Book covers are hard to design and involve being both eye-catching and telling of the story’s narrative. For this reason, template designs are a sad joke to anybody with design experience. Much like using clip art to illustrate your story, using a template has the very opposite effect that an author is probably seeking. Rather than making the subject matter more approachable and personal, it alienates the audience by offering them a generic visual experience.
Although there are some general standards for photographs, text, type, and title, in book cover design, the main goal is to make all the elements on the cover seamlessly work as creative, expressive and appealing expressions that are faithful to the book’s contents.
The process of designing a book cover involves understanding the story and the author’s vision. For this reason, it is important for the designer either to be familiar with the content or for the author to clearly convey the visual feel or tone they are trying to convey.
If you do decide to hire an Illustrator to create original artwork for the Jacket of your Picture Book or Children’s Book, be mindful of the complexity of the task. There is nothing more difficult than choosing what to depict on the book cover, and how to depict it, and what specific scene from the narrative to illustrate.
If you are wanting sample illustrations to include with a manuscript to pitch to publishers, it is best to include samples from the interior (normally a couple finalized).
Jacket Art is especially difficult for an illustrator because of several considerations:
- summarizing the content and feel of your story;
- pick a scene from the story or else create the general feel or tone of the story;
- capture the attention of your audience while remaining faithful to the storyline
- only give away enough of the story to create an interest without giving away key dramatic moments or endings.
- FRONT COVER: Typically included for most novels:
- title in large letters,
- author name,
- symbol/logo of publisher (in corner)
- BACK COVER: Typically included for most novels:
- back cover text or teaser that gives a hint of the story in an attractive way.
- ISBN number