You have written an ebook. Now what? The next step is to create a cover for it, but if you aren’t a graphic designer, the task to create a quality cover might feel daunting. So today, I’m showing you how to make an ebook cover by yourself. There are plenty of ebook cover design tips out there, but we will explore some of the best ones! We want your ebook cover to stand apart from all the rest so that people will take notice and buy it right away.
The ebook cover is the first impression anyone will see about your ebook before they pick it up or click on a link to get more info. You will get advice for choosing fonts and colors, as well as information about layout and typography.
By the end of this article, you’ll know how to design an ebook cover that is not only eye-catching it will also fly off the (digital) shelves!
DIY ebook cover design
Before we get to the actual design, let’s first go over the essential information you need so that you can design your ebook with confidence!
You might think you can’t price your ebook very high if you don’t hire a pro designer. But that’s not the case at all.
Follow these three simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to an attractive cover!
Step 1. Research your competition
Before you design an ebook cover, you’ll want to do some competitor research. More specifically, research the top sellers in your niche.
You can explore other ebook designs on Amazon by typing in your seed keywords in the search bar.
This will serve as an excellent guide for how to design ebook covers in order to be competitive with other ebooks in your niche.
After locating some top competitors, take time to analyze their ebook cover designs.
For example, if you’re writing a book on how to bake bread and your ebook cover design is of an oven with some fresh-baked loaves coming out the door, then do some research into what other ebook covers in this niche look like before designing one yourself. Take note of colors being used, fonts chosen, and whether or not there is a specific design style for the ebook cover.
What do they have in common? Do they have ebook covers with a high-level, quality of design? Do the ebook covers contain images of real people, landscapes or buildings, etc.?
The goal is to use competitor research as an opportunity for you to improve upon the ebook cover design that you are working on.
Step 2. Choose your tool
Next, you want to figure out what ebook cover creator software you’re going to use. Let’s look at some free options.
There are many free drag-and-drop editors you can use to make an ebook cover. Here are three of my favorites:
Since each software is free, I recommend testing all three to see which one you prefer.
There is actually a lot of great software available that can help you create a professional ebook cover. Keep in mind though, the paid ones such as Sqribble, tend to have far more features and design templates, but the free ones will still get you a great ebook cover.
Below is an example ebook cover I created using Canva:
Next up, comes the fun part!
Step 3. Design your cover
Here are some ebook cover design tips to ensure your ebook cover is both professional and exceptional. Before beginning the design get specifications for the platforms where the book will be published.
Choosing your ebook’s dimensions will depend on what kind of ebook you are designing (eBook or Kindle). If it is going to be a Kindle ebook, the dimensions should be set to 73 pixels by 108 pixels (kindle.com).
The ideal size of your eBook cover art is a height/width ratio of 1.6:1. This means that for every 1,000 pixels in width, the image should be 1,600 pixels in height. To ensure the best quality for your image, particularly on high-definition devices, the height of the image should be at least 2,500 pixels.
Make sure the cover is in high resolution
High-resolution ebook covers are crucial to having a professional ebook. If you want your ebook cover to look great, it needs to be in high-resolution!
For the best results choose 300 pixels by 600 dpi for eBooks and Kindle books. For print quality ebook covers use 1200×1800 or 2400×3000 px at 150dpi .
For eBooks, image resolution is measured by pixels per inch (PPI). Images with high PPI (300 or higher) will be clearer than those with low PPI (less than 300). There is a direct relationship between image PPI and image size. For example, an image that is 300 PPI at 1″ x 1″ (2.5 x 2.5 cm) is high-resolution.
Consider using images with strong contrast
To create a stunning ebook cover, you need images that have lots of high-contrast details. This will catch the reader’s attention more than an image with low contrast or bland colors!
Consider adding elements such as lines, shapes, textures, or geometric patterns to your ebook cover. You can do this by adding a texture overlay or changing the contrast in Photoshop using levels!
Have a maximum of 4 colors on your cover for simplicity’s sake. They should be complementary colors so they can maximize the contrast. The best colors for contrast tend to be blue and orange, red and black, and black and white.
You want readers to be able to glance at your ebook and know what they’re getting into. To do this, give it a focus and convey something important about the book’s subject or style.
Only use images that are relevant to the ebook’s subject. It should be of a person, place, or thing related to your ebook’s topic. When choosing an image, make sure it is illustrative and not just decorative.
Make sure the font size is readable, unique, and interesting
Font psychology plays a significant role in your cover. In other words, your font choice matters—readers will interpret your book cover VERY differently depending on which font you choose.
You want your ebook cover font to have a professional and readable appearance, but at the same time be unique enough for people to take notice.
In order to be successful with fonts on ebook covers, you need to find something that balances readability with design appeal. Here are some tips:
– Choose a font that contrasts with the ebook’s background color. This will help it stand out!
– Experiment with fonts to find one you like and feel comfortable reading on an ebook cover. It should be easy for your readers to read but also look interesting!
– Avoid heavy, shaded fonts on ebook covers because they can be hard to read in small sizes.
When adding fonts to your ebook, you can choose to use one or pair two together (three fonts start feeling a bit crowded).
There are four main types of fonts:
• Serif: Serif fonts have small strokes attached to the larger stroke. Serif fonts are perceived as formal, authoritative, and trustworthy.
• Sans-serif: Sans-serif fonts do not have additional strokes. A sans-serif font is seen as progressive and laid back.
• Script: Script fonts resemble cursive writing, with most letters connecting. Script fonts communicate romance or femininity.
• Decorative: Decorative fonts can contain graphics and are best for headlines as opposed to body text. Decorative fonts range in feeling playful, witty, youthful, romantic, authoritative, and more.
You should only use one or two fonts on a cover and they need good size and contrast against the background and images.
After you’ve chosen your colors, fonts, images/icons, and determined your cover dimensions, it’s time to lay it all out!
The Z-pattern layout is a common strategy for ebook cover designs because it’s the natural way we process non-text-heavy information.
First, we scan from top left to right. Next, our eyes go diagonally down from the top right to the bottom left. And finally, we scan the bottom from left to right. Here’s an example of the Z-pattern layout in action.
While you aren’t limited to the Z-pattern layout, it’s a tried and true method you can use if you aren’t sure how to format your cover’s content.
Include book title and author’s name on the front cover
While physical books can include a lot of text on the cover, that should almost never be the case for an eBook. Your eBook cover only needs the bare minimum: a title, author name, and cover art.
Use color appropriately
In ebook cover design, the color scheme is an important part because it affects us on an emotional level and influences our decision-making about a product. Your ebook should have primary colors that appeal to your target audience and evoke the right emotions.
Do not use too many different colors.
Think about the general color palette for your ebook and what it might evoke in readers. For example, if you’re writing a memoir then consider using pastel or muted tones to convey an emotional tone, but if you’re marketing analytical content then going with brighter colors might be the right choice.
As well as colors having distinct meanings, specific color combinations look better than others. If you don’t have an eye for design, you can always lean on free tools such as Coolors, to generate great color schemes.
Use the right images
If your book cover has low-quality media on the front, your audience might assume the content inside is also low-quality.
To avoid this, you can find quality royalty-free stock images on websites like Unsplash or Pexels, which have a massive stock photo library.
However, there are certain ‘overused’ images that scream ‘stock photo’ to ebook readers. You’ll want to avoid these, chances are those same old cliched photos will make for poor ebook covers.
If you don’t want stock images and want to use icons and original artwork instead, make sure they look good when scaled down to ebook size. Equally important, images also have to be properly formatted so that they are sharp on all devices–including smartphones.
Give every element space
Make sure to give every element of your ebook cover design plenty of space. In fact, one of the first ways users will interact with your ebook cover design will be a glance at the thumbnail. If it is difficult to read or they can’t get an idea of the ebook’s substance, you could lose potential viewers and sales. This is your opportunity to make an impression before people even read the book!
It is also important to consider the use of white space which makes the text easier to read and the images easier to see, this can make the entire design stand out at a glance.
As mentioned earlier, the layout design benefits from a familiar Z-pattern of elements with the title at the top, descriptive imagery, and the author’s name at the bottom (the title and author positions can be swapped). With minimal layering and overlap, elements are mostly separated to ensure optimum readability.
To Wrap Up
In conclusion, ebook cover design is an important aspect of the ebook publishing process. While there are countless ebook design tips out there, these ebook cover design tips will help you start off on the right foot and stand apart from other ebook publishers! Remember to make sure you choose your fonts wisely; be mindful with your color choices, and use the right stock images to attract ebook readers. People will judge your ebook by its cover, and a professional cover can make a big difference!
Creating an ebook cover you’re proud of doesn’t have to cost a lot. You just need the right tools and some ebook cover design tips!
If you would like to know more about ebook design tools for publishing ebooks, then I invite you to check out our in-depth Sqribble Review. This cloud-based, all-in-one platform shows the best steps for beginners. You can publish an ebook in minutes!
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links and I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.