SPF-031: Creating a Bestselling Book Cover – with Stuart Bache

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There are many book cover creators and designers out there but none with the expertise and experience of today’s guest on the podcast. Stuart Bache has not only designed books for Mark Dawson but also for many other bestselling authors such as John le Carre and Stephen King. On this episode we chat with Stuart about his own journey into book cover creation and pick his brain about the steps new and aspiring authors can take towards creating their own book covers. You won’t find a person better qualified or gifted at doing what Stuart does. That’s why his willingness to share his experience and thoughts on the podcast means so much to us.

The road to becoming a professional book cover designer.

Stuart was still in college when a mentor began pulling him into some design work for clients creating, amongst other things, book covers. It was during that time in his life that he began to meet and work with some of the best-selling authors of the day. His approach has always been to make the book not only attractive but have the cover design trigger immediate and long-lasting engagement with potential readers. In the digital world of self-publishing, provoking this kind of response is crucial. Find out how and where Stuart begins his book cover creation process, on this episode of The Self Publishing Formula.

What does a book cover designer need from an author to fashion a great cover?

When Mark began working with Stuart on the creation of book covers for his novels he was asked a short series of questions about his books. What’s the story synopsis? Who are the main characters? What are the locations of where the book is set? From there Stuart set off to create a book cover to represent the entire story arc. On today’s episode Stuart generously shares the types of things he does to make a cover stand out – from imagery to shading and typesetting. Tune in for plenty of cover design tips!

Simple rules to follow for a great book cover.

It’s tempting to use all the bells and whistles in a program like Photoshop to create a visual spectacle of a book cover. But Stuart advises you to resist the urge to over complicate your book cover and instead, opt for simplicity. In this conversation, Stuart points out the kinds of things that make for a simple but effective book cover and explains why book cover creators who are successful have mastered the tricky art of keeping it simple. It’s all on this episode of The Self Publishing Formula.

If you don’t want to create your own book covers, here’s another great option.

Stuart understands that up and coming self-published authors might be on a budget, so he’s come up with a way for authors to use his design skills. You’ll be introduced to Stuart’s new design service that offers some of his cool designs in a template style format that can be edited to create a unique cover. It’s a great way to get some outstanding design work for your self-published book.

Outline of this great episode:

  • [1:04] Things to expect from the podcast in the next few weeks.
  • [2:50] The interview topic today: book covers.
  • [6:57] How Stuart approaches his creative process and communicates with authors.
  • [11:03] Multiple concepts for a book cover to start.
  • [15:31] How Mark and Stuart work together to create great covers.
  • [19:17] The tools Stuart uses to create his work.
  • [21:24] How Photoshop can be used by authors.
  • [24:01] The resolution and sizes Stuart creates for book covers.
  • [27:12] Suggestions for starting out with book cover design.
  • [33:12] The process of the work being done on the upcoming course.
  • [35:31] Stuart’s new venture.

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode

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