Use Canva's impressively easy to use free online book cover maker to quickly design custom book covers for any genre. Use Canva's collection of free, customizable book cover templates to design a brilliant cover for your next best-seller. Learn everything about creating a bestselling book cover design including book cover design tools, tips, tricks and even design services.
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Get professional book cover design at a fraction of the cost of other design firms. BookBaby graphic designers are experts in book cover design. Adobe Spark's free online book cover maker helps you easily create your own custom book and novel covers that attract readers, no design skills necessary. A book cover brings words to life. It's also the #1 sales tool for the book. Here's everything you need to know to design the perfect book cover.
Cover design and illustration are, for the most part, different disciplines. Some of the most amazing illustrators on Reedsy have little experience with typography and formatting, while the vast majority of designers do not profess to be skilled illustrators at all. If you ask your designer for a complex illustration like the ones on Scholastic's original Harry Potter covers , you can reasonably expect your budget to double — which will account for either the extra workload or the cost of commissioning a freelancer.
Hire an illustrator to create a cover image first. This will often result in a lower overall cost and a better outcome. Plenty of fiction and non-fiction books use original photography for the book cover design. Romance novels and memoirs both spring to mind. However, organizing a photo shoot is no small feat. They might have their own studio which you can use, but then you still have to factor in licensing fees, models, as well as hair and makeup.
Even with this lower-end estimate, professional photography can increase your cover costs by three to four times. But depending on your needs — and how guerilla your designer is — this amount could be less.
Especially if it's just something quite generic, like the back of someone's head or a hand holding an object. The majority of books published by the Big Five will use pre-existing, licensed images — whether photographs or illustrations.
Let us know your thoughts and questions about book cover design in the comments below. I used a Reedsy designer for my book cover and I was overwhelmingly satisfied with the results!
I'm on a strict budget because this is my first self-published book. I will be using Reedsy again for collaborations in the future for sure!
That's fantastic, Krystal! A great place for illustrations on a budget is DeviantArt. I have worked with several illustrators to customize artwork for my eBook covers. I've attached an example for an upcoming novelette. The image could've been drawn directly from the story although it wasn't and fit my vision for the cover exactly.
I'd agree with you to a certain extent, Michael. That is a really lovely illustration — and on its own, I think it captures a strong atmosphere.
However, designers would likely argue that the typography and layout would be a lot stronger if handled by a professional. Their particular set of skills to paraphrase Liam Neeson is to create covers that will allow your book to compete alongside similar titles released by large publishers. I understand and agree. I suppose at this stage I'm where Mr. Penny was in some respects. I like the cover and believe it's good, but know it can be better. I think it captures the essence of the story.
How to design a book cover: the ultimate guide
However, I may take your advice as budget allows. This is way less expensive than what's discussed in this article. How did you manage that? Who was your cover designer?
And the cover won the prizes you mention, or the book itself? The cover has won two separate awards, and the book itself won Writing Magazine's Self-Published Book of the Year Award, which took every aspect of the book's production quality of writing, edit, proofread, typesetting, cover, etc. Surrey, UK.
He mainly designs covers for academic books so he likes to go to town with fiction. In most instances, you will still have to license the image. For indie authors that are self-publishing, that's an exorbitant amount that could be better spent elsewhere.
Of course, that's just my opinion. I'm happy with my download, and will be going to the same cover artist for any future work. Good article. Actually, the cover in your first case study that would have most gotten me to click through was the original cover of the second book Breaker of Bones. The new covers I find rather bland, and don't spark my curiosity the same way.
And I like Historical Mysteries. It's tricky isn't it? I agree with you that I find the original Breaker of Bones cover to be the most eye-catching of the four. But, it does scream "thriller" at me and I would not necessarily expect a historical mystery based on the font in particular. The redesigned covers work better I think for the chosen genre, even though I don't find them quite as visually appealing. But for most authors, the book has to stand alone and make an impression among its competitors on a bookshelf.
Via Meella 5. The downside of this is that narrowing down a style can be a challenge. Book covers can feature a photograph, illustration or abstract design. They can feature everything from cartoonish doodles to stark, modern typography. A playful, yet polished, illustrated design for davidheidenstam.
Book Cover Design: Your 7-Step Guide to an Unforgettable Cover
Via Pulp ART. Via Martis Lupus. Also worth noting: think carefully about where you source your images. While lots of books on shelves feature stock images, you do run the risk another book could come out with the nearly same cover.
The same goes for fonts. Pick typefaces that are appropriate to the era in which the book is set. A bold sans-serifs might work beautifully for a book set in space years in the future but fail entirely for a nonfiction book about the Civil War.
Split testing your book cover design
Collect feedback Much-groused about covers for a poetic novel about an empowered woman. Packaged originally in a way that leaned too heavily on the sexiness and ignored the more subtle elements of the book.
Via site. Start with your own judgement and then move to the author. From there, let outsiders sample the cover free of context.
Ask them what their assumptions are about the book. Know what the printer needs The final file for a book project will be one flat file that has all the pertinent graphic and text information for the front and back covers, spine, and flaps if your project has them.
The printer will want this as one wide file that they can print and either cut or fold to fit the final book. Most printers prefer high-quality PDFs but others take. All colors must be CMYK for printing. A clean design that makes good use of foil stamping for christenC. Via Meella. If you request any special printing processes like foil stamping you will likely have to create a second document that acts as a guide for where you want the foil to go.
Some printers will carefully manage how close your text will go to the edges of the spine by giving a specific measurement. Printers will want the cover file to be full bleed, meaning all images or elements extending beyond the trim line and leaving no white margin.
Every printer is different, so while there are industry standards. Even a tiny miscalculation can cause the text to not be printed on the spine and roll onto the front or back cover instead.
Hopefully now you feel confident to tackle your next book design project. Need a cover for your book?
Launch a book cover design contest and get ideas from designers all over the world. How did Martin improve his cover to triple then double his sales?
Step 1. Find Book Cover Ideas Your book cover should send a clear message. In general, nonfiction speaks to the brain while fiction speaks to the heart.
Step 1. Find Book Cover Ideas
Novel book covers do great when they send an emotional message congruent with the story, while nonfiction book covers that are witty and intriguing sell well. Stick to Your Genre Expectations When you browse the site bestsellers in your genre, you should notice patterns in color schemes, fonts, layouts, and images.
If you go against what readers of your genre expect to see, your book will end up in front of the wrong readers and not sell. Although, you may not need a book cover for that particular genre or topic, it can be very helpful to look at the book covers you like and find inspiration. When you find a book cover image you like on site, just right-click and save the image as a file on your desktop. I personally have a file on my desk that is filled with covers I saw when shopping or doing research that I loved for one reason or another.
You can browse boards and pins, then save the ones you like to your profile to refer to later.United States. But the offer comes with certain conditions. My books are historical mysteries, and the covers gave an impression of a thriller instead. He quickly understood how i want cover design, and was great about communicating his thinking and progress in a very timely manner. Received a lot of cool book cover designs to choose one of them at reasonable price.
In order to get the layout right, you need to think about the single message you want your cover design to communicate. Maybe the author is considering writing a sequel or plans on building the title into a series. This back cover design features an author bio and photo.