It goes without saying that you need a good book cover for your ebook. In this blog post, I want to share some of the DIY design tips that I use to create ebook covers for my own books as well as for my premade book cover store.
First off, take a little bit of time to plan your cover. This is especially important if you are having someone else create the cover for you because your designer will need to know what your requirements are. But even for yourself, the whole process will go much smoother if you aren’t approaching it blind. Your plan should include an idea of how you want it to look, the images that you are going to use, and also the size that you are going to make your ebook cover.
As far as the design goes, a good way to decide how your ebook cover should look is by looking at other book covers in your genre. In particular, the ones from the best sellers list. I use Amazon for this. Although, Smashwords has a good selection of book covers also. Not that you want to copy someone else’s design, but it is good to get an idea of what sells. Your book cover should fit in with the other covers in your genre. It should also give a good idea of what the content is inside. In other words, don’t create an ebook that is completely out in left field.
The quality of your ebook cover is also very important. If you are going to use stock photography, which is what I use, then you should purchase a large, 300 dpi JPEG image to create your cover. Or several large, 300 dpi images if that is what it will take to get the job done. And make sure that every part of your ebook cover is 300 dpi including the background or base that you start out with. The guidelines for most of the publishing sites state that your ebook cover has to be at 300 dpi resolution. So you will need to follow that.
The color format for an ebook cover should be in RGB color. You could make it in CMYK color if you intend to publish a print book also down the road, but that will make the colors duller and not as vibrant. The same colors always appear duller in CMYK color than they do in RGB color. CMYK color is the required color format for print book covers regardless of that fact, though. If you are going to have a print book created down the road, your ebook cover can easily be converted from RGB color format to CMYK color format in Photoshop. So it can still be used for the front of the print book cover.
The size of your ebook can vary though. And here is a tip for the size. If you intend to have a print book also then make your ebook cover the same size that your print book is going to be. For example, if your print book is going to be 6″ x 9″, which is 1800 x 2700 pixels, then create your ebook cover at 6″ x 9″ or 1800 x 2700 pixels also. That way the ebook cover that you have already designed will fit perfectly for your print book as well. You may have to make a few adjustments but at least you won’t have to do a total redesign for a different size. It is almost impossible to get a redesign to look exactly like the original.
Creating your ebook cover in the same size that your print book will be should work for all of the smaller size print covers. When you get into the larger size print books such as 8 x 10 or 8.5 x 11 then it may not. The site where you intend to publish your book will have the exact size measurements that they allow for ebooks. It usually varies from site to site.
The reason that I mentioned the 6 x 9 size book is because it is the most common size used for print book covers. I use the 6 x 9 or 1800 x 2700 pixel size for all of my own print books. I also make all of my ebook cover in my premade book cover store that size because it is the most common.
I have a background template already created for my ebook covers. It is a PSD file that is 1800 x 2700 pixels, which equals 6 x 9, in 300 dpi resolution, and in RGB color format. A PSD file is an editable Photoshop file. When I want to create a new ebook cover I already have the correct size, dpi, and color format. Then I just lay my images on that and start designing. If you write a lot of books and like to create your own book covers you may want to consider creating your own version of a background template too. It works well for me because I create a lot of book covers. But it could save you loads of time also.