Common features to most covers:
2-The title and image have to be legible in a thumbnail size!
3-Do your research! Go to the library or a bookstore and look at your genre.What are the common features between bestselling books? For example YA books are colorful, and typically use many font types at once. They have many layers. Thrillers instead tend to be black, white and read, with minimal covers.
4- If you are working on a series, plan ahead and tie in all covers. There is nothing more infuriating than books in a series that don’t fit well together ;)
Some great covers of books I did not read and I have never heard of:
Here is what I did with my books:
What programs did I use to design the cover? I used Adobe photoshop, which is really expensive, but I had available for work. Other (expensive) options are Adobe Illustrator, or Indesign. If you are broke you can use the free program available at Create Space or download the free, simplified version of Photoshop. Just make sure that your cover looks professional and awesome. If it does not, you might need to hire someone to help you! I know you’re likely broke (most writers tend to be) but you either give yourself the time to learn and make a mind blowing cover yourself or you need to invest cash in someone to do it for you.
Who am I to give you advice?
I was a little girl who was told she could not become a genetic engineer (not a “girl thing” ya know), and even less become a novelist in a country that was not her own.
Well, I am a genetic engineer, a researcher, a college professor, and an indie novelist, and I want to show you that if you want you can; I’m here to help ^_^
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