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. People do judge a book by its cover.
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 four ways to create a great ebook cover for your book.
1. Pre-made ebook 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. They only require your title and author name to be added. It is why they are available at an affordable price.
They range in price from $40 to $120, and for an indie author on a budget, they are an ideal means of obtaining a well designed and high-resolution ebook cover.
If you want to use the same cover for a paperback or print book 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 book covers
Then there is the option of a fully custom-designed ebook and print cover.
Most of the graphic artists who offer pre-made covers also offer this professionally designed book covers.
Prices vary widely but start from $150.00 and upwards for a unique original cover.
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 ebook cover design 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 ebook covers
Unless you have some experience using Photoshop, GIMP, or similar graphics programs, and are willing to open an account to buy high-quality stock images, I would strongly advise against making your own book cover.
Here is the result of my quick and dirty attempt at designing a great cover. As you can see, it is not great at all. It’s awful.
But you see many ebook covers similar to this one on the Kindle store. It is not likely to attract any interest from potential readers and book buyers.
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 a jpeg file.
It might look okay on a screen, and of a size suitable to Smashwords and Kindle. But 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 on a book designer 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.
4. Use an online cover creator
Another option is to use an online free ebook 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. With a free account, you get access to a lot of ebook and book cover templates that can get you started on designing your book cover.
You can also create book promotion images for social media.
More reading about the best ebook covers
If you are still unsure about how to create your ebook 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. It gives you an in-depth look at DIY book covers and is recommended reading.