Book covers! Let's talk about 'em. You have about 3-5 seconds to make a good impression, or the reader is moving on to the next shiny object that actually grabs their attention (and multiple studies have proven this, by the way).
So, how do you create a book cover for Kindle that makes people want to "add to cart" and actuallycheck out?
First, there shouldn't be any confusion about the genre, tone, and mood of your book. It should also be eye-catching and memorable, making it easy for readers to find and recognize your book among the millions of others available on the Kindle store.
When you break it down, the book cover is made up of the design, color scheme, font choice, and imagery, and we'll explore each factor below!
The book cover is just one piece of the puzzle. Rather than spending thousands of hours and dollars trying to figure everything out yourself, our publishing course lays everything out for you.
You don't need a degree or years of experience with graphic design to be able to produce a professional-looking cover when you set up a book on Amazon, but knowing some basic design principles can help.
Here are three design elements to consider when you design your own book cover:
Ever notice how certain brands and logos within the same industry share many of the same colors? There's a reason for that. Color psychology is very real and can affect buyer—or, in this case, reader—behavior.
Of course, there's no rule that you have to follow about which colors you use for your cover, but here are some general trends:
Pro Tip: This is another reason we recommend doing thorough competitor research for the inside AND outside of any books you think you want to create. But don't lose sight of having FUN when you're playing around with different color profiles, either.
Like colors, different fonts can evoke various feelings and set expectations about the book’s content. This is something you should think about any time you add text.
Here’s a brief overview of some of the most common font choices:
Pro Tip: When it comes to typography, less is often more. Avoid using too many fonts or font styles that clash with each other. Instead, choose one or two fonts that complement each other and use them consistently so your readers don't get confused or overwhelmed.
Nailing the design of your Kindle book cover is all about playing with contrast, weight, and white space. Here’s how to use these elements for a full ebook cover that really pops:
Playing with Contrast:
Choosing the Right Font Weight:
Using White Space Wisely:
Balancing It All Out:
Designing a killer book cover starts with nailing the genre vibe. Here’s how to get it just right:
Research Your Genre:
Match the Mood:
Set the Scene:
Pro Tip: Amazon forbids you from using terms like “bestseller” and “award-winning” in your title or using other untruthful methods to boost your book’s credibility.
If the technical side of cover creation makes you anxious, don’t sweat it. There are really only two basic concepts to keep in mind.
Before you start designing your Kindle ebook cover, you need a basic understanding of Amazon's specifications (otherwise, you’ll risk wasting your time). Amazon has specific requirements for the size and format of book covers that are uploaded to their marketplace. If your cover doesn't meet these requirements, it may not be accepted, or it may not display correctly on Amazon's website.
Here are some of the key specifications you need to note and keep in mind when creating your Kindle cover:
Pro Tip: Most commonly, you'll upload a PDF of your cover and a separate epub file for your manuscript. Resizing images in Canva is just a matter of a few clicks. It’s probably the most underrated design tool on the market.
When designing your Kindle cover, you need to consider how it will look in both thumbnail and full-size views because different readers will be using different devices. The thumbnail view is the small image that appears on Amazon's search results page, while the full-size view is the larger image that appears when someone clicks on your book.
Here are some tips for designing and formatting your Kindle cover for both thumbnail and full-size views:
Pro Tip: Formatting is what trips most people up during the self-publishing process, but it just takes some practice. Once you get the hang of it, the skill sticks with you, and you can go through the publishing process even quicker.
Creating book covers with beginner-friendly design tools and software can be a game-changer.
Here are two paths to consider:
Canva is a great starting point for creating a professional-looking cover, especially if you're navigating the design world or a cover creator for the first time.
Pro Tip: Although you can also create designs using Microsoft Word, you won't have as much flexibility or design elements to choose from.
With a free account and just a few clicks, you can generate unlimited ideas for your work with AI tools like Dall-E or ChatGPT's Dall-E integration. In fact, one of our amazing coaches created his own ChatGPT cover creator assistant.
It’s not perfect, but it CAN save you hours of brainstorming and get the creative juices flowing. You can even send its results to a graphic designer if you want to outsource the design process to someone with a little more experience.
Some things worth noting: AI isn't quite to the point to point of being able to generate perfect text yet, but it will get there eventually. For now, what you can do is generate the overall color palette and design elements, download it, and then upload the file into Canva to tweak it further. You will need a pro account to unlock some of these features, but it’s absolutely worth it.
For those with a knack for graphic design or seeking full creative control, professional design software steps up the game. Here's what to know about going pro with your book cover design:
Ultimately, the design tools and software you choose will depend on your level of experience, budget, and creative goals. Whether you opt for a DIY approach with Canva or invest in professional design software, make sure to take the time to create a book cover that captures the reader's attention and accurately represents your book's content.
There’s nothing wrong with giving something a try and then pivoting if it doesn’t work out. In fact, that’s a guarantee in the publishing world. That’s why adaptability is so important.
If you'd rather outsource the design work, that's okay! Here are some tips for working with a designer to create a cover that meets your vision.
If you’ve never worked with a designer before, you might not even know what to look for. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Once you've chosen a designer, clear and effective communication is key:
You'll hear us say this often, but quality is everything with self-publishing, and the cover is not an exception. Here's how to check that your cover is up to par:
Before you publish your book, it's a good idea to gather feedback from others. You can ask beta readers, friends, or family to review your book cover and provide feedback.
Here are some things to do when gathering reviews:
Pro Tip: If you DO need to make changes, that doesn't mean you failed. Keep learning, growing, and publishing!
When uploading your book cover to Amazon KDP, here are common mistakes to watch out for:
Incorrect Dimensions and Resolution:
Ignoring Bleed and Margin Guidelines:
File Format and Size Issues:
Overlooking Spine and Back Cover:
Ignoring Copyright Laws:
Not Previewing Before Submission:
Pro Tip: Amazon’s cover creator can be finicky but will usually tell you exactly what problems there are with your file (if any) and exactly what pages they’re on. It’s not uncommon to find 2-3 mistakes when you think you’re done. It can be frustrating, sure, but don’t let it stop you from moving forward. We can’t stress this enough.
Once your book goes live, your book marketing strategy will help it create and maintain momentum AKA getting more positive book reviews and book sales. Here are some quick marketing tips and ideas:
The best Kindle marketing strategy is to prioritize book reviews because these build your credibility and serve as social proof. Author websites, social media, and email lists are nice things to have, but they’re not necessary. We tell our students to aim for at least 50 reviews per book before launching their next one.
You have more questions; we have more answers. That’s why we put together this free webinar to show you how you can make life-changing income with just an Amazon account.
We show you the exact process for coming up with a new book idea and turning it into money while outsourcing 90% of the work (if you don't have the time/energy to do it yourself).
Robyn Brooks was a proud grandma who struggled with self-doubt, and now the entire self-publishing process is second nature for her. You can watch her story down below.
Give yourself the gift of trying something new. No more excuses!