Think of your eBook as a gift, something with immense value to anyone who might venture to read it. Now consider the gift wrap, i.e., the eBook’s cover. The eyes have a way of sorting through images and moving towards those that encompass just the right blend of visual appeal, balance, and content. Too bland and the eyes will pass right over it, too busy, and the eyes avoid the disturbance, but when a visual image strikes that perfect tone, it becomes powerfully attractive. This needs to be the effect of your eBook cover.

The finishing touch to your eBook means creating a spectacular cover design that demonstrates your knowledge about the inherent differences from a print version. This step can reveal, in stark contrast, the difference between a novice and an informed professional. Those authors, with a clear understanding of how to maximize the visual appeal of an eBook based on the particular limitations associated with the eBook format, will, in a nutshell, sell more books.

Again, returning to the gift wrap analogy—take a minute to recall the last time you were at a Christmas gift exchange, where you were free to peruse a pile of gifts from which to select. As you surveyed the various packages awaiting their new owners, you found you gravitated toward a particular visual that was pleasant, interesting, and held promise for the treasure inside. This is the desired effect that your amazing eBook cover will have on potential customers. You want your eBook to be the one they pick.

What Makes an eBook Cover Design Different Than a Printed One?

Imagine now that the vast array of gift wrapped items from which you will select the most amazing hidden treasure is the size of a postage stamp. Suddenly, this feat takes on a dramatic twist—how to judge the visual appeal of the gift when it is basically microscopic.

Alas! This is the primary difference between an eBook cover and a print book. The latter you are able to view in its full 3-dimensional glory, all 6″ x 9″ of it displayed on a bookshelf. The eBook, however, will be displayed as a tiny little icon that may require a pair of cheaters to even discern the title. The mastermind that creates an attractive, visually balanced and readable thumbnail version of your eBook cover wins.

EBook covers must pack a potent punch. The eBook cover doesn’t enjoy all that promotional real estate available on a print book’s back cover and inside flaps, where the author can add book details, a bio, and a few glowing reviews. The eBook cover is a flat, simple visual representation of the genre and tone of the treasure that lies within. So, to make the sale, you must capture this brief opportunity to motivate the customer to click on the link to your eBook, where they can then learn all about the content of the book.

Understanding how to create an eBook cover, as opposed to a print book cover, means having a good grasp on these basic differences and optimizing the aesthetic design through the use of clean, simple, and attractive elements.

7 Tips for Creating a Professional eBook Cover that Stands Out

Now that you’re armed with a general understanding of why a well-designed eBook cover is essential, here are the nuts and bolts to create your masterpiece:

1. Understand the dimensions and file size requirements.

Cover design art will need to follow the publisher’s specifications. These are standardized eBook cover dimensions and sizes based on a height/width ratio of 1.6:1.

  • Kindle Direct Publishing requires a minimum image size of 1000 x 625 pixels and a maximum image size of 10,000 x 10,000 pixels, with a recommended size of 2500 pixels tall x 1563 pixels wide. The cover image file size must be less than 50MB and have a minimum resolution of 300PPI.
  • B&N Press requires a file size between 5KB and 2MB, with a recommended eBook cover size height and width of 1400 pixels.
  • IngramSpark requires 2560 on the longest side and a minimum of 1600 pixels on the shortest side.
  • AppleBooks (iBooks) limits the size to 740 x 560 pixels

2. Use an eBook cover template for inspiration.

For a higher level of guidance that does not require you to be a graphics expert, consider downloading an eBook cover template. These eBook cover templates provide the basic layouts, fonts, and images to tackle your cover design on your own. However, the results will not compare to a professional cover design service.

3. View eBook listings and note the ones that attract your eye.

Why not check out the competition? Scroll through Amazon’s Kindle books in your genre and see which ones grab your attention. Note the colors, fonts, imagery, and graphics that draw your eye to it, and use these ideas to help you select similar design elements for your own eBook cover.

4. Select stock images carefully.

One common rookie mistake is using a boring stock image that screams, “stock photo!” Worse yet is discovering this same stock image used on other eBooks. Also, be sure to select an image that truly evokes the tone of your book and is suitable for your genre. Remember that the image you choose will be the first impression a customer has when seeing your eBook on the platform.

5. Pick the right font.

While it may be tempting to put an ultra-creative stamp on your eBook cover design, resist the ornate or trendy fonts that are difficult to read—especially in thumbnail size. Go for a clean sans-serif font for the title (don’t be shy about using a large point size) and a complementary font for the author’s name and subtitle. Simple is better for eBook covers.

6. Decide on a color story.

All good designs involve the careful consideration of color application and coordination. When designing an eBook cover, your cover design’s color story should dovetail with the tone of the book, as color can powerfully convey emotion and energy. Select a color pallet that accents your image and invokes the appropriate messaging, as well as a font color that contrasts with the image.

7. Get some help with eBook cover design.

If the mere idea of tackling an eBook cover design project terrifies you, then why not turn the job over to a professional cover designer? The cover design is your number one marketing tool, helping your eBook stand out from a sea of thumbnails. Give your book its best chance of success by considering the help of an expert who can dial up the “gift wrap” and make your book the one people will reach for.

Get a Professional Opinion on what’s Best for Your eBook Cover

Now that you are in the loop and know how to create an eBook cover that stands out give your eBook the final boost by enlisting the skills of a professional eBook publishing partner. Gatekeeper Press can spruce up the interior content with its proofreading and editing services, as well as create a visually appealing “gift wrap” for your eBook with an amazing cover design. Contact us today!