Business books offer authors a unique opportunity to share their knowledge, establish themselves as an expert in their market, and promote their brand in the process. Creating the perfect book cover is a delicate balance between the author’s personality, the company’s branding, and audience expectations.
So in practical terms, what does this look like? What are the key elements that make a business book cover stand out in a sea of titles swimming in the same direction?
We’ll take a look at the parts of a great business book cover, current trends, and some cover examples to inspire you.
When looking at business book cover design trends, we’ll explore:
What Are the Must-Haves for a Great Business Book Cover?
One of the first rules of book cover design is to know your genre and your audience. In other words, know the general rules for business book cover design and what your ideal reader expects. Otherwise, a potential buyer may bypass your book in favor of one that looks closer to what they had in mind. This doesn’t mean that you can be creative, but it does mean that there are guidelines to consider before you break the rules.
Here are a few guidelines to consider:
Put your promise front and center. Don’t beat around the bush, readers want to know what’s inside. Unlike fiction, a business book is not the time to play coy. Make sure your title grabs their attention and tells them what to expect when they open the book. Here are three real book titles that make their promises clear.
- SYSTEMology: Create time, reduce errors and scale your profits with proven business systems
- Productize: The Ultimate Guide to Turning Professional Services into Scalable Products
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
Select colors carefully. According to color theory, colors can create a mood or feeling based on association. For example, the color red can signify courage or passion, whereas yellow represents happiness or optimism. Green is often associated with money as well as jealousy. Although these are all based on associations, many of our responses to color are second nature. We don’t consciously think a color means something but it can still affect us on a subconscious level, so always choose wisely.
Don’t be shy. Business books provide a unique opportunity to share your expertise with the world, and your book cover is a way to shake hands with potential readers before they open the book. If your book has gotten good reviews, place the best one at the top of the front cover. Use the back cover to tell readers why you’re qualified to write the book. Place a professional headshot of yourself on the back cover next to your bio so that readers can put a face to a name. Whatever you do, always keep the purpose of your book at the forefront of your mind, and be willing to take design risks when it’s worth the payoff.
What Business Book Cover Trends Should I Consider?
Compared to other genres, business books often play it “safe” in the book design arena, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little bit of fun or dangle beyond the edges of what’s expected. Here are a few design trends that are pushing the envelope and keeping buyers on their toes.
Full Width Typography
These covers appear to “push” the boundaries with wide or vertical typography that goes to the edge of the page or beyond.
Black. White. Red
Bold colors make bold statements. Red, white, and black are often the colors of choice when an author wants their cover to stand out in the more subdued color palette of typical business books.
Real Pics as Focal Points
Sometimes a single image is enough for the message to ring loud and clear. The industry symbols on these covers take center stage.
Pick Your Brain
Does your content fit into the categories of thought leadership, psychology, or mindset? Brain pics are a popular choice.
Line Drawings, Scribbles, and Stick Figures
Simple drawings give a more casual and approachable feel to serious business topics.
What Steps Should I Take When Designing a Business Book Cover?
There are several approaches you can take when designing business book covers.
Start With a Template
Book templates are a simple and easy way to get a book cover design fast. Most are highly customizable and have minimal turnaround time. One drawback to using a template is that multiple people can use the same template, and unless you change it up significantly, there’s a chance you’ll see your cover somewhere with a different title. Some websites will show a helpful download counter, but your best option is to find a template where enough changes can be made to make the cover unique to you.
Hire a Professional
Finding a professional book cover designer is as easy as typing “book cover designer” in Google; however, anyone can say they have design skills so you want to make sure that they have the portfolio to back up their claims.
Sites like 99Designs offer access to multiple vetted designers and easy access to their portfolios. Or you can opt for a company like MblArt that has a staff of book cover designers and a company portfolio for your review.
You can also search professional websites like LinkedIn, or general websites like Fiverr and Upwork. Wherever your search takes you, make sure the designer you choose has a design aesthetic that fits your style, great communication skills, and a transparent policy that outlines the number of revisions, payment structure, and who owns the copyright to the cover and the license for images used.
Create the Cover Yourself
This option is only recommended if you are a professional designer or creative enough to take a book cover template from a site like Canva and design a high-quality business book cover. Releasing a business book that you want others to take seriously is not the time to decide if you can create a cover that is “good enough.”
Final Thoughts on Business Book Covers
With any book cover design, leaving a positive and lasting impression is critical. Since business books are not just about you but also act as an extension of your professional brand, you want to get it right the first time.
If you are writing or have written a business book, then you’re probably eager to get through the book development process, so you can get back to business. Self-publishing can be a long winding road with a lot of decisions along the way.
If you are short on time and budget, working with a book template company or designer is a budget-friendly option with a quick turnaround. If you have a more flexible budget and a bit more time, hiring a professional book cover designer can offer you a unique, high-quality design that stands out in the marketplace.
Before working with any designer, research book covers to see what you like. This will give the designer a good reference point and insight into how you want your end product to look.