What makes a great ebook cover design

What makes a great ebook cover design

It is important to consider the look of your cover design when designing your Ebook cover. This is especially true if you want people to buy your Ebook. There are a few key things to keep in mind when designing your own Ebook cover design. A good ebook cover design has these important elements:

  • A descriptive image
  • Typography that is easy to read
  • Space between every element
  • A standard book aspect ratio of 3:2
  • Branded style for a book series
  • Avoid images that are stock photos

A descriptive image

What makes a great ebook cover design?

There is significant competition for a reader’s attention when it comes to your book cover. Look at the row of recommendations for Goodreads, above. Some of the titles and covers stand out immediately and you have an idea what the book is about, while others leave you guessing.

In many situations, a good, detailed image helps sell your eBook to readers. It tells them a little something about the story therein and can help garner curiosity.

A plain image is often better than something more complicated when it comes to an eBook cover. Keeping in mind that many users will first see the cover at a small size on a screen, among other book covers.

Typography that is easy to read

While physical books can incorporate a lot of text on the cover, that should practically never be the case for an eBook. The cover should, at most, include three bits of copy:

  • Title of the ebook
  • Any accolades, such as New York Times Bestseller
  • Name of the author

Space between every element

Because the canvas of an eBook cover is rather small and because thumbnails are one of the first ways users will interact with the design, make sure to provide every element lots of space. The use of white space can make the text more comfortable to read, images easier to see, and make the entire design more obvious to understand at a glance.

A standard book aspect ratio of 3:2

When we talk about book cover design, we often talk about the color palette, typography, and use of images. What we seldom mention are the dimensions of the cover. 

An eBook cover should look and feel like a book cover. Nothing yells amateur like a square or deformed book cover image.

Before starting the design get specifications for the platforms where the book will be published. There are often image resolution specifications, file format, and even many size requirements to consider. Kindle and iPad cover sizes are somewhat different, for example.

Then try to design based on the regular book aspect ratio of 3:2, which is the vertical shape that most readers are used to. Leave lots of room around the edges to account for slightly different ratios on various eBook readers so that the cover design looks the same across devices.

Make sure to create the design in a high-resolution format. Remember, screens are getting better all the time and bigger, better files may be required in the future and you don’t want to recreate eBook covers.

  • Kindle Direct Publishing recommended size — 2,560 x 1,600 (1.6:1 aspect ratio)
  • Novels and Non-Fiction — 2,560px x 1,600px (1.5:1 aspect ratio)
  • Illustrated Books — 2,800px x 3,920px (1.4:1 aspect ratio) or 3,000px x 3,600px (1.2:1 aspect ratio)
  • Audiobooks — 3,200px x 3,200px (1:1 aspect ratio)

Branded style for a book series

Authors should consider a brand style for eBook publishing. Use a related theme for a series of books, the related typeface for titles, or a consistent color palette to help readers recognize eBooks.

A harmonious color or typography palette is a good starting point. Use that same eBook cover branding in other areas as well to help carry an organized visual theme – social media, email newsletters, and on the book website.

When creating an eBook cover, think in thumbnails. Most places where an eBook cover is listed won’t be at full-size or resolution; it will be featured in a list with other covers at thumbnail size. Every element in the eBook cover design should render clearly at that small size, with the most important elements being the imagery and book title. So make it stand out.