Bold and Beautiful

How to Create Book Covers That Stand Out in a Crowded Market

Hey there! We’ve designed hundreds of book covers across many genres, and we know what looks good, works, and sells. So, our request to authors is to concentrate on what goes inside the book while we take care of what goes on the cover.

“Why?” You ask. Well, let us ask you:

What’s the Biggest mistake new authors make?

Many authors desire to feature a specific scene from their book on the cover.

Listen, we get it. New authors tend to have these wild ideas about what makes a good cover. But come on, let’s be honest here –

Potential readers only have a measly TWO SECONDS to glance at your cover. Yeah, you heard that right – two seconds! 

So even if you have a cover that showcases a spaceship flying through a meteor shower, with laser beams blasting everywhere, and an alien planet looming in the background, nobody’s going to see all those fabulous details in just two seconds. They will see a tiny thumbnail; if you try to cram too much on there, it will be a significant turnoff for them.

“What’s the big deal?” You ask.

You’re up against covers from major publishers in the competition.

Unfortunately, many still perceive traditionally published books as better than self-published ones. We’re not saying whether that’s true or not, but it’s a fact that books perceived as indie don’t sell as well. And the first thing a potential reader sees is your thumbnail cover image.

Traditional publishing houses pay $3000-$5000 for a book cover, which shows in the design’s simplicity, not in the complexity.

The key to a great cover is evoking an emotion or telling a story in the simplest way possible, so the reader can see it, understand it, and act on it in those crucial two seconds.

So, what makes an effective cover design?


Simplicity is key as potential readers glance at your cover for only two seconds, so avoid making it too busy.


The title must be readable even at the smallest thumbnail size. If the image interferes with the title, redesign it.


To capture the genre of your book, use specific images, colors, fonts, or styles that are commonly associated with certain genres and have proven to work well for cover design.


The crucial factor for a successful cover design is to quickly evoke an emotion, such as love, desire, tension, fear, or others.

Quality covers can be created without costing a fortune, but if authors don’t trust professional cover designers to do their best work, they may end up paying a high price in the future.