If you have been thinking of how to make a custom book cover, you have come to the right place. 

Your book cover is the first part of your book potential readers will encounter before the main content. Your book cover attracts readers and can influence their decision on whether to pick up your book to read or not. 

So, your book’s cover is a crucial part of your book and can make or break it. That is why companies like eBook Cover Design have assembled the best team to help authors create cover designs that turn heads.   

In this post, we shall discuss tips for creating custom book covers. Read on!

How To Make A Custom Book Cover: Tips That Should Guide You

Book covers are powerful elements of a book. The genre, language, or target market doesn’t matter. Your book cover will decide if potential readers will be encouraged to pick up your book among the thousands of other books. So, get the best book cover for your book. Don’t compromise on quality. 

Follow the tips below to get your book cover design right. 

1: Put yourself in your readers’ shoes:

When designing a book cover, ask yourself this question: can your readers tell the genre your book belongs to by merely looking at the book cover? If yes, you’re on the right track. 

Book covers aren’t just replicas of a specific character or scene from a book. They convey emotion or mood and give potential readers the “come-pick-me-up” gesture.  

The bottom line is that when you put yourself in your readers’ shoes, you can start judging your book cover designs without bias. You’ll rate your book cover through the lens of your audience and pick the best design for your books. 

2: Find book cover inspiration:

Do you want your book cover to be the best among the rest? If yes, get inspiration from book covers in your genre. This step is essential whether you plan to design your book cover yourself or hire a designer for the job. 

It will interest you that most book cover designers even ask authors for sample designs to help them understand the desired outcome. Occasionally, some designers ask for links to the book cover design inspiration. 

Let’s clarify one thing: no one is asking you to copy book design from your competitors. Your book is unique, so should your book cover be. So, create a custom book cover to set your uniquely crafted book apart. 

How do you get book cover inspiration? You can check out books in your genre on platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple Books, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and others.

What should you focus on in the books you’re trying to get inspiration from?

There are many things to consider. You can focus on the title. Check out the type of fonts used. Is it Arial that most of the bestsellers in your genre are using? Note it down!

Another thing is the object on the book cover. You can add a person’s image or objects or play around with colors. But whatever you do, make the best choice. 

A Handy Tip: You can find great book cover ideas on Pinterest. Check boards and pins of book covers. Identify covers that match your genre. 

When you find book cover designs you like, save them. Save as many designs as possible so you can have a mix of great ideas to make your book cover unique. 

 3: Determine book cover dimension:

The cover dimension is an important feature to consider when creating a custom book cover. Choose a size that meets your market requirements. 

Each market has unique requirements regarding book cover dimensions (width and height), so make the right choice for your target market to accept your book. 

Here is a quick breakdown of the book cover requirements for the different target markets. 

Book Cover Size Requirements Recommended Book Cover Size
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing 1000 x 625 pixels and 10,000 x 10,000 pixels. You must ensure one side is 1000 pixels.  Recommended is 2,560 x 1600 pixels – 1:6:1 
Kobo Minimum of 1400 pixels wide 1600 x 2400 pixels
Apple Books Minimum of 1400 pixels wide 1400 x 1873, or 1600 x 2400 pixels
Smashwords Minimum of 1400 pixels 1600 x 2400
Barnes and Noble Min. of 750 pixels (height & width) 1400 pixels (rectangle height and width)

A Handy Tip: Deciding the file format for your book cover is another essential part of book cover design. As dimension varies from one market to the other, so does the cover format. 

For example, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing supports JPEG or TIFF, while Kobo supports JPG or PNG. 

Apple Books also supports JPG and PNG, while Smashwords does the same. They support JPG and PNG like Apple Books. 

4: Choose a killer book cover image and color:

Your book cover is the first thing potential readers will see before even picking up your book. It is what attracts people and determines if they will pick up your new book or leave it on the shelf. 

Every writer wants people to read their book. But then, after dedicating hours of research, brainstorming, writing, and editing, you need a well-designed custom book cover that will make your book attractive to potential readers. 

What type of image should you choose for your new book?

The advice is to pick a book cover image that appeals to the emotions of potential readers. You can use a simple yet captivating image.

For instance, blood on a trail with a gun on one side can signify murder. Just choose an image that makes a statement.

Some websites offer free images. However, paying a few bucks for premium photos will be a good idea. 

Another thing you should consider is the mood and how much white space your image has. Are there enough whitespaces to include a few texts? Darker images fit perfectly for genres such as fiction, thriller, mystery, fantasy, and horror

The image can be lighter for genres such as non-fiction, Christian, and romance. But you can use darker images if your book is about a dark fantasy or a romance that ended tragically. Why? The darker image will convey a tone of danger and capture the attention of people interested in such a book. 

A Handy Tip: The whitespaces in the image make it possible to include text. You don’t want potential readers to focus only on your photo. Your title needs to grab attention too. 

Furthermore, your choice of color for the rest of the book cover and texts matters greatly. Your text (title) must stand out and capture readers’ attention. 

The color of your text should complement your image. If the image color is dark, let the text color be bright. You need your title to pop and look distinct from the background color yet complementary.

Note also that book cover designs can have two types of images. These include photographs and illustrations.

Graphic designers create illustrations using advanced software. For photographs, you can access free and paid images online. 

 Here are platforms to offer free images for book covers. 

  • Pixabay
  • Pexels
  • Unsplash
  • Free Images
  • Flickr
  • Wikimedia Commons

 5: Simple is better: 

Make your book cover design simple yet appealing. You don’t need a complex cover design to make a statement. 

Clarity is crucial in book cover design. Ensure your book cover has enough typefaces, color combinations, images, and other design elements.    

 6: Carefully choose your typography:

Your choice of typography for the book cover is essential. It can make or break your book cover. So, think carefully before deciding what font to use. 

How many fonts should a book cover have? The maximum number of fonts on your book cover should be two. 

In other words, you can combine two different fonts. But ensure they are fonts that complement each other. 

For instance, you can combine display and san serif. Both fonts complement each other. Other options include script and san serif. Just choose a font combination you’re comfortable with. 

7: Outsource your book cover design:

Designing a book cover can be time-consuming and requires a sound knowledge of graphic design. As a book writer, you may not have the design knowledge or the luxury of time. 

You can outsource your book cover design to a proven cover designer. However, ensure you trust the company before outsourcing. You can even request samples and ask relevant questions to gauge the design company’s book cover design knowledge. 


So these are the tips on how to make a custom book cover. You can use them as a guide to create a befitting cover design for your new book. 

The quality of your book cover can influence your book’s performance in the market. A good book cover will trigger emotion and make your book appealing to potential readers. So, make the right choice today. Choose a book cover design that will make your new book successful.  

EC Design Team

EC Design Team