It’s obvious that book covers help to sell books. When you are in a bookstore or scouring the countless online depositories the book cover is the first thing you see.
The purpose of the cover is not just to display the title and author name – it’s meant to give you a sense of what the book is about, sometimes with a single image.
For me, as a horror book cover designer, the feeling I aim to invoke – depending on the story – is fear or dread. That sense of unease. This can be achieved in a variety of styles, from a highly detailed montage or to something purely typographical. The adage of “less is more” is one I, as a designer, always ascribe to. Sure my covers can be detailed, or contain multiple images, but there’s always ONE concept, or idea.
This is just my opinion, but I’d like to provide some examples of recent cover art I have admired that I feel conveys that “sense” of what horror is. Some may disagree with me but again this is just my opinion.
In the end, these are just some of cover artists I admire. You’ll notice that all of them work with or in the small horror press, which in my opinion, is where horror is thriving. The artists noted here should be your go-to’s for book cover design. You should always look to experts and have faith in their many years of experience.
If you know any other book cover artists, feel free to post their links in the comments.
Two-time international Bram Stoker Award-nominee®*, Greg Chapman is a horror author and artist based in Queensland, Australia.
Greg is the author of several novels, novellas and short stories, including his award-nominated debut novel, Hollow House (Omnium Gatherum) and collections, Vaudeville and Other Nightmares (Specul8 Publishing) and This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories (Things in the Well Publications).
He is also a horror artist and his first graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, (McFarland & Company) written by authors Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton, won the Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel category at the Bram Stoker Awards® in 2013.
He is also the current President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association.
Greg lives in Rockhampton with his wife and their two daughters.
* Superior Achievement in a First Novel for Hollow House (2016) and
Superior Achievement in Short Fiction, for “The Book of Last Words” (2019)