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  • Book Cover Template: How to Save Time and Money on a Great Cover Design

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    Books - Perfect Bound, Self-publishing

    Should you use a book cover template? The book cover is one of the most important parts of any book. Given this, it makes sense for some writers to hire professional artists to design their covers. If your budget is tight, however, you can design your own cover with the help of a book cover template. An easy-to-use book cover template will work for any fiction or nonfiction book. Here’s how to use them to produce an attractive, well-designed cover.

    What Is a Good Book Cover?

    For a design that appeals to many readers, keep it simple. Don’t cram too many pictures, font types, or other elements on the cover. Use one or two single, powerful images. Use a bold, eye-catching typeface.

    Did you get an award or a glowing review? Make room on your cover to include a short review excerpt or the name of the award.

    Standard Book Cover Sizes

    The industry standard for fiction and nonfiction sizes are:

    • 5.5 x 8.5
    • 6 x 9

    For children’s books and pictures books, the standards are:

    • 7.5 x 7.5
    • 10 x 8

    Should You Use a Book Cover Template?

    If you want to save money producing your book, a book cover template is an affordable alternative to hiring a professional designer. Although your book cover is important, and ideally should be designed by a graphic artist, some writers don’t have the budget to hire someone.

    If that’s you, don’t worry. You can still get a good-looking cover with a book cover template. A book cover template is also helpful in creating covers for publications like brochures, catalogs, booklets, and instruction manuals. Here’s how to get started with three of the most popular programs.

    Using a Book Cover Template in Microsoft Word

    Microsoft Word has many helpful, attractive templates that come free with the software. To create a book cover:

    1. Open Word and go to the Available Templates screen. Once there, double click on the “Books” tab.
    2. You will see several templates available for use. Scroll through them to find the ones that most appeal to you and seem fitting for your book. Always remember that they are customizable, so you don’t have to use the template exactly the way it appears. If you don’t find an exact match, pick something that best fits your idea of the perfect cover for your book.
    3. When you open the book cover template, you’ll see information that’s currently blank, like BOOK TITLE or an AUTHOR line. To save your template, type in your own details to customize it.
    4. Save the book cover template with your information on it in a new file under a filename like “MYBOOKCOVER.” That way, you can go back and work on it whenever you like.
    5. Customize the book cover template. Add artwork, change colors, change fonts, and rearrange the placement of key elements until you have a finished product you like. To insert illustrations or photos, click the “Insert” tab. Then, click “Picture” and “Browse” to go to Pictures. You’ll see the pictures that are available to use. Click on the picture, and insert it into the template.
    6. If you want, add your author photo to the back cover. You can also add excerpts from reviews or a summary of the book.
    7. You can only use photos and pictures that you’ve saved to your Pictures file. If you need artwork, start by searching for it before you begin designing your cover. Save any images you want to use in that Pictures file.
    8. Continue working on the book cover template until you have a cover and back cover you like. Save it as a PDF file.

    Using a Book Cover Template in Adobe Illustrator

    1. Open Illustrator, and select File/New and Document.
    2. Click the Print tab at the top. When it drops down, you’ll see a choice for Book Jacket Layout in the Templates selection.
    3. Click “download” to select your chosen template. When it finishes downloading, click Open.
    4. When the design opens, you’ll see all the parts you can customize. Change the design elements with information about your book, including the title and author name. Use the selection tool and the delete button to remove anything you don’t want.
    5. Select Rectangular Frame in Tools and drag a frame around the page. Extend the frame to the bleed lines at the top and bottom to make sure your cover prints precisely.
    6. Add artwork. To insert it, simply drag it over the frame and drop it into the cover. You can choose from Adobe Stock images or use your own. Note that you may have to pay a licensing fee to use Adobe images. To use your own pictures, you must first download and save them. Save them with an easy-to-understand name in your Pictures file.
    7. If any image is too large or small, use the Frame Fitting tool under the Properties panel to make it fit.
    8. Use the Type tool to replace the template’s text with your own information, for instance, title and author. You can use the Character tool to change the size, font, and style of the text. If you want, use the Eyedropper tool to pick up a small amount of colored ink and change a text element.
    9. Once your cover is done to your satisfaction, press Publish to download it instantly to your computer. You can now print it, send it to a printer, or use it for a marketing publication.

    Using a Book Cover Template in Canva

    1. Open Canva, and go to Book Covers.
    2. Choose a template from a wide variety of covers designed specifically for self-published books. Canva has a wide selection of covers, and you can use the search button to narrow your choices down by theme or genre.
    3. All Canva designs are fully customizable. An intuitive, drag-and-drop design makes it easy to change the elements of the book cover. Like Adobe, Canva has a vast selection of stock images you can use. Some are free, and others require a small licensing fee to use.
    4. Once you’re finished, download the cover and save it as a PDF, PNG, or JPG file. It’s now ready to print or send to a printer.

    Where to Get Free Art for Your Book Cover

    Add interest to your book cover with an eye-catching image. You can find free and copyright-free photos and illustrations of every type imaginable.

    • Clipart Library: If you want well-designed, professional-looking clip art, look no further than this website. You can find flowers, animals, school themes, holiday themes, and more on this free-to-use site.
    • Pixabay: This is a popular site with millions of beautiful images that are free to use for any purpose. You can search by topic, style, and even color. As a courtesy, add a line giving credit to the artist or photographer whose work you use. This isn’t required, but it’s a thoughtful gesture the artist will appreciate.
    • National Gallery of Art: The museum offers beautiful works of art from its permanent collection which you can use for any purpose. Go to the NGA’s Open Access page to see some world-famous artworks.
    • Wikimedia Commons: Anyone can contribute artwork to this huge database, which means you have a lot of choices. There are millions of pictures, photos, and illustrations, but it’s also easy to search for what you need.

    Get Creative with a Book Cover Template

    If you want a low-cost alternative to professional book design, illustration programs are here to help. You decide how much, if any, customization you need to get the right design. Choose your image, select your colors, and easily create a print-ready book cover. When it’s time to publish your book, contact Dazzle Printing for fast, affordable printing.


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