eBook Cover Design Ideas: Tips & Examples

by Abie Davis
Updated: November 14, 2021

So, you’ve written the next best-selling eBook.

Your new masterpiece is practically ready to go out to the wide world.

Yet, you find that you’re stumped when it comes to the perfect eBook cover design.

How do you even design an eBook cover?

If this sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve got years of experience in creating eBooks. Yes, at Contentellect we've published loads of eBooks.

So, we know a thing or two about designing an impressive eBook cover.

In this article we share our sure-fire secrets for designing an eye-catching eBook cover that converts and sells.

How To Design An eBook Cover

Let's get one thing straight, people will judge your eBook by its cover.

We know, the old saying: Don't judge a book by its cover. 

However, that’s exactly what people will do when it comes to your eBook.

create an ebook cover

Since eBooks don’t have a spine or back, the cover page will have to do all of the heavy lifting.

Think of your cover as your sales rep on the floor. If it isn’t doing it’s job, it won’t sell.

In other words, no matter how unique and punchy your content, if your cover doesn’t intrigue potential readers, your eBook will fail.

Luckily, our great tips and ideas for eBook covers can help you avoid this pitfall.

Pre-design eBook Checklist

The art of choosing the perfect eBook cover is actually far more straightforward than most wordsmiths think.

Yes, even if you aren’t a graphic designer or fancy illustrator, you too can create a great-looking eBook cover.

However, before you start jumping into eBook cover design software like Canva, or Photoshop, here’s a handy list questions to check before you create your awesome cover.

What genre is your eBook?

It’s essential to define your eBook’s genre.

A saucy romance novel will have a vastly different cover design from a self-help guide.

So too, will an SEO-focused guide differ from an eBook that introduces the latest container gardening tips.

Look at how other eBook covers in your genre are designed.

  • What will make your eBook stand out from the crowd? 
  • What common design trends do they all use?
ebook cover design examples

What’s the key message in your eBook?

If you’ve read our guide on how to write an eBook, you’ll be perfectly familiar with the key message.

This is the all-crucial, final takeaway, the call to action that you want to leave your readers with.

You should incorporate this final message in the cover design. It hints at a solution found, a happier state, or even knowledge gained.

By teasing and tantalizing your audience, your eBook cover will invite the reader to discover more.

What else should I include on the cover?

If you’re designing an eBook cover for a company with existing branding, it’s important to stick close to their design guidelines.

The design guideline or corporate identity are things like corporate colors, fonts, and even styles that will significantly influence your design decisions.

A cover should be a simple, minimalistic design that contains only three essential elements.

  • Title
  • Author’s name
  • Fantastic artwork

How will you publish your eBook?

Sadly, not all eBook publishers use the same design specifications.

It’s well worth your time to figure out where and how you will publish your masterpiece before spending hours on the cover design.

To make your life a little bit easier, we’ve gathered the most common dimensions for eBooks here.

If you follow these guidelines, your eBook cover will look great.

  • eBook cover dimensions for Amazon: Amazon recommends that your cover should be 2560px x 1600px, with a standard ratio of 1:1.6. See Amazon's guidelines.
  • eBook cover dimensions for Kobo: Kobo, on the other hand, prefers their eBook covers to be designed as 1448px x 1072px.
  • eBook cover dimensions for Wattpad: Another popular platform, Wattpad, uses cover designs that are 512px x 800px.

Designing your eBook cover in 3 easy steps

Once you’ve completed the pre-design checklist, it’s finally time to get to the fun part.

Yes, we’ll be showing you how to design your eBook cover in three easy steps.

Step one: Evoke emotion

Emotion is a powerful driving force.

The best way to evoke emotion is to think about your audience.

  • What state are they in before they read your eBook?
  • What state would you like them to be in after they’ve read your eBook?

Use eye-catching images and colors to help conjure up those emotions.

Blue, for instance, is known as a professional, corporate color. While yellow, on the other hand, is light and friendly. Surely you remember that red signifies fast-paced and emotionally-charged or dangerous activities?

ebook cover design colours

Color isn’t the only way that you can create emotion within your readers.

Even the font, or typeface, that you’ll be using needs to tune in to those emotions. Avoid using overly decorative or complicated fonts.

Browse Google font types here.

Use big and bold letters to emphasize certain words in the title. Doing this makes it easier to read the title while in a hurry.

Our best advice, though, is found in the next step.

Step two: Keep it simple

Don’t go overboard with details.

The best eBook covers have only three critical aspects to them.

All you need is a title, the author’s name, and the evocative cover art.

In terms of the last aspect, here's where you can source copyright free cover art: 

Design platforms like Canva also have lots of royalty-free imagery.

Keeping things simple ensures that your audience can quickly see what your eBook is about.

If it’s going to take them more than 5 seconds to figure out what your eBook is about, they’ll just skip it. You don’t want that.

ebook cover design call to action

Step three: Test your cover on different devices

What does your eBook cover look like when you shrink it down? Can you still read the title and see that fantastic artwork on a mobile phone? What if you blow it up on a tablet? Does it still look good?

This final testing phase will ensure that your eBook is ready for the wide world and all devices.

eBook Cover Design Software (Free Options)

Despite popular belief, you don’t need expensive or complicated eBook software to design the perfect eBook cover.

Here are our two favorite software for creating eBook covers.

Canva

canva ebook cover design

Even if you aren’t a tech guru, you can still design some pretty exceptional covers using Canva’s drag-and-drop interface.

We especially love the Canva platform because it has thousands of royalty-free stock images and templates.

Canva’s eBook templates are pretty handy for the busy marketing executive or always-on-the-rush entrepreneur.

Simply choose the template you like, combine it with the perfect image, and type in those details.

Canva doesn’t require that you download huge installation files. There’s an easy-to-use cloud version that you and your team can access from anywhere in the world.

Adazing

adazing ebook cover free

Another one of our favorite eBook cover design software solutions comes from Adazing.

Their handy software tool is jam-packed with beautiful templates.

Unfortunately, they lack the comprehensive library of royalty-free images that Canva has.

Yet, the simple interface can help even the busiest of wordsmiths to create an incredible cover quickly.

However, the real reason for us mentioning Adazing is that it’s two pieces of software in one.

Adazing has a fantastic mockup generator included with their free eBook cover designer. These mockups will look great on your website and social media pages.

Outsource you eBook Cover Design

If you would prefer to outsource your eBook cover design, there are a number of great freelance marketplaces where you can source awesome designers. 

Our two favorites are Upwork and Fiverr.

Alternatively, did you know that you can publish an entire eBook without even lifting a single finger? 

Yes, if you hire a professional eBook writing service, you can claim all the fame while they do all the heavy lifting for you.

It’s never been easier and more worthwhile to self-publish an eBook.

You’ve got this!

You may also like our guide on making money with your eBook.

Abie Davis

Abie Davis is an avid miniature war hobbyist. When he's not knee-deep in the trenches, he's helping to write content that charms, converts, and convinces. Relentlessly helpful and creative, he loves to write while exploring sunny South Africa with his partner and their two brilliant dogs.


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