Loving Your Cover – Pamela C. Rice

When you put your heart and soul into writing a book, it seems to scrimp on you packaging, (your COVER)—— is short-changing your efforts.

I see numerous first-time authors and others for go the importance of good cover illustration in particular.

I took on the challenge of creating a book cover contest to help and assist authors on their presentation. I’ve posted a number of great illustrators on KidsShelf Books FaceBook page and given weekly tips on various typeface styles. One source of typefaces (MyFont.com) gives illustrators and authors an opportunity to type in, select from thousands of fonts, choices of colors, and see how their title could appear.

Occasionally, I will offer support to authors with their covers with FREE layout tips and suggestions.

Too many authors think there is some magical software that will aid them in creating a book or cover.  However, it is not the software. It is only a tool.

When an author has spent time writing a great story, it should be supported by professional services. Many writers will attempt to hire a friend who ‘draws’ or dabbles on the computer. Cartoonish renderings and hand-drawn titles is not the direction that should be taken, if the work is to be taken seriously.

Take a look at some of the books that line the shelves in stores. The question authors should ask is, will my cover be visually competitive?

Does my cover have great composition? Is the cover clear and precise? Is there a good contrast with the background? Titles should not compete with the graphics or background. The illustration or photograph should not compete with the title. The author’s name should not compete with the title. Is the illustrator’s name on the cover? It should not compete with the author, background or graphics.

Pay as much attention to your packaging as you did with your story and that will be your solution to a successful cover.

If your are having difficulties finding an illustrator, consider checking on Social Media. Do some homework. This will give you an opportunity to view styles of various illustrators.

If you have a tight budget you can consider a few things. Wait until you get the money to pay for a professional illustrator. Most artists will work with you…OR you can call a local art school or college. All schools have Student Work Studies Programs, where they post jobs for students. Be up front with the student, let them know you have a limited budget. There are many art students who would love to illustrate a children’s book, knowing it is going to be published. What a great piece for their portfolio!

Find a book you like and use it as a guide, and a template for composition and give it to your artist as direction for what you are looking for.


So do your homework. If you’ve completed writing your book. Plan ahead and don’t rush your packaging.



Incorporate title within cover graphics is a design option.



Illustrator: Adrienne Barman                        


Are  you an author, cover artist, agent, editor, publisher or lover of books?  Have something you wish to share with others in the field? Send your article or article idea to mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com to get featured on ACNBooks.com

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