Best Book Cover Software, Designers and Services

book cover designers software services

You’ve just logged in to check your book sales. You're feeling a glimmer of hope that today will be better, but disappointment soon hits as you see that low number again.

What’s worse is knowing the countless hours of precious time and all that money you invested to create that book. You know it’s a good book, but why does no one else seem to realize that?

It could be your book cover. Just a few tweaks of a book cover can double or even triple sales for self-published authors. But how do you make a book cover that looks professional if you’re not a professional graphic designer?

Let's take a look at the best book cover design software, services, and designers that can help you create an absolutely stunning book cover. Note: When possible, I'll use affiliate links, which help cover the costs of running this site.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The best book cover software and templates for the DIY designer
  • Where to find talented book cover designers and services
  • Several ways you can test your book cover to find which one will sell the best
  • What other articles I recommend to authors who want to learn more about book covers

Best Book Cover Design Software

If you decide to make your book cover yourself, you’ll need software that is capable of making a cover that looks professional, matches your level of design skills, and suits your budget. There are a variety of online design tools and cover design software for you to choose from that are both free and paid. You may even have some of these design tools already.

Here are six of the best design software for making book covers, including cost, a brief description, and links to tutorials to help you use each tool.

Cover Design ToolCostTutorial Description
DIY Book Covers
diy book cover templates
Free package
$87 Epic package
DIY Book Covers TutorialsFree online design tool created by The Master Book Designer. Templates and tutorials included to create bestselling covers for the DIY book cover maker.
Adobe Photoshop or InDesign$20.99 per month

How to Make a Simple Book Cover in Photoshop

and
How to Create a Book Cover in Adobe InDesign

Advanced software for those with superior design & tech skills, and lots of time.
Canvacanva templatesFreeCanva Graphic Design TutorialsFree online design tool that’s simple to use, but advanced features and many images must be paid for. Templates are free.
Microsoft Word

Free (if you already have it)

$150 (or a monthly subscription) if you don’t yet have

Make an Ebook Cover in WordCommon software that isn’t ideal but can be used to create adequate book covers.
BookCreative

$97 Standard

$197 Deluxe

BookCreative Book Design SoftwareDownloadable app software for cover design and page formatting. Get critique from a pro designer for 3 covers. Tutorials and templates only available in the deluxe version.
Cover Creatorcover creator templatesFreeHow to Make a Free Amazon eBook CoverAmazon KDP's free online cover design tool can make basic book covers with a limited choice of templates.

Book Cover Design Templates and Pre-made Book Covers

You can also use a book cover template to get your cover art started. With a template, some tutorials, design software, and time, you could create a cover for your book that looks professional, stands out, and sells well.

If you didn’t find a design template you love above (at DIY Book Covers or at Canva or BookBrush) here are a few more places to find book cover design templates and premade book covers. There are designs for every genre and budget, so keep searching until you find the right one for your book.

Cover Design Studio

At Cover Design Studio, you'll find a selection of premium designs and DIY templates with the beginner designer in mind. You can also find tutorials to help you create a custom cover in an hour, along with stock photos and interior book templates. Bonus: Their templates are guaranteed to meet all Kindle and CreateSpace requirements. Super Bonus: You can save 30% just for being a Kindlepreneur fan. Simply use the code “Kindlepreneur”

Cover Design StudioThe Book Cover Designer

This site has over 9,000 pre-made book covers. Each genre has hundreds (if not thousands) to choose from. The prices range from $15 to $1,100, so there’s a selection for any budget. The designers will add your text for free. They may even make small changes to colors or fonts.

The Book Designer Premade CoverKingwood Creations

Kingwood Creations has about 100 premade covers in the $50-$200 price range. There are nicely designed fiction covers, as well as a few nonfiction, business, and self-help designs to choose from.

kingwood premade book coverBest Book Cover Designers By Genre And Specialty

If you want to really nail your book cover, save your precious time for other things, and potentially earn more in book sales, hiring a professional designer might be the way to go. Make sure you find one with experience designing covers you love by reviewing their portfolios.

Awesome Covers Get Clicks. Don't Skimp On Your Cover #SelfPubClick To Tweet

Here are some of the best designers in the industry, all of whom have been recommended by self-publishers. Most create covers in all genres, but a few have specialty experience. Contacting cover designers and reviewing their portfolios will help ensure you find one that fits the style you're looking for.

DesignerBrand NameSpecialty
Derek MurphyCreativINDIE CoversFiction & Nonfiction
Anna DorfmanFiction & Nonfiction
JD SmithJD Smith DesignFiction & Nonfiction
Ana GrigoriuBooks DesignFiction & Nonfiction
Robin LudwigRobin Ludwig DesignFiction & Nonfiction
James T. EganBookfly DesignFiction & Nonfiction
Laura GordonThe Book Cover DesignerFiction & Nonfiction
Peter O’ConnorBespoke Book CoversFiction & Nonfiction
Jessica BellFiction & Nonfiction
Teddi BlackTeddi Black DesignFiction & Nonfiction
Karrie RossFiction & Nonfiction
Fiona RavenFiona Raven Book DesignFiction & Nonfiction & Children’s
Simon AveryI Do Book CoversFiction & Nonfiction
Lieu PhamCovertopiaFiction & Nonfiction, also predesigned covers
Fran PlattEden GraphicsFiction & Nonfiction
Audria WoosterIndigo DesignFiction & Nonfiction
Joshua JadonFiction & Nonfiction
Glen EdelsteinHudson Valley Book DesignFiction & Nonfiction
Nick ZellingerNZ GraphicsFiction & Nonfiction
Brandi McCanneBook Cover DesignsFiction & Nonfiction
Alexandra BrandtFantasy & Science Fiction
Mars DorianDesign Illustrations, Sci-Fi author
Hampton LamourouxTS95 StudiosPortfolio mostly Dark Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Syd GillSyd Gill DesignsPortfolio mostly Romance
Perry ElisabethPerry Elisabeth DesignFiction & Nonfiction
Jeff BrownJeff Brown GraphicsSci-fi, Fantasy and Fiction covers

Other Places You Can Find More Designers

I have a few more places for you to look listed below. Some of these are places especially for book cover designers, while others are for general artists and designers.

Here are even more places to find talented designers:

  • Reedsy – A marketplace for book designers with high accomplishments in the industry. This whole site is dedicated to connecting writers with quality specialists, like designers and editors. You're sure to find a cover designer or interior designer with experience in your genre here.
  • 99 Designs  – At 99 designs you can create a contest by telling all their artists what you're looking for, and you'll get lots of cover design options in return. At the end of the contest, you pick your favorite design. If you don't like any of the designs, in the end, you get your money back. If you find one you like, the artist who created it gets paid. Design contests start at $299. You can even get designs made for other parts of your author brand too, like logos and business cards.

99 designs book cover designs

  • 100 Covers – For just $100, you can get a legit custom ebook cover design made especially for your target book categories. Or there are $200 and $300 packages that include a guaranteed promotion on Buck Books or a full CreateSpace-ready print cover design.
  • Upwork – A place where you can post a design job for free. Freelancer designers are hired then rated based on their performance, so you can narrow your search by job performance, hourly wage, or type of design. You can find designers from all over the world in any price range.
  • Deviant Art – An online community where artists post their work. Here you can find an artist with your kind of style and contact them for creating your cover design job.

sci-fi military pilots deviant art

  • Amazon – You probably already have or will later search your target kindle categories on Amazon several times. While you’re there, if you find a cover design you like, figure out who designed it and contact them. If you can click on the book to “look inside,” look to see if the author gives credit to a cover designer. Here Joanna Penn gives credit to her book cover creator, JD Smith

joanna penn make a living bookcover design credit to JD Smith

Best Book Cover Design Services

You might also come across design service agencies, which usually have a team of designers instead of just one freelance designer like the list above.

On a site like Damonza, your cover will be created by one of the professional designers on their team, but all covers are approved by the head honcho, Damon, before they’re returned to the author.

Ebook Launch

This team of designers has created multiple ebook cover design winners for The Book Cover Designer’s monthly cover contest. Their custom ebook cover designs cost $349, while their pre-made covers sell for $99. This family business out of Canada also offers fast and professional book formatting.

Damonza

This team provides book cover services, formatting, and even book trailer packages. You can see over 800 samples on their website to see their proven track record of creating stunning books. Their custom book cover design packages range from $495-$820, or predesigned ebook covers cost $195. Bonus: For Kindlepreneur readers only, there’s a 5% discount if you use the code: KINDLE5

damonza cover designsArchangel Ink

This full-service agency has designed hundreds of custom book covers for $550. In addition to cover designs, this team offers ghostwriting, editing, proofreading, formatting, book description writing, and audiobook production.

Happy Self Publishing

A team for everything self-publishing, they have packages and individual services for book cover design, editing, formatting, audiobook narration, author branding, and more. Their cover design service starts at $149.

Author Packages

Here’s a small design team that creates custom covers for print books and ebooks, as well as formatting services. Their service ranges from $310-$679.

author packages cover designsBooks Covered

This design team out of the UK has experience designing for literary agents, publishers, and indie authors. You can get a tailor-made ebook or print covers for any genre (but you must contact for quote) or buy a pre-made cover for $99-$150.

OctagonLab

A team of design wizards that make fast and affordable ebook and print cover designs for self-publishing authors. Their design services cost $197-$297.

octagon lab coverBook Cover Cafe

Anthony Puttee is the head guy over at BookCover Cafe, where they provide custom book cover designs, as well as formatting, editing, and typesetting services. These book covers range from $395-$595.

How to Test Your Book Cover Design

The final step for designing your book cover is to put your cover to the test. Don't just go with the one you like best. Test the covers in your market to see which book cover design your readers prefer. Ideally, you will gather both qualitative data (e.g., poll your audience to see which option they prefer) and quantitative data (e.g., split A/B test to see which design gets more clicks). There are several ways you can do this:

PickFu

I highly recommend using PickFu to split test your covers and see which one people like better. This helps you get honest feedback from a large group of anonymous people. Using PickFu can drastically boost your confidence to make your final cover design decision. Use my PickFu link for 20% off your first poll.

Ask Your Fans

If you already have a fanbase, you can run a poll on your blog, Facebook group page, or wherever you connect with your audience. This is great data because it's feedback from your best customers. This is not-so-great if you’re still working on building your tribe and don't have many fans to ask yet.

Figure out which cover your readers like best, not the one you like. #SellMoreBooks #BookMarketingClick To Tweet

Facebook Campaign

Speaking of Facebook, you can also run a Facebook campaign to test your book cover designs. I like this option because you can A/B split test the images of your cover designs to see which performs better. This allows you to target your ideal customer, set a customized budget, and find your winning cover with Facebook ads.

A/B Test by Email

Finally, if you have the coveted list of email subscribers, you can A/B split test your cover designs for free.

Here's how you'd A/B split test with your email list: Assuming you have two covers, you’d send Cover A to half of your list and Cover B to the other half. Everything except the cover design should be identical to give you true data on the best design. See which link leads to better results to find the better book cover for your market.

If your book hasn't been released yet, you can send your subscribers to an opt-in page to be notified as soon as your book is released and see which cover does better. Or you can just ask readers to tell you which one they like better.

(If you are still working on building your email list and want a provider that can easily perform A/B tests, here’s a review I wrote about three of the top email providers.)

A Resource Library for Making Your Book Cover

The Master Guide To Book Cover Design – Kindleprenuer’s ultimate guide for creating book covers, including the 5 steps you must follow to create a standout book cover. You'll find advice for both beginners and experienced self-publishing authors in that post.

Get inspired with these 32 good book cover examples and lessons we can all learn from them.

Choose the right fonts for your book cover with this Kindlepreneur article.

If you're planning to use stock photos on your book covers, read this guide first.

Here are the best free book cover makers in case you don't have a budget to work with.

10 Tips for Working With A Book Designer, including tips about contracts, giving credit to a designer, and questions to ask before choosing a designer.

How to Make Your Own Free Book Cover in MS Word – Derek Murphy’s step-by-step guide for using Microsoft Word to create professional-looking book covers. His video tutorial is linked above, and here is the written article.

If you’re thinking about trying 99 Designs, here are 15 Lessons From My 99 Designs Competition with Bryan Collins’ tips and things to consider before creating a cover competition.

How to get the most out of a Fiverr Book cover designer – Although I don't really recommend Fiverr for book covers, I do believe the ideas in this article I wrote can be applied to all designers you may work with, no matter where you find them.

When you’re looking for inspiration and help formatting the inside of your book, there’s a great gallery and resources here.

How to Find a Book Cover Designer has tips about the timeline and what you should have ready before you contact a designer.

Monthly eBook Design Cover Awards is a cool thing they do over at The Book Designer. Authors submit book covers, and each month a fiction and nonfiction winner is chosen. You can look through these monthly submissions to get ideas for your cover and to learn what works (and what doesn’t work) about the covers submitted.

Check out Stuart Bache's Book Cover Design course from Mark Dawson's Self Publishing Formula. Stuart Bache has designed bestselling covers for Mark and even Stephen King, so it's fair to say he knows what he's doing–and this course is targeted at authors.

And finally, to get the most out of your book cover, here's how you can incorporate your cover into your pre-release campaign to build excitement for your book.

Conclusion

Hopefully this article has convinced you that your book cover design is crucial and it may be the secret sauce to finally selling more books. The next step is to decide if you’re going to make your book cover yourself, if you’re going to hire a professional designer to create it for you, or something in the middle.

Hopefully, this article pointed you in the right direction to find the book cover software, services, tools, tutorials, templates, or designer you need to create just the cover your readers are looking for. Are there are other services you use? If so, drop them in the comments so I can check them out too!

26 Comments

  1. Jon Seymour on August 4, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    I have painstakingly gone through all of these sites and more but I have found it almost impossible to find a cover that has a urban fantasy look (young lady with graphic colors) with a sci fi feel/ background. Any suggestions?

    • Dave Chesson on August 10, 2020 at 2:26 am

      Not specific to that genre, no. It’s not one of my personal fortes.

  2. Phil on July 15, 2020 at 11:48 am

    I didn’t see Covervault mentioned. It’s great if you have a design already and want to turn it into a 3d paperback image, or show it on an ereader. Plus most of the designs are free!

    • Dave Chesson on July 15, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      Nice. I’ll check that out.

  3. Jay on July 14, 2020 at 3:11 am

    Thank you Dave! Great article and information.

    • Dave Chesson on July 15, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      Glad to have helped!

  4. Alexander Elliott on July 12, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Dave,

    I recommend Marianne Nowicki at premadeebookcovershop.com She offer both pre-made and custom covers for a very reasonable price. Great customer service and results! heck out my Gladstone Shifters series covers for a good example.

    I have also used https://selfpubbookcovers.com/. It’s a bit clunky for alterations, but the price is right and response time is fast.

    Alex

    • Dave Chesson on July 13, 2020 at 2:37 pm

      Thanks and I’ll check that out.

  5. Jim M on July 11, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    Oh Dave, for your community, I have to strongly recommend Juan Padron of Padron designs. He’s been doing our covers now for about two years. Up until then I was making them w/ Photoshop. I put a cover up for one of our books (and that’s after making my own for 6 years) and got kind of toasted in Dawson’s FB mastery group! LOL Juan’s wicked fast, and cheap as anything when you look at all the awards he’s gotten (about $125-$150 a cover). I won’t put a link here, but just google Juan Padron book covers and you’ll find his website.

    • Dave Chesson on July 13, 2020 at 2:46 pm

      Sounds good – hadn’t heard of him but I will check it out.

  6. Rob Harkess on July 11, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Have to say I’ve looked at Book Cover Design twice now, specifically for Urban Fantasy covers. Not been impressed by the quality, or by the price. I can get a good custom made cover for what they are asking for a fairly generic design.
    I know its horses for courses, and other opinions vary, but it pays to shop around and folk should always consider more than one source.

    • Dave Chesson on July 13, 2020 at 2:44 pm

      Very true

  7. Virginia Reeves on July 11, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Wow! Thanks for all these resources and overall useful tips and techniques..

    • Dave Chesson on July 13, 2020 at 2:43 pm

      Glad to have helped.

  8. Gita V. Reddy on July 11, 2020 at 7:21 am

    A comprehensive and much-needed post about perhaps the most essential aspect of book publishing!

    May I add another tool to your list? I’ve been using Paint.Net for the last several years. It’s a free resource with scads of tutorials on YouTube.
    Here’s the link: https: http://www.getpaint.net

    • Dave Chesson on July 13, 2020 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks and I’ll check that out.

  9. Monkeyboy on July 10, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    Great list of resources! Just a small note, Books Covered don’t seem to do premade book covers any more.

    • Dave Chesson on July 13, 2020 at 2:41 pm

      Oh, I’ll have to look into that.

  10. Joanna Alderson on July 10, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    I use PiXIR online at pixir.com which is free. I find it works really well.

    • Dave Chesson on July 13, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Nice.

  11. A.G. Kimbrough on July 10, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    I have used Gimp as a free alternative to PhotoShop. It does what I need. I import stock images and modify as necessary using Gimp’s tools. I do the title/author text and export as a .jpg or .pdf file.

    • Dave Chesson on July 13, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Yeah, GIMP is great for exactly that level of need.

  12. DK on July 10, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    I’ve been struggling to make a really notable cover using Canva for my next book, and I use the premium version. I think this article just convinced me to let professionals do their job instead of trying to don all the hats and achieve mediocre results.

    • Dave Chesson on July 13, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      Yeah, I’m a bit of a wiz, but that’s usually my feeling too – they ‘study’ that sort of thing. Best to leave it up to them and a cover is extremely important.

  13. Peggy on July 10, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    BookBrush is another great tool!

    • Dave Chesson on July 13, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      Absolutely!

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Hey Guys, I’m Dave and when I am not sipping tea with princesses or chasing the Boogey man out of closets, I’m a Kindlepreneur and digital marketing nut – it’s my career, hobby, and passion.

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