What Every Author Needs to Know about Cover Design, featuring Julie Metz

Jan 13, 2020

Julie Metz

This week’s episode is a journey into the world of book cover design with Creative Director of She Writes Press, Julie Metz. Brooke and Grant share some of their personal experiences with covers—what’s worked and what hasn’t—and Brooke shares some common places where (in her experience) authors get in their own way. Understanding book design will help any aspiring author breeze through this endeavor more easily, and getting a glimpse into the care and hard work that goes into creating covers is a point of interest for readers as well.


Julie Metz is a graphic designer and the current creative director of She Writes Press and SparkPress. She’s also a New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Perfection, which was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection. She is currently finishing her next book, forthcoming on Atria/Simon & Schuster, titled Eva and Eve, a story about her mother’s lost childhood in Vienna, from which her well-to-do Jewish family narrowly escaped in the years following the Nazi takeover of Austria.

The Takeaway: Dream Into Your Cover Design

You don’t have to wait till you’re a published author to start thinking about your cover, or to start educating yourself about cover design. Start paying attention to covers in your genre. If you’re lucky enough to live near a bookstore, pop in and spend time observing the covers on the shelf where your book will live. See if you notice any trends. Consider what you like and don’t like and why. Start keeping a running list of titles whose covers you love so that when you do have the opportunity to either fill out a cover memo or work with a designer, you have those ready to go. The art of being an author, or becoming an author, is to remember that your book is beyond you, it’s bigger than you. When it comes to book publishing, don’t keep your book too small. Don’t limit its chances by imposing onto it what you think it needs to be. If it so happens that what you need it to be aligns with what your publisher and/or designer think too, wonderful, lucky you. Just stay open to the process.

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