Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to Design a Best-Selling Book Cover

This is for those writers out there who have a keen eye when it comes to aesthetics. There's only one thing you need: Photoshop. If you have this program, you can do anything. Design your own sexy book cover.

Is there a recurring theme when you look at books in the top 100 lists? You will find that most book covers are not cram packed with detail. They will have one object of focus. I met one man who wanted me to design his book cover, and he wanted SO many things in it.

"Must have a girl with brown hair, shoulder length, with a red streak through the front. She must be wearing jeans, a black belt, and a pink top. In her right hand there must be a pair of handcuffs made out of smoke, and in the other, the tail of a dragon. She must have a mischeivious smile. In the background there must be a handsome latin man with a tattoo on his left arm.'

That was his brief. Nightmare. Too many things going on. Too many symbols.

When thinking of a book cover, you must focus on a single symbolic thing, whether it be an item or a person.

When I buy books, the first thing I notice is an excellent cover. I will be more inclined to pick up a book if it is good looking.

Take these books for example. (all designed by me)


 These books have 1 main focus - and limited colour pallets.
So. When considering a book cover for your novel/eBook, please do not make the mistake that so many others do.

1. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

2. Use limited colour pallet.

3. Make sure the title is ledgible as a thumbnail

4. Don't use too many elements. Busy covers are ugly!

If you can't design your own cover, there are many many artists out there who will create something amazing for you. Some will do it between $50-$200. (it really depends on quality)

If you're looking for a cover designer, try these sites:
1. (hire freelancers)
2. (for stock images)
3. (to hire freelancers)
4. (premade book covers)


  1. Great post, Kate. I'd love to learn Photoshop and design my own covers and images.

    Do you really do covers so cheap? Awesome!

    Will check out your books and artwork and follow you :)

    1. Thank you so much.
      I don't charge much, but I am very busy, and can't take on many new projects.

  2. Good points! Not a fan of Twilight either, but the covers are brilliant. Though, busy isn't always terrible. I think the key is the color scheme. You have to have a unifying color. Take Howl's moving Castle, which I love:


  3. Exceptional work. Such depth in your color palatte. So striking!

  4. Love your designs, girl! And this is so helpful and fun for artists/authors like me :) Wish I had the time to do both covers and the books! You're Wonder Woman for sure!

  5. Great article ...Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.