There are several fairly basic things to know as you’re writing, before you begin writing, and at least before you move forward with the production of your book. A good designer will want to know these details to be sure she’s creating a cover that will work for your genre and sales methods. Some of these are quite mundane, while others will require you to wear your marketing hat to answer.

  • Your book’s genre
  • Who are your target readers? Male % vs female %, age range, professional status, interest group
  • Are your target buyers different than your target readers? (Think gift books, children’s books, etc.)
  • Books with covers that appeal to you and why. They do not have to be within your genre.
  • Design styles, colors, art, etc. that are unappealing to you and why
  • Book that will be your competition. EVERY book has competitors, no matter how unique. A reader always has the choice to buy yours or one from another publisher.
  • Title and subtitle
  • How the author wants his/her name to appear
  • Is this book part of a series? The series title and titles of several books are very helpful to know up front, even if they may change later.
  • Likely trim size (dimensions of your finished book)
  • Will the interior be black and white or color?
  • It’s helpful to know how and where you may print

While it’s extremely helpful to know these things before hiring someone, your designer should be able and willing to assist you if you have questions.

Enjoy the planning process and if you are here because you took our class, Selling Power of Book Design, thank you for being there! We thoroughly enjoyed it and hope you did, too.