Then I’d ask you:

How well you have planned out your cover?

Have you really considered all the little details that make a book…well, a book?

Do you know what these terms mean?

…no category or price

…no running heads

…lack of hyphenation

If not, you might want to pause and take a quick study at what exactly self-publishing entails.

Start be taking a moment to consider who exactly your audience is. Is this book being created for private reading (perhaps you are creating your book as a gift for a friend or family member)? Are you experimenting and simply looking for peer-review? Then perhaps a cover with minimal considerations are needed.

However, if you are hoping for large distribution and seek buyers, reviewers, honorary awards, and other such hopes as catching the eye of an agent then you should deal with the many little – but important – details needed for your book cover. And, for some, hiring a professional might be the way to go.

Keep in mind that each part of the book has a role to play.

Here are links with great downloadable guides –

BOOK INTERIOR TEMPLATE FORMATTING GUIDE & INSTRUCTIONS

BOOK COVER TEMPLATE FORMATTING GUIDE & INSTRUCTIONS

BOOK CONSTRUCTION BLUEPRINT (will need to subscribe)

When your book has all its “employees,” you need to consider what your “store front” might look like. You have three major goals:

Catch the reader’s eye

Give the reader information about your book

Find a style that fits the tone and style of your creation

Easy enough – right? What if I told you that it’s more than that? What if I told you that “you need to give form to content with a careful balance between the two?” -Chip Kidd

Here is a link to the TED talk Chip Kidd gave in 2012 –

CHIP KIDD: DESIGNING BOOKS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER. OK, IT IS.

I also like this link. It gives you a quick idea of what happens in cover design in a bigger publishing house. Perhaps it will help you answer what the goal of your cover is –

INSIDE RANDOM HOUSE: “THE ART OF COVER DESIGN”

In the end I hope you find your answer to:

THE STORY LOOKS LIKE THIS

If you are not sure how to answer that yet, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who are the novel’s most important characters?
  • What are some important motifs that show themselves in the novel?
  • What are the novel’s most important scenes?
  • Is there any imagery within the novel that stands out to you? (Think the infamous “A” in The Scarlet Letter)
  • Consider the tone of the novel – is it a happy story, or the opposite?
  • Where does the novel take place?
  • What should the book cover tell the audience about the novel?
  • What kind of formatting (colors, fonts) fits the novel you’ve chosen?