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Anatomy of a Complete Book Cover

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Anatomy of a Complete Book Cover

July 2011


by Tamara Dever


Your book’s cover sets the scene for buyers, distributors, and reviewers. You know all about its importance, but it’s the details that determine whether it’s effective.


Of course, each element must work well with the others to provide a cohesive product. (One great element—such as a striking photo—doesn’t make a great cover.) A skilled book designer will use variations of color, type, space, and size to ensure that each piece gets the level of importance needed to draw readers in and create sales.


Some parts of each section of the cover are required (and indicated in the illustrations by asterisks); they provide necessary information and conform to industry standards. Others vary from genre to genre, publisher to publisher, and book to book.


The cover shown here doesn’t have a jacket or French flaps, which provide more space for information and generally accommodate some items that appear on the back of this book.
























Tamara Dever is owner of TLC Graphics and Narrow Gate Books, award-winning publishing consulting and design firms based in Austin, TX. To learn more, get a free consultation, and view TLC’s extensive book design portfolio, visit TLCGraphics.com.


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