Book cover design tips

There are many different aspects to bespoke book printing to consider when bringing a book to shops and libraries. One of the most important features is the book cover design – the main function of a book cover is to grab the attention of a potential buyer/reader for your work.

You need a book cover design that makes your book ‘jump off the shelf’ into the hands of a reader – here are some tips as how to effectively design a cover that ensures YOUR book is the one chosen from the array on the shelves:

Front Cover – The front cover is the preview to what’s inside – this is what your potential reader is going to use to decide whether it is worth buying your book! The book cover is the tool to capture their interest and inspire them to read your work.

Cover Imagery – Your book cover imagery should showcase the spirit and ‘feel’ of your book! You can use a photograph, an illustration or other imagery, but ensure it is presented in a ‘design-friendly’ way – ensure it is laid out in a balanced manner that uses the whole of the cover space.

Typography – A book cover’s typography should embrace three aspects – the book title, the subtitle (if appropriate) and the all-important author’s name! Ensure you use text hierarchy (the book title is bigger than any other accompanying text) and it should always be above the author’s name.

A well-designed book cover can increase the visibility of your book by more than 50% – so it is important to get it right!

Set The Story – In book printing your cover should provide the reader with a ‘taster’ of what is to come – it should hint at the overall theme and plot without giving away any detail or ‘spoilers’.

The Genre – Whilst people may have a wide taste in literature, many readers have preferences for specific genres – be it horror, crime or romance. Your book cover should clearly identify the genre to which its’ story belongs, encouraging a fan of that genre to explore the book further. 

Introduce Your Protagonist – Readers need to identify with the book’s main character – they need to be connected to feel eager to read their story. If you can establish that connection before they open the book, then they will be buying/reading!

Use the book cover to build that connection, whether through imagery (a photograph or illustration) or a more subtle visual hint as to a distinctive aspect of the character.   

Set the Tone – Every book should have a dominant tone – maybe a love story, a mystery thriller or perhaps it is a humorous book – whichever it is, the cover should portray that tone. Ensure the imagery used on the cover accurately portrays and matches the dominant tone of the story inside the book.

Attention to Detail – Attention to detail on your book cover is important – you need your book to look professional and stylish. Aspects of your cover design such as shading, lighting, image arrangement, layering and text hierarchy all go into elevating the look and attraction of your book.

Back Cover – Whilst the front cover of your book is the most important aspect in attracting initial attention to your work, you shouldn’t neglect the back cover. Once your fabulous front cover has made the reader take it from the shelf, they will flip it over to get more information about the story, plot and characters.

The back cover offers you the chance to build on the intrigue hinted at on the front cover and to further convince the reader that they need to get this book!

The Spine – Do not forget the spine of the book – most bookshops and libraries store the books vertically – the spine is the initial way readers can identify your book! You should keep the spine design simple – the book title at the top, in the largest font, followed the author’s name and then the publisher imprint details.  


We are an all round UK book manufacturing and printing service. We work closely with publishers, self publishers and authors. We have a state of the art factory, complemented by our sales and marketing office in Westoning, Bedfordshire. We have invested in the very latest digital and litho printing technology, to integrate with a fully equipped craftsman bindery.  The conclusion of which means we are offering both softback and hardback books, to a very high standard of quality.

Order your book printing online or contact our team for more information.