We spoke with two graphic designers to get some insights on what makes for great design and why your book cover design is more important than ever before.

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Photographer Eli Vega put BookBaby's custom book printing to the test with his latest printed photo book, Right Brain Photography. "It turned out really well," said Vega. "It's on the shelves of several regional and local bookstores in my area and it's getting a lot of attention." BookBaby works with many different kinds of self published authors to create a high-quality, professional book product - some are more demanding and exacting than others. Without a doubt, you can count Vega in this category.

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A book cover checklist for authors

[This article was written by Sandra Poirier Smith, President of Smith Publicity.] Each week, Smith Publicity receives over 100 inquiries from authors and publishers looking for our help, support, and ideas on how to get their books featured on television and radio shows, in newspapers or magazines, and/or online/blog outlets. In evaluating if we are a good fit for a project and if we believe we have a good chance of securing positive media attention, we review many factors including the outside or overall look of a book. A book’s cover, back cover, title, sub-title, author photo, etc. need to be professionally executed. In some cases, we see these details are not given enough attention. Here is a book cover check list to help understand what we, and the media, look for in a the look of book.

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For quick reference, here’s a cheat sheet of common components used in book design. Remember, most books don’t have all of these, so use this glossary to get the parts you DO have in the right place.

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There is more to a nonfiction book than a catchy cover and table of contents... much more. Wherever you are in the process of writing your book, if the chapters adequately convey your message, everything else you write must attract, inform, clarify, or sell.

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Let's face it—most of your readers will view your book’s cover art as a tiny little postage-stamp sized image on a retail website. Given that, put your cover art to the test with these questions.

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