All novice book writers can agree that writing a book is hard but fun work. There’s nothing quite as accomplishing as finishing a book you’ve been working on for years. However, this is only half the job. The next part gets even trickier.

Here’s where you now have to pick the perfect cover for your book. This might be even harder than writing the book itself.

Everything You Need to Know When Picking the Perfect Book Cover Photo

When you think about the perfect cover photo for your book, many things come to mind, including a myriad of impossible questions. You want to know:

  • What’s better – do I put on a face or a cool object?
  • What font is the most captivating?
  • How do I encapsulate 500 pages into one image?
  • What colour is the snappiest?

You already know full well that picking the wrong book cover photo may ruin the whole essence of the book itself. Therefore, it is crucial to choose the cover of your book carefully since your book cover says a lot about you. That’s why you want the photo of your book cover to match your book perfectly. We compiled some fun and interesting suggestions that can help you with this dilemma:

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  1. Contemporary

Most contemporary covers are quite simple. Most have little cartoonish illustrations of the characters in the book or objects that signify something in the book.

Other contemporary covers can have actual photographs. These may be stock photo images or people hired to pose as the characters in the book. A contemporary book cover can also be a photo of a landscape.

Ideally, it is important to figure out the most relevant cover photo for your content and find the best way of highlighting it in your contemporary cover photo.

  1. Romance

Obviously, romance covers vary, depending on the type of romance your book is about. However, if you really want your readers to know right away that they are picking a romance novel, then the best solution is to have a couple on the cover.

You can do this in many different ways, like using a photograph or an illustration. Therefore, you must do your research and choose the perfect cover art that works best for your romance novel. You can also picture a beautiful girl in a flowing dress (usually running). It almost certainly intrigues the readers and makes them think of some romantic tale within the pages.

You can also have something stereotypically romantic to the couples in the book as your cover photo to grab the reader’s attention. This could mean a picture of flowers or a butterfly. Think about the important items that the couple holds dear and draw inspiration from them.

  1. Fantasy

Most fantasy book cover photos are always more of an imaginative genre, and you want your cover photo to reflect this. The cover photo should be a tell-tale indication to the reader that it’s a fantasy novel. For this, you can have photos of one of the following: a sword, a crown, a throne, a helmet, or a dragon (lion, phoenix). All these illustrations are popular options for fantasy book covers.

You can also have a professional artist hand-draw some of your characters or the most relevant scenes from the book. These are some of the most popular choices, especially when writing adult fantasy novels. Just remember to make it relatable to the contents of your book.

  1. Science Fiction

Most science fiction works are often dystopian and usually have dark overtones. Your cover can reflect this. You can also depict some form of technology that is of relevance within the book. It can be a hand-drawn illustration of a space gun, a spacesuit, a spaceship, or even a circuit board.

You can even design an entire city landscape to give the reader more perspective of what your book is about. Just remember to illustrate the technological differences between your novel and our “real” world. You can make your book appeal to readers more if you can relate the cover photo to illustrations of significant relevance within the book.

  1. Nonfiction

Unlike fiction book covers, most cover photos of nonfiction novels show less detail. Most of their covers simply show the title and author, usually in a nice font. You can play around with the actual colour of the font and cover, but they don’t usually include images. And in cases where images are added, it is often very small.

You must also ensure that any photograph or image you include on the cover of your book is directly significant to the novel’s contents. The cover photo needs to very clearly deal with the content, unlike with fiction novels where you can use elusive photos.

Therefore, if your book is about the history of a town, having a photo of the town as the cover can work. And if it’s about playing the piano, having a small photo or illustration of a piano can suffice. Remember, you don’t have much room to be imaginative here. You want to be as simple, clear, and concise as possible. Otherwise, you will have fiction book readers picking up your novel instead.

  1. Suspense/Mystery

Here’s another relatively easy cover genre. You only need a bold font choice that occupies almost the entire cover of the book. You can also add a backdrop of an important item that’s significant in the book.

For example, if your book is about a character drowning in a lake, use a drawing or photo of an eerie lake. That will almost certainly capture the imagination of your readers. However, keep in mind that you don’t give away an important clue or reveal a secret through the photo you decide to use.

Different Looks for Different People

As a novel writer, you know that different genres have different trends that readers look for when searching for books. Some genres allow for more creativity with the cover photos than others. For instance, take the fantasy fiction novel vs. the informational nonfiction book. These books have very different strategies for the cover of their books.

It is up to you to know which cover options are best for your book and how they relate to your book’s contents. You can edit and customise the cover using a photo editor, adding special effects, changing the colour tones and so much more.

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Final Word

Overall, when choosing the best book cover photo for your novel, go with what you know will SELL, not what you LIKE. Remember, don’t base your choices on emotion. You’re out to sell your book. Therefore, you must ensure you base your choice on what you know will sell you more books.

*Do connect with me on Instagram at @KiranSinghUK, @SoulfullyNourishedUK & @SlowSimpleIntentional for behind the scenes, daily updates, inspiration and more!