How to design a great cover.

Bit of a cheeky title that one, as I am not a designer and my suggestions for my book covers so far have fallen pretty short of the mark. I  always know the sort of thing I want but in a vague, non specific way. When it comes to the concrete, I can’t quite visualize it, nor do I have the language to convey my idea to those who can.

I do know however the importance of a good cover.

A great cover tells readers exactly what type of book they are looking at. A thriller will look very different from cozy crime; Chick-lit from a literary work. So finding the right one is vital. A good one draws your target readers, a bad one means they won’t even pick up your book.

Once genre is established, then the next step is convey the feeling of the book. For “Picking up the Pieces” I wanted something warm, contemporary and sophisticated. It needed to suggest that this is a book with a feel good factor, but one that also deals with some more serious issues, albeit in a light hearted way.

Much of the conversation between the three main characters takes place around a table with wine, or coffee, tea and cake, or most importantly chocolate. These therefore were the images I wanted on my cover. And once I knew what I wanted I knew just where to find them.

My sister Anuk Naumann is an artist. She paints landscapes and interiors and  she agreed that I could use her images for my cover design. She sent a selection for me to choose from, which I then send out to target reader, all of who plumped for exactly the same one.

Anuk's Cat 6

From then on it was over to Peter Colborn, editor in chief of Penkhull Press to produce the most brilliant cover.

Front over for Blog

When the proof came back from the printers, I knew we’d done it. Not only was it right for the book, it was a beautiful cover in its own right.

So many thanks to you both, Anuk and Peter.

To re-cap

  1. Genre is key.
  2. Tone and feeling vital.
  3. A great cover is a thing of beauty and until we go back to bands of colour a small bird, should stand on its own as a good piece of design.





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