You know by now there is more to producing a novel than just writing it. You need to market it, build your platform and (if you self-publish) create your cover.
There are plenty of graphic artists you can go to for cover design, but perhaps you've decided you can do that yourself? If you're handy with Photoshop, chances are you can. But first, there's a lot of things to consider for your book cover design.
- Market. Search online to see other book covers aimed at the same age-group and in the same genre as your book cover. What are the signature colours and designs (for example, black and red are popular for horror and paranormal fantasy, and, purple is often used for fantasy).
- Title and text. Unless you are a household name, the usual rule is to put the title of the book big and the author name smaller. You've spent all that time coming up with an enticing title (I hope), now is the time to let it do the work for you. In a lot of online ebook stores, shoppers will be browsing through and noticing titles. And it is so important that you play with your colours to make sure the text pops against the background. The cover is the first point of sale between you and the customer. Don't put grey text on black or brown text on red.
- Image. This can be tricky. Unless you are an amazing photographer, you wont get one of those awesome photo shots that appear on a lot of book covers (especially YA). If you have art skills, use them. If not, try photo stock websites like Shutterstock. You can buy a licence to use a professional image for your cover.
- Size. Don't busy it up. Remember, when you look through books on Amazon, mostly you are getting a thumb-size image. Check to make sure you book looks clear and enticing at that size. Despite the debates on pricing, a lot of customers buy books by appeal. Make sure they find your tiny little book cover appealing enough to click on it.
The key to marketing is communication. Your cover is a form of communication, you want the message to be understood and received positively by the receiver. Here's an example of a cover I really like:
Amanda Ashby's cover will appeal to teens, it's trendy and colourful. I like that the body looks like a teen, but the head is gone. This could be anyone, this could be the reader. The colours go great together and it is obviously in the fantasy genre from the images. It's girly, but kick-ass with the sword. I saw this thumbnail on a website and immediately went and ordered the book.