How to Easily Create eBook Cover Online for Free

Published by Stan Profy on

In this how-to:
How to make a stunning book cover for free?
How to create 3D cover for free?
How to add the book cover in Google Docs?
What size should an ebook cover be?
What is the best color for a book cover?

Writing a book is exciting: Everyone has a story or a lesson (or both) to share. But how to go about other tasks that come into play, like book marketing and designing?

The first step to self publishing is creating an eye-catching book cover design. After all, we all know that the book is almost always judged by its cover. Your eBook cover needs to create a good first impression, otherwise most people may choose to never read its content.

Let this task not stop you: This article will show you how to create an ebook cover easily, for free, even if you are not a graphic designer or have no budget to hire one.

How can I make my own book cover online for free?

Step 1: Find a free image

To design your eBook cover, you almost certainly will need an image. The good news is there’s an easy way to find a free image online you can use, even for commercial purposes (i.e. to sell your eBook). For that, use the instructions in this article on finding copyright-free images and keep an eye for any of these licenses:

  • Public Domain Images
  • Attribution Generic
  • Attribution-ShareAlike

All of these can be used for commercial purposes and any of these images can be modified. For both Attribution-ShareAlike and Attribution Generic images you’ll need to include a credit to the image author somewhere in your book, so generally Public Domain images are preferable.

How to find copyright-free images in Google Images

Step 3: Use online editor to design your book cover for free (no design knowledge required)

Cool featuresFree account limitations

Adobe Spark

Awesome high-quality ebook cover templates, change ebook layouts on the fly (to come up with truly unique designs), turn your finalized cover into multiple templates to share on social mediaNone unless you design covers every day

Snappa

Awesome high-quality ebook cover templates, turn your finalized cover into multiple templates to share on social mediaYou can have only 5 downloads a month for free

Canva

Awesome high-quality ebook cover templates,None unless you design covers every day

The three tools above are excellent free Photoshop or adobe InDesign alternatives: They will take care of effective typography and font choice for you and let you create attractive professionally-looking book cover artwork instantly.

To design custom covers using any of the three free online image editors, follow the steps:

  1. Choose an “eBook cover” from available sizes
  2. Choose your free eBook cover template
  3. Customize it with your own image, book title (and a subtitle), author name, etc
  4. Once you are satisfied with your artwork, download the final image in both JPG and PNG formats (You may need both down the road)
  5. Optionally but it’s a nice feature to have (This feature is free on Adobe Spark and Snappa but is a premium addon on Canva. There’s a free trial on all of them): Turn your book design into more images that can be shared on social media and on your site (as a Facebook page cover or an update, Twitter update, Instagram update, on-site banners, etc.

Design eBook cover

All the three graphic design editors above are very easy to use: You are unlikely to need any tutorials to figure them out. All of them are free to join (co credit card required). And all of them (unlike many other alternatives I checked but decided not to include here) provide high-resolution templates allowing you to created highest-quality book cover art that will look good on any ebook reader.

The main thing: Pick a very clear, minimal, and readable cover template: Avoid clutter and complicated designs. You want the book cover to be readable when it’s on a smartphone app shelf or in Amazon search results!

eBook cover thumbnails as shown on Amazon

[Think Amazon search results and “Suggested” results when designing your eBook cover. Your ecover thumbnail should be clear and readable]

Step 3: Create a 3D book cover for free

What is a 3D book cover?

A 3D book cover is three-dimensional image of your cover art (i.e. an image that has width, height and depth). It makes your book look more real. 3D covers are great book marketing tools:

  • Use them for your ad creatives (whenever you are using Facebook or Google advertising to push some leads to buy your book)
  • Promote your book on your site or blog (for banner ads or inside lead generation forms).
  • 3D book covers are great to use in book trailers (if you decide to use video marketing to promote your book)

A 3D book cover is a must for digital publishing because they make your eBook look like a real professional paperback book.

Use either of these two free 3D book cover creators:

Both the tools work pretty much the same:

  • Choose your template
  • Upload your 2D book cover you created
  • Grab your final 3D book cover to use around the web

It took me 2 minutes to create this 3D combo:

3d ebook cover

How to add your book cover to your book in Google Docs?

If you were putting your eBook together using Google Docs (which I highly recommend), you may want to add your new book cover there right away. This way, when you export your book into PDF, it will have your cover included.

For that, follow these steps:

  • Insert cover imagePut your cursor on the very top of your book
  • Go: {Insert -> Image -> Upload from computer] and upload your book cover. The image will cover the whole first page of your book
  • If you have Header and Footer set up for your book, you may want to keep these clean on your cover page. For that click in the header area and select “Different first page” and keep it empty

No header / footer on the cover page

If you are confused, make yourself a copy of my sample book and insert your cover art instead using “Replace image” option.

Replace image

What size should an ebook cover be?

eBook selling platforms don’t have too many requirements when it comes to the cover size and dimensions. Here are standard Amazon Kindle Direct book cover requirements (but they will accept slight variations).

What size should an ebook cover be for Amazon?

Ideal size

Less than 50MB

Ideal dimensions

2,560 x 1,600 pixels

Minimum resolution

300 PPI

File type

JPEG / TIFF

Color

RGB (red, green, blue) color mode or profile

Note: Don’t get too stressed out when it comes to the color profile and minimum resolutions. The book designer tools above are already optimized for digital publishing, so your creation will most likely work.

What is the standard ebook size (based on your digital publisher)?

What is the size of a Kindle cover?

2,560 x 1,600 pixels

Kindle requires that your eBook cover have an ideal height / width ratio of 1.6:1, e.g. if it’s 1000 pixels in width, it should be 1,600 pixels in height. The ideal book cover dimensions are 2,560 x 1,600 pixels. The maximum file size is 50MB

What is the size of an Apple iBooks eBook cover?

1400 pixels wide.

What is the size of a Barnes & Noble (Nook Press) eBook cover?

1333 x 2000 pixels

What is the size of a Smashwords eBook cover?

1600 x 2400 pixels

What is the size of a Draft 2 Digital eBook cover?

1600 x 2400 pixels

What is the size of a Google Books eBook cover?

1618 x 2500 pixels

What is the best color for a book cover?

Your ecover color choice is your creative decision. To help you out, here are some takeaways from color psychology studies.

Best colors for your book cover:

ColorMatch the book topic / categoryHow does it make you feel?Color group
BlueBusiness and marketingMakes a reader feel secure. The book may seem more trustworthy cool (calming)
GreenFinance, productivityAssociates with wealth (deep green)
Entertainment, leisure, relaxationCalms you down (light green)
RedPassion, war, tragedy, murderEmotionally intense color: Grabs attention and makes the reader energetic
(by activating their pituitary gland)
warm (exciting)
YellowPositivity, clarity, energyInstills optimism
PinkWomen, girls, etc.Gives one energy (hot pink)
Love, romanceMakes one feel romantic (lighter pink)
OrangeChildrenMakes one feel cheerful
BlackPower, strategyRepresents strength, power, and authorityneutral
WhiteHealth, balanceRepresents simplicity and purity (catches the eye)

Note: these associations are based on Northern American culture. The color psychology may vary from country to country, from culture to culture. This is a very generic look at color psychology.

Mix and match your colors based on what you cover in your book and which feeling you want the color to instill.

To sum up:

How to Easily Create eBook Cover Online for Free Now:

Time needed: 30 minutes.

To create your eBook cover, follow these easy steps:

  1. Pick a copyright-free stock image

    (or a few images) that matches your book topic

  2. Keep recommended eBook cover sizes in mind

    Based on your digital publishing platform

  3. Decide on the color scheme

    What is the best color for a book cover?

  4. Use the free tools to design the book cover

    (Adobe Spark, Snappa, and Canva) and turn it into a 3D cover

  5. Add your book cover to your eBook in Google Docs

    To easily download the whole book in PDF and/or EPUB formats

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Categories: Create

4 Comments

Philip V Ariel · January 20, 2019 at 6:58 pm

Hi Stan,
What a joy to be here today, I am here via Bizsugar wherein this is shared by my online friend David Leonhardt,, I am so glad to read this wonderful tutorial for creating eBook covers.
Thanks for providing such an in-depth and easy to follow tuto for your readers.
Keep sharing.
I just subscribed, Keep sharing.
Best Regards
Philip
PS: I up-voted this post and shared a comment.
Thanks

    Stan · January 21, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Hi Philip, thanks so much for your kind words, upvotes and shares! It really is great to hear this guide looks useful!

Velu · July 25, 2019 at 2:09 am

Good Guide – but grey fonts against white background – a strain to read.
Step 3 – Image Editors – could hardly read the name of the cover design apps – white fonts against these colored backgrounds would have done the job.

Good content – but cramped feeling.

Well done – the part about inserting a cover in Google doc could have been more elaborate – maybe you should do a separate post on this topic.

Thanks again.

    Stan Profy · July 25, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks for your feedback! Do you mean all fonts or just those inside the tables? I’ll look into adjusting them!
    For “cramped feeling”, do you mean the overall content layout?
    I’ll look into elaborating further on inserting the cover too!

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