Question for Writers: What Are Your Suggestions For Book Cover Designs?

After having received so many helpful answers when I sought advice regarding the possible use of Scrivener, I decided to ask again for input. This time, I would like to know more about book cover design recommendations. I have already been doing some research on my own, but I’d be interested to know who/what fellow authors have experience with and their opinions on the topic.

While I have graphic skills of my own, I am aware that they aren’t good enough for professional book covers for the genre I am writing (Fantasy). My upcoming series will be a series of short stories that will be published as e-Books. I plan for future omnibus volumes, gathering short stories forming the equivalent of a first “novel” in the series as a whole.

I’d like to go for a unique cover per short story/volume, especially as they all focus on a different character. I also am tight on budget, which will limit my choices.

So, any input on the topic of book cover design is welcome! Thank you!

Photo Credit: Craig Garner.

Photo Credit: Craig Garner.

15 thoughts on “Question for Writers: What Are Your Suggestions For Book Cover Designs?

  1. webbzephyr

    I am afraid that I cannot speak from any firsthand publishing experience, but I do find minimalist book covers to be especially striking. And a more minimalistic choice might be prudent as concerns your budget. Think “Star Girl” by Jerry Spinelli–a simple graphic or set of graphics against a solid color. Hope this helps, even if it only severs to narrow down what you don’t want! 🙂

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    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      Thanks for your comment! I agree that minimalist covers can be well done and eye catching. Yet, I know that’s a personal opinion and will also have to make do with both budget and the trends in Fantasy book market. 🙂

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    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      I don’t mind when book covers have people on them. The one problem with this is when you picture your character as a given actor and can’t use their picture for the cover. That’s why having people on covers can be weird/distracting. Thanks for your comment!

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  2. njmckay

    Less is more. I have little experience with book covers, though i’m a graphic designer by trade. Still, basic design knowledge is helpful. I too try to avoid people on covers and try to keep it as generic and simple as possible. Fantasy is difficult though, there are several public domain photos you can search through, maybe something would pop up that you like?

    lol, i can always give one a try too if you like.

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    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      I like many kinds of covers, including simple ones. I’m just concerned with the trends in market as this is part of the deal, besides me loving the cover. I found a couple places for pictures. I might take you up on the offer. I’ll let you know. I’m still in the early plotting stages (at least all the short stories are outlined!) Thanks for your comment!

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  3. Jennie Sherwin

    Natasha:

    Sometimes photos of people can be clues for the reader. I don’t mind them. My publisher sent me to a book covers website and asked me to choose one from the collection.

    Do you know when the next feminist Friday will be? I’ve written a piece I’d like to post. Thanks, Jennie

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  4. hannahgivens

    I don’t know if you follow Alex Hurst’s blog, but I think you’d like it, and she also does cover artist spotlight type posts occasionally with some really amazing artists.

    “Illustrious is part of an ongoing interview series designed to connect indie and self-published authors with exceptional artists for their cover and illustration needs”: http://alex-hurst.com/tag/illustrious/

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  5. mbarkersimpson

    I’m not sure if you’ve visited http://www.goonwrite.com/ but the site is useful and has many ‘ready made covers’ you might be able to make fit on a low budget. It’s worth a look. I have the same issues when it comes to book covers. For my latest release I designed it myself because I couldn’t find a cover I was happy with and didn’t have the funds to pay a designer. I’ve since done a little research and am still trying to find something to ‘fit’ for my next release.

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    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      I didn’t know about this site. Thanks for mentioning it! I will check it out. I found ready made covers on other site, but having read some posts about how it isn’t such a good ‘marketing’ idea, it made me wonder. At the same time, it’d probably be better than what I would do myself, if I went into the photo manip kind of covers (I am used to smaller graphics but large ones aren’t my forte).

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  6. winterbayne

    I’ve been doing a tiny bit of research on this topic. Not ready for a cover myself BUT here are my personal plans:
    1) search the top 25 books on amazon for your genre. Make notes on what you love, what they tend to have in common. Readers have certain expectations of a genre book cover. I’d go with the flow.
    2) If any of the books are self pub, who made the cover? Stalk them and see if you can use them.
    3) Give shout outs on Twitter or try ODesk or Elance. Cover designers on the cheap.
    4) when you check out the image, don’t look at it full size. Make it small as the Amazon thumbnail. THAT is what a reader/potential buyer sees. It’s the most important image. It should be bold, clear and the reader should know what is on the cover.
    5) Don’t get fancy with text. It should be fairly plan and very clear.

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