5 eBook cover design tips and steps

Making Your Own eBook Cover in 5 Easy eBook cover design tips


Having a perfect eBook cover can be very tricky or confusing, for a lot of aspiring authors finding a capable designer can be very frustrating, in some cases you may even find where to make your eBook cover? And end up not having an eye-catching eBook cover that can convert to sales. For some folks they simply do not have a fat budget that can pay for the service of experience designers, not to worry! All hope is not lost, you can still get a deserving eBook cover for your project if you have the right eBook cover design tips. you can read a quick book cover design tip HERE.

Before I dive into the focus of this post,  I will like to point out that eBook cover is so easy that an average individual can make, all you need is;

  • The right software,
  • The precise information
  • Little knowledge of your chosen software and
  • Basic concept.

The right software; There are many software available, (free and pro) that provide an easy to use tools, regardless of whatever one you want to use, I recommend going through the features and tools and settle with what has an easy to navigate user interface that can do the job.

The precise information; this will depend on the platform you are using to publish your eBook, be it Amazon Kindle, Nook Press, Lulu, Blurb Blurb, Kobo Writing Life or Smashwords, This publishing site, all have eBook cover specification, so having the right information of what standard to meet when making your design will get easy approval for your eBook cover. Amazon Kindle is the biggest and most used; here are their eBook cover specification;

Amazon Kindle eBook cover specifications (height and width size requirements)

The image must meet the following requirements:

  • TIFF ( .tif / .tiff) JPEG ( .jpeg/ .jpg) formats
  • At least 1000 pixel on the longest side, with an ideal Height/length ratio of 1.6, 2500 pixel on the longest side is preferred.

Little knowledge of your chosen software; understanding the user interface (UI) of your preferred software, can make the entire design process flow easy and fast. Don’t get this hard, you don’t need to learn all tools to get started, you just need about 4 to 5 tools, which I will be introducing to you here on this eBook cover design tips.

Basic concept; This is self-explanatory, you have conceived the book and took all the time to write it into a book, For this reason, no one can know better how the cover should be like than you do, just a simple concept about what is in the book will do. These usually include the book title, book subtitle author’s name and some image illustration (you can use free stock photos for this or a simple plain solid background).

So without any further ado, let’s go straight into the focus of this post, you will need Adobe Photoshop to be able to follow the practical part of this post. GET PHOTOSHOP HERE FOR FREE!


Here are the 5 simple eBook cover design tips and steps

I will be implementing the amazon kindle eBook cover design specifications, and I will be using Adobe Photoshop throughout this tips and steps. I have mentioned above the minimum eBook requirement for amazon kindle, Photoshop (PSD) is a popular design program and it’s easy to use if you do not have it? Download Adobe Photoshop for free HERE


Step 1- Use Image or solid color that describes your book:

The competition is so much for readers, so when it comes to your book, it is wise to use the image or solid color on the background, make a choice that tells your story the best. If you are wondering what image or color best describe your story? take a pause and look at other books in your genre so you can have an idea of where to begin, however, do not copy directly what your competitors have used, just be creative.


Bare in mind a good descriptive image and color can help sell your eBook, it tells readers a little something about your eBook there in garner interest to know more of your story. You can find free or premium high-quality stock images on the internet if you are running on a limited budget if you need an image to use check PIXABAY, you can check ADOBE STOCK PHOTOS for premium images and head to Photoshop.

Go to File>New, On dialogue box that appears I am going to input the following; width: 590 Height: 1000, make sure you set the measure to a “pixel” in which case is equal to amazon kindle ebook cover specification, hit ‘OK’ to create a file. This is going to be your cover.

5 ebook cover design tips and steps 1

Now drag and drop your image into Photoshop, but if you decide to use a solid color,  go to Layer>New>Layer to Create a New Layer and hit G’ on the keyboard to activate the ‘Paint Bucket’ and give it color, see image below:


5 ebook cover design tips and steps 1-b


Step 2- Use easily readable typography:

Typography with easy readability can either make or destroy an ebook. Text on the cover has to be easy to read, you can use a simple typeface that is appropriate for the book content. While physical books can go with lots of text and still appeal to the reader, the same can not be done to an ebook cover. This is because your ebook cover will not be shown full screen, it will be listed among others as a thumbnail in an ebook store.

Therefore you need to include elements that will allow your ebook to stand out as a thumbnail, limit your text to the three basic elements as;


  • The book title
  • Subtitles or any honors like “Amazon best selling Author”
  • The Author’s name


Along with these basic elements on the cover,  you need to follow some standards to make your cover stand out and more legible, it is very important too;


  • Use the upper half of the cover for the title, this will give the title prominence.
  • Use a bold typeface/font like the sans family, impact or Raleway, are a lot easiest to read.
  • Use a background color that contrasts well with title font color to ensure readability.
  • Give enough space between all the elements and give a significant part of the canvas to the title to ensure it is visible as a thumbnail.


Now that you have this in mind, let add title and other elements to the cover, from the set of tools vertically on the left of your screen select the “T” icon or hit (T) on the keyboard to activate the type tool, with the type tool active, click at the center of your canvas (cover) and start typing in the title of your book; in this instance I will use “HOW I WON THE GAME”. See image:


5 ebook cover design tips and steps 2

With your type tool still active (Ctrl +A) to highlight all, click the color palette to change title font color.


Step 3- Space Between your every Element:

Generally, the canvas of an eBook cover is very small and thumbnails are one of the first means consumers will relate with your book in online bookshops, be certain to give every element enough space. Good spacing using white can make text easier to deliver, images easier to see and make the entire eBook quicker to appreciate at a glance.

When designing an eBook, you should not limit yourself to what you can do from the software’s toolkit, use of good techniques work better with eBook covers, avoid a lot of layering except you can use space and colors between elements. You can group text element by color, fonts, or use a white box around a particular quote or subtitle to add flair, elegance, and style to your eBook cover;


There is a popular practice for most book covers, the title of the book is placed at the upper half of the cover and the author’s name at the bottom half, don’t be constrained to this practice,  positions can be swapped.

You can put your images anywhere that best fits; on the background, bottom or center. If you have an accolade or a subtitle? This can go below the book title or stylishly place it at the top, close to the upper edge of the eBook cover layout.



5 ebook cover design tips and steps 3


In the image above, I used the step two tip of this 5 eBook cover design tips and steps and instruction to add the subtitle and the author name before implementing the step 3, which added space between elements.


Step 4-Incorporate standard shapes:

You should find out what the requirement is on the platform you are uploading your eBook to, like I mentioned at the beginning of this post I am using the Amazon kindle requirement for eBook cover which is the 1000 pixel on the longer side and maintaining the standard 1:6 aspect ratio for the shorter side, which is the upright shape that most readers are used to.  However, when making your design it is most recommended to leave some space margin around the edges of the cover, to account for a little different ratio on different eBook readers so that the cover design looks the same across all platforms.

As you may know, the screen on all devices are getting bigger and better, so make sure your artwork is rendered on high resolutions and shapes are better as vectors. Shapes can be circles, rectangles, triangle or any shape you can create that best tell what your book is about.

Now let’s create shapes for our example cover that we are implementing the 5 eBook cover tips on, in the previous step I have added the book title using the type tool available in Adobe Photoshop, so am going to use the same tool to add the author’s name “SSB Otaru” and some accolade or subtitle “A step by step SEO Hack”, so let’s proceed to add a couple of shapes;

On the layer panel use the create new layer tool situated on the bottom of the panel to create a new layer or go to Layer>New>>Layer, click and drag the newly created layer and move it just above the background layer on the hierarchy, then hit “L” on the keyboard to activate the Lasso tool with your new layer still selected click around to create a random shape like in the image below:


5 ebook cover design tips and steps 3-a


Activate the “paint bucket tool” by hitting “G” on the keyboard, then click on the color palette to set your choice color, with the active selected portion of the new layer click on it to fill your color as shown in the image below:


5 ebook cover design tips and steps 3-b


Hit “L” on the keyboard again to activate the Lasso tool, double-click on empty space to deselect the selection, select the new shape layer and go Layer>Duplicate Layer to duplicate the shape. Select the bottom copy, Activate the “paint bucket tool” again by hitting “G” on the keyboard, then click on the color palette to set a lighter color, click on the shape to fill color. Ctrl+T to scale it slightly bigger than the one at the top. Please watch the video above to see a practical approach, below is the resulting image;


5 ebook cover design tips and steps 4-d.png


I have also gone ahead to add more shapes that show or communicate what this book may be about “SEO”, I have taken the time to explain in the video how I added those shapes, it’s important to watch the video for better understanding of this.




Step 5-Build a brand panache:

5 ebook cover design tips and steps 5


A brand style culture for publishing an eBook is an ideal habit to develop for all Authors,  consider using same color palette, typeface, and character for a series of book, This will make it much easier for your readers to identify your eBook at a glance.

As seen in examples above, the same eBook cover is branded and apply in a different fashion, however not every eBook author or publisher will have something distinguishing to work with, but sticking to same typeface and color for an eBook series will make it easier for your readers to identify.


Developing a particular typography, the color palette for your cover style is a good habit to start with, be consistent and use the same theme across all platforms, including social media your personal website and email.




Your eBook cover will be displayed as a thumbnail among all other books online, it is very likely your book may never be in full screen at all time, most readers will always judge a book by its cover either consciously or subconsciously.

So when designing an ebook cover, keep it very professional and have it in mind to separate all elements clearly, thus should render clearly at that small size, with the most imperative elements being the images and book title.

Thank you for reading this at this point, leave a comment below and tell me which of this 5 eBook cover design tips and steps you find helpful.


Here comes the promise of a surprise gift, DOWNLOAD FREE EBOOK COVER TEMPLATE HERE. There will be no need for an email subscribe, these eBook covers templates are made by me and you are free to use it for your publications.

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14 thoughts on “5 eBook cover design tips and steps

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