HomeBook DesignBook Cover Design: Judging a Book by its Cover – Part 2


Book Cover Design: Judging a Book by its Cover – Part 2 — 6 Comments

  1. I have been a poet as well as an orator style preacher through the years. After on successful book (Two Against The Tide) I am attempting to publish another which I’m calling: “Soaring The Silvery Summits.” It’s a book of the best poems I’ve written and the epiphany I experienced which gave birth to the work. I’m trying to think of a good book cover that would set the stage for such a theme. Any help would be appreciated…

    • Barry, You don’t need to think of a cover. Give your book to a capable designer to read. A designer will approach the work first as a reader, and then as an advocate for readers to come. I can’t tell you how many times authors have given me literal design instructions for books. I almost always jettison these ideas immediately, and find the authors are pleasantly surprised at the ways I connect the design to the content. A cover is very much like a visual poem. Put your work in front of a experienced visual thinker and the result will be something magic and unanticipated.

  2. Great article and very illustrative both visually and in the narrative discussions. I’ll have to read this article again before my next book goes to press.

  3. Another great article Dave – heartily agree on the typefaces, kerning and the perils of Photoshop . . . 🙂

    As well as training in the industry, I grew up in a design environment as my dad ran his signmaking business from home. This was in the ’60s and ’70s, so no digital aids whatsoever aside from the literal kind of set squares and tracing paper and some transfers. So design really was hand-crafted and kerning was intuitive – if looked ‘wrong’ then you just blanked it out and started again. He made some really wonderful visual graphics for taverns and our local Woolworths!

    Even today using Adobe products I still rely on the eye much more than the menu for typesetting and really enjoy ‘drawing’ with fonts. Cover art is just that, an art, and if you don’t have an educated eye then you’re potentially doing your work a disservice.

  4. Nice insights. I hope this piece finds a wide audience among self-publishing authors who plan to do their own cover design. It isn’t as easy as they might think.