Whether I am designing a custom cover for a new book or redesigning an existing book cover (also called a makeover), the book cover design process has the same 9 steps.
Over the years I have refined this design methodology in order to first lay the proper foundation for the project and to keep the project going smoothly from discovery through delivery of digital artwork files.
Steps 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7, over half of the required steps in the process, all require involvement by the author in order to proceed to the next step.
- Discovery – Brainstorming, discussion of cover ideas, goals
- Cover concepts – Visual cover design mockups of cover ideas
- Cover concept review – Review of concepts between author and designer
- Cover concept revisions – Refinements to a concept to make it perfect
- Working digital files – Files used by designer to create finished artwork
- Proofing/proofreading – Making sure the cover design is ready for publishing
- Cover design artwork approval – Author sign-off of the cover
- Final digital files – Conversion of working digital file into one or more publisher-ready file
- Digital artwork files – The file that the author will use to publish the book cover