Readers judge books by their covers. If you’re a self-published author, it’s crucial to hire a pro cover designer to help your book get the attention it deserves.

If you’re a traditionally published author, your publisher will handle all aspects of your publishing, including hiring your cover designer. As a trad author, you may not get a say in this aspect of the creative process. Because of that, this article is primarily aimed at authors who self-publish. 

Let’s jump into the ins and outs of cover design with a pro.

Can’t I Just Create a DIY Book Cover?

There’s no shortage of online design tools you can use to create book covers. Canva, Adobe Spark, Snappa, and similar tools offer optimized templates, images, graphics, and text placement tools for creating covers for eBooks. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, it’s possible to design your own cover in Photoshop.

If you naturally have an eye for design, that’s a plus–and you can definitely try your hand at making a cover. But you might not fully understand the design trends that help books sell in a specific genre or subgenre. 

Pro Cover Designers Understand the Design Factors That Help Books Sell

There’s an art to creating book covers that sell within their genres and subgenres. For example, a cover that might sell an historical romance novel won’t sell urban shifter fantasy. Even text and graphical elements can detract from reader interest if the design doesn’t fit well with books on a virtual (or literal) shelf.

Your pro designer serves more than one purpose. Not only should they be able to create beautiful covers for your books; they should also know the publishing industry well enough to guide you through the design process. You’ll want to interview designers who have experience working in your genre. 

Establishing Trust With Your Cover Designer

A huge factor in your relationship with your cover designer is the trust you establish from the beginning. Yes, as a self-published author, you have the final say on your covers. But you’re hiring a designer to help you navigate concepts that fit your genre, in addition to actually creating the covers.

Consider hiring a designer who isn’t necessarily a “yes person”, but who will gently push back if your design concept doesn’t go over well in your genre. As the author, you can choose not to take their advice, but it’s important to consider their industry experience. 

Finally, if you don’t trust the cover designer you’ve hired, part ways with them. This process isn’t set in stone. If you aren’t happy with how your cover is shaping up, move on until you find the right person for the job.

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