Related to last week’s extensive post on book-cover design for indie authors and publishers, Roger C. Parker posted over the weekend a few more tips for better book covers.
He also linked to a page of interactive book-cover makeovers at Dunn+Associates Design’s web site. For a kick, check out a few, and think about how the “before” and “after” designs use the 10 elements of book-cover design that I talked about last week. Pay particular attention to the title and front-cover graphics. How do the new designs use these more effectively than the “before” covers. Especially if you’re wrestling with a book cover right now, this little experiment should inspire you, if not give you a spark of enlightenment.
P.S. With at least one of the book covers in Dunn Design’s exhibit (Mark A. Williams’s Your Identity Zones), the author rejected the book cover that his publisher preferred. Traditionally published authors should understand book-cover design, too, in order to use whatever influence you have with your publisher to ensure your book gets an effective design. (Although, as far as I can tell, both the “before” and “after” covers of that book were good covers. The “after” version was marginally better, because it had more focus—less clutter—and highlighted the title more. So it might split-test significantly better than the “before” version. Yeah, at some point, I’ll have to write an article on how to split-test a book cover.)
P.P.S. [update] Kristen Lamb posted over on her blog an interesting guest post by Maria Zannini, a list of Down & Dirty Tips for Creating Cover Art. I’m not sure I agree with all of her advice, e.g., to necessarily put something visually stimulating on the left side to guide the viewer’s gaze toward the right—I would usually start in the middle and work toward the edges, keeping in mind the rule of thirds… but that’s a whole other blog post. Her tips will certainly get you thinking.