Making Great eBook Covers on a Budget
- February 23, 2018
- 1 Comment
One of the biggest things you can do to improve sales and give a professional appearance to your information products is have a great cover / product photo for your downloadable product. In the case of ebooks or PDFs, this means you need a cover you can use on your website, on your product in DPD to be shown in the cart and customer portal, and when marketing your product. In this post we’ll go over some options for creating covers and show you a simple workflow to create your own.
You have several options for creating ebook covers:
1. Pay a design professional to create one for you.
If you’re not a professional graphic designer then this will by far generate the best result. However, many ebook authors are bootstrapping with little to no budget, and designers can cost anywhere from $50-500 for professional cover design, putting it outside the budget of many small and home based businesses.
2. Find someone on Fiverr or other design marketplaces to create one.
This is the budget “pay someone else to do it” option and some people report great results, but generally you get what you pay for. You can’t expect a knockout cover for $5 and a few minutes of someone’s time. You can search the Fiverr marketplace for ebook covers and see the quality of work you can expect.
3. Use online or downloadable software to create your ebook cover
There are numerous online and downloadable software options for both Windows and Mac that range in price from free to $500+ one time licenses. The “Free” options are usually “lite” versions with restricted use, watermarks, or no design library, and paid options can be out of the reach of most new vendors starting out.
Making Great Ebook Covers on a Budget
This post will show you how to make a great ebook cover for $1 or less using a mix of free tools, affordable design assets, and online editors. No software from unknown sources needs to be installed and you can do it all from the comfort of your internet browser.
We’re going to use 2 tools:
- Canva to design our ebook cover graphic
- The Adazing ebook cover creator to create a 3D graphic you can use for your product image.
Canva is an online design tool with thousands of pre-made templates and image assets to create book covers, business cards, posters, and just about any other print project you can think of.
Canva’s free plan lets you create as many ebook covers as you like, with many free design templates. Some templates use stock photos that cost only $1 extra, making it super affordable on the smallest budgets.
The Adazing ebook cover creator is a free tool that has several options for creating 3D book covers that are great for product images on your sales site and in DPD. The only requirement is that you give your email address.
Designing our Cover in Canva
Once you’ve signed up for free Canva account create a new project and find the ebook cover design option. Here you can browse the free and paid ebook cover designs (paid designs are generally only $1 for the image) and select one to use as the base for your ebook.
For this post’s example, we’re going to create a cookbook since thats a popular category of PDF ebooks being sold online today.
This is the cover we’ll start with, featuring everyone’s favorite fruit- the banana:
Canva lets you click and edit the text, add or delete text blocks, and customize font style, size, color, and rotation. Its all point-and-click editing and very easy to use.
Here we’ve edited our text to match our cookbook theme:
Note: You’ll notice that the background image has a Canva watermark on it. Thats because it doesn’t use a free image (although there are many free options).
Once you’re done editing you can download your cover using the link at the top right of the screen.
Because this cover uses an image that isn’t free, I’ll need to pay $1 during the download process (or if you’re planning on making multiple covers, the bulk credit packs offer a discount).
Once you purchase a premium asset you’ll have 24 hours to use that asset, giving you time to make adjustments and edits to your cover after buying.
This also means you can download multiple versions in that 24 hour period and you should grab at minimum the PDF and PNG versions of your cover (for use online and with DPD and as your ebook cover in your PDF).
Here is the cover I created above, without the watermark:
And here is another example I created with a different, less fruity theme:
Some vendors might want to stop right there and use the flat, 2D image of their cover on their website and with DPD. Thats fine and common with many ebook marketplaces! If you want to create a 3D cover, read on.
Creating a 3D Product Image with our eBook Cover
If you want to create a 3D design, here are the simple steps to do that using The Adazing ebook cover creator.
Go to the Adazing site and select your cover design:
Then enter your info and upload your cover photo you created with Canva:
Once you submit you’ll be given a link at the top of the page to download your low resolution cover for free, here are my two examples:
The Adazing 3D cover generator does have a premium option for about $12 to download several other high resolution variants of the created cover. This might be a good idea if you need high resolution website graphics or want to use hosted product pages in DPD to sell your product (that support larger images) but is not required for the cart, widgets, or checkout.
And finally, here is one of the covers set up on a demo product so you can see it in use:
Feel free to add it to your cart and checkout using the test card number shown in the cart to see the image in use and download the high-resolution print PDF version of the cover provided by Canva.
Its possible to get very good results using free tools and very cheap assets to make an ebook cover. We hope this tutorial has been helpful- if you have any feedback or suggestions for new tutorials please let us know in the comments.
DPD is NOT affiliated with Adazing or Canva and we do not make any income off the links we have shared. We’re just trying to help DPD vendors create better ebook covers!