5 Rules For A Great Book Cover

The first impression the audience has of your book is determined by your book cover. If your book cover does not appeal to them, they will not buy it regardless of the great content or positive reviews it may have. A great book cover will attract the interest of the reader, and influence them to buy the book. The following 5 rules for a great book cover will guide you on what to consider when designing your book cover.

Rule #1: Engage a design expert

A design expert has the skill and knowledge to give your book cover a professional look that meets the standards of modern publishing. This is necessary to compete in the market. Engage the services of a design expert to save you time, thus allowing you to focus on delivering quality content.

Rule #2: Communicate the subject matter

Familiarize yourself with the content of the book in order to understand its purpose, and unique qualities. You need to bring this out in your cover so the reader can know what to expect. It would be disappointing for a reader to buy a book only to realize the content does not match what the title communicates, as this was what originally attracted them to make their purchase.

Rule #3: Your book cover must be compelling

The impact your book cover has on a reader will influence their decision to purchase. If it attracts the reader’s attention, it will sell faster. A great book cover should connect with the emotions of the reader, by communicating the content’s tone. Once the reader is engaged it is easier for them to decide whether they will purchase, based on whether they are attracted to the tone or not.

Rule #4: Show the genre of the book

Your book cover must represent the genre of the book. It must communicate to readers the nature and scope of the story so readers will know what to expect. When designing a book cover, check the design of other books in the same category to get an idea of what they look like. Then be creative with symbols, images, color, and text to create something that will stand out and represent the genre clearly.

Rule #5: Chose the right typography for your cover

The style, size and positioning of the type should have a flow that is pleasing to the eye. It should be organized in such a way that it is easy for the reader to scan the cover. The type of book should stand out and not be overshadowed by the rest of the design. Avoid having too much information on your cover; less information gives it a more professional look.

Bonus Tips!

  • In addition to the rules listed above, you can use the following bonus tips to help you design the perfect cover for your book:
  • Remember to make the title text readable. This means using a font which appears well on the image, and is in a color that is easy on the eye.
  • Keep your main characters in mind for fiction books. If your character is blonde, don’t use a cover model with black hair. Many readers find this puts them off, and confuses them when they actually begin reading the book.
  • Ask your readers. Whether you get a book designed professionally, or design one entirely on your own, ensure you have two or three options available. A good way to gauge reader enjoyment is to have your audience vote on the covers. This voting can be done via social media, your blog, or your website. Allowing readers to vote on covers also helps them gain a personal investment in the title.
  • Avoid NSFW images – i.e. those that contain extreme nudity or images that may not be suitable for most readers. Even if your book falls in a category such as erotica, these images may be blocked from main book suppliers, and can result in a loss of sales.


The reality is that readers will judge a book by its cover. They will decide whether to buy a book just by scanning the cover in a matter of seconds. Therefore, it is important to have a great book cover besides having great content. Applying these 5 rules for a great book cover will ensure you have a great book cover that increases your chances of making sales.


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