Forget all about using Microsoft Word to create your ebook covers. The results are always low contrast, flat and dull.
Here is how you can make a book cover that will stand out from the crowd, and you can do it in just a few minutes.
You don’t need any design skills at all to create a fantastic free ebook cover for your new ebook.
Designing it is as easy as choosing a book cover template. Then you just need a few clicks to modify it for your title and author name.
You need a great cover to help you promote your book
Hiring a designer and paying for a professional book cover can be very expensive.
If you are a new author and learning how to self-publish your ebooks, the cost of a professionally designed cover is probably way above your budget.
But there is a very easy way to create a great ebook cover design for your new book. Best of all, it is absolutely free.
All you need to do is register for a free account with Canva. It is a superb online tool for all types of graphic design, including social media headers.
But it also includes a terrific book cover maker.
I have used Canva for a long time as an ebook cover creator and to design cover mockups. I have no book cover design skills at all, but with Canva, I always get a great result.
How to use Canva to make an ebook cover
With your free Canva account, you can design an excellent cover for your Kindle ebooks in just a few minutes.
You don’t need any computer skills because everything is done with either a click or drag and drop.
Look at these screenshots below. They will show you how easy it is to make an ebook cover for your new Kindle ebook.
Once you are registered and ready to go, you can get started.
1. Select your template
On the homepage of Canva, there is a big selection of templates. For your book, you can select book cover or ebook cover templates.
I selected the book cover template, which takes me to the design page.
2. Select your design
On the left of the screen are all the pre-made templates for you to choose from. Scroll down the list to find a design that you would like to use for your book.
3. Edit your cover text
When you click on your selection, it appears in the design screen. All you need to do is change the cover text. Click on each text field to change and edit the words.
You can drag and drop the text boxes to different positions. It’s also easy to change the fonts and colours to suit the style of your book.
4. Download your new ebook cover
When you are happy, it’s time to download your cover.
Canva gives you a list of choices. You can select PNG, JPG or PDF. Download all three if you wish.
All of these formats are fine for an ebook cover. I would choose PNG though because it is always much sharper for text.
That’s it; you’ve finished your first ebook cover.
5. A stunning book cover finished in 5 minutes
Here’s the result of a few minutes work on the book template I chose.
You can see that I have changed the text. I have also moved the main title and changed the font and colour. The sub-title is now at the top instead of above the author name.
I think you would have to agree that it is not a bad book cover at all. Compare it to a lot of ebook covers on Amazon. I think it would stand out very well and attract potential book buyers even when in thumbnail size.
What can I do with the free version?
You can design and download a file of acceptable quality for Kindle ebooks with the free version of Canva.
I would suggest that you use the book cover template because it is bigger at 1410 x 2250px. The ebook template is only 512 x 800px. This is more suitable for book mockups or for your ebook covers on Wattpad.
If you want to, you can design your cover from scratch by using a blank template. You can then set the size to whatever you like. There are stock images available on Canva, or you can upload your own images.
You have a very good selection of free templates, but there are more to choose from with a premium account.
What are the benefits of a Canva Pro account?
The main benefit of Canva Pro for authors is that you can download your book covers in high resolution.
The free version is fine for a quick ebook cover. But for a print on demand paperback version of your book, you will definitely need a much higher resolution pdf file.
Another big plus is that you can set transparent backgrounds. This is extremely useful when you want to overlay images or design other graphics for your book marketing campaign. You can even design animated GIFs.
You also get access to 400,000 free photos, illustrations, and templates. You can access 100’s of premium book templates. So there is a much better chance that your book cover design will be much more unique.
Another big advantage is that you have the facility to resize your designs to suit many different applications.
Are you very particular about the fonts you use for your covers? Don’t worry, you can upload your custom fonts to use in Canva.
For self-publishing authors, books covers are only one aspect of graphic design. You also need Facebook and Twitter headers, unique blog images, website graphics and promotional campaign material.
When you choose a Canva Pro account, you can keep your style and brand totally consistent across all these areas. The other good news is that it is also very affordable, even for authors.
Canva gives you the choice to go Pro for only a couple of months. This is a good option if you are not sure how much you will use the app. It is an affordable option if you only want to create one new cover for your new ebook and paperback.
It is up to you whether you use the free version or upgrade to Canva Pro.
For a lot of authors, especially those just starting out, a free account will let you do everything you need to do. You can design a truly eye-catching ebook cover in no time at all.
As a bonus, you also get access to a lot of other design tools. You can use these for your book promotion, social media and your blog.
For some authors though, the need to produce high-resolution book covers is essential. This is always the case if you are publishing print books.
Whichever level you choose, you will be using one of the best graphic design tools available. I use a lot of free and premium online tools. But Canva is one of the few that I use every day.
Once you get familiar with what Canva can do, I am sure you will do the same.
I started my working life as a lithographer and then 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 the Alps.
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