Whether you’re a project manager working at a publishing house or an independent author, when you hire a designer to create a book cover, keep a few key points in mind.
- Analogies can be helpful. Provide a few examples of book covers from the genre or field of your book and explain what you like about them as specifically as possible. Describe what about the type treatment, the use of art, or the overall look and feel makes it a successful book in its category.
- If more than one person has input or is reviewing comps (sample designs), be sure that only one person is designated the liaison with the designer. That liaison should compile feedback and information from all the people involved, resolve any conflicts of opinion, and communicate clearly and consistently with the designer. Define the roles and responsibilities at the beginning of the process in order to avoid confusion later on.
- When you provide feedback about a design, stay away from telling the designer how to fix a problem. Instead of saying, “Make the author’s name larger and in boldface,” describe what the problem is: “The author’s name isn’t prominent enough.” The designer’s job is to come up with a solution, which could involve anything from tweaking contrast or drop shadows to adjusting type placement. The designer has the best handle on how different elements interact to form the whole design and should be able to come up with a solution that will honor that integrity.