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How to Design Your Book Cover

When readers have countless books for their choosing, a striking cover can make the biggest difference. So now, the all-important question is, what makes an effective book cover?

If you’ve decided to self-publish your book, here are pointers to help you in the cover design process:


Give the cover a primary focus – this is the most crucial. Your book has a subject, and the cover should to reflect that one idea loud and clear. Don’t make the mistake of crowding your cover with too many things.

Picture your book cover like a billboard, trying to capture people’s attention while they speed by. The maximum word count on successful billboards is 6. You have to grasp the message in 3-5 seconds at 60 miles per hour. That applies to your book cover. Just one glance from your prospects and they should know your book’s genre, focus, and tone.


Anything you include in your design should help you communicate with the reader. Make every element count.


Don’t use a white background as this will disappear on on retailers’ white screens. Instead, create one with a different color or at least a texture, or an illustration. You wouldn’t want to lose sales because of something as trivial yet completely avoidable as this.


Try reducing your cover design to the size of an Amazon thumbnail and check if you can read it. It should be readable.

Talking about readability, make your font easy to read even when radically reduced. Also, stay away from those thin and lacy script typefaces – they usually become invisible when small.


Use an image that gives a feel of your book and instead of being too literal. For instance, it may convey the mood or the historical period of the events.


This may be tricky as your choice of colors will clearly depend on the general theme or tone of your book. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t use too many so you don’t distract readers from your cover’s main message. Also check out some color palettes online and choose a selection of colors that you think will work well together.


The idea is not to copy what they’ve done, but just to observe their techniques and mimic them with your own cover. This is a very effective way of encouraging your mind to think and come up with its own concepts and ideas.

Book Cover Design Software

If you’re going to create your own cover, you can using book cover design software and be more efficient with it. You won’t have to worry about the technicalities because the software will take care of that for you. And because of that, you can focus on your creativity and end up with a more effective and memorable book cover.

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