How a self-published author got extraordinary book cover design

book cover design

Clear vision and a true collaboration with the BookBaby Design Studio makes self-published author Lauren Lynne’s Secret Watchers series look extraordinary.

Lauren Lynne (formerly known as Lauren Klever) knew exactly what she wanted for the book cover design of her Secret Watchers action-adventure book series.

“I did my homework. I spent a huge amount of time looking at other book covers,“ says the Oregon-based author of four Young Adult books depicting the ordinary-turned-extraordinary life of 8th grader Owen Ryer.

Today’s savvy self-published authors know that having an eye-catching book cover design is one of the most important elements to a successful eBook sales run. Never before have so few pixels on a computer screen been so important to literary success. The average online book buyer will spend less than a second scanning a single cover image during the average browsing session. How will your book stand up to this near instant “yes” or “no’ buying decision?

“I’m really into books and literature and so I spent a lot of time looking at other people’s book covers before doing my own,” she says. “I’m one of those crazy people whose passion is young adult literature. It’s my guilty pleasure. “

Lynne knew exactly why her covers needed to be perfect; her daytime job as a teacher gave her the insight. “With my teaching background, I knew what really spoke to the kids. I had a good idea of what books would be flying off the shelf,” she says.

“At school I saw so many reluctant male readers around the fifth grade age group. I needed something that could really grab them.”

Lynne’s story about how she became a self-published author is a familiar tale. “I was in the right place at the wrong time, or the wrong place at the right time, I’m not sure,” she says. An accredited teacher in the Portland, Oregon area, she was frustrated by being unable to nail down a full-time position. “I had too much free time and angst, and that led me to writing,” she laughs in remembrance.

Lauren Lynne PerceptionsSo far that “free time” has led to a series of four books: Vision, Whispers, Insights, and her latest Secret Watchers book, Perceptions.

Lynne is one of many authors who has employed BookBaby’s cover design services. BookBaby has created book covers for all four of Lynne’s books, and she reports that working with the BookBaby team was a true collaboration.

“It was so great to be able to send them pictures and notes about what I liked and what I wanted,” said Lynne. “I would send them a picture and say ‘I like the clock face from this cover’ or ‘it needs to look mysterious’ and they used all of my ideas.”

The BookBaby cover design process starts off with a questionnaire that the author fills out with her ideas plus asks questions about the book itself. “It was great that BookBaby asked about the tone and style of the book, about the characters to really understand what needs to be on the cover. I filled out that first form in about 10 minutes because it was so easy and I knew what needed to be there.”

Lynne counsels other authors to use her approach to creating the perfect cover. “Before you start, do your research first, that’s the key,” she says. “Look at covers at your local booksellers like I did.”

From there, communication is vital. “Give as much information as you can to the cover artist,” says Lynne. “Tell them all about the story, the theme, and the mood. Tell them what’s important about the story. And don’t be afraid to send images to the artist to pinpoint exactly what you want.”

A great eBook or Printed Book cover is one of your best sales tools, instantly conveying the key thoughts, messages, and images that sum up your book.

On those crowded eBook retail sites, it’s essential for you to stand out from everyone else. A professional eBook cover created by the BookBaby Design Studio will ensure you make a professional impression.


Printed Book Design 


Read More
Book cover design tips for independent authors
Sell Them With Your Cover Design
How To Design An eBook: 3 Tips For Creating A Cover That Sells
Younger Readers Prefer Printed Books


Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the President of BookBaby, the nation’s leading self publishing services company. Spatz’s professional writing career began at age 13, paid by the word to bang out little league baseball game stories on an ancient manual typewriter for southern Oregon weekly newspapers. His journalism career continued after graduation from the University of Oregon at several daily newspapers in Oregon. When his family took over a direct marketing food business, Spatz redirected his writing and design skills into producing catalogs. The Pinnacle Orchards catalog was named "Best Food Catalog," received dozens of other national awards, and the business grew into one of the nation’s largest gourmet fruit gift businesses. After the company was sold, Spatz continued his direct marketing career with Fortune 500 companies including Mattel and Hasbro. He joined AVL Digital in 2004 to lead the direct-to-consumer marketing teams for music industry-leading brands Disc Makers, Oasis, and CD Baby. After serving as Chief Marketing Officer, Spatz was tapped to lead the company’s new publishing division in late 2014. In 2019, the AVL Digital Management team purchased the New Jersey brands, including BookBaby. The company is headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ (just outside Philadelphia, PA) and meets the printed book and eBook needs of thousands of self-publishing authors around the globe. Spatz lives in Glenside, PA with his two children, a demented cat, and some well-used bicycles. Steven loves to hear from authors, editors, and publishers in the BookBaby community with tales of publishing trials and triumphs. To tell him your story, write to


    • Hello Val,
      I admire and love such information. Just that I am not a good, nor successful self-publisher, regarding my experience with self-publishing companies. It is such a difficult task to do. I love writing and have no problem doing that all
      my life. I am Glad to know my cover should be the ideal. Only, that I will hire both cover designer and book publisher, to do the job for me and let me write.

      Hope I need help?

      Thanks yours sincerely
      Neyoh Daniel

  1. Very useful info! Many thanks. I have a very important question to ask you: Did you have some business with Chile? Information, references and sheeping prices might be useful. I´m author. Thks. Regards.

  2. How much for YOU to create a book cover design. I like
    faces and know what I want. My book is a Period Piece
    Adventure Story: Scotland Yard Bobby chasing a Bank
    Robber from (where else?) Scotland.
    Please let me know your price.
    Ken DelConte


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