By: @blackangel1212 and @J_H_Hope
Despite what we want to believe, creating the perfect book cover will most likely never happen. However, before you go throwing things at me or saying harsh words, remember I said most likely. Who knows maybe you can be the one to deviate from this and create the perfect cover. Just remember that there are so many people in the world, meaning that there are so many different opinions, and from my perspective it can be hard to please them all.
“Well then, why am I here reading this article?”
Well thank you for asking my dear readers, let me tell you why. Despite my position regarding book covers, there are things we can do to make our cover look appealing.
“Is the cover of a book even important?”
Wow, another great question from you guys! (I am literally cringing while writing this article, I’m sorry XD, just bear with I promise the tips are good!) While most of us were growing up, we were told to never judge a book by its cover, and indeed this is an important lesson, but many only really apply it when meeting new people and not actually to book covers. Why? I really don’t know. But when people go shopping for a book, the cover is what attracts them. The only time I notice that a cover isn’t that important is when the author is well known, and the readers are waiting for the next book.
Besides that, we must do everything possible to draw them to our books. We are confident in the words we wrote and that once they start, they will want to finish it, but until then a book cover is fundamental for many writers. I mean, how many of us have chosen to read a book based on the cover? I know I am definitely guilty of it. To most readers, if they don’t see a good cover, they can automatically assume that the writer didn’t put any effort into the contents of the book because they put no effort into the cover. (Don’t look at my books, my covers are horrible XD, I am not a good example for this! *coughs and looks in the other direction*)
“Get on with the tips already!!”
Alright, I’m sorry my dear readers, you came here for some tips so let me give them to you: (*There will be examples of covers at the end, to show you that the look of one can vary.*)
The title of your book is very important. It gives the readers an example of what they will be reading. A great title can draw anyone in, making them wonder what can be inside the book. For me I always felt the title can be the hardest because we wonder how we can sum up our entire book into just a few words. But the title of the book isn’t the only thing. The font, the color, where it’s placed can mean the difference between someone choosing your book or not. By paying attention to these little things, you can increase the chances of your book being chosen out of the many others surrounding it. Remember not every writer is the same, and not every story is the same, so what may work for someone might not work for you. Test different options and get feedback on what you have done. See which option draws more people in. I’m here feel free to reach out to me or the co-author and ask for feedback.
#2. Cover Design
I know for many of you this is a very hard concept, where others know exactly what they want. You are the writer, you know how your book is and what it’s about. This in conjunction with the title will give the reader a sneak peek into what they are to expect when choosing your book. For me the design of a cover can be many different things, sometimes it’s important to put an image and other times it would be better to just leave the images out. When you design your cover, imagine what emotion you are trying to invoke. What is your message? Put yourself in the place of a reader or ask someone that you know (but does not know the plot of your story) and ask them what they think when looking at it. Feedback will be your best friend and can help you perfect your cover design.
#3. Subtitle (Necessary or not?)
Many authors put a small sentence or phrase that gives an example of what the MC of your book will face, or maybe a decision they will face, or it can be related to the plot of the book. But there can be times when it isn’t necessary. Sometimes the cover design or the title can be more than enough. But other times, like with a fiction novel for example, (it’s not limited only to fiction!) a subtitle can give the reader more insight. Writing a subtitle can be another way to draw in a reader without them having to pick the book up and read the description. If you do decide to put a subtitle on your cover, it is usually placed near the bottom under the title, and the font size is a lot smaller then the title, but big enough so that it’s readable.
Okay so it might not be a big deal to some of you, but the font can make a huge difference. But if you ask anyone there is one forbidden font that should never be used unless there is a specific reason! That font is Comic Sans (*Hides in the corner, afraid to look*) For those of you who do not know, the comic sans font is, oddly, used frequently. Why? I have absolutely no idea, but it is. I’m not saying that it’s forbidden to use but, it is mostly used in books of comedy, and even then, that’s a stretch. For whatever reason put on this Earth, publishers and professionals have deemed this font the least professional to use. Anyone else feel sorry for the Comic Sans font or is it only me. Although there are other fonts that are considered unprofessional, none have ever compared to the hate Comic Sans have received. The font is just as important for the cover of your book as the title and cover design. It will help set the tone for whatever your book may be about, so the next time you create a cover just be aware of this small tip.
#5. Layout (No, you can’t just throw everything onto the cover *takes a second to breathe*)
So, when looking through Wattpad for a story, you already lose if your story isn’t completed. Lots of people are wanting to read something that they don’t have to wait for. I mean how do we know if the author will continue writing the book, they may just give up on it or run into personal problems which, regrettably have happened to me. I mean it took me a little over 5 years just to come back and finish one of the books I have started. The second thing that is an automatic loss for you, is if your book looks overall unkept and messy. Once you have everything done that was listed in the previous tips, the last and most important step is putting them all together. Don’t let all that hard work go down the drain. You must be able to bring all the pieces together to complete the puzzle. If one piece is lost or misplaced, then the overall picture just looks wrong. Luckily for many, the layout of books is almost the same, well the same in their respective genre. I would suggest trying different types of placement and asking others what they think of it, but in the end it is your book and you know how you want it to look, so don’t ever feel that you should change what you worked hard on.
When creating your cover keep the images, colors, and fonts relevant to your story. If your story is about a vampire, then you don’t want to have an image of a puppy as your cover. If your story is one of romance, then you won’t want to write your title in a spooky font. If your story is dark and mysterious, then you shouldn’t create a cover with neon colors. I know this seems obvious, and I am exaggerating a bit to get my point across, but these things are important. On the latest cover that I created I got the image and font all settled into place, but something was still off about it. Then I began playing around with colors and saturations and discovered that I needed cooler tones rather than warmer ones. Simple and slight differences like this can make all the differences in the world. You know your story and you know what images, colors, and fonts fit best. Trust your instincts! If something doesn’t feel right, play around and make changes. I know we sound repetitive at this point, but it really does help to get another person’s point of view.
I originally started this blog for Wattpad writers because it is the platform I use as well. After spending a lot of time on Twitter I have made friends and met people who are writers outside of this platform. So, I know that these tips might not follow along exactly with what you may need, but I do hope that a couple of them do help you.
My fellow Wattpad writers, I know the struggle of getting the perfect cover. I’m sure every writer feels this way, but for us and other platforms like it, our cover is the main thing readers see besides the title. So, it’s important for us to nail it in order to get those views, especially if our books are not completed. You have many things you can do! You can try to create a cover yourself which at times can be hard. You can utilize the forums, there are many people offering their services of creating covers (such as @GalaxyGazer_12 who created my cover for Dangerous Obsession, I’ll leave the link below to her forum where she is accepting people!). Most of the time they just ask for a follow and to check out their stories, but they indeed can make beautiful covers that I know you will love. Lastly, you can also use sites that offer a service of creating a cover, some that may charge you money and others that can be used for free.
https://www.canva.com/create/wattpad-covers/ (This is just an example of a site that you can use to create a cover. There is a free subscription, that allows you to choose from templates and so on, if you feel it can help you, you should definitely check it out, but I would suggest checking out the forums on Wattpad first before attempting this site or others.)
I know these tips aren’t the absolute best, but they are good to help you get started and even catch some things you may have missed. I sure do hope that they help you in one way or another! You can always reach out to me or the co-author of the site @J_H_Hope if you ever want us to tell you how your cover looks. Remember, feedback is a powerful ally in the writing community, use it wisely!
Until next time my dear readers ❤
https://www.wattpadwriters.com/t/book-covers-for-anyone-who-needs-one/266127 (The Link to @GalaxyGazer_12 forum!)