Cathi Stevenson, book cover designer

Cathi Stevenson, book cover designer

Since starting my own business, I have created more than 2000 book covers for large, traditional publishing organizations; small presses and indie publishers. My clients have been featured in numerous high-profile media sources including Oprah, 48-Hours, People Magazine and the Today show. I'm closely supervised by a small herd of rescue animals including two very large dogs, a cat that I'm not sure likes me very much, and a three-pound bunny who runs the whole show. When I'm not designing book covers I'm usually working on newsletters, infographics, signage and posters, or writing articles.

Best Selling Author Pam Crooks Talks About Her Move From Traditional to Self-Publishing

” Have the best product you can make. Same goes with  traditional publishing. Learn, write, revise and then repeat. Make it your mantra.“ When did you publish your first book? Pam Crooks: My first book was released by Dorchester Publishing in 2001. That book was Wyoming Wildflower, which is still my mother’s favorite. How long did it take you to find a publisher who would work with you? Pam Crooks: Forever, it seems. But all told, it was nine years…

Read More

Essential Information for Formatting Your Book Cover

Your book cover is the first thing people see.  And few things lose self-publishers more sales than advertising that it’s an amateur project. As the late Dan Poynter used to say, a book cover shouldn’t look like it’s made with “loving hands at home.” Layout, font choice, spacing, and images must be chosen carefully and work well together to entice— potential fans — to click. The formatted book cover files you supply must be created properly, or you’re going to…

Read More

Free Book Cover Design Fonts for Self-Publishers

Font choice can make or break your book cover design. There are just too many typefaces out there, and without years of training and the time and money to experiment, it’s probably safer to go with traditional styles for most book publishing projects. There are other things to consider, too, like commercial licenses if you’re selling a book. Then you have to confirm that the font is designed properly. We’ve all seen fonts where the spacing between the letters (tracking)…

Read More

Are You Selling Your Competitor’s Book Online?

by Cathi Stevenson   Creating a successful book cover and using it as a marketing tool takes a bit of imagination, some technical skills, and a little knowledge about human nature and psychology. You need to understand how people view things, what they look at, what attracts them to a particular book online and what makes a person buy one book instead of another. The website, the book cover’s position on the site and how it interacts or stands out…

Read More

10 Tips for a Professional Book Layout

A book that has been professionally designed will appear more polished and appealing to potential buyers. These formatting tips are not limited to the front cover of a book. There are many ways to enhance the look and readability of  back cover text and interior layout. 1. Don’t make your line width too long. Many people assume the solution to too much text is to either drop the point size or extend the trim size or margins. This is not…

Read More

Can I Fit 900 Words on the Back Cover?

Over the years, I’ve developed a file of information that I send to all of my book cover design clients as we’re nearing the spine and back cover parts of the project. These are just guidelines, but for the typical 6 x 9 book this is what I have found works best, and what I share with my clients: BACK COVER TEXT: You have room for about 250 – 300 words on the back cover. Submit it in an unformatted…

Read More

The Top 5 Questions I Am Asked About Book Design

1. Why shouldn’t I lay my book out in Word? Word is a word processing program, not designed to format files for press. There are lots of issues that can and do occur when you use Word to lay out a print project: Sometimes the black text is only at about 90% when printed, so you’re essentially getting a dark gray. Word does not work in CMYK colors, which are necessary for printed books. It works in RGB colors, which…

Read More

Color Management & Book Covers

Color is tricky at the best of times. If you want exact color management for your book cover design (such as a particular shade of blue for a university logo), you really should use something called spot color. Spot colors are specially mixed ink colors. Like the paint you purchase for your walls, spot colors, or Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors, are mixed according to predetermined recipes. Each color in the PMS spectrum has an assigned number. When a client…

Read More