Authors and Book Covers, or You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Today Breanne opens the Pandora’s box known as Book Cover Design.

Before a manuscript enters the copyediting queue, I’ll ask authors for their cover art suggestions. While some authors prefer to leave the cover completely up to the graphic designer, others are delighted with the opportunity to offer their input. Here are some points for authors to consider when proposing cover art:

  • Is that image you found while browsing your favorite website of adequate resolution to print on a cover, or will it turn into a fuzzy glob at book cover size?
  • Can’t decide which of your favorite images to choose? Resist the urge to suggest a collage. The small size of online book covers (on Amazon or faculty websites) seriously inhibits browsers’ ability to see collage elements.
  • Do you really dislike the color blue? Tell your designer or editor so that the manuscript you spent years toiling over doesn’t end up wrapped in shades of your worst nightmare.
  • Does the period painting you propose require considerable permission fees to reproduce? Can the image be manipulated (e.g., cropped, bled) to fit on a book cover, or are there restrictions on its use?
  • Want potential readers to notice the byline? Consider that the larger your name is, the less room there is on the cover for other design elements.

If you have other items for authors to consider when suggesting a cover image (surely there are many more), please add them to the comments box below.

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Marketing & Sales Manager since 2012