How to cite your designer on your book cover, and why you should

I’m still a little self-conscious when it comes to adding “cover design by Derek Murphy” on the back of my book cover designs. It feels like I’m installing secret spyware. I rarely recommend it, as it seems so self-serving, and yet it’s my responsibility to help authors get their book covers as professional as possible. Pick up almost any traditionally published book and it will have the cover designer’s name on the back, somewhere on the bottom in small text.

It’s almost always a name rather than a company; probably because it sounds more personal, like an artist, rather than faceless, like a cookie-cutter corporate grind out. So I would write “Cover Design by Derek Murphy” rather than “Cover Design by Creativindie”. No website or url is necessary – urls are overrated these days; it’s much faster to just go google my name than type in the link.

What if I designed my own book cover?

There’s two ways to go about indie publishing. One is to hide it: so then you’d want to ‘fake’ your publisher imprint, book cover designer, etc by either A) not listing it at all or B) making up fake names and companies to make you look big. This can work well, as most people won’t notice and it does help overcome the self-publishing stigma. But it can also back fire, when someone does some digging and it looks like you’re dishonest.

The 2nd way is to embrace it. You wrote your own book AND designed the cover? Wow, cool. Go ahead and say so. As an indie author, you can do whatever you want. Although, if you take this route, you better make sure your cover is awesome. Otherwise they’ll say “it’s a shame they didn’t spring for a better cover…”