Once you’ve written an ebook you’re proud of, one of your final tasks is to create an eye-catching cover design for it.
Covers are important — we most definitely judge books by them! And the cover images we’re judging are increasingly small. That means our covers must look great at full size and be legible when drastically reduced.
If you’re not a designer, you may feel unqualified to tackle your cover design yourself.
Today’s post is here to help. I put together a handful of standard cover formats you can use as inspiration and a starting point for your next ebook cover design.
Check them out below, and be sure to read the description of each style so you can see if it fits with the kind of ebook you’ve written.
Contemporary and Asymmetrical
Use a large image that fills the page from edge to edge.
Choose an area in the upper right quadrant to add your title.
Overlay it with a shape that’s colored grey, and make it translucent so the image shows through.
Add your title, tagline (if using) and author name. Use light colors for best contrast.
Align your type flush right.
Classic and Symmetrical
Find a subtle textured background that fills the page from edge to edge.
Draw a solid-colored rectangle above it.
Add a white bordered rectangle inside the first one.
Pick a serif font and write some of your words in all capital letters.
Center your title and tagline on your background, and consider using a dingbat font between information.
Color Bar Fun
Find an image that fits in a square shape, or is almost square-shaped.
Add a colored rectangle below it. Use a color that is found in the image.
Find a font with some personality, and center it below the image.
Use the font in a color that contrasts with the colored rectangle.
This can look either formal or informal depending on your image and font choices.
Find an image that’s on a white ground. You can find these on stock photo sites by typing in the object you’re looking for and “white background.”
Or, find an image of a frame on a white ground, and place another image inside it.
Choose a classic serif font, and use it in one bold color.
This is a formal but contemporary style that will stand out because of its simplicity.
Choose a bold, dramatic background color, and use it from edge to edge.
Find a simple, clean font, and use it in all capital letters, varying the weights between regular and bold.
Look at your background color and pick a color from the opposite side of the color wheel for your title font.
Find an illustration that reinforces your title, and use it in white either above or below your title.
From here on out, make it a point to look at paper and ebook covers as you browse for books to buy. Analyze them, take them apart, and try to pinpoint what makes them work.