What Goes into Making a Stunning Book Cover?

What Goes into Making a Stunning Book Cover? 1024 576 Reader Views

by B.A. Bellec, Award-Winning Author

Covers are important. People do judge a book by the cover. If your cover is an obvious Photoshop, lots of readers will ignore it. If you are part of a marketing group, you need to have a top-five cover to ensure you are getting more clicks. I always ask myself, if I went to the bookstore and put my book on the shelf, would it stand out for the right reasons?

As part of my first book going on tour back in 2020, I did a fun blog post talking about the behind-the-scenes side of making the cover.

I did something similar to that write-up again for Pulse. The cover started as a logo.

I had that logo made to put it all over my marketing material and into my beta edition. As I was going through beta, the graphic novelist I frequently work with (Midknight Comics) made a collage for me.

It was stunning. One problem.

There is so much going on this would be tough to use as a cover. I motored along with rewrites and always had this collage as my plan B if I couldn’t find anything better.

A few months later a marketing partner asked me if I had a full-page magazine ad available. I thought about using my collage, but it wasn’t what I wanted as the first impression for a potential reader, so I started brainstorming and decided to go with something inspired by the movie industry. I booked a Fiverr gig for a movie poster and went back and forth providing them references like my pixel art music video and the creature I had designed. I also knew I wanted red, white, and black.

They sent me this.

The second I saw it, I knew I was close. The color scheme is perfect and the creature silhouette is so well hidden most don’t even know what they are looking at which was always one of my goals.

What I didn’t like was the paint splash, the moon, and the lack of festival scale.

After a few rounds of back and forth, we were getting closer and you can see the subtle evolution in the below.

I pride myself on being above average in Photoshop. If you read my article about Someone’s Story you know that I did that almost all by myself. Anyway, I am good enough to create a cover that generated hundreds of clicks, so I figured the best way to finish this cover would be to take control and finish it myself.

The final is amazing, and I love it! The white screens draw your eyes but don’t distract you. The little dots that represent the fans are much bigger in scale than the first few versions, and the splash is gone, leaving a nice clean look.

If your cover is not what you wanted, there are plenty of affordable gigs on Fiverr. Try booking a $20 Fiverr partner. They will take your idea and refine it. The end result will almost certainly be an improvement and even if it takes a few attempts, eventually you will find the cover you are looking for. From logo to collage to concept to final, this took about six months and two partners, but I am so proud of the finished product and the fact that some of the work here was actually done by myself in photoshop.

About the Author

Bryan “B.A.” Bellec’s debut novel, Someone’s Story, won the Reader Views Reviewer’s Choice Literary Award for Young Adult Book of the Year. Someone’s Story is a coming-of-age novel about teen mental health. One of the aspects that makes Bellec’s projects unique is he includes musicians in his novels and then he actually produces the songs as his book goes through the editing stages. You can find that music on his YouTube channel. His second novel, Pulse, just released and has been receiving strong reviews. That novel is a genre flip with dark dystopian sci-fi horror peppering the pages.


Website: https://babellec.com/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BABellecsProductionStudio
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ba_bellec
Twitter: https://twitter.com/b_bellec
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/babellec

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