Why You Shouldn’t Design Your Own Book Cover

Design August 25, 2014

Design Your Own Book CoverIf you are reading this article, is because you are thinking about designing your own book cover or you are researching for an easy or cheap way to get a great book cover design. The truth is that people do judge books by their covers, and the chances of your book getting their attention with a plain or bad cover are not that many. Whether you are publishing your book in the traditional way or have decided to choose the digital alternative, here are the most important reasons why you should not design your own book cover:

It Can Look Cheap

Unless you are an illustrator or a book cover designer, it is likely that you are not familiarized with what colors, fonts, or designs work best on any type of format. This can only lead to one thing: your book cover design will look cheap and clustered; and readers will think the same about your book. While the temptation of the doing-it-yourself trend is high, and the so-called advantages might seem to give you more for less, don’t fall into this trap, unless you want your book to stay on the shelf forever.

Takes More Time than Actually Hiring a Designer

Designing your own book cover requires research, documentation and a lot of idea searching. Even if you have a clear idea in mind, it will take some time before you can transform it into the perfect design copy, time that your book can spend on a library shelf or on a virtual library page, being read, reviewed and loved by everyone. So consider investing in a book cover design, and use that time to do more useful things, like putting the basis of your next project or taking some time for yourself.

You Are Not Familiar With Technicalities

How many technicalities can a book cover design have? The answer is: a lot! More than you can think of. From knowing which colors go with which, what fonts to use, what images to choose, what is copyright infringement or book formatting to the various sizes you will need for your cover. If you have an eBook, the cover needs to look good on a smaller scale, as most virtual libraries offer browsing by page, and readers will have to choose you from a list of many other books.

You Will Get Lost In the Complexity of Your Ideas

Writing a book is a wonderful experience, and tells a lot about the talent and mind of people who actually manage to finish this task. Have you thought that the complexity of your ideas can harm your book design? Whether you lose time deciding which ideas is good or ruing the cover by over-crowding it with scenes or characters, you run the risk of affecting the publishing of the book. The best way to get the most of your ideas is to write a detailed brief and take it to a book cover designer, he or she will definitely know how to put your ideas to work.

Cheap and Fast is Rarely The Way To Go

Cheap-and-fast is on everyone’s mind these days, self-publish authors need to spend less, their books need to be available to the public as soon as possible so that they can be read, shared and become well-known. But is this really the way to go? Is a cheap-and-fast cover going to offer you what you need? A lot of independent authors fall into this trap and end up having bad cover book designs because they did them themselves or asked a friend to do them for you. Most of the times, fast and cheap means badly designed, not formatted for all devices, or even under copyright infringement, since most free images are not usable for commercial purposes.

As you can see, there is more to your book cover design that you might have thought, and although it might be alluring to do the cover yourself, there are significant reasons not to. The best way is to find a book cover designer, and share your worries with him. Whether you have concerns about time or costs, a good designer will offer you more than one alternative, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs!

2 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Design Your Own Book Cover

    1. Hi Rosanne!

      As design goes, simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy to do. Sometimes, the most tricky designs are the ones that need to have as an end result a simple, classic and elegant cover. There are so many things to consider, such as fonts, layout, making the cover friendly for e-readers and virtual library pages, and so on; that is why a professional designer will always knows best. 🙂 In the end, it is all about expressing the views of the writer and getting the readers interested, so any cover, simple or complex, should be both functional and in compliance with the publishing and format guidelines.

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