No, my mystery book is not finished yet. However, I was reminded that it will need a cover design when I was contacted by my editor re my upcoming "brick and mortar" book. She wanted to know if I had any ideas for the cover design. I tore my hair out trying to find one copyright image for the inside of the book - what the heck was I going to do about the cover! Luckily, an Internet friend contacted me, and if my editor agrees, we will use my friends image on the cover.
So, now I am simultaneously writing my mystery, formatting a plan for promoting it, and designing a book cover! I do want a cover that is attractive,and that represents my book well. So I did some research on what some of the elements need to be. I did get a few ideas from this site - damonza.com. The first thing this site talks about is the tone of the book - that the cover sets the tone. This I would agree with. Tone here is defined at the feeling that the reader gets from looking at the cover. I have seen books that go both ways - ones with terrible covers that are actually good books, and ones with great covers that just wasted my time!
The next thing discussed is relevance - the cover needs to be relevant to the content of the book. I write cozy mysteries - no gore, or explicit ANYTHING on my covers! There are many keys to relevance, such as placing focus on characters, locations, or objects featured int he story. Note to self - Make it real!
Then there is the element of attraction - something needs to make the reader want to pick up the book, open the book, and read it! Well done graphics can accomplish this nicely! Put some time, attention, and a few bucks into creating a cover design that represents your work well, and sells it!
Legibility is something that I think that I took for granted. I mean, the title and my name are in type, not in my handwriting, so what's the deal! Evidently there is a deal. The deal is that the information must be legible in thumbnail size. OKay - I get it!
Here is a really great blog that I came across on my search - usable information on creating e--book covers - e-Book Cover Design. Emphasis here is placed on the fact that an e-book cover is a digital cover, which presents differently than a hard cover book. Another factor is that it needs to be aimed at online sales, and that it needs to be kept simple.
Another blog from the above site presents e-book resources, for those that do not want to do their own covers.Resources - e-Book Cover Design
Lots to think about here!