So, you’ve chosen a book cover designer after much deliberation.
But it doesn’t stop there.
You need to clearly communicate your ideal book cover design so that your designer knows and he or she can then create this perfect cover.
Here are some tips to enhance your communication with your book cover designer:
Provide All Factual Information
Start by providing as many facts about your book as possible.
- Book Title
- Series Title (if it’s part of a series)
- Author Name
- Genre: paranormal romance, science fiction, fantasy
If your book is scheduled to launch on a certain date, let your designer know. Give them a deadline too. Explicitly tell them the last day that you must receive the book cover so that you have sufficient time to upload onto Amazon, create marketing materials etc.
Give Specific Details
Next, move on to details about your book. This will require some thinking and perhaps, searching through your book for descriptions of how your settings or characters look like.
- Target Audience: children, teenagers, young adults
- Major Elements/Themes: vampires, time, spaceship
- Characters: describe your protagonist(s)
- Setting: describe the landscape of your book’s world
- Typography: any special effects or cursive/script/block letters
- Tone/Mood: dark, angst, magical
Okay, the last one is important. Think about the emotions and feelings that you want to evoke in readers when they see your book cover. What is the tone or mood you want to create? This will also help readers understand at a glance what kind of story it is. Whether it’s a cheerful, horror or romantic story.
You can also consider sharing some book covers that you think are suitable for this book as reference.
Honestly, I don’t really like this. I feel that implanting an image will limit the designer’s creativity. Plus, it seems to steer the designers too much…? Like they have no say but to follow the design you’ve indicated.
Thus, you probably want to do this only if you want a specific style. Or if you switched the designer midway through your series and hence, you need the designer to reference the previous books. This way, he or she can retain the design so the overall series style stays consistent.
Disclose Your Ideal Book Cover
Okay, so if you already have an idea of how your book cover will look like, just spill it. Don’t make your designer guess the book cover in your mind. They’re not mind readers.
If you want to feature your protagonists or setting, just say so. If you want your book title in script font, just say so.
The point is to share your ideas with the book designer.
Work As A Team: Build On Ideas & Leverage Strengths
Always remember that your relationship with your book cover designer is a two-way communication. It’s not one-way where your designer merely takes directions from you, without question. The two of you have to communicate.
Take for example, time is an important element in my Countdowner Trilogy. Hence, I wanted the book title to be crumbling, the way the countdown timer numbers crumble as described in the story. But rather than enhancing the font, my designer added numbers in the background. This works even better than I imagined! Cause a crumbling font gives off a masculine vibe… and this is not exactly what I want since my book is actually a romance story written for a female audience.
So by communicating with your book cover designer, you can build on each other’s ideas and leverage each other’s strengths.
And the end product, that beautiful book cover, would be a combination of ideas and strengths from
- You, the author who knows the book best
- Your designer, whose creative flair & expertise can help visually convey your concept
Be Specific In Your Feedback
So I’ve worked with designers and guess what their number #1 complaint is?
It’s about clients’ vague requests.
In fact, they dislike comments like “it doesn’t suit my brand” and “it’s not pretty enough”.
Now, tell me, is everyone’s definition of ‘pretty’ the same?
Your definition of ‘pretty’ might be different from my definition of ‘pretty’. Therefore, to reduce this back-and-forth communication and not waste each other’s time, be clear in your feedback.
Note that clarity is important. Don’t give vague answers. Be specific in how you want the designer to improve the book cover.
For instance, instead of saying “Make the cover more paranormal”, say “Make the cover darker or add some blood effect so it creates a paranormal atmosphere”.
Don’t Just Talk. Listen.
Rather than always saying “I want this” or “I must have this”, it’s better to ask what your book cover designer think.
Listen to their elaboration of why they chose a certain color, why they used this font, why they decided to feature this specific model etc.
I believe that they’re professional designers for a reason. They must have some expertise or creativity for you to even hire them. So trust them! Trust their expertise, creativity and years of experience.
Now It’s Your Turn
Remember, your book cover is a crucial part of making that first impression. So try to get it right from the start.
And this begins with a small but significant step… communicating with your book cover designer.
What tips do you have when communicating with book cover designers?