How can you ensure the cover of your business book looks professional? We’re seeing a rise in the amount of business writers who are taking advantage of our high print quality, and so we’ve put together a specific list of DOs and DON’Ts for those of you designing book covers – with examples. Make sure you also check out our cover template advice page, for more information and downloads on constructing your cover.
1) Brand it to your business
If your business book is going to be an extension of an existing brand, then make this the starting point with your design. Do you have company colours you can use? Could you use the main image on your website for the front cover? Give your reader visual clues that link your book to your other services – and don’t forget to include the company logo!
2) Be bold
There has been a real shift in favour of simple and striking book covers in the last year. Do away with the detail and use bold colours and simple shapes. Take Professor Greg Whyte’s new title, Achieve the Impossible as an example – a few contrasting colours and a simple image are a popular way to keep in-line with similar books on the shelf.
3) Add a one-line synopsis to the front
Tell your reader what your book is about in one line. Will it help them achieve something? What story does the book tell? For Achieve the Impossible, this is “How to overcome challenges and gain success in life, work and sport,” and this slots nicely into the design of the front cover.
4) Use a high-quality image
A professional book needs a professional image – we recommend 300dpi or higher. Use websites such as iStockphoto to search for a suitable image. CompletelyNovel author Tony Robinson OBE, has incorporated a striking image into the front cover of his book; Freedom from Bosses Forever.
5) Add quotes from peers and professionals
Before publishing your book, consider sending the manuscript for review to leading people or businesses whom your customers will be able to recognise. This will add authenticity to your book and is standard practice for both nonfiction and fiction.
1) Don’t fill your back cover with text
It can be tempting to tell your reader everything that is included in your book in your blurb – but try to keep this to a minimum. Use bullet points and clear, to-the-point sentences, so they are clear on what the book is about and why they should give it a read.
2) Don’t neglect the spine
Incorporate the book spine into your design. Make the title and author name clear and ensure the colours match the rest of the cover. You might also want to include the logo of your business in place of the ‘publisher’ logo at the bottom of the spine.
3) Don’t forget to tell us about the author
What qualifies you to write this book? Tell us a bit about your past relevant experience in business and writing, alongside a professional photograph.
4) Don’t forget to add the price
Include a recommended retail price in USD ($) and GBP (£) to the back of your book near the barcode. This will also give you the opportunity to discount the book at events to entice customers.
5) Don’t publish without ordering a proof copy
Sometimes, book covers can look a little different in print than they do on your computer screen. When planning your publishing schedule, ensure you include a week to two to order a proof copy, in case you need to make any changes. It’s much easier to do this before you hit that publish button!
Is your book cover ready?
Test it on a few people and get some independent feedback. Do they understand the concept of the book from the cover? Are they interested in finding out more? If so, you have succeeded in creating a brilliant book cover – congratulations!
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Recognising the spine of my book in the title picture for this post, I’m not quite sure if it’s there under the DO’s or the DON’Ts. Given that I had to coble the cover together myself, with very little outside help and limited artistic talent, it may be in the latter section. The best advice I can give, is seek expert help as the cover is the visual statement for your book. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so hasty (or tight).