Free Book Cover Templates for Word & Illustrator

Writing a book with great content is just the beginning of having your book read by many people. Without an eye-catching and intriguing book cover design, your books are most likely never leaving the shelf of that bookstore. Whether online or at a bookstore, your aim is to make sales. The only way readers will be interested and inspired to buy your book is based on your cover.

Your book cover must be attractive and well-designed to grab people’s attention. The idea is to have a design that provides prospective readers with what they will find in your book. That means you have to make it as attractive as possible for people to want to read your book. Keep in mind that most readers will attach the value of your book’s content to the design of your cover.

With that being the case, you need this article to understand how to prepare an appealing book cover, what should be written on it, and how to make it effective. You do not have to be an artist or a graphic designer. However, you can create a robust cover design to ensure your book stands out among other books and attract readers to buy it. This article will teach you how to design your book cover.

Elements of a Book Cover

You must always focus on three crucial elements when designing your cover. These elements will determine if the cover of your book will be attractive enough for people to be interested in reading that book.

Below are the three essential elements of a book cover:

Front cover

The front cover acts as a preview of what readers expect to find in your book. The front cover helps readers determine if they wish to read your book’s content or not. That means there are elements that people will use to judge the value of your book. With an exciting and intriguing front cover, you will have readers hooked on buying the book.

You need to focus on book cover imagery and typography to achieve that:


For imagery, you need to use a photograph, illustration, geometric shapes, or an exciting color that will express the true spirit of your book. Your imagery should fit the design of your book cover and create a sense of balance when merged with the front cover’s typography. Ensure that you lay it across the front cover in an eye-catching manner.


The book cover typography is the text you choose to have on your front cover, and it includes the book’s title, subtitle, and your name as the author. Your typography should observe a suitable hierarchy that correctly highlights the vital text. Making your title more significant than the subtitle is beneficial and should be placed on the top or towards the bottom of the cover. Your name should always come after your book’s title.

For an e-book, ensure that your title stands out even when viewed as a tiny thumbnail. This way, you will interest people in purchasing your book.


The other element you should focus on is the spine of your book cover design. This section is essential, especially for books placed vertically on bookstore shelves. The only way readers will spot your book and view it as a masterpiece is based on how you design your spine. Ensure that your spine is appealing and simple in that the top part should have your book’s title written in the largest font, then the author’s name and the publisher’s imprint towards the bottom.


It might be challenging to format the spine for books less than 150-page range.

Back cover  

The last element is the back cover. Once a potential reader is intrigued by the front cover, they will likely flip your book over and look at the details on the back cover. The aim is to find more information about the book. That means you should design your back cover in a way that will help readers seal the deal in regards to buying the book.

Your back cover should include the book’s description, a blurb, book reviews, your bio as the author, and the ISBN and barcode. Ensure you focus mainly on the book description and reviews, as this information is what will convince people to make a purchase. The bottom quarter of the page is where you should include the author’s bio, ISBN, and barcode.


For a hardcover book, some of these details can be included on the interior flaps of the dust jacket, while for an e-book, this information will be included on the description page.

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    What Would a Book Cover be Like?

    To ensure your book cover is outstanding and intriguing enough to increase your book sales, here is what a proper and effective one should be like:

    Your title should be prominent

    The book’s title should be prominent as it is the main focus of your book cover. That means it should be visible from far, communicate the book’s true spirit and make it stand out from the rest. Ensure that a reader can easily spot the title of your book by using an easy-to-read font, using a font color that makes the title stand out from the background, and using a font size that remains visible even when the book is being viewed as a thumbnail and reducing other texts and graphic elements around the title.

    It should be easier to read

    The font and the color you use on your book cover should make it easier to read. However, if your design overpowers its readability, you will lose the interest of most readers who will associate this aspect with the contents of your book. People need to see and read your book’s title, summary, and reviews.

    To ensure the font and color combination still supports readability, ensure that you avoid hard to look at color combinations. Choose a contrasting font and background colors that increase visibility and use fonts such as Serif that are easy to read. If you want to use different fonts on your cover, ensure that you use a maximum of two fonts.


    Serif typefaces are not only appropriate for your book cover typography but are also preferable for the print inside your book. They increase readability and allow readers to read long passages of text at a quick speed.

    The cover shouldn’t be overcrowded

    Your design should not be overcrowded. If you include too much text, a reader might be unable to determine which text is essential. However, ensure that your design is simple and balanced to allow readers to identify the critical information quickly.

    Remember that it allows a reader to peruse and make a quick decision about buying and reading the book. It is all about the art of persuasion. That means an overcrowded design will force the reader to look harder for the information they need, which might discourage them from reading your book.

    As you design it, use lots of blank space to enable proper visibility of the essential stuff such as the book’s title, author’s name, book reviews, and synopsis.

    Should represent the genre of the book

    The cover should honor and represent the genre of the book. Representing your genre will help readers quickly identify if they want to read your book or not. Genres include romance, horror, supernatural thrillers, and comedic fantasy. Some readers are specific with the type of genres they like. That means appropriately representing the genre of your book on the cover might interest the reader to pick your book even without looking at the title.

    The cover should feature a key theme

    Ensure that your cover features a key theme present in the book. This will give you a unique and creative cover book design. Your book’s particular idea or theme should be well represented on your cover in that it will communicate to potential readers and interest them to explore the theme by reading your book.

    For instance, your story may have more minor themes such as coming of age, love, hate, courage, and redemption. However, fitting all these themes into the cover design is impossible. So instead, you can focus on the central theme, love, and use colors and imagery to relay your central theme of love.

    The cover should tell what is inside

    Your cover should provide a glimpse of what is inside the book. A potential reader should get a glimpse of what they will find in your book just by reading your front and back cover. You can achieve this by ensuring that your cover design aligns with the story’s plot. Ensure you do not provide too little information that might turn them away or too much information that will give them spoilers. The information you provide should be enough to tease and encourage potential readers to buy your book and invest their time reading your story.

    It should introduce your protagonist

    Ensure that your book cover introduces the protagonist or main character of the story. Readers tend to buy books if they can relate to the story’s main character. Therefore, you can add an image or illustration of your protagonist or use a significant part of their character, such as a walking stick, to introduce them and their character to the readers.

    Building a relationship between your protagonist and the prospective reader is a way of creating an audience that will always want to read your books. Therefore, ensure that your cover design of the book presents your main character with excellent element incorporation, proper graphics, and compelling text information.

    It should set the right tone

    The cover of the book should always set the right tone. This means that the cover design should clearly express the dominant tone of the book, whether sad, anxious, humorous, or thrilling. Your book cover needs to match your book’s tone to attract all the right readers interested in such stories. Therefore, ensure the images, illustrations, and colors used match the tone of your book.

    For example, the cover should match the tone if your book is about good fun, laughter, and comedy. You should use light images with calm contrasting colors to make the book seem cheerful and exciting. You can set the tone for a children’s book using cartoons or interesting bold and colorful letters on the cover.

    The cover should pay attention to detail

    This is important if you want to create an outstanding design that will appeal to potential readers. Your cover should pay attention to detail, which will elevate your design from basic to professional. Since readers tend to associate the book cover with your potential as an author, having one that pays attention to detail will increase the chances of readers picking your books.

    Focus on the lighting, shading, image treatment, image arrangement, text hierarchy, and layering to ensure you elevate your design. Ensure you cover all possible details until you get a perfect design for your book cover.

    It should have a distinct style

    Finally, your book cover should have a distinct style that will make it stand out among the other books on the shelf. The design should have an appealing visual style that will convince readers to buy the book. Find a way to create balance and flow between imagery and typography but in a unique way that is associated with you as an author. Creating a brand based on your appealing style will retain your readers and attract a new audience to read your work.

    Final Words

    Regarding books, making sales depends on the book’s cover design. With a proper one, you will easily attract people to buy your books by grasping their attention. Keep in mind that even with intriguing and powerful content, the only way readers will be interested in your book’s content is if the cover of your book is appealing to them. Since this is the case, ensure you focus on the front, back, and spine when designing it. Focusing on these elements will help you create an appealing book cover with great design. Also, you can use templates to ensure your designing process is guided, simple, and easy to handle, especially if you are not an artist or a professional designer. 

    About This Article

    Madison Edgar
    Authored by:
    Graphic Design, Logo Design, Vector Illustration, Photo Editing
    Hailing from Colorado, Madison Edgar is a seasoned graphic designer with over 5 years of hands-on experience. She has collaborated with a diverse range of companies, delivering innovative logos, cohesive brand identities, and captivating print and digital assets. Madison's design repertoire spans from crafting impactful logo designs and setting brand guidelines, to creating print and digital marketing collaterals. She also excels in curating presentations, vector illustrations, and refining images through expert photo editing and composition. With a keen eye for detail and a creative flair, Madison Edgar consistently produces designs that resonate and leave a lasting impression.

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