I’m getting ready to…

I'm getting ready to work with a cover designer (selection in process) to put some ebooks together. I'm figuring out what works for me in book covers I like; Pinterest is really super-helpful for this sort of thing. I've pinned 73 covers so far. Some elements that are jumping out at me in covers I love:

  • no more than three colors
  • strong, dramatic lines
  • clean presentation with sufficient empty space
  • a sense of motion
  • 3D / textural -- an element that seems to come up off the page
  • ornate detail (if it's kept clean and modernized)
  • surprising / surreal / puzzle / make you look again elements
  • charm
  • rich colors
What do you think? Am I missing any important / great elements to an awesome book cover? Are there covers in this set you think are particularly awesome, or that don't work as well? Are there other covers you'd recommend as totally fabulous?

4 thoughts on “I’m getting ready to…”

  1. Actually, most of these print in 4/c.

    I’m tickled that one of the ones you picked is one that my company published.

    I also recognized that you picked three covers by the same designer, Isaac Tobin (Mecca and Eden; Spring, Heat, Rains; Piracy. Not sure if you noticed or knew that, but that’s kind of a high hit rate for a relatively small design grouping. He works for the University of Chicago Press, but he does do freelance work.

  2. Mary Anne — are you picking a cover for an ebook? If so, one of the things you should consider is legibility at a smaller size. Can you still make out the name of the book, as well as the author’s name, when the picture is shrunk to 75×100? Is it still interesting at both the smaller as well as the larger size?

    And one other thing — if you do decide to go with a POD later, you may have to tweak the cover for that as well.

    Good luck!


  3. Good point re: colors — I wasn’t really counting black, and other neutrals, but I should. 🙂

    Which one is yours? I’m totally curious.

    And interesting re: Tobin — I went and checked out his site, and yes, I like a LOT of his covers. I can’t possibly afford him right now — I’m working with students right out of college willing to work for my piddly rates. But maybe someday I can request him for a cover for a book of mine from a real press…

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