It is essential to have a good ebook cover. The reason is that just as book covers sell books, ebook covers sell ebooks.
An ebook cover isn’t really a cover in the traditional sense. Rather it is an image that is used to represent the ebook, particularly at ebook stores and on web pages. A cover image is often included as the first “page” at the front of an ebook.
So how do you get an ebook cover? One option is to pay a graphic artist to design a cover for you. But you can also do it yourself. If you decide you’re up for some DIY then here are a few tips and resources.
- It’s Good to Experiment: Designing a good ebook cover usually involves experimenting with a combination of layouts, images and fonts.
- Think Big: Don’t start with a tiny cover image. If you are planning to publish at Amazon Kindle Store then you need to create a cover image that is at least 500 by 800 pixels, and preferably the longest side is a maximum of 2000 pixels.
- Large Font Size: Remember to keep the font size for the title and author’s name large enough so it will be readable on small versions of the ebook cover.
- Be Inspired. If you are having trouble coming up with layout ideas browse through other covers at your favorite ebook store such as Kindle Store or Nook Books.
Here is a brief list of resources that to help you make your own ebook covers.
Image Editing Software
If you are publishing on a shoestring budget then you may prefer to use Gimp, which is free.
If you’d rather not use traditional image editing software, here are some alternative ideas.
Take a Snapshot with Lightscreen
Lightscreen is free software that can take a “snapshot” of any part of your screen. Start by creating your cover on a new page in your favourite word processing software (e.g. Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer). Next, reduce the view so the entire page is visible on your screen. Now use Lightscreen to take a snapshot. One thing to be aware is that unless you change your computer screen resolution the image you shoot will probably not be of a high enough resolution for submitting to some major ebook stores.
Phoster is an App for the iPad, iPhone and iPod. Although primarily designed for creating posters it can also be used to quickly design an ebook cover. There are many templates and features to choose from. Phoster costs $1.99.
Many authors like to display a 3D cover of their ebook on their own web sites. The image on the right is a 3D version of the cover for “The Beginner’s Guide to Ebooks“. Here are a couple of tools you can use to create 3D ebook covers.
I have been making my own ebook covers for years, and it’s not too difficult once you begin to understand how image editing software works.