You have just finished your manuscript. You’ve spent the last year or so on it and now it’s off to the editor. Now you realise you’ll need a cover and ask yourself, “What’s the cover going to look like?” At this point you may need some inspiration to help spark some book cover ideas.
It all starts with understanding the main theme or message of your book. If you have a warrior’s journey novel, what images and visual cues would represent the character’s story of adversity, power, loss or enlightnment? For a non-fiction self-help book on spirituality, what symbols, colours and images would represent this well?
You’ll want a book cover design that speaks to potential readers, who will need to instantly understand what your book is about. This is where your book cover designer will come in. Having book cover ideas to start working with can potentially speed up the book cover design process. Your book cover designer can use these ideas to begin narrowing down something that works commercially.
Here’s a few tips to help you brainstorm and get those creative ideas happening.
Write down key words and phrases that describe the themes and messages in your book and what images might visually convey them. You can then take these few keywords or phrases and Google them. Click the ‘images’ tab at the top and see what images and pictures come up. Remember, you cannot use these images directly for your cover because of copyright infringement, but you may find some of these images interesting which help spark ideas.
Find those in your social circles that will likely be interested in your book and ask them what comes to mind as you mention a few of the key words or phrases you’ve written down. People might come up with ideas you never thought of and this also has the added benefit of seeing what a potential reader would respond to on a book cover design. Ask your contacts on Facebook or Twitter and write down any responses you get, you’ll want to be marking those ideas that come up multiple times from different people. This could be telling you something.
Research on Amazon
Head over and search for book cover ideas on Amazon from movie dvd jackets and books in your genre. Make a shortlist of what you think are effective cover designs and what you like about them specifically, in a Word.doc or spreadsheet including relevant links. This document will help communicate your ideas to your book cover designer.
Be sure to save any reference images, notes and documents into a book cover ideas folder so you can easily refer to them later and simply send the folder to your book cover designer in one go.
Helping the ideas flow