Book Cover Design 101

How to Design Your Own Book Cover

book cover design

Book cover design for self publishing is really not that complicated. You can use my free Adobe Photoshop template to design your own book cover quickly and easily or you can hire someone to do it for you. Some companies, like Createspace, even have an online book design software you can use for free.

Book Cover Design Step #1:

Write Your Headline and Description

Even though designing a book cover is simple, you should really put some thought into it. Your book cover design will make the first impression to your potential readers.

It could scream, "Amateur!!" or it could invite them to find out more. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average person shopping in a bookstore spends 4 seconds looking at the cover and 14 seconds reading the back cover.

Therefore, you need to design your cover to draw people in and write the headline and the description to sell.

If you are like me, you might be asking, "How do I do that?" Good question!

I will admit copywriting is not one of my strengths. That's why I love Ken Envoy's book, "Make Your Words Sell." He makes writing sales copy simple to understand and apply - without feeling forced to be too "salesy." He keeps it real.

Oh, did I mention he now gives his book away FREE? Yep!

No more excuses for poorly written headlines and book descriptions! Before you know it, you'll be writing a headline and description for your book that draws people in like a magnet.

Click Here to Download and start reading "Make Your Words Sell"

After finishing the book, force yourself to sit down and brainstorm titles, as well as write out your book description. I'd recommend setting aside at least 2-3 hours - uninterrupted - to complete this step.

Book Cover Design Step #2:

What to Include When Designing a Book Cover

Front Cover:

Think of your front cover like the billboard advertising your book. It must be done well to draw people to take a second look at your book. Include the following:

  1. Title
  2. Subtitle
  3. Author's name
  4. Related picture or drawing**

**Important: Make sure you buy pictures that give you the rights to use them commercially. Read the fine print. You can check out for stock photos or search "stock photos" on Google.


Beware of too much clutter on the spine. Keep it simple with an eye-catching headline and the author's name.

  1. Title
  2. Author's name

Back Cover:

The back cover is the most complex, but also very important (second to the title). Remember, people spend almost 80% of their time reading the back cover when shopping for books.

  1. Title
  2. Description
  3. Benefits and Highlights (bullet points are recommended)
  4. Endorsements for your book (up to three quotes)
  5. Author's biography
  6. Author's picture
  7. Barcode/ISBN

Here is a sample back book cover layout:

designing a book cover

Book Cover Design Step #3:

Choose One of the Methods Below to Create a Book Cover:

You can design your own book cover using...

  • Your publisher's book cover software (free, but has less options and only provided by certain publishing companies)

  • A book cover template (must have Photoshop software, also takes time and skill)

  • Book cover software (must purchase software and has a learning curve)

  • Or hire a professional (most expensive and must find a designer you like)

If you want to hire a designer, but don't know who to trust - consider crowdsourcing sites like 99 Designs and Crowdspring. Simply name your price, post your project and then watch as graphic designers bid on your job. The best part? Love your book cover design or get your money back!

Here's a brief description of how crowdsourcing like 99 Designs and Crowdspring works...

Post your book cover design project for free here.

Finally, if you are only publishing an ebook, I recommend Killer Covers, where you can get a quality cover designed for only $117.

Well, I wish you the best on your book project. Please don't get stuck at this point. If you need to, spend the extra money to have someone else do it for you. That way you can get your book published! Believe me, you won't regret it.

Self publish your book with no upfront costs!

Share This Page Using The Icons Below

Training Authors Newsletter

Sign up to receive:

  • Free PDF report

    "200+ Free Book Marketing and Author Tools"

  • Free Book Templates

Click the button below for instant access.
Download Now

Feedback from Readers

"I Wish I'd Found Your Site a Year or Two Ago"

"Incredible Source of Information"

"Amazed at the Number of Tools for Writers"

Download this eBook for FREE (no opt-in)

Hidden Hazards of Reviews

Recommended Books