Guidance. The Business of Book Design.

This Module allows you to establish the core design basis for your new book. Create Book Cover and Internal Designs and carry through the themes to Publication, Advertising, Promotion and Marketing. 

Module Page

First of all, choose the size you want your book to be. This will determine if the images created by you or your designer fit. 

There are the cover element boxes, Front Cover, Back Cover and Spine. There are also the text and graphics that will sell your book. The fonts, their style and positioning.

If you're using a Pro to do your design, click 'Share' to give him access to your Design Module. Your Pro will work on your design, upload his images into the boxes, check they all fit the correct size and then let you know they're ready. 

Otherwise, if you're designing the Cover elements yourself, follow the guidance below. When you bring your images in, make sure they fit neatly inside the various boxes. Hit Preview to see how they all look together in the template. Once you're happy with it, export the template as a jpeg file. It will be all ready to slot into your Amazon book when you load it. We'll be covering all of that later.


A book cover creates the first impression of your book. Like an album cover, it conveys, first a genre, and then a brand.

So, yes, you can judge a book by its cover.

In physical bookstores, unless a book is displayed prominently on offer or as a new release, the first thing people see of your design is its spine, all lined up with hundreds of other spines. At this point a reader will be scanning for two things.

A particular author

Something that makes them look again

You can't do anything about the specific author search until readers know you and it's you they're looking for.

In that physical bookstore and with online retailers, you can do something abut 'something that makes them look again,' and that's to create an evocative design. Something that clearly satisfies a reader's genre preferences and draws them back for a second look.

After that, it up to your front cover text and back cover synopsis to seal the deal and we'll discuss that here too.

It's not just pretty pictures

Sure, pretty pictures are lovely and that's what you really want to see, but there's an awful lot more that needs to go onto a book cover.

This is where you will need to add the elements that help to sell your book.

Blurb. The Blurb is a short paragraph that really should sell the book. It will go onto the back cover 

Reviews. If you've asked people what they thought of the book and had some good feedback, you can quote it on the book itself. 

Add any awards, grants or any other information you feel relevant.

Your Logo, if you have your own publishing company. If you have secured some advance reviews, add two or thee of the better ones. Reviews are from other readers so when a reader sees your book they can get a deeper glimpse into what they're about to read. 

If you have a sponsor for your book, they will probably have asked for a mention, link, image or all three. Enter those details here.

You also need to ensure that placement of items on your back cover doesn't get in the way of the barcode that Amazon will apply to the book. they usually apply that bottom right.

Authors don't write books

Authors don't write books, they write manuscripts.

Designing a book cover is the process of getting an author’s manuscript into the hands of a reader, by materialising it, giving it a form. A successful book cover needs to make a reader ‘feel’ the manuscript rather than ‘tell’ about it.

Many book cover designs don’t convey the right message. Books with creative graphics, eye-catching font style and attractive covers gain more sales.

The cover is an important marketing tool for your book, so do not leave the design to the last minute! Be bold! The design should draw people in, providing enough intrigue and charm that they just have to buy it… now!

Buyers at any bookstore are bound to be attracted by the amount of creative energy that a book cover has. Take a look at the role your book cover design plays in the success of your book, even before your readers crack open the first page.

Catch the buyer’s attention

Although many books are hitting the market, a striking cover can make the difference between a hit and a miss, making experienced book cover designers in this field highly sought-after.

Your cover must give away just enough to persuade the reader, and capture the story inside, without revealing too much. Book cover design must communicate that the pages within are worth a buyer’s time and attention.

Don't waste the Spine

As we discussed earlier, when placed on a bookshelf, the spine is all a reader can see, so the continuation of a creative and good quality cover design is important here. The spine needs to be a microcosm of all the design and marketing aspects of your main cover. It's a little bit like designing a mobile site once you've designed the main desktop site. It's a small thin space so don't waste it by constructing a template where main cover design invades the sine space. It needs all it can get. In this regard, binding is vitally important. Binding keeps the edges intact in a book so try to have the binding as good as possible.

Offer a glimpse

Your main motto is to attract the readers toward your book, Give a glimpse about your book, but do not overdo it. Make a note, attention-grabbing and flashy are two very different things. The purpose of a book cover is to convey the theme or purpose of your story in a distinctive manner.

Front Cover

This doesn't mean that your cover needs to scream your entire story in flashy fonts and eloquent imagery. Authors sometimes ruin their own story by adding too much information on the cover. A book’s cover must have a hook to keep the reader interested. Although you should never divulge the full story, revealing the hook in the cover can be extremely successful. The cover of your book should deliver the layout of your story. Treat your book cover like a living thing and allow it to speak for itself. The best book covers have one incredible piece of information that attracts the buyer.

Books Information

Your book cover is one among the best marketing assets you can invest in because you will be needing it everywhere. On your book sales page, your website, social media pages, video, your brochure design and of course on the physical book itself. Where the front cover attracts by design and minimal but important text, the back cover gets the chance to describe to the reader all the thrills and tales of the story so you need to make that visible and easy to read.


The typography you choose for your book’s title and the author’s name can grow to become a huge brand in the eyes of their readers because readers usually buy a book because they are familiar with, and trust, the name on its cover. Your typography technique must support both what the title communicates, as well as the tone of the story itself. Fonts can be casual, neutral, exotic and graphic, that is why it’s important to think about your message and pick a font that fits best. Well, crafted text can make a difference between the ordinary book cover and the best selling one. Avoid font explosions and special styling. Usually, a cover should not use more than two fonts.

Cover Images

Cover images must act like Teasers to your cover design and not like spoilers. A well planned cover design tells a lot to a person about the book without revealing every detail. Cover images are more than just decoration. They draw readers’ attention by telling the theme of the book without them even needing to turn the first page. Compelling visuals can help you make a connection with the audience and make a strong impression before they even read a single word about the book. You want your cover to give away just enough to entice the reader and capture the story inside, without revealing too much. The imagery you choose can be a great way to connect the reader with the book on an emotional level.


Plan your cover layout first. If you’re uncertain, refer to books already in market to see what the standard is. Over-formatted text distracts readers and gives them an unpleasant experience. This is where the Cover Template is useful, to see the front cover, back cover and spine all in one image.

Colours draw attention

The colours you choose for your cover should help create the mood and convey the message you’re trying to send. Complimentary colours that are diagonally opposite from each other on the colour wheel tend to work great together. The same goes for analogous colours, combined dark and light tints that are next to each other on the colour wheel. Many bestselling book covers feature a blue and orange design, or black, white, because these colours work well together. The psychological aspect means that warm colours are stimulating, a synonym for energy, while cold colours are composed and better represent calmness. It’s important to do your research before choosing a colour scheme for your book cover because readability is an important factor in any design. Your colour should be legible and easy on the eyes. Neutral colours like black, white and grey can help you balance your design.

Central image from your story

If your story has a periodically recurring symbol or image throughout, discover a creative way to assimilate it into your cover design. Maybe the bad guys that our heroes are chasing are Nazis. Place the swastika into your design. The more central Nazis are to your story, the prominent the swastika can be. But no too much. Remember, there are plenty of elements to your story that can be represented. Elements concerning location and emotion for example. Simple, classic contrast helps a cover pop and is timeless and classic. Monochromatic colour schemes can be a great way to let your fonts and words remain at the spearhead of the reader’s mindfulness, while the image becomes part of the framework.


Give a quick and sneaky glimpse to your readers about what they’ll find between the covers of your book with a short subtitle or a teaser. This takes less time to read than the synopsis on the back of the book and can lock readers in immediately. Make sure that it is smaller than your title but still clear and eye-catching. It shouldn’t jump out at readers at first, but should be easy to read.


That’s a lot of elements that need to go into a cover. As an Author, it’s not impossible that you have a decent handle on other things creative such as photoshop or similar. You may know how to acquire and work with images and bolt things together but please examine the guidance here if you want a book cover that pops off the shelves at the feel of your future lucky readers. Just ask yourself, “Is my story worth doing this well?”


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