Ever wondered why there was a need for anyone to advise people not to judge a book by its cover? Well, this must be because people were, indeed, judging books by their covers (like they now judge people by their faces, but that is not the point here). Despite every other motivational speaker starting their speech with this clichéd quote and our social media timelines bringing this signature statement to us every other day, we are all somehow guilty of judging books by their covers.
To be honest, we are not at all at any sort of fault for doing so. There are very solid chances of a book being a good read if its cover looks like it has been designed with a lot of care and hard work. Someone who has worked really hard in writing an excellent book would definitely want the cover to look good since it is something that makes people remember your book and attract their attraction.
My own book store shopping sprees have made me buy books from unknown authors just because those books had attractive covers. Now that I have read most of those books, I am glad for most of those covers being attractive enough to catch my eyes.
If you are a writer, I suggest you start thinking about your book cover early on in the process of editing the book. People like hiring publishing houses to do this task of book cover designing for them. However, no one can ever understand a book better than the writers of the book themselves. This is why it is only the writer who can do the best job when it comes to designing a book cover. A book cover designed by the author always exudes whatever there is in the book in the best possible way.
Are you a writer who has no idea about how to make a good book cover? Don’t worry because you are now at the right place. Given below is almost everything that I know about the options to create book covers on your own and it must be almost everything you need to know about the same.
So, without further ado, let us talk about different aspects of how to make a book cover from scratch:
Steps of Making a Book Cover
Designing a book cover is a lengthy process that comprises several steps. Given below is a detailed account of how to make a book cover step by step:
Designing a book is not something you can ace just by spending one-day designing software. There are a lot of protocols that, if you take care of them, can help you design the best cover, suiting your books and their purpose. Since all these steps and protocols that are to be taken under consideration are inter-related, I deemed it appropriate to put them all under one heading of preliminary steps, since almost all of these boxes have to be checked before you begin with the actual designing process:
- Figure out the key elements of your books: As an author, you must have one or two unique aspects of your book in mind. There must be something extraordinary about your book that you are sure would make your book appreciated and loved. Your first step in thinking of a book cover design should be to figure out that key element in your books that can best represent it. Doing so is a very lengthy process. You might have to consider your plot over and over again and may end up with a list of unique features, themes, and messages that make your book special. It is, then, your job as an author to pick and choose just one or two of the most elaborate features or themes of your book that your cover should be exuding.
- Choose the colors: The colors in a book cover are very important when it comes to attracting people. Before you go on to choose a specific color palette, make sure you introduce yourself a little to color psychology. Doing so, you will be better able to know exactly what shades are relevant to the mood your book sets forward. Choosing the colors that relate to the overall mood of the book attracts more of those readers who are meant to be reading your book. If your book has content on ways of getting successful or combating laziness, then dull and deep colors like grey or brown won’t be as good for your cover as orange or yellow shades.
Pro Tip: If your book is a novel or a fictional account, then try to choose the colors that are more apparent in your descriptions of characters and settings.
- Decide your design elements: Now this could be a time consuming and a very confusing step. Depending upon your personal preferences, you might want your book cover to look fuller or simpler. Some people like opting for covers that have a lot of fuller design on them while others like keeping things minimal (I would always go for a book with a simple and decent cover).
Before you start planning a design in your head, you need to ask yourself what elements need to there on your book cover. Some questions to consider could be:
- How many colors will I use in my cover on average?
- Do I need simple text on my cover or illustrations too?
- What is going to be there on the back side of my cover?
- What size should my book cover be?
- Which fonts should I use? (Do not go for more than 2 fonts throughout the cover)
Asking yourself all these questions would clarify a lot of things for you. If you seriously consider these things, chances are, you would end up with a reasonable cover design in your head.
Now that your planning and preparatory stage is all done, it is time to get on with the actual designing process. Here are the steps to carry out:
- Start making some rough design drafts: Again, you cannot just sit in front of the screen and expect a great book cover to be born out of nowhere. Just because you know how to make a book cover online does not mean you can do it in just one go. Instead, you would need to spend some time using different colors, pencils, and pens as you work on a few rough designs of your book cover. I would suggest you relax a bit at this stage and keeping your expectations very low.
Take all the time you need to roughly sketch out as many book cover designs as you want and then simply pick one that you think would look the best as a cover.
- Start designing the cover digitally: Here comes the last step of designing the book cover that is, indeed, the most crucial and important one. Your patience and all the hard work that you put in this step is going to determine the final outcome of your work. There are several easy to use and efficient online designing tools and software that you can bring into your use in this step (The best ones are discussed below). I would suggest you try out a few such apps and software randomly, pick one that you feel the most comfortable working with, and then design your cover digitally using it.
And that is it! Your book cover is ready. Simply send it to your publisher who will then bring your book in a physical form, ready to be the next bestseller very soon.
Tools To Help You Design Book Covers
As already stated, there are several tools and apps to help your design digital illustrations and posters exactly how you want and, that too, for free. You can bring the same tools in your use when it comes to designing a book cover. All you need is a sense of clarity on how to create a book cover design and you are good to go with any one of these tools.
Canva is everyone’s favorite when it comes to designing anything with a snap of fingers (Not actually a snap when it comes to designing a good book cover, though). The best part about this tool is that even someone who has never designed a single poster online can create awesome designs using this tool very easily.
This tool comes with millions of amazing templates and perfect layouts for you to design a book cover of every size. You can use a wide range of colors and fonts with multiple customization options and several formats to download and save your file in.
As writers, we are all somehow going in a loss in terms of budget and this tool is a blessing in disguise for people like us. Almost all of the features that are needed to create a decent design are available free of cost to use with Canva.
The name says it all. A site made by Derek Murphy, the DIY Book Covers comes with a lot of book cover templates. Users simply have to edit and customize these covers and they can come up with their unique covers very easily. The only bad side of using this app is that several people using it somehow end up with the same design in different colors. This means that using this tool, you cannot get a very unique design but, on a brighter note, you can design the cover in just 20-30 minutes. The website also comes with some great tips and tutorials on how to make book covers easily. All you need is some passion to learn designing and some sense of creativity and you would surely end up with a good cover without spending dollars.
MS Word and Office Tools
Now this one might look a bit unbelievable but you can easily use MS office tools, especially MS Word and some features of PowerPoint, to create amazing book covers free of cost. If you know how to bring the tools and features of Microsoft word to your use, you can very easily create a cover just by using this office product. The best part about using MS word is that you do not even need very fast internet connectivity to create a design. This means you can design a fantastic cover on your way to a boring family trip that your introverted self has failed at sneaking out of. If you have some sense of color grading and know how to play with pictures and fonts, MS word could be your best friend for designing (who knows, you end up being a part-time book covers illustrator too). You can find many tutorials on how to design a book cover using MS word and you are good to go.
Other than these, there are several free or paid tools that can help you design a book cover on your own. I suggest you save your time and just explore these three tools. These are the top tools for designing and at least one of these, if not all, can easily serve your purpose. Exploring these patiently, you will definitely find that one tool that suits you the most and can opt for it for every kind of designing job for the rest of your life.
Can Anyone Else Design A Cover For My Book?
Even after such ease for designing a book cover, you might not find it the best way to go about and want someone else to design your book’s cover. Your first and foremost option should be your publishers in this case. They have professional designers and illustrators hired who can create your book’s cover exactly how you want them. In case this option is not working out for you, you can either hire freelancers from relevant platforms such as Fiverr or UpWork or directly contact graphic designing agencies who can create your book’s cover just by you paying them some amount for their job.