Your Book Design should be a Combination of Good Form (Cover) and Function (Interior)
While the quality of your writing is the main determiner of commercial success, your book design is also important, or as the industry calls it, your package. Many well-written books have been relegated to the trash bin of history based on a design characteristics.
Readers may also turn away from a book that is poorly formatted on the interior, rendering it difficult to read. It must feel right to the reader, who instinctively recognizes a comfortable look for a book. The type size for e-books can change, but the type and style of printed books are fixed.
As with any designed item, design is a combination of form and function. The form relates to the art and creativity, how it is used and the way it makes one feel. The strength of the design is how pleased the reader feels looking at it and reading it. The form is the beauty, the art, and the creativity all combined into one creation that, taken together, produces a pleasant, exciting, or compelling reaction from the reader.
The function relates to the ease of the reading experience. For example, the type of a printed book is typically eleven or twelve points with a line spacing or leading of fourteen or fifteen points. That is what readers expect. If you go too far outside of that comfort zone, readers may choose another book.
Check out one of our book’s interiors
Book Cover Design
Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover - or Do You?
When it comes to your book, the "cover-wrap" (industry lingo for front cover, back cover, and spine) will be the first elements any potential readers (buyers) will see. This will most likely be the first impression your book will have on them. Sometimes our personal style or lack of experience can lead us to make poor choices in this matter. What, then, do you do? Do you want to create that positive first impression?
It is here that the your potential readers meet you, and your story, for the first time. If they like what they see, and how it make them feel, they may continue their exploration. When they turn to the back cover and then open the book, the design must continue to make them feel comfortable, and in the presence of a quality book in every way. The cover design might be loud, but typically the interior design is quieter or refined, and familiar so as not to intrude upon them, but to simply to make it easy to read the book. Good form and function working together.
Whether it is an eye-catching cover design, pagination, interior white-space or drop caps, your overall design weighs heavily toward your book's ultimate success. As is the case with editing, websites and marketing, professional design elements are critical. Remember, your book cover is not only displayed on your book. It will be used in all of your marketing materials such as: posters, web banners, postcards , billboards, etc. Do not make the mistake of having the insight to hire a professional editor, only to have your book designed by someone with little or no industry experience.
A Sampling of Our Covers
How to Submit Your Best Idea to Cover Designers
Our designers have a lot of experience creating covers from scratch, and can also design a cover to closely represent your ideas. Here at New Dominion Press, we use royalty-free, or public domain, resources for images and graphics for your cover. This limits some of the types of images we are able to use. However, you may submit your own images as long as the images submitted are the either your property, or explicit permission for use has been given to you by the owner.
Your input is critical to the design of your cover, therefore it is advisable that some idea is submitted from the start.
Here are five tips to remember when sending cover design ideas:
- Write 2-3 sentences describing your book.
- Explain the audience you would like to market your book towards. (Age, Race, Gender, ect.)
- Describe briefly the types of images you would like to use. (photo, Illustration or submitted images)
- Set the mood, light? mysterious? inspirational?
- Send images to represent your ideas.