Cover design is a lengthy process. We may not judge a book by its cover, but we certainly believe that a great book deserves a great cover! We try to get started on cover design a year before the book’s publication.

Once a final manuscript has been delivered, the editor who commissioned the book will work with the author to brief our in-house art director on what direction they’d like the cover to take. This also involves discussions with Unbound’s editorial, production, publicity and sales teams. We all want the book to look beautiful and to draw you in even before you hit page one.

Unbound’s art director works from this brief and kicks off a three-round process. This often involves using an external cover designer or illustrator, though every cover is overseen by our art director. 

In the first round, the designer sends up to three rough options of the front cover for the author to consider. In the second round, one of these designs is finessed further, and in the third and final round, the design is finalised with copy (a ‘blurb’, which is carefully crafted by Unbound’s editors) and designs for the spine and back.

Once the cover artwork is finalised, there are a few more questions for our special editions: What colour will the board under the jacket be? What design will our full-colour endpapers take on? What colour will the bookmark ribbon be? What other special finishes will we add on?

(Cover design happens alongside the editorial process – read more about that here.)

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