Book Cover Design: The Process Explained With Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer

Winning book cover - with a few tweaks based on your suggestions

Last week, I posted a number of options for the design of my book cover for ‘Pentecost’, a thriller novel. Thank you so much if you voted in the poll or left comments. I really appreciate your input.

In total, there were 530 votes and 143 comments including some redesigns of the cover and very considered opinions for which I am incredibly grateful. It helped me realize how subjective images are and how emotions and personal history can really shape the way people see the potential story behind the cover.

One of the most important things to remember as an author/writer is that we can’t please everyone!

However, I am happy to go with the majority vote which was Option 2 with 36.2% of the vote as you can see from the graph right.

In the following video, Joel Friedlander from and I talk about the book design process and how the iterations work. We also announce how the winning design makes for a great book cover.

In the video we discuss:

  • How Joel helps self-publishers with book design from beginning to end including cover design, internal design and all the information people need to self-publish.
  • Certain books have certain types of covers. ‘Pentecost’ is a thriller so needed elements that reflected this as well as religious history and fire theme. How the elements came together in a number of initial covers.
  • How the iterative process works with design. Deciding on what you DON’T want is almost as important as what you do. I didn’t want a female face as although there is a strong female protagonist, I wanted her to be in people’s imaginations not on the cover.
  • I also wanted fire featuring heavily but the comments and votes showed that people preferred to include other aspects to make it more mysterious and less sinister.
  • The final cover explained. Why we made some changes to make the title stand out more. How the various aspects fit together and the use of tones to draw the eye to the images.

You can find Joel at where he has tons of information for authors/publishers. He is also on twitter @JFBookman


You can now get free chapters of Pentecost on the Facebook page by clicking here.


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  1. […] my first novel, Pentecost in February 2011 in print and ebook formats. Joel did an amazing job of designing my cover and the internal print book design so that I could have a world-class print […]

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