How to Create a Book Cover

After my searches of Book Covers that look the same… I have decided that I will probably create my own book cover. (That is, if I can’t get published the traditional way and decide to self publish)
That being said, I have put together a list of HOW to create a GREAT book cover!
1.       The VERY FIRST thing you must do is know your market. Go to a bookstore and look at all the books that are on display. Go to Goodreads and browse books in the genre your book is. Look at what is popular and what the covers look like.
a.       This is important because it gives you a starting point, an idea of HOW books look NOW.

2.       Figure out what your book is about. Who is the main character? Does he/she have any specific characteristics you might want portrayed on the cover? Is he/she somewhere unique or specific? What about the bad guy? Is there a specific item that is important in the story? Figure out the MAIN issue in your book and figure out how you can make that a picture.
a.       This is important because you want your cover to say something about your book. You want the cover to SHOW something about YOUR book, why THIS book is special.
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)

3.       Once you have decided what you want on your book (Main Character, Place, certain object that has a lot of meaning, etc) you have to get a picture of it. If you are a skilled artist, you could paint or draw something, but if not, you need to get a photo. **You cannot just use any picture you want! If you see a picture you like on Tumblr or Google or ANYWHERE that you want to use, you must FIRST contact the photographer to see if they can SELL you the rights to use the photo.

You CAN take your own photo. If you have a friend/relative youthink looks like a character, you can use that. If you have any of the items that you might want in the cover, take a picture of it.
a.       This is important because you can get sued for using a photo that is not yours.

Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1)Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)Matched (Matched, #1)

4.       Once you have the photo, you need to edit it. (Unless it is a photo that you have bought the right to use, usually the photographer will not want you to change it) You can use photoshop or any other photo editing program. Make it different, unique. Make it stand out.
a.       This is the part where you make the random reader see your book and WANT it based solely on the cover. Before they even know what your book is about. The cover must be appealing!

Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon, #1)Everneath (Everneath, #1)Angelfire (Angelfire, #1)

5.       Next you have to think about Font Size and Color! This is SUPER important!! You don’t want a regular font (Arial, Verdana, etc) but you don’t want it SO fancy that no one can read it. You need it to stand out and hold its own against the beautiful picture you just mastered.

Also- you MUST remember COLOR. Do not make your cover black, and then choose a DARK font color, or make it WHITE and choose a LIGHT font color. Choose contrasting colors and experiment!
a.       This is important because just as much as your want the picture to amaze your audience, you want them to be able to see the Title from far away and at a glance!
Banished (Banished, #1)The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1)Vanish (Firelight, #2)

6.       Now… if you are offering your book in ANY format other than ebook, you need to also design the spine and back.
7. And lastly, you need to publish your book... but thats a WHOLE different story, and Ill have a post in the near future with advice and tips on THAT!

All that being said, MANY self publishing sites have Book Cover templates, which can be VERY helpful. SO, if you are self publishing, it is important to have something that can work with the self publishing site you are using!!
AND- if all this is too difficult or if you don’t have ANY creative bone in your body, there are several book cover designers out there who can create a custom book cover for you for a small fee… Just make sure they don’t use the same model as another Author, because then you will end up on my list of Copycat Book covers!!

Hope you enjoyed this!
And if you have ANY other tips/advice on creating book covers, just make a comment below.

If you are considering Self-Publishing, you should check out these two sites, Here and Here. There are SO many great tips that you should know before starting!!


  1. I had a teacher a few years back who got a book published; when he was discussing covers, he said that he had several ideas for use...and the company rejected all his ideas for their own. So if it comes down to me getting published and grilled for design choices, I'm not expecting a lot of leeway.

    That aside, in a perfect world my cover might look something like this:

    It's simple, but it's stylish and a pretty potent design IMO. Hard to say how people would react to it, but I like it a lot. It'd certainly be enough to grab someone's attention...but I suppose I should be aware of what other covers look like/are doing.

    1. Wow! Thats so awesome!!!
      And it says a lot about your book!

      I think it would be great!

      BUT- I realize that if I ACTUALLY do get published SOMEDAY, I know I dont have any say in the Cover.

  2. I had read somewhere, wish I knew where now, that you should watch your colors. You have to be able to keep them down to a certain amount or it wont print correctly. Another good idea is to grey scale the image. I have seen a few that look awesome in color, but then when they pop up in my kindle they look awful in the grey scale. Its something good to think about.

    1. Thats a good idea. I hadnt thought about it before.
      when I read books on my kindle, usually when I open it, It just goes straight to The first page (of the first chapter or prologue) rarely does it open to the Cover page.


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