Please Note: The guidelines I jotted down yesterday are neither absolute nor inviolate (except the part about legibility. If I can't read your title, I probably won't read your book.) Professional designers break the rules all the time. Design rules are like grammar rules: in order to break them, you really need to know what they are first.
That post is purposely incomplete; it's just meant to get you started and keep your cover from getting in your way. It's a starting point; as always, the rest of the journey is up to you.
For Further Reading: Inspirational Links and Places to Get Ideas
- The Casual Optimist: Dan Wagstaff's beautiful and minimalist blog about books, book design, and the culture of bookstores and book people. Celebrates book design in a way you don't often see, especially the minimalist, retro, and vintage stuff. My advice: Start here.
- The Book Cover Archive: Exactly what it says in the title. Great stuff. The best of the best. Lots of images and inspiration. (Every image displays first as a thumbnail: proving my point that great design is scalable design.)
- Chronicle Books: Some small publishers get it exactly right. IMO: Chronicle is at the head of that particular pack.
- The Book Designer: a blog about books and design and how they interact. Lots of great stuff.
- Melissa Evans: For those who are wondering "Yeah, but if I do buy that copy of Photoshop, what do I do with it?" I suggest this blog. Melissa is a graphic artist with a boatload of great, easy-to-follow Photoshop tutorials.
*Yes, I am for available to hire on a freelance basis. If you want to enquire about prices, email me and I'll try my best not to shock you with my quote.