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How to DIY a Book Cover Design

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is an excellent bit of wisdom for dealing with people but it’s not especially realistic when it comes to consumer behavior in dealing with actual books. The cover of a book is its first impression, its billboard, its public face, and its first page. A book cover needs to evoke emotion and pique interest even as it informs us as to what lies beneath.

The rise of e-books and e-readers has made book covers no less important. In fact, they may be more important than ever before. Your book’s cover now needs to spark a reader’s interest not just on a shelf, but as a thumbnail on a six-inch screen as well.

We’ve assembled a list of 15 tools that can help you DIY your own book cover:

Canva

Difficulty: Easy

Cost: Free version includes basic features. Work version is $12.95 per user, per month. Additional charges may apply for some images.

What We Love: Canva is ridiculously easy to use, so it’s a great tool for non-designers who aren’t especially techie either. You get to choose from hundreds of pre-made layouts and designs and then customize the font and colors to suit your needs.

Adobe Spark

Difficulty: Medium

Cost: Free version includes basic features. Premium plan is $9.99 per month.

What We Love: Adobe Spark gives you the power of Adobe’s creative juggernaut without requiring extensive training to use it. You get access to a solid number of Adobe fonts as well as iconic imagery and beautiful themes. You can choose from their photo library or upload your own photos.

Graphic Springs

Difficulty: Easy

Cost: Free but requires credit be given for some templates/images

What We Love: The browser-based designer is about as basic as it gets. Choose or upload a photo to start, add your text, choose your colors, and hit download.

Placeit

Difficulty: Easy

Cost: Free to design; $8 for limited download, $29 for unlimited download

What We Love: This site offers Smart Templates that will help even those with no design experience create an attractive cover. You can customize the imagery as well as the design elements themselves. Choose from photos or a wide array of beautiful illustrations.

Fotor

Difficulty: Medium

Cost: Free version includes basic features. Pro version is $39.99 per year or $8.99 monthly

What We Love: Fotor has a wide variety of features to help you create your book cover. They offer a sticker library, photo effects and filters, HDR photography, and a nice font selection to help you customize your design.

Flipsnack

Difficulty: Medium

Cost: Free version includes basic features. Pro versions range from $14 - $79 a month

What We Love: Flipsnack offers a variety of plans. The free version is really a taster. With each tier upgrade, you get access to more features. You can choose from several size layouts to start, and then customize your design using their in-browser editor.

Postermywall

Difficulty: Easy

Cost: The Free version includes basic features, but you must pay $2.99 to download your designs. Premium versions are offered at $9.98 or $29.98 a month with unlimited downloads and extra features.

What We Love: Postermywall offers a wide variety of templates for you to customize. Their browser-based editor is easy to use and even lets you incorporate animated GIFs into your design for e-book covers.

Lucidpress

Difficulty: Medium

Cost: Free version offers basic features. Paid versions range from $5.95 - $30 per month with discounts for paying annually.

What We Love: Lucidpress offers a simple, drag-and-drop editor with hundreds of templates to customize. You have a bit more granular control over your design than with some of the other, simpler editors.

BoxShot

Difficulty: Easy

Cost: Free

What We Love: BoxShot offers a lovely library of simple but vibrant, eye-catching graphical designs in various themes. You can customize the colors of one or two elements in each design as well as the font.

Myecovermaker

Difficulty: Medium

Cost: Free version offers 6 basic trial covers. Premium version is $14.91 per month.

What We Love: Offers over 1,000 pre-designed templates as well as some of the basic tools you’d find in more robust programs like Photoshop. This site also includes 1.5 million royalty-free stock images.

PicFont

Difficulty: Easy

Cost: Free

What We Love: Very simple, no frills editor. This browser-based interface lets you add text to any photo and offers a variety of fonts, colors, and images for use in your design.

Snappa

Difficulty: Easy

Cost: Free version offers basic features and 5 downloads per month. Pro plans are available for $10 - $20 per month.

What We Love: Snappa offers a lovely blend of photography and graphical elements to help you create your book cover. With over 600,000 HD photos and graphics plus 5,000+ templates, you’re sure to find a combination that works for you.

Design Wizard

Difficulty: Medium

Cost: Free version offers basic features although images and templates cost $1 each. Pro plan is $9.99 per month and the Expert plan will run you $16.95 per month.

What We Love: Design Wizard has a wide variety of e-book cover templates available that you can edit for free as well as some great tips and trick to help you develop a good design. Their Design Wizard gives you access to over 1 million images and graphics to use in your design.

Photoadking

Difficulty: Medium

Cost: $16 per month

What We Love: Photo Ad King offers an easy-to-use in-browser editor to create your e-book cover. They have a wide variety of professionally designed templates to choose from, or you can start from scratch with your own photos or graphics.

Crello

Difficulty: Easy/Medium

Cost: $16.67 per month

What We Love: Crello offers a complete suite of tools for creating an entire e-book, including the cover. It has a user-friendly, clean interface and a bevy of useful tools for the entire self-publishing process.

All of these design tools are great, but there’s really no substitute for the experience, skill, and insight of a professional designer. At Konsus, you’ll be paired with an expert designer who will work with you to create the perfect cover for your book.