MIBLART | Book Cover Design

Ebook Cover Design: How to Make It Thrive

Some people believe that the content is more important than the design of the ebook cover.  Do you really think that no one pays attention to it?

In fact, ebook cover is your communication with readers. It helps them recognize you among thousands. 

If you want to know how to make this communication pleasant, keep reading.

You’ll get to know about the differences between ebook and print book cover, tips on ebook cover design, its price, and platforms where you can publish it. 

Let’s start.

How print book cover design is different from ebook cover design

Print book cover design and ebook cover design are merely the same. Yet, there are some subtle differences. Digging deeper, the ebook has only the front, while the print cover consists of three elements. They include the front, the back, and the spine and have to share the common design because they are uploaded as a single file, which covers the book’s inward. 

What do you have to keep in mind?

It’s essential to have the same design for print and electronic versions with high quality and resolution. In spite of the variant of the cover (print, ebook, or thumbnail), it should look perfect. The excellent quality of the cover guarantees you an effective promotion of the book in both the digital and print worlds. 

Now, it’s time to highlight the main differences between ebook and print book cover designs. 

No spine and no back

When you choose ebook design, you don’t have to think about typography and signs, which you layout in the spine. Moreover, you may forget about the blurb, information about the publisher, ISBN with a barcode, and price. 

Wondering why?

They are generally placed in the back of the print book cover. So, you may consider these elements next time. Keep working on the design of the front cover or formatting. 

Cover formatting for the requirements of self-publishing platform

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Google Play give a self-publishing writer an opportunity to sell both print books and ebooks. 

As soon as you know the platform where you want to publish your manuscript, it’s a must to check formatting requirements and make them appropriate for the cover and writing. 

Let’s have a look at a file format and a recommended cover size for ebooks on the popular self-publishing platforms

Table on file formatting and publishing platforms

What about the cover for a print book?

There are three options:

  • 6” x 9” is the most popular size. 
  • 5” x 8” or 5.5” x 8.5”, or so-called trade paperback size, is preferable for novelists mainly because a reader can carry around the books of this size. 
  • 8” x 10” is another size used for nonfiction or manuals. 

Additionally, keep in mind the format of your text available for the chosen marketplace: 

  • Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing – MOBI
  • Apple Books – EPUB, PDF
  • Kobo – EPUB, MOBI
  • Barnes and Noble – EPUB
  • Google Play – EPUB, PDF

Following these simple rules, you will cover the marketplace requirements and make the self-publishing process easier.

Should I have a different print and ebook cover?

Ebook and print book cover designs are the two sides of the same coin. If you really want to have different covers for these two versions of the same book, you might design it. No one dissuades you from doing so. But… 

What’s the reason? 

It’s better to create a single design for both versions with a high resolution and then make it fit the required formats – print or electronic. 

Ebook cover design tips 

When designing a cover for ebooks, you should remember about the constituent elements. Their balanced combination influences design and branding. 

Are you ready to find out some helpful tips about the use of fonts, images, and colors? 

All right, here we go!

Title typography tips for ebook cover design 

Typography is essential for a book cover design because it is the first thing, which draws the customer’s attention. So, the main thing is to make sure it’s readable despite the size. Mind the quality of thumbnail and make sure that reduced size of an ebook cover won’t affect the value. Would you pay attention to the blurred title of a thumbnail cover? 

What is more, the choice of fonts impacts the overall impression. Fiction typography differs from nonfiction and helps you communicate with your audience.  If you want to know what are the best fonts for ebook covers in fantasy, romance, crime, and thriller, you may learn it from the article Fiction Book Cover Design: The Definitive Guide

And now, let’s have a look at the fonts MiblArt team uses frequently for ebook cover design:

  • Trajan font has a classical feel and can be used for non-fiction and fiction ebook covers.
  • Aphrodite is a beautiful script font you can use for romance. 
  • Century Gothic is a geometric-like typeface, which fits mystery and thriller book covers.
  • Arboria has grotesque features and may be applied to fantasy typography design. 

The importance of eye-catching title for ebook covers

You may already know the concept of the ebook cover of your dream. But, there are some aspects you need to remember. 

What are they?

Well, let’s move on to the important points. It’s good to know your genre to use relevant emotions. You may emphasize them with colors and special fonts. But, you’re the one who decides on particular words to create an eye-catching title. It may be a single word or a phrase with some provocative or controversial to your design meaning.  

When the title is long, it’s better to single out the keywords that convey the concept of your writing. It boosts curiosity, and readers can notice the title among other thumbnails. 

The apt title hints at the events in the book. Together with the proper images, it boosts readers’ curiosity and urges them to select exactly yours. 

To make your book different from others,  it’s also good to do some search and check out the appealing titles in your genre. You may focus primarily on the cover design with attention-grabbing titles. Try to think about what elements or words support your choice. Are they appropriate for your ebook cover design? Or, just borrow the idea and make something outstanding for your cover.  

Ebook cover imagery tips 

Imagery is another perfect option that draws a reader’s attention to your book. 

Thereby, you have to keep in mind some aspects to have a perfect look for your cover. 

  • Images should be well-recognizable in thumbnails. 
  • It looks better when you use one vivid image instead of a combination of various scenes. 
  • Try to select an object or a character, or combine them, to interest your reader and hint at the plot. 

Apply a color scheme to make an ebook cover distinguishable. Each genre has a palette that expresses certain feelings and appeals to particular emotions. 

  • Dark hues are a perfect choice for crime, fantasy, and thriller. They increase mystery and anticipation. 
  • Light tints fit romance because they create an atmosphere of admiration and affection. 

When we think about nonfiction, all colors are appropriate here. Though if your writing is about productivity, yellow and orange should be used. When it goes about the development of business, you can apply black or navy blue.

Eventually, making a bright accent in the design of your ebook cover will help the audience notice you.

Ebook branding tips

Ebook cover design should not serve merely as a decoration of a single book. You should regard it as a part of your branding strategy. Choose colors and elements that will personalize your writing. It’s especially important when you publish a series.

  • The concept of every book should be the same. Though they may differ in colors and images, the font is the same as on the series of covers presented below. 
Simon Haynes' series
  • It’s significant to accompany ebook covers with the concept of your work. Try to disclose the part of the message you want to be heard. Keep intrigue but become recognizable for your audience. 
Winter King series

Help readers notice your books among other authors, using a distinguishable feature, such as characters, objects, fonts, colors that convey the overall mood of your manuscript.  

List of most popular ebook publishing companies

Well, you probably want to know where you can publish your books. In the market, you can find two types of companies: retailers and aggregators. 

What are the differences between them and how they function?

So, let’s start with retailers. These are the large online bookstores that sell your books directly. It is a perfect option because it gives you as an author an opportunity to upload the book easily and promote it in the market. 

Let’s plunge ahead into the world of book retailers. I’m sure that you’ve heard about most of them. 

  • Amazon KDP

Amazon is the world’s biggest online bookstore, with about 38 percent of daily sales of ebooks, which go to self-published titles. Yet, Amazon offers various services for authors, but Kindle Direct Publishing is the most popular self-publishing platform. The majority of indie authors decide to publish here because of its growing popularity among readers as well as fast and straightforward marketing. 

  • Apple Books

Apple Books, previously known as iBooks, is another popular platform where you can publish your works. 

Fancy to know why you have to choose this retailer?

There are several reasons. Initially, it’s available in 51 countries. Just imagine how many people can reach your book, and their number grows every day. Terrific, isn’t it? Secondly, this retailer is easy to use and provides help in the publishing process. You won’t be charged for publishing, but the retailer will take a portion of royalties. Eventually, Apple Books may be an excellent advantage for Mac users. Though, there’s a downside for those who aren’t. Unless you have no Mac, you have to go through a book aggregator to make your manuscript available on Apple Books. 

  • Kobo

Based in Toronto, Kobo is a global company available worldwide. You know what it means, don’t you? It’s a great retailer that helps you sell your books primarily in the Canadian market as well as in other regions all over the globe because, according to The State of Digital Publishing in Canada, Kobo is a leading retailer used by 98% of publishers. It’s a decent competitor for Amazon KDP and Apple Books with several advantages. You can control your content and set your prices. You may track your sales by country and date in real-time. What is more, it pays out an attractive royalty rate. If you are interested in learning exciting tricks about self-publishing on Kobo, you may find it in Joanna Penn’s blog post or use A Step-by-Step Guide.  

  • Barnes and Noble Press

Barnes and Noble Press is another exclusive eBook retailer. Its site is simple and easy to navigate. It provides a clear set of instructions on how to self-publish and promote your book. You’ll get to know how to pick the right format, prepare and upload the book. You get access to sales reports to control income.

Ebook cover design cost

Finally, prices on ebook cover design vary and depend on several factors. Designer’s experience and competence are crucial in this situation. Also, you have to realize that the illustrated book cover design is more expensive than the customized one when budgeting expenses.  

Understanding these points, let’s have a look at where you can find a book cover designer. 

Fivver or other crowdsourcing platforms

Crowdsourcing platforms, like Fivver or Upwork, allow you to choose among the wide range of designers. A freelancer may be a good option, but there are some drawbacks, too:

+ You cooperate directly with a person you want to hire.

+ After studying the designer’s skills and expertise in the sphere, you can hire him/ her. 

+ They customize the pictures or photos, adding some effects, and select the proper fonts. 

– Freelance designers long to give you the final version instead of analyzing your audience’s needs or the tone you want to express. 

– They create the cover according to some patterns rather than revealing the ideas of your writing. 

Regarding prices, they depend on the designer’s location, deadline, and ebook design. It may start with $5 per cover, but you cannot expect decent quality. If the designer takes this craft seriously, you’ll pay more. 

Average pricing:  $5-150.  

Book cover design company

Book cover design companies specialize in this area, so they pay lots of attention to the creation of your book cover. They understand the current trends and know the peculiar features of the book cover in your genre. These guys will create a unique design and illustration for your ebook. They may also help you format your manuscript and create other stuff for marketing. So, they offer qualified book cover design services that influence the cost.

Average pricing:  $150-500. 

Premade covers

Premade book covers have been previously designed.  

Let’s check out their pros and cons:

+ You can see the final result and decide whether it fits your writing.

+ You don’t have to wait until the designer creates it for you and buy it at once.  

+ You have to add the title, subtitle, and author’s name.  In some cases, you may change colors and fonts.

– A designer basically uses a pattern to create them. 

– A premade ebook cover cannot be resold. However, it’s better to reassure that copyright belongs to you because a similar cover may appear at the marketplace with another author’s name. 

– The cover is not entirely customized and may lack some features to express the mood of your writing. 

– As you haven’t been involved in the process of its creation, it also omits your specific needs.

Average pricing:  $40-80, but the whole range is $15-200.  

Book cover creators

Ultimately, you can try to create the design yourself. It may be free of charge, but it requires special skills and knowledge. There are different platforms, which provide templates for ebooks. 

Here’s the list of the most popular:

  • Canva is a graphic-design tool where you can get advice and instruction on how to create your book cover. The service provides fonts, images, etc.
  • Adobe Spark is another platform to design an ebook cover. It has a wide range of tools and devices for creating an outstanding visual impression. 
  • Visme provides plenty of options to design background and choose suitable fonts. Useful tips make the process easier for users. 

All in all, book cover creators help with design, but the result may not match your former ideas. You should also know how to choose the proper size and format it. The problems with laying out typography and placing images may appear later. As book cover design requires sufficient knowledge, it appears less stressful to hire a professional. 

Summing up

I hope we’ve persuaded you, and now you agree that the ebook cover design really matters. It helps you not only gain new readers but boosts marketing. Using these simple steps, you will get an eye-catching ebook cover design. Enjoy self-publishing!    


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