As a writer, the process of designing books can be overwhelming. You already know what good book covers and interiors look like, and you probably already know some of the basic concepts of design, but you may not necessarily know the right terms to use.
The first step was to pick a font; this was not an easy task as there are literally millions of fonts out there. Luckily I was restricted to choosing from the hundreds that Ooligan already has the rights to. So I browsed through hundreds of fonts, tried out a couple dozen, printed out eight, then finally sent in five.
Books come in all shapes and sizes, from picture books for children to 1000-page, text-only novels. No matter the book or who it’s for, design matters. The design can set the tone and expectations for a book. A reader expects something much different in the design of a horror novel compared to a romance. Good design is invisible, especially with text-heavy books. It is the lack of distraction that makes the design good. While image-heavy books can—and should—focus on aesthetics, how they are put together and designed should not distract from the content.
As a self-published author, it may be intimidating to start with all of the online outlets claiming they can make your book the next bestseller. After all, you’re a writer, not a designer. To help make the process a little less intimidating, here is a brief list of options that can give your book the beautiful face it deserves.
What happens when the book you’ve written doesn’t neatly fit into one specific genre? For instance, what if instead of a book that falls unquestionably into the mystery thriller category, you’ve written one that beautifully straddles the line between personal memoir and war memoir? While this question can certainly influence any number of factors in the book publishing process, it comes into a particularly important light when a publisher begins to develop the marketing plan for a new book.
Before I dive into the complex world of book covers, I should confess that my rudimentary and frankly half-hearted initial search quickly turned into a passionate and intense hunt for cultural trends, typography, and design. It turns out that book covers are fascinating and not altogether unlike clothing fashion. Just as I wear styles first adopted by fashion icons who convince me of their chic-cool factor (I’m looking at you, overalls and turtlenecks), there are design bandwagoners for book covers as well.