Making Your Own Book Cover Is A Publishing Taboo

Self-published book authors are supposed to have many skills.

These skills draw on a diverse variety of fields such as marketing, book formatting and typesetting, business, audio and video production, social media management, intellectual property, software, and web design. All this on top of mastering writing and the domains the authors cover.

Along with the books, these skills lead authors to produce additional content and artifacts like websites, email newsletters, ebooks files, podcasts, videos, and many more.

But authors are strongly, very strongly discouraged from making their own book covers. To the point it’s a taboo.

The recommended way is to hire a professional artist or cover designer.

It’s sound advice as a bad cover can significantly reduce sales. But I don’t see why authors can’t learn to design covers the same way they can, and have to, learn to create the other content and artifacts. And, for some genres like non-fiction and technical works, a perfect cover may be less critical.

Why is cover design a skill that can’t be learned and only artists supposedly have?

Cover of the book Space Apps for Android: Discover the Best Astronomy and Space Apps
I used Canva to design the cover of my book, Space Apps for Android.

I made the cover of my self-published book myself using Canva. This is not to save a few bucks. Instead, I want full creative control over my work. I have some confidence that, while not perfect, my cover is acceptable and can’t harm sales too much as I’m just getting started. Finally, I enjoy the process and the ability to experiment.

If you’re an artist and plan to write a book on cover design, sign me up for preorder.

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