What NOT to include on your cover. Vol I

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Believe it or not, I once had a client ask me to design a cover that included angels with wings and flaming swords, on the moon, with the Earth on fire, and spaceships taking over the flaming Earth, and, and, and … *head desk* I jokingly wondered where I would ever be able to fit in the spinning cat, tanning salon and taco truck!

I’m not kidding. That’s a true story. Many times, I’m asked by new authors to include so many things that are important to their story all on the front cover, whether these things relate to one another or not.

Note to authors: Even if these objects do relate, it’s really not necessary to include them all. All this does is busy up the space, make it hard to decipher where to look first, and scream to your fans that you do not value your work enough to get a professional designer (or that your designer is not confident enough to talk you out of making a mistake).

So, here’s a list of things NOT to include on your cover:

– Don’t include paragraphs of text. If you have a long quote for a blurb either shorten it or put it on the back. If you have a long tag line, shorten it. Paragraphs of text are for the back cover and the inside.

– Don’t include a bunch of stickers, banners and awards. Let the cover do its job. You will not be able to read these stickers and banners and awards at thumbnail size anyway, and they will just get in the way of your beautiful cover.

Stay tuned next week for more tips on What NOT to include on your cover. And feel free to jump right in and comment on what you’d like to learn about next. I’d love to hear from you.