Don’t focus on one scene.
Remember that your book cover is a representation of your story as a whole and not its parts. Steer away from replicating specific scenes from your book.
Do capture the overall emotion/action/premise of your story.
Catching your reader’s eye with a standout cover requires thinking outside the box and persuading a reader to have an emotional response to a visual cover. Depending on your genre, your designer can do this with color, typography, texture, or other design elements.
Don’t accept a design you’re not happy with.
Let me preface this by saying that The Thatchery offers unlimited rounds of revision—I want you to have your perfect cover.
However, for many design agencies, it’s standard practice to put a cap on the amount of revisions they’ll allow. Keep this in mind when shopping for a designer. Due to limits on revisions, it’s so important that you communicate clearly and concisely throughout the entire process. If your designer has a cap, and you’re still not satisfied, let them know anyway. They might be willing to work with you—no one wants an unhappy client.
Do think ahead.
Will your book be a part of a series? Tell your designer. You’ll want to maintain consistency throughout the series. It’s your brand! If you’re featuring a character on your covers, your designer will make sure there’s plenty of stock photography of your chosen model. Or they’ll create a stand out title treatment to carry the series through multiple books. Either way, it’s great if you can give your designer a heads up—they like to plan ahead.
Don’t limit your branding to your book cover.
Take it one step further. Include elements from your book’s cover design into your website. Maybe it’s the font or color palette from your book’s cover—whatever it is, make your website feel like your brand’s home base. Go ahead and snoop around the websites of authors Ellen Smith and Keith R. Baker for ideas. (Both sites designed by The Thatchery.)
Remember to brand yourself with your social media banners, your Facebook and Bookbub ads, your newsletters, your blog post graphics, your landing page, and your Instagram account. Presenting your brand in a cohesive manner makes you and your books unforgettable.
Do market your books with 3D covers.
If your designer doesn’t provide you with a few free 3D book covers for marketing purposes, it’s easy to do with the right software. First, visit CoverVault and download the free mockup you’d like to use. If you don’t have photoshop, visit Adobe.com select their Photography plan (includes Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC) for $9.99 a month. You’ll even get a one month free trial so if this doesn’t work for you, you’re not out any money.
If you’re new to Photoshop, I’d give CoverVault’s tutorial video a quick watch. Simply double click the smart object titled “Cover” in the layers palette, drag and drop your book cover to the new window, and hit save. If you go back to your original tab, you’ll see your nice brand new shiny mock up! Don’t forget to save again (both the psd file and a jpeg). And if you want a 3D cover with a transparent background, you’ll need to deselect the background from the layers palette and save your image as a png. You’ll have an extra step for mockups with spines so steer clear of those until you feel comfortable with the process.
P.S. All clients of The Thatchery receive complimentary 3D book covers with both design packages.