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4 Tips for Working with a Designer to Achieve the Book Cover of Your Dreams!

Updated: Apr 13

One of my favorite steps of writing and publishing a book yourself is the cover design. To me, it's such a celebratory step because the hard work of writing and revising the book is DONE, and you're in the final stages of getting your important work into the world!

When it comes to your book cover design, everyones experience is different. You can design the cover completely yourself or you can hire someone. As much as I personally recommend hiring a designer, that choice is entirely up to you and your budget. But, if you ask me, investing in a designer is KEY to ensuring that your book looks sharp and inviting to readers.

So, the question is: how can you work with a designer to ensure you've got the book cover of your dreams?

Here are my 4 tips:

Make a Mock Cover

Sometimes, it's hard to put into words what you're envisioning for your book cover. So it can be really beneficial to make your own mock-up of that vision to share with your designer.

I'd recommend creating your mock-up dream cover through Canva. It has thousands of colors and design elements that'll allow you to bring your vision into reality.

Here is the mock-cover I made up:

Making a mock-up cover gave the cover designer I hired something concrete to go off of, which then helped her to bring my dream into reality.

Here's the cover my designer, Lissa Li, created:

I am obsessed with my cover. When I first saw it, I screamed and cried happy tears. It's 100% the empowering vibe and aesthetic I was going for, and it was ten times better than my mock-up.

The point is: a mock-up can be a great starting point. You're really showing the designer the direction you want to head in, especially if you're not sure how to describe the vibe you want with words.

Find Inspo Book Covers

In addition to making a mock-up book cover to capture the empowering vibe and aesthetic I was going for, my cover designer, Lissa, had me provide her with book covers that I inspired me. So, I hopped on Google and did two things:

  1. I searched for book covers within the genre that my book was in--i.e.: personal development.

  2. I kept track of my likes/dislikes and concerns with each of the book covers I found.

Here's an example of what I sent Lissa:

This helped her to narrow in on specific design elements to include in the cover.

By knowing what I liked or didn't like, she was able to make choices that brought me closer to my dream book cover.

Draw Inspiration from Colors, Designs, and Textures

As great as looking at other books can be, sometimes none of them have the vibe that we want! Of course, we can make a mock-up book cover to capture the vibe we're going for, OR we can look at other non-book cover images that do capture the overall vibe we're looking for.

For example, as I finish up my second book, The Power Within Her: Unleashed, I sent Lissa the following:

Sometimes, you've just gotta go to other places, such as paintings, to find the what you're going for. Even though I didn't give her book covers, the vibe spoke for itself.

I wanted bright and bold and multicolored, and I know she'll be able to deliver.

Shop Around for Designers

Last but not least, you've got to make sure the designer you're working with is a good fit for you, and it's up to you to decide and determine what constitutes a good fit.

To sure that you and your cover designer are aligned in all the ways that matter, you might want to ask yourself:

  • Is their price in your range?

  • What do you like about their work, specifically?

  • Are they able to get the work to you within the timeframe you need?

  • Are there additional charges or fees for each cover revision? etc.

You don't have to land on the first designer you see. Test the waters. Make sure you're getting what you want and that you've got a good working relationship.

That's it! That's exactly how I ended up with the book cover of my dreams!

Hope this helps!



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