Simple tips to get a marketable book cover


Do you know that the primary book cover’s function is to sell? Of course, writers don’t always think about it. First, they want the book cover to reflect the quintessence of the events of their stories, and afterward, they are already considering getting a marketable book cover.

However, the perfect book cover:

  • Attracts new readers and increases sales
  • Contains easy-to-read text and beautiful colors
  • Excludes spelling mistakes
  • Includes professional and high-quality images. 

Therefore, today we want to pay attention to this book element’s primary function. So, we have prepared a list of simple tips to get a marketable book cover. Let’s check it out.

Tip 1: Study your genre and target audience

All high-quality things start with sound research, and the book cover is no exception.

In this case, you should remember that each literary genre already has its peculiarities in book design. If you visit the fantasy section of a bookstore, you will see that the books here don’t look the same as in the romance section. Indeed, the covers may be different colors, with various characters and images, but they have something in common.

It’s something that helps the potential readers know that this is the book they are looking for. It attracts the attention of buyers and makes them pick up the book to learn more.

How to research your genre? Go to a bookshop or just visit the Amazon online store. Select the bestseller section of your genre. Analyze books according to the following parameters:

  • Fonts
  • Color range
  • Characters or other images
  • Composition.

Also, don’t forget about your target audience. Most likely, the genre features of the design already satisfy your potential readers. But make sure all elements of your book cover are relevant. For example, a half-naked heroine isn’t the best option for a children’s fantasy.

By the way, premade covers usually correspond to general genre features. Besides, you can always make small changes in the design.

Tip 2: You should choose the right inscriptions

The book cover includes several inscriptions. An author’s name and book’s title are mandatory, and additional ones include a slogan, abstract, author’s biography, and reviews.

The reader should be able to notice the book’s title and the author’s name on the cover at once. That’s why designers often use thoughtful, large fonts for these inscriptions. At the same time, the story’s title always attracts more attention thanks to additional decoration.

The good idea is to stylize the letters in the book title using artifacts or objects mentioned in the story.

You can place the book’s slogan on the front cover: One sentence that hints at events and intrigues the reader. Add a blurb on the back cover. It should not contain spoilers about the events in your book. Under the annotations, put some reviews about your book, if available. The main rule for additional inscriptions is to use a clear and easy-to-read font.

Tip 3: The book cover should evoke emotions

Readers choose books not only by genre but also by mood. Therefore, you should ensure that your book’s cover conveys certain emotions and prepares buyers for specific adventures.

You can use different methods for this. One of them is the color scheme. There is a whole science, color psychology, which assumes that each color is associated with a particular emotion and phenomenon, for example:

  • Red means energy, confidence, anger, passion, and dominance
  • Yellow is about optimism, creativity, imagination, and a good mood
  • Green is associated with nature, health, vitality, magic, and paranormal phenomena
  • Blue goes along with miracles, relaxation, calm, peace, and travel
  • White correlates with clearness, icy silence, and simplicity.

You can also create the mood you need by using specific images. For example, you can add pictures of puzzles, dark glasses, and shoe prints to set readers up for a detective story.

Tip 4: Your book cover should look professionally

Competition among writers is relatively high. In addition to indie authors, many writers work with publishing houses, where specialists do all the work for them. And publishers often know which book covers sell better.

Therefore, the book cover design is something on which you should not save money, time, or attention. To compete in today’s market, your book needs to look professional.

The perfect option is to hire a designer who has experience in this sphere and knows the specifics of the genre. A professional can create a strong composition and choose a winning color scheme and stunning fonts.

Another option is purchasing a premade book cover, a professional designer’s work. All that remains is to make minimal changes to adjust it to your story.

Tip 5: Keep it simple

However, to make your book cover look professional, you don’t need to add many exciting details or develop a complex design idea. Maybe you shouldn’t hide a lot of Easter eggs in your imagery. Readers should understand at first glance what your story is about and whether it’s the one they are looking for. It’s especially true for aspiring authors just entering the book market.

Sometimes it’s better not to be extraordinary but to use those techniques that work for the other authors’ book covers.


Let’s recap how to make a marketable book cover. Before starting a design, you need to do some research: Find out the genre specifics and study your target audience.

Your book should attract attention and evoke a certain mood, so choose the color scheme and images carefully. Don’t forget the importance of fonts for the title, author’s name, tagline, and blurb.

Make sure your cover looks professional. It will help to compete with the other authors’ stories. But don’t overthink – sometimes, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to make your book cover work.

In your opinion, what is the most marketable element of the book cover? Tell us in the comments. 


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