Finishing a book is a great accomplishment for any author. However, the road to becoming a bestselling wordsmith doesn’t end when you write the last words of your book. You still have to take care of a lot of things post-writing. One of the things that you will have to meticulously take charge of is the picking of the perfect cover design. It must fit well with the masterpiece you’ve written. Moreover, it should attract the attention of your target audience.

How should you do it? Here are 11 steps to help you find the ideal cover design:

1. Budget

The first thing you have to decide is how much you are willing to spend for the creation of your book cover. Put the amount down in writing so that you won’t be impulsive when making a decision. Remember that some designers will charge you a higher price for the cover. Just because it is expensive doesn’t mean it is the best cover for your book.

2. Hiring or not hiring?

Do you have experiencing in graphics and design? Or perhaps you have a friend who knows how to do it? Before you actually hire a professional to do the cover design, consider using DIY cover designs, doing it yourself, or commissioning a friend to do it. If you can’t use these options, that’s the time to consider hiring a professional who fits your budget.

3. Format

Decide your book format. There are three types that are common in the publishing industry nowadays: ebook, paperback, and hardback. How your cover will be designed depends on what book format you’ll be choosing. For example, you need to create a design that will look good as a thumbnail if your book format is ebook.

4. Timeline

Let’s say that you’ve hired a professional designer to help you out with the book design. You also have your price range and preferred format arranged. The next thing you have to decide on is how long you’ll give the designer to complete the book cover.

cover design for books

5. Researching designers.

Researching who will design your cover is the next step. Check out those designs that really catch your eye. You also have to research the popular covers belonging to your genre. Figure out what sells with your audience as well. By doing your research beforehand, you can discuss with your designer well to come up with the cover that you really want.

6. Check for recommendations.

There’s a multitude of designers in existence nowadays. Consider asking your friends who are also authors or those who are in the design field. Ask for their recommendations on who you should hire.

7. Browse their portfolio.

Even if you already have several recommendations in your hand, don’t reach out to them yet. The next step to your search for the best book cover is to browse through the designer’s portfolio. Most designers these days have a website that allows you to check out their previous works. If you check their works, you can narrow the selection.

8. Commit to it.

So you’ve found your designer. This means you are ready for the next step which is to reach out to that professional. Set up a meeting with the designer and do it in person if possible. Evaluate how comfortable you are with the said designer. If everything is okay, you can go ahead and make the collaboration official.

9. Contract

The collaboration between you and the designer should be put in writing. Be meticulous with the details, especially about the pay, terms of labor, refunds, as well as the specification of the cover you want. Aside from the contract, you should also put every detail about the work you want done in writing. For example, if you want your book to have dominant pastel colors, write it down. Go over the details with the professional designer so the two of you can be on the same page.

10. Extra edits.

There are cases when the first book cover designed for your book doesn’t really sit well with you. Do remember that this book is your creation. If you want it to become a masterpiece, you should put in the design for extra edits, even if that means you’ll have to pay extra too.

11. Don’t be an ass.

Multiple edits for details that are not included in your original arrangements can piss off your chosen book cover designer. The designer is definitely prepared for a number of revisions but you should not abuse it. End the working relationship with the designer on a good note. That way, you can still tap on that designer later on if you need another book cover.