There is no escaping the fact that great book covers or ebook covers will give a book the best chance of being noticed by potential readers.
The opposite can be said of a terrible ebook cover, as it is a sure-fire way of telling book buyers to stay away.
It doesn’t matter how well-written your book is, having a cheap, unprofessional book cover, similar to the one below that I quickly created for this post, will handicap a book’s sales potential.
There are three ways to create an ebook cover for your book.
1. Pre-made covers
There are thousands of ebook covers already created by graphic designers and they can be found easily by doing a Google Search for Pre-made Book Covers.
These sites offer 1,000s of book covers in all genres, which usually consist of two merged images, so that they are unique, and only require your title and author name to be added.
They range in price from $40 to $120 and for those on a budget, they are an ideal means of obtaining a well designed and high-resolution book ebook cover.
If you wish to use the same cover for a paperback version, there will be an extra charge to create a more complex cover file that will be suitable for Blurb, Lulu or whoever you use to publish your paperback.
Expect to pay between $100 to $150 for this service.
2. Custom made covers
Then there is the option of a fully custom-designed cover.
Most of the graphic artists who offer pre-made covers also offer this service.
Prices vary widely, from $150 and upwards.
If your needs are very specific, or if you wish to have graphics created especially for your cover, the price could rise well past $1,500.
Unless you have money to burn, I would recommend looking at what you can get in the range of $150 to $250.
For this price, expect that three images will be merged to create your unique cover and that you will have the opportunity to discuss your needs with the artist, and have the chance to make two or three modifications during the design process.
3. Do it yourself covers
Unless you have some experience using Photoshop, GIMP or similar graphics programmes, and are willing to open an account to buy high-quality stock images, I would strongly advise against making your own book cover.
Dropping an image into Word that is of low resolution, and putting a title and author name over the top, and then exporting in pdf or jpeg will not create a high-resolution image.
For Mac users, Pages does a slightly better job, but the file has to be exported into pdf and then re-exported into jpeg, which while looking okay on screen, and of a size suitable to Smashwords and Kindle, the resolution is not up to standard.
The other factor to consider if you want to make your own book cover is copyright.
You must have the rights to use an image, so be very careful in this regard, and that you add the cover and image credits required by the rights holder in the credits area of your book.
After taking so much time writing your book, spending just a little money will give your book a far better chance of being sold and read.
Unless you really know what you are doing when it comes to book cover design, spending a few dollars on a professional pre-made or custom-designed book cover will give your book its best chance of success.
Another option is to use an online book cover maker that can help you create the basic style elements that work for ebook covers in particular. A good option is Canva because it offers so many ebook templates.
But wait, there’s more about book covers!
If you are still unsure about how to create your book cover, there is a terrific article from
“Design is hard. But sometimes you need to try your hand at it to figure that out. “
How To Design Your Self-Published Book Cover—Even Though You Really Shouldn’t gives you an in-depth look at DIY book covers and is recommended reading.
I started my working life as a lithographer and spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
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