Written by Caitlyn Montoya. Posted in Product Reviews

4 Tools You Need to Design a Book Cover

cover creating how to

I’ll be honest with you, Jason and I owned a marketing company so I have a bit of design knowledge and skills already. They are rusty from lack of use in the past ten years, but it doesn’t ever entirely go away. That being said I believe with these four tools anyone can design their own beautiful book cover with little with very little learning required.
https://drive.google.com

Let’s start with the simplest one and one you probably already have access to already if you use Google, and that’s Google Draw. I used Google Draw to create the first draft of all the illustrations in the Conversation Journal. Remember that print and digital are very different quality when you design so make sure you set your page size based on 300 pixels per inch (best quality for printing). If you are making a 6x9 book your Drawing will be 1800x2700 pixels, pretty simple.

The next tool we use is a web-based app called Canva. Canva is great for just about everything you might want to create and design. You can do your entire promotional packaging using Canva, web ads, social media items, cover and much more. There are quite a few FREE elements but they’ve also got a great option to buy elements if your design skills are lacking. Plus they’ve got hundreds of great templates to help you with the layout if that’s not your jam. I personally hate layout design so Canva has been a great tool for searching ideas for me.
https://www.canva.com/

The next tool we use is Inkscape. It is a free tool that is very similar to Adobe’s Photoshop. There are a web-based app and downloadable software. Jason starts his designs out in Canva and then refines them using Inkscape.
https://inkscape.org/

The last tool we love is UnSplash. They’ve got amazing quality royalty free images. We used paid stock photography when we were running our marketing company and let me tell you these free images are just as awesome, if not more so. You don’t have, but you can always drop a call out on the inside of your book with photo credits. 
https://unsplash.com/

Mock-ups
Once you’ve got your cover designed and you want to make marketing and promotional items this guy has some great free templates you can use.
https://covervault.com/5-5-x-8-5-standing-paperback-book-mockup/

Is your laptop slowing you down? Yeah mine was too, here is the machine I now use that keeps me up and running, and here is my honest review of it.

If you want to read about my must-have tools for self-publishing go back to last week's article here.