Marketing a book depends on a wide range of factors that combine to entice readers; your cover, blurb and sales page can be even more important than the actual story. Experts agree that a great cover can make or break a book. Collaborating with a book designer to create the right book cover can be challenging, but getting the right look is worth it in the end. You may have a vision of what you want your cover to look like, but can you transfer that vision to your cover designer? Here are six ways to improve the relationship with your designer to get the perfect book cover.
Understand the Costs
Your book designer has spent countless hours studying and working to perfect her craft. You're going to get what you pay for. Your book's cover is possibly its greatest selling point, so you need to get the best designer you can afford. Yes, some designs can be expensive, but getting an on-genre cover can mean the difference between hitting your sales goals and having your book sink like a stone. Save up if you have to, and explain your budget to the designer before you begin the process.
Clarify What You Want
Yes, a great designer will know your genre and can come up with a variety of samples for you to see, but you should already have a general idea of what your book should look like before you hire a designer. If you're not artistic, it can be hard to describe exactly what you want. Try sending a collection of other book covers you admire, to give your designer an idea of the style you like.
While you should know what you like and communicate this to the designer, you should also be open to suggestions on changing the design. You should be able to trust that this professional knows what he's doing. If he suggests a completely different type of typography or a different style of cover design, keep an open mind while you research other covers in your genre. If he's a busy designer, he may know better than you what type of cover sells in your niche.
Be Open and Honest
If you have absolutely no idea what you're doing, let the designer know. It's a great way to let her know that she needs to explain things a little more clearly and that she shouldn't make assumptions about your knowledge of the business. Pretending to know all about the cover design business can only lead to misunderstandings.
Emphasize Great Communication
Good designers respond well to comments and criticism. In fact, that's how they know you're getting the cover that you want. Reply rapidly to any email your designer sends you, and include details in every thought and description. Don't just tell him you like it, tell him that you like the shade of purple in the MC's dress and the way she looks like she's in motion. All these notes will be valuable to your designer when you ask him to create the next cover in the series.
Let Go and Trust
This can be the hardest thing of all. Your book is valuable to you, and you'll be putting it into a stranger's hands, in a way. But just as you know your story better than she does, your designer knows this business. She's aware of the trends in typography, graphics, and design, and she knows what style of books are reaching the bestseller lists now (and which ones are yesterday's news). Unless she comes up with something you absolutely hate, trust that she'll create a great cover that will give your book the best chance at finding its audience.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!