Self-Publishing Guide: Book Cover Design

by Rachel Sawden
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Figuring out my cover design was my favourite part of the self-publishing process. I had a Pinterest board full of inspo-pictures, and other covers I loved. I had also grown a following on Instagram as a travel content creator with a very defined aesthetic and I wanted it to look like it could fit on my feed.

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You will be overwhelmed with your options of getting a cover design. This will be one area that you should pay a lot of attention to and not skimp on again. Don’t believe the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. This is the first impression your novel will make. You could have the best written story in the world, but its chances of success will be harmed by a poorly designed book cover.

Again, when self-publishing fiction, strive not to appear self-published.

Finding Cover Designers

A Google search will bring you to the websites of many designers, and there are many publishing services that offer design services such as BookbabyEbooklaunch, Reedsy, Upwork. If you are strapped for cash you can buy a template, but if you can buy a template and throw a bit of cash at a designer to snazz it up please do!

If you’re more strapped for cash and don’t need all the bells and whistles graphic design extras try Fiverr and Upwork. If you’re only publishing an e-book, then you’ll only need a front cover, if you’re publishing in print, then you’ll need a cover, back (with the back cover blurb), and spine. For the latter, the designer will make one design that incorporates all  elements formatted for printing.

For Runaways, I used Reedsy. I searched through their designers, looked at their portfolios, thought about what I wanted. And chose one that had an aesthetic and design style that could result in what I wanted. I paid about $500 and received a print and an ebook cover, along with graphics for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and a 3-D graphic for marketing. I also made sure to get all of the editable PSD files.

While I am super happy with how my book cover turned out, I micromanaged it too much. I do wish that I had just stepped off a bit to see what the designer came up with on her own.

Now you have all of your materials, it’s time to Upload Your Book to Amazon!

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