How a Book Cover Is Made

For better or for worse, the creation of the cover is often cited the single most important part of the publishing process. Wait, you’re thinking, shouldn’t it be the creation of the BOOK? The actual words?? As an editor, I say, of course the words are the most important! But when it comes to making sure that book sells, I must admit I understand why cover is king.

Whether you are holding a hardcopy or squinting at a thumbnail, you aren’t going to flip the book over to read the jacket copy or click open the first page if that cover doesn’t intrigue you. And if the cover doesn’t intrigue you, there’s a much smaller chance you’ll buy the book. In order for those beautiful words to reach a reader, we almost always need a stunner cover. As a result, the cover process can take months and thousands of dollars.

Despite that pressure to succeed, being a part of the cover creation is one of the best elements of my job. I can barely draw you a stick figure, but it’s so much fun to let that creative side my brain loose with a bunch of very artistic people and see them work their magic. I can’t speak for all publishers, designers, or editors, but here’s a look at what my typical cover process looks like from start to finish. Continue reading