How to Design Your Book Cover

With countless books vying for readers’ attention, a catchy cover can spell all the difference. So this now poses the question: what makes a book cover successful?

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.

Think of your book cover as a billboard, trying to catch prospects’ attention as they speed by. Billboards often have 6 words at most. You need to get the message within 5 seconds at 60 mph. 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. Each element should 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. The last thing you want is to lose sales because a very trivial issue that you could have well avoided, if only you paid attention.


Try to reduce the size of your cover design to that of an Amazon thumbnail and make sure you can still read it. It should be readable.

Talking about readability, choose a font that’s easy to read even when reduced radically. Also, watch out for lacy script typefaces – they usually disappear 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. Rule of thumb is, don’t use too many, or readers will be distracted. You can also take a look at some color palettes online and decide on a combination that you think will fit your book.


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 publish your own book and design your own cover, using book cover design software can make things a lot more efficient. There’s no need to worry about the technicalities because they will be handled by the system. And with that, you can just focus on letting those creative juice flow.

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