An inevitable step for any book is the cover design. For self-publishers, this step should be at the forefront of their minds just as the final product of their story. For fantasy writers in particular, covers are almost as important as the novel concept itself. With an abundance of fantasy tales out there, an eye-catching cover will ensure people choose your novel over others. All you have to do is follow these easy Do’s and Don’ts.
Include “The Point” – Your cover should showcase the central themes and concept of your novel.
Entice Readers – The cover should give a sense of tension, adventure and excitement.
Be Flashy – Bright colors or a thrilling design will create interest for your book.
Be Unique – Fantasy story covers are often clones of each other, so use this space to display your uniqueness.
Overdo It – Crowding the cover or having too many things squished on there can become an eye-sore.
Be Clichéd – This goes in tandem with staying unique. Steer clear of the ubiquitous magical sage, warrior princess, or anything else clichéd.
Be Obvious – Bring mystery to your cover by keeping the reader guessing instead of showing them your entire story in one picture.
If you aren’t a double threat (writer and illustrator) seek out a friend or mutual acquaintance whose artistic skills you admire so you can be heavily involved in the cover design process. For writers seeking publishing on the traditional route, keep these tips in the back of your mind and speak up to your cover artist to help them see your vision to completion.
Share your favorite and least favorite fantasy book covers here!