Category Archives: Cover Creation

Effective book covers

A book cover is the first thing readers see when browsing for books, and it is often the deciding factor in whether or not they pick up the book to read it. A well-designed cover helps attract readers and makes a great first impression. Like clothing, cover styles constantly change, so take the time to research what’s popular in your genre before creating one. Here are a few things to consider when making an effective book cover.

tips for making effective book covers

1. Keep cover design simple.

A book cover should be easy to read and understand at a glance. Simplify the number of design elements and use a limited color palette. Avoid using fancy fonts and limit the number of font faces you use. The cover should be visually pleasing but not overwhelming. Remember that your reader’s first glance is often thumbnail-sized, ensure all of your design elements work at that size and that your text remains legible.

2. Use high-quality images.

A high-quality image on the cover can make a huge difference in how the book is perceived. The image should be relevant to the story and of a high resolution so it will look good when viewed at various sizes. Three hundred dots per inch (DPI) is standard. Consider using free images from sites like Pixabay or Pexels for free cover art.

3. Use typography effectively.

Use typography effectively: The title and author’s name should be the most prominent elements on a book cover as they are the most important. Ensure they are easy to read and in a font appropriate for your genre and audience. You can find a great list of suggestions on the DIY Book Covers website. Use a font that is easy to read and not overly stylized. If you install a custom font from sites such as dafont or 1001 Fonts, only those in the public domain (Freeware) or those free for commercial use.

4. Consider the book’s genre.

The book cover should reflect the genre of the book. For example, a thriller will have a different type of cover than a romance novel. Be sure to research the genre and understand the conventions to ensure the cover is appropriate. To do this, search Google images for books in your genre and list the most popular and prominent elements. Consider including some of these elements when making your cover.

5. Make your book cover memorable.

The cover should be memorable so readers can find the book easily. This can be achieved through interesting image, an attention-grabbing title, or a unique design.

6. Test it with different audiences.

Before publishing the book, test the cover with diverse audiences, including people from the target age group, to get their feedback so you will know if the cover resonates with your target audience and readers in general. One way to do this is to create a poll on Facebook or Instagram, asking people for their opinions.


Your book cover is the first thing readers see when browsing the market to find their next read. All you need to do is visit Amazon to see this; the only information your readers see about the books is a thumbnail of the cover and the first sentence or two of your blurb. That’s not much to go on. But if you can design an effective book cover that grabs the reader’s attention and makes a great first impression, your cover will help sell your book, and you’ll be a best-selling author in no time.

Still not sure what to do for your book cover? Let us help! Contact EMSA Publishing for a quote.

Demystifying Book Cover Formatting

Self-publishing a book can seem a daunting task, but the process of book cover fornattubg is really quite simple once you know how. With the right tools and this primer, you will be formatting professional-looking book covers in no time.

  1. Calculate dimensions for your book cover template.

    Once your book interior is formatted and you know the final page count, go to the KDP Cover Calculator and complete the form there. Fill in the binding, interior, and paper types according to your preference, the page-turn direction, preferred measurement units, interior trim size, and page count, and click “Calculate Dimensions.”

    cover formatting template calculator

  2. Download formatted book cover template.

    You should see something like this once the dimensions have been calculated.

    Next, click “Download Template.” This will download a zipped folder to your computer containing EPS and PDF documents.

  3. Open your book cover template.

    Open the template PDF in Photoshop. As you create your cover, make sure that nothing important will appear in the areas marked in pink. The pink border is the “bleed,” and it will be cut away in the production process, The pink lines in the middle will be on the crease to form the spine. The yellow area is where the bar code and ISBN will be placed, so avoid this area as well.

    cover template in Photoshop

    See KDP’s page on trim size, bleed, and margins.

  4. Add guidelines to your book cover template.

    Add guidelines to your template marking all no-go zones. This will help you place your design elements later on.

    cover template in Photoshop with guidelines

  5. Create your book cover design.

    Place your graphic design elements on the template, taking care to ensure that nothing important will be cut off from the edges of your cover, hidden by the bar code, or on the fold of the spine.

    graphic elements over cover template

  6. Add text to your book cover template.

    Add your text. Be sure to centre the text on the front and back cover images. In the image below, make note of where the text is placed in relation to the elements marked on the original template:

    finished cover template fully formatted

  7. Convert your book cover to PDF.

    When you are happy with the layout, go to “File,” click “Save a Copy,” and save as a PDF to upload to KDP. At this point, you will be asked to select the settings. On the Standard menu, I always choose PDF/X-1a:2003, although PDF/X-1a-2001 should also work.

    Save Adobe PDF standards for cover formatting

    Click “Save PDF.”

Congratulations! You have just formatted your paperback cover, ready to upload to KDP!

If you are still unsure about creating your own cover, contact EMSA Publishing to create your cover and upload it for you.