It is commonly said that don’t judge a book by its cover. But the truth is that people do judge a book by its cover, and it plays a role in whether a potential reader will give the book a chance or not. It applies to both physical books and ebooks.
But for this post, the focus will be on ebook cover design. So, the best ebook covers are those that can grab the attention of potential readers.
One could have a best-seller at hand, but if the cover is not well-designed, it is unlikely that people would be interested. How often have one of us been browsing ebooks and give one a more in-depth look based on the cover design? The answer is that we all do this all the time.
So, the question naturally arises: what makes a good ebook cover design? Unfortunately, the answer is not as straightforward: designs a,b, c, and d are the best, or this typography works best. There are trends in literature that change from year to year. The same is the case when it comes to what constitutes the best ebook covers.
As the author of this blog, speaking from personal experience, I can tell that an ebook cover design is as much part of the creative process as the writing of the book. It is not simply putting up words in front of an image and calling it a day.
I remember when my sister was in the process of getting the cover designed for her poetry book. There was a process to it, with back and forth between her and the ebook cover designer. Her book mostly explored themes of death, life, and love.
So, from the typeface selection to the artwork to the color palette, all had to reflect those themes and emotions conveyed.
So, with this blog, you will first understand what makes a good ebook cover design. Then the blog will talk about trends for ebook covers that can be sources of inspiration for you. And lastly, whether cover designers for ebooks are best for you or should you opt for ebook design services.
Things to Consider When Designing an Ebook Cover Design
Your ebook’s cover gives the first impression and is the first opportunity to hook a potential reader. Therefore, it has to be visually captivating, with easily readable lettering that persuades users to download and read your book.
The best ebook covers stand out from other books while teasing the potential readers with the possibilities your book brings. The challenge is to create an ebook cover design that makes the user stop and take notice.
It can be a challenge considering that most potential readers will only glance at your cover for a brief amount of time.
Here are five things that you can keep in mind to ensure that your ebook cover design stands out. But, of course, these things also apply to physical book cover designs as well.
The Image Matters
It is inevitable that the competition will be tough considering the growth of the ebook sector. So, your potential reader must pay attention to your cover. The image that you use matters. When the word image is used, here it means the visual element on your ebook cover design.
It is what hooks the user and compels them to read the tile and more.
The visual element or image on an ebook cover should say something about the content within or entice the reader by creating intrigue and mystery. The image could be a photo, artwork, or any other kind of visual element. The imagery used is often dictated by the genre of the book and the ebook cover design trend it is following.
To give a few examples of what is meant by this, let’s talk about a few covers. Each book’s cover in the Harry Potter series depicts a crucial scene, thus teasing about the possibilities. Or “Death Comes to Happy Acres” by JT Moss uses a cat in shadow with text using it as a backdrop. The possibilities are endless.
However, it is better to keep the visual elements simple rather than overly elaborate when it comes to ebook cover designs. The reason behind this is because most potential readers will see the cover as a thumbnail.
Readability Is King for Typography
The typography and how much text can come on the cover are very different when it comes to ebooks and physical books. Physical books can include quite a bit of text on the cover, but that is never the case for ebooks.
The best ebook covers are easily readable, and the typography matches the content of the book. You cannot have flowing mystical lettering on a biography of a historic leader. The rule of thumb for ebooks is that the cover should include the book’s title, author’s name, and any relevant accolades if there is space.
Proper Utilization of Elements
The space available for an ebook cover design is small. And because thumbnails are what the users first see, there are certain considerations to be made. So, the design should utilize the available space properly for all the various elements of the cover.
Proper utilization of all the design elements is best left to professional ebook cover designers. As they have the experience and know-how to make, the various elements fit in a readable and alluring way for potential readers.
The ebook cover design should look and give the impression of a book cover. Unusual and quirky shapes give the impression of amateurish or unprofessional work. The best ebook covers are designed keeping the specification of the platforms they’ll be published on in mind.
There are a few things in mind, be sure to account for the different ratios on different e-readers. Also, whether you are designing it yourself or utilizing ebook design services, remember to always have the final design in a high-resolution format. It will provide future-proofing for your ebook covers for bigger and higher resolution screens.
The Brand Identity
This particular point is more for authors intending to publish a series. They should consider identifiable branding so that their work is easily recognizable. Pick up any well-known series, and it will follow a certain pattern that sparks recognition among fans.
Sometimes it’s not the series but the author who has a certain style of covers. Jon Grissom’s novels are a good example of this trend.
And although not every ebook cover design will have something distinct to work with, especially for a first-time author. But having a consistent color and typography palette is an excellent starting point, especially if the genre and subject matter remains similar.
Additionally, the best ebook covers are designed so that the aesthetics are easily translatable to other mediums. It allows for a coherent aesthetic over social media and the book website.
Now that you know what things to keep in mind when working on your ebook cover. Let’s take a look at what is trending when it comes to ebook cover designs in 2021.
Trends to Inspire Your Ebook Cover Design in 2021
Design trends change with time the same way as they do in what’s popular in literature. However, 2021 seems to be departing from the conventional and moving towards experimental ebook cover designs.
This post will be listing a few trends that are bound to inspire your ebook cover design in 2021.
Everyone knows the feeling when your reading is interrupted in the middle of an engaging book. Well, 2021 seems to have taken this feeling and turned it into an aesthetic for ebook cover designs. The “Title Interrupted” concept uses disruptions and missing elements to create intrigue and mystery about what’s to come.
“Through the Shattered Mirror” by Lela Oswald had a cover designed which magnifies specific letters and turns them into mirrors, reflecting an eye back at the reader. “Empire of Wild” by Cherie Dimaline has imagery of a spooky forest growing through the title. The previous examples highlight the clever utilization of interruptions to create an intriguing ebook cover design.
Titles and Imagery as One
This trend is similar to the trend of using interruption in the title. However, this trend calls for the creation of ebook cover designs that replace letters with objects. These objects create a connection between the book title and the imagery used in the cover design.
The replacement can be a literal object or something more abstract. For example, “Thrown Off Script,” a book by Mike Domeny, uses this by replacing the o from off with a crumpled-up paper ball.
Or “When Women Lead” by Dr. Monikah Ogando and Amy Walker has the “Es” replaced by lines depicting a staircase. Each of these examples and more use abstract or literal objects in creative ways to create that captivating quality that can hook potential readers.
If one has to use one word to describe 2020, it would be surreal. And in 2021, this sense of surrealism is reflected in work done by ebook cover designers. It is known that literary trends reflect the realities of the times in which we live. So cover designs also reflect these shifts.
The ebook cover designs strive to create a sense that reality is not what it’s meant to be. A metaphysical experience is what they are trying to impart. “I Hold A Wolf By The Ears” by Laura Van Der Berg, “The Howling Division” by Sydney Fernandes, and “Anatomy” by Karina Vigil are all great examples of surrealistic cover designs.
This trend is a direct contrast to the complex, loud, and surrealist visual elements seen in other design trends. Instead, these covers look like they came from the sketchbook of a cover designer for ebooks.
These kinds of covers convey raw, unfiltered emotions and depictions of the stories contained within the books. The cover designs which take inspiration from this trend feature a diverse range of techniques. From scribbles to smooth pencil sketches to artistic watercolor paintings. Yet, no matter the technique, each conveys a sense of uniqueness.
“The Thirteenth Circle” by Chaz Allan boasts a rough sketch depicting the struggles of man. While “Designed for Joy” by Val Petty has a watercolor sketch. The alternate cover of “Anatomy” by Karina Vigil has the title drawn as line art. All of these are examples of this particular trend.
Sometimes, old is what is trending. 2021 has seen the return of an old-school aesthetic that draws inspiration from the dawn of modern technology.
A lot of cover designers for ebooks are experimenting with contrasts between analog and digital using pixels, codes, and computer-inspired typography. It is an old-school aesthetic being used in modern ways, and the results can be deemed captivating.
Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Ebook Design Services
Once you’re inspired and ready to forge ahead with your ebook cover designs, let’s look at what you should keep in mind when outsourcing this task.
There are several individuals and organizations offering ebook design services. But, not everything is right for you. So, the very first thing that you should check is to see their previous projects. That will give you a good idea of the quality and kind of work they do.
Secondly, you should consider the price point. Thirdly, do they design covers for your genre of books?
If the ebook cover designers tick all three boxes, you are good to go. Unfortunately, many authors do not consider the third point and are left with less than stellar covers.
For example, not everyone, a designer that has only worked on surrealist and minimalist cover designs, may not be able to create one using pixel arts. There is always a risk when commissioning a designer to create something which is new territory for them.
The best ebook covers are those that get potential readers to download and read your books. There are many sources of inspiration and many design paths that your cover can take.
The bottom line is that the visual and typographic elements should all work in sync with each other. The end result, irrespective of the design choices, should be captivating.
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