Good book covers.

      Good book covers.

      • Use a good picture and obey copyrights etc. Pay for something good, as you expect to be paid for your good book.
      • Make sure the image is also recognisable when it's downsized to a thumbnail as on Amazon/Smashwords.
      • Make sure the title and your name are still legible in such a thumbnail.
      • Don't go overboard with colours and weird fonts.
      • Make sure the image / cover has to do with the book. You may laugh at this but I've seen examples...
      I design my own book covers for my novels, though I prefer photographic images for poetry. When using other peoples work, whether they're universal copyright or creative commons, you have to be very precise when adhering to rules of acknowledgement.

      I'll only use free material as I've found most cover designers charge too highly for too little work. EG: one stated he'll spend about 2 hours on each cover and give the author 3 to choose from, the cost being $200. Designers like these have their own catalogues of free to use background images, so they'll rush through to select which 3 covers they think will suit your titles best (while they won't actually have much clue what the story or book is actually about), then spend a little time experimenting with fonts. In contrast I'll spend at least 2 days on each of my covers, experimenting with as many suitable backgrounds as I can find, and then on variations of the lettering. I then send my favourite ones to friends and ask which they think work best, though usually they choose what I've already considered to be the best.

      There's a marginal myth re 'covers must show what is inside' as regards fiction titles as the vast majority of novels I have don't show an image which reflects the content, only the genre. I've recently begun learning 3D modelling, so my future covers will be even better than my current ones - and my current ones have already gained praise for originality. But any book cover must allow the prospective customer to see at a glance what the genre is.

      I'm really pleased that Xinxii allow one to see how many views each title has had as I've recently made a discovery through that: my most attractive titles are gaining far more views than what I consider to be my most attractive covers! So never underestimate the value of a good title - be creative and even poetic!