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A closer look at book cover design, Part I

Graphic Design expert Anita Carroll of book cover designs for Indiana University South Bend 2010 Michiana Monologues, Love, Joy, & Pain.
Graphic Design expert Anita Carroll of book cover designs for Indiana University South Bend 2010 Michiana Monologues, Love, Joy, & Pain.
Anita Carroll at

Many self-publishing companies provide cover art templates that allow the user to simply type in their book title, name, and brief description and like magic, a dream has come true. The writer sees their name in print and instantly, they have taken another step into becoming a published author. cover art by Anita Carroll.
Anita Carroll at

One of many steps, but that is only the beginning.

In addition to the pre-publication—the editing and layout process, and the post-publishing— the marketing process, in between, something that is often overlooked, because it is so easily offered is the cover design process.

For most indie authors, the budget to publish a book might be tight. So, it might appear easier and make more sense to go with a less expensive option when designing a book cover. However, skimping on the book cover design might be the last thing an author ought to do.

When searching for a good book to read, shoppers actually do judge a book by its cover!

Selling a book with an attractive cover design is just as important as writing the book itself. It is possible that a writer may get lucky and find a beautiful template that goes perfect with the story they want to publish. More often than not, writers will usually select a design because it looks cool and that might be good enough. But if that design isn't good enough to sell the book, it might be wise to consider hiring someone to create an attractive book cover.

Visual Designer and Photographer Anita B. Carroll has worked as a graphic design professional in Silicon Valley for Fortune 500 companies managing creative initiatives for both online and print publications for over 5 years before she relocated to the Greater Boston Area and launched her own business, Twelve years later, has become a successful internet based consulting business supporting the indie writing community full-time offering a fresh take on book cover design, keeping up with today’s trends using digital imaging with a targeted audience in mind.

Carroll was recently nominated for the 2013 Young Adult and Teen Readers’ Literary Award for Best Cover Designer and Cover Design. She is also noted for designing the 2010 logo and book cover for Indiana University South Bend’s Michiana Monologues’ Women’s Studies Department. Carroll also designs book covers for I.W.A. Publishing Services—another 2013 YATR Literary Award nominee for Best Indie Publisher, and other independent authors. Carroll is also a Kobo Writing Life contributor.

“If I had to summarize it, book cover design is designing for a specific emotion, depending on the story; and to me, emotion sparks inspiration.” Carroll said.

The cover of a book should reflect the synopsis of the story. Understanding how investing in an attractive book cover affects the marketing, overall cost, and actual process can help aspiring authors and publishers make the best decision when designing their book cover that is ultimately their little advertising board.