Design Advice from Other Covers

Look at the covers of bestsellers, or even other books in the genre you cater to. What do their covers all have in common? Certain designs appeal more to specific niches. By catering to your niche with your design choices, the people who would love to read your work will be able to pick your book out on a crowded shelf and know that it will appeal to them.


When all is said and done, you have to be happy with the way you’re presenting your book to the world. What matters most is that you’re proud of the cover and you feel it truly represents your work.


Zoe Anderson is a marketing assistant at StudySelect. She’s keen on learning about new branding strategies and digital marketing tools.

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Denise Alicea
the authorDenise Alicea
This blog was created by Denise in September 2008 to blog about writing, book reviews, and technology. Slowly, but surely this blog expanded to what it has become now, a central for book reviews of all kinds interviews, contests, and of course promotional venue for authors, etc

1 Comment

  • I know we can’t judge a book from its cover but I still believe it put a great impact on the reader and attracts more readers and Thank you for the article, I think this is enough for an effective book cover. Great help!

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