Indie Authors: The Ultimate Guide to Creating the Perfect Book Cover

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For authors, a book’s cover is one of the most critical parts of their books. Why? Well, the book cover design is the first thing readers notice, so it plays a big part in attracting readers and generating sales for the author. Furthermore, a well-designed book cover sets the tone for the content inside, making it the first point of contact between the story and the reader. A good book cover also gives a general idea about the demographic the book is aimed at, whether it’s a work of fictional or not, and the book’s core genre. Read on for ultimate guide to creating the perfect book cover for indie authors.

1. Find Inspiration for the Book Cover

Without a well-designed book cover, book publishing services can’t promote your book. Once you know about what the book will be about, the next step is to do research and find inspiration for a book cover design that gives the readers an idea about the story.

The Internet makes it possible to look up pretty much anything, so finding research material that can serve as inspiration for your book cover is quite easy. You can search for different books, images, and any other form of media that relate to your genre of choice to create the perfect book cover.

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2. Make an Honest Book Cover

Honesty and transparency are key steps in this guide to create the perfect book cover for indie authors. This means that you should avoid using the book cover as a form of advertisement with eye-catching design choices if they are not related to the book’s content.

Instead, find the most decisive marketable element in your story (usually the key aspect of the narrative) and use that to advertise to readers interested in your book’s theme.

For example, a book about horses of any type should not have a fictional cover with unicorns as it will lead to negative reviews pouring in when readers realize that there are no unicorns in the story. Although dishonesty may lead to an uptick in sales at first, your entire writing career may be jeopardized when the deception is unveiled.

3. Design the Cover Yourself, Or Finding a Good Designer?

As the author, you’re the boss and have the freedom to make design choices that best suit your vision. That said, the dilemma is whether you should design the cover yourself or hire a designer to handle the project. Invest the time to make the right decision here, as it is quite important for several reasons. Let’s review the pros and cons.

If you have little or no design experience, hiring a professional book cover designer is the best choice. The designer will work according to your vision and create a book cover that will be eye-catching and have a professional feel to the design, which can go far when it comes to increasing book sales.

Hiring a designer can be costly for indie authors who may not have much capital available. Furthermore, regardless of how well you brief the designer on your vision for the book, not everyone sees eye-to-eye. It’s not unusual for the final cover to turn out a bit different from your initial direction. Hence, although you may be contributing to the design concept, the result may not be satisfactory to you.

On the other hand, when you design the cover yourself, you’ll need to learn to to use design with software, which can be time consuming. Ultimately though, you’ll have the freedom to explore your creative desires, at a much lower cost. One caveat: the cover may not be of professional quality, especially if you have no prior design experience, so your sales and customer reach might take a hit.

4. Creating The Mock-Up Cover

The final stage in this ultimate guide to the perfect book cover design for indie authors is to apply the format you’ve come up with and see the final results for yourself!

Once you have your eye on design ideas, it’s time to create the perfect format, which will consist of images or illustrations, the font, and colors that you wish to implement into the book cover. It’s also important to select cover dimensions that meet your target market’s requirements.

The next step is simple, you need to test your mock-up cover and see how people — family, coworkers, or social media followers — react. The feedback you get will tell you how successful the book will be. The mock-up can also be used for marketing purposes!


The most important thing to remember from this ultimate guide to the perfect book cover for indie authors is that you should never lose sight of your creative vision. Without it, the book will have no authentic identity of its own, which is crucial for success. We hope this article helped you in your journey to create the perfect book cover. Good luck!


What Attracts Readers to a Book?

A well-designed book cover with eye-catching designs that correlate to the story is what readers are attracted to.

Do Indie Authors Have Approval Over Their Book Covers?

Unlike mainstream authors, indie authors can take it upon themselves to design the book cover by themselves without external interference.

What are the Main Elements of Book Cover Design?

The main elements are the colors used, the images placed, and the typography for the title and other texts on the book cover.

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