Authority Self-Publishing | Designing a Book Cover


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Authority is not just a book cover.

As you are a self-publisher of today’s times, I am guessing that once you have completed writing your book you will have the inclination to design your own book cover…

This is great if you have access to the means of doing so, but where should you start? and what legal stuff should you watch out for?

Self-Publishing today in many cases is exactly that. Authors are not just producing written masterpieces but also marketing and creating their own graphics and book covers. Of course this is not something every author should do without at least some guidance or experience.

Designing a book cover may seem pretty simple – right! However, if your book cover does not have that authoritative look and feel to it, potential readers may simply ignore your book – strictly on the assumption that you are amateurish because of your amateurish approach as expressed through your book cover.

Authoritative does not mean looking serious, conservative or boring. An eye-catching or intriguingly creative cover can give the same impression of reliability and trust, that most people associate with being ‘authoritative’.

Let’s face it, humans are attracted to things they can resonate with in some way or another. Something that sets off emotion; recognition, association etc.

If you are not confident designing your own book cover and marketing material, and feel you can do with some help, you can always contact my design service. However, there’s absolutely no need to threat if you still want to venture on alone, you can find lots of guidance and resource online that will help you. Plus I have prepared some quick pointers below:


book covers brand medicine cover
Image: a book jacket design for print.

Basic factors to consider for your book cover?

The first thing that comes to mind is the title of the book. Normally it needs to be legible and in a prominent position. This is often followed by the authors name and a short description. Finally you may consider an image or colour background for attracting attention or depicting the nature or mood of your book.

The use of images and colour can convey or present a number of non verbal messages and moods to your audience. For example the use of yellow may give the feeling of sunshine, happiness, youthfulness, zest and so on.

Your Book Title and Supporting Text.

Try out a few different typefaces that somehow reflect the mood or tone appropriate for your book. You can use both complimentary sans serif or serifed type. However, ensure that the type does not detract from the mood or tone you wish to convey, or looks amateurish.

Think of all the written information as having different importance, with the most important being the most prominent (or not). For example, an established author may use his or her name as the most prominent text on a book cover, followed by the title.

Whilst on the other hand, you may even have the title of your book as part of a background image, with the other details neatly arranged in a block of text. The breadth of creativity that may be expressed in designing a book cover is immeasurable. So exploring different possibilities is the typical route to take before making a final decision.

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How important is the cover of my book?

In spite of the trouble or fun you may go through with designing a book cover, one thing for sure, is there will always be potential readers that will find a negative angle for viewing your book cover. Even if its beautifully designed and flawless to the majority of people.

Which is why getting second opinions from friends and family, from forums or groups (worth a mention) and similar, may be a good idea. At the best this will help you narrow any negative perceptions that may derive from the general public.

Using the right title, graphics and photography can be the make or break towards the success of your new book. It’s amazing just how many different opinions are formed when marketing a book through its cover. Ideally any discerning self-publishing author will want to use a unique image, one that was specifically photographed and composed for their specific project. Basically, an image that is NOT available for use by others.

Another consideration is the use of patterns, there are some great customisable template examples available for a relatively small cost here.

book cover mock up deal

Stock Photos and Copyright Issues

Using stock images is a very common route for many authors however in some rare cases even this can prove to be a problem regarding copyright and looking unique. You may have heard or come across cases where  Amazon has suspended an authors account because of the duplicatory use of stock photos.

Now, where it comes to sourcing and acquiring the permission to use photography and graphics, most self-publishing authors may find the expense to be a little, or way beyond their budgets, at least this is what seems to be the normal perception at first.

And so the tendency to take the DIY route and seek the use of free images can be so appealing. For this reason RBE Graphics Library provides a number of free and premium images, some available exclusively on a first come first served basis, where you can acquire the sole use of an image without the fear of any reprisal. New images are currently due to be added, plus there are moves towards providing even better quality images…

Now, if you decide to use images from the conventional stock libraries ensure that your license is indeed valid and covers you for how you intend to use the image. There are many reliable and very versatile stock image libraries and other useful resource available on the net today, here are just a few I think are worth keeping at hand;

ShutterStock  |   Designing Book Covers  |  FreeImages  |  Canva  |  Creative Writing

You may also find access to some useful images and composing software at sites such as pablo by buffer. Which you may find to be a handy resource for both sourcing images as well as promoting your products via social media. Whilst you can upload your own images, there is access to huge range of 3rd party images. So, please be sure to check and adhere to the necessary requirements and permissions.


Related Content:


RBE Graphics Library: book cover template ideas

All images are suitable for ebook creation. Please test the quality for your specific use, or visit premium images for both Print and digital use.



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