AI-generated Book Covers: Is Midjourney the Future of Book Cover Design?

AI-generated Book Covers: Is Midjourney the Future of Book Cover Design?

Since Midjourney became available to everyone, one might think that this software would replace graphic designers, including book cover artists. But is it really so? On the one hand, the truth is that AI-generated art is impressive and it literally flooded the Internet today. On the other hand, such images have some essential weak points for their use in book cover design.

What are the pros and cons of this platform for self-published authors? Is Midjourney the future of book cover design? Can writers create eye-catching book covers without designers’ help? Are AI-generated images copyrighted as other digital art is? Get answers to these questions below.

What are the possibilities of AI in graphic design?

One might think that artificial intelligence creates art by combining different pieces of images. In particular, that’s how stock photo manipulation works. When designers create a character for a book cover, they can combine elements of the various pictures to suit the story plot and idea. However, this is not how AI works.

Artificial intelligence creates unique images. It analyzes all the online content available worldwide to learn how to replicate pictures. And the software does it super fast. For example, in 2015, AI could hardly create a tiny pixel image:


And here’s how AI-generated art looks in our days: Could you ever tell without a hint that a computer created this image, but not an artist?

Example of Midjourney art 

More than that, this year, Jason M. Allen presented his work, “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial,” created via Midjourney, and won at the Colorado State Fair’s annual art competition. This event caused various reactions: Someone was surprised and impressed by technological achievements, and others were outraged.

Théâtre D’opéra Spatial by Jason M. Allen

Today, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between the works of artificial intelligence and real artists. The Studio team even did an experiment: They arranged a competition between their graphic designer Tim and artificial intelligence. Both participants received the same prompts to create three pieces of art. Tim had limitless time for creating these works, and AI had only a few seconds. You can see the results in the video below. A spoiler: All images impressed the audience a lot. Thus, what are the possibilities of AI in graphic design? The possibilities are endless. 

YouTube video


In this blog post, we will speak primarily about Midjourney. Unlikely similar software, DALL-E 2 and Stable Diffusion, this platform is available for everyone, whether you are a professional artist, designer, or want to have fun. Let’s take a closer look at it.

Is Midjourney the future of book cover design?

Yes, obviously, Midjourney is the future of book cover art since it’s a part of graphic design. However, this software won’t replace book cover art, leaving designers without jobs. Most likely, artificial intelligence will become a helpful tool for book cover creation.

Even the Midjourney founders see their software as an engine for the imagination, not as a substitute for the artists and designers. Modern technologies can be more innovative and faster than humans, but people won’t stop working and creating things. After all, artificial intelligence was invented by a person too. David Holz shared the same thought:

“What does it mean when computers are better at visual imagination than 99 percent of humans? That doesn’t mean we will stop imagining. Cars are faster than humans, but that doesn’t mean we have stopped walking. When we’re moving huge amounts of stuff over huge distances, we need engines, whether airplanes, boats, or cars.”

Today you can already find guides on creating a book cover on your own using AI. However, generating beautiful digital art you see online isn’t as easy as it seems at first glance. In practice, Midjourney often creates images far from what you want. So you need to get some experience before becoming an AI pro artist. The main tip here is: More detailed prompts give more stunning results.

Example of midjourney book cover design Example of midjourney book cover design

Book cover examples created with Midjourney

How does book cover design benefit from Midjourney?

We figured out that Midjourney won’t deprive designers of work, but it will definitely improve the process of creating book covers. It’s time to discover all the advantages.

Increase the speed of work

Artificial intelligence needs only a few seconds to create a picture based on a specific prompt. So if you need an image of the fictional world for a book cover background, there’s no need to draw it from scratch.

Example of Midjourney art

Lower price

First, authors can spend less money on book covers because they can design them themselves. Writers only need to pay for a subscription to Midjourney to be able to create and upgrade images endlessly. Secondly, everyone understands that AI-generated images are more accessible and easily made. So if designers use them as foundations for book covers, they should warn clients about it and offer discounts.


You can try yourself in book cover design even if you lack drawing skills. Midjourney is available for everyone: All you need is to sign up. After it, you receive 25 free queries to create digital art. If you enjoy the software, you must pay for it for further usage. The basic membership costs only $10/month.

An endless source of inspiration

Midjourney is an excellent and limitless source of inspiration. If you don’t know where to start while designing a book cover, you can enter a short book plot in the Midjourney bot and get many impressive ideas. You can also create sketches for future works.

Diversity of images

Book cover designers can quickly create any necessary images from scratch instead of compounding them in Photoshop. Saying ‘any,’ we literally mean any, from fantastic landscapes to jellyfish people.

Example of Midjourney art

Different styles of painting

Midjourney allows you to create unique images in the style of works of various artists. You need to add the desired painter’s name to the primary prompt. For example, this is what a Japanese town in the style of Van Gogh could look like:

Example of image for midjourney book cover design

Example of Midjourney art

No need to draw a book cover from scratch

The most experienced users create images with many details at once in Midjourney. This way, you can create a complete cover from scratch without having to add anything in Photoshop. You may only need to sharpen some details.

Primary genre analysis

Each literary genre has its characteristics and standards in book design. And Midjourney has general ideas about them. It means if you add, for example, the word ‘thriller’ to your prompt, AI will create an image with that mood.

It works excellent for fantasy

Fantasy book covers usually require much effort, as designers often have to create images of fictional worlds. It also takes a lot of time. However, Midjourney has repeatedly proven that it can generate an incredible fictional world in seconds.

Example of image for midjourney book cover design

Example of Midjourney art

What are the weak points of Midjourney in book cover design?

However, not everything is so rosy. Despite the many advantages, creating book covers using Midjourney can be problematic. Why?

You need to add typography

No matter how hard you try, you can’t do with one good picture. Eye-catching typography is an integral part of a successful book cover design. Fonts, their size, and placement must be proper. Otherwise, the book will look unprofessional. You’ll still have to hire a designer if you don’t have the appropriate skills. 

It’s hard to create precisely what you want

Creating the spectacular digital images we see on the Internet is challenging. After all, artificial intelligence takes everything too literally or does not understand the grammar of speech. Therefore, we get images different from those in our heads.

Most images need detailing and improvement

If you look closely at AI-generated images, you can see that they lack clarity, the character’s eyes may differ in shape, and other inaccuracies. You need to edit all these things additionally in Photoshop. Do you have enough skills for this?

Example of Midjourney art

Copyright is still unclear

Since people only started using Midjourney actively this year, the copyright issue remains controversial. We’ll talk more about this aspect in a second.

But what’s wrong with copyright?

Digital art has existed since the 1980s and is protected by law. Actually, your digital works are automatically copyrighted. However, it concerns only art you created independently from scratch, using your skills and experience.

What about AI-generated images? People started massively generating such content indiscriminately. And today, there are simply no precedents when protecting the copyright for such pictures was necessary. Legislators have not yet reviewed copyright and made the changes needed to laws concerned with digital art produced by Midjourney and similar software. So while the latest version of Midjourney grants users copyright, you won’t be able to protect your work.

Then, be ready that everyone can use your art created via Midjourney. First, if you’re using the free version, you create images in public channels where all users see the process. Everyone can change your picture to their taste and take it for their purposes. Second, even if you have a paid subscription and have created an image in a private channel, someone can use your art after seeing it elsewhere, even as your book cover. 

As we mentioned above, artificial intelligence can create images in the style of famous artists. Those alive today, in turn, may be against such copying. However, Midjourney’s founders said that if a precedent arises, the company is open to finding solutions. 

One more thing here is that photo stocks are overflooded with AI-generated images. You don’t know what picture was created by an artist and what content the software produced. That’s why we should be attentive to it. Sometimes it can be risky to create a book cover on your own if you don’t want someone takes your art. However, using stock images, designers edit and combine them with other pictures depending on the needs. So, in this way, they also create new images that are copyrighted.


Do you feel like finishing reading this article as soon as possible and start creating art via Midjourney? We strongly believe you and want to take one more minute.

Summing up, Midjourney opens many possibilities in book cover design:

  • It increases the speed of work.
  • It makes book cover art available for everyone, even without drawing skills.
  • Midjourney is an endless source of inspiration for ideas for book cover design.
  • You can create necessary images from scratch in a few seconds.
  • It generates pictures in the style of famous artists.
  • Midjorney works excellent for the fantasy genre.

However, creating a book cover via Midjourney, you still have to choose the proper typography and improve elements in Photoshop. Also, the copyright has many controversial points we need to clarify.

Have you already used Midjourney for your book cover design? Share your experience with us in the comments.

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1 year ago

I’ve just recently been playing around with Midjourney and creating covers for a cozy mystery series. I have a near zero budget for book covers and my current covers are ones I made from stock photos in Canva. I’m no designer so you can imagine how they look…

Quite frankly, my novice Midjourney creations are absolutely world-expanding for me. I can finally have a cover that fits my genre and is eye-catching. If the choice is between a bad cover I can copyright and a really good cover I can’t, then I’ll have to choose the good one.