Designing your eBook cover can be a fun and creative thing. Especially for writers who usually deal with words it can be a refreshing thing to make something visual. And while everything about designing your eBook cover can vary depending on your book and your preferences, there are certain things that you kind of have to follow to meet the legal requirements for your eBook cover.
This will in no way bound your creativity, you are still free to choose the color palette, font and overall design, it is just that when doing so you will need to follow some eBook cover legal requirements to get your cover approved. Even though it might look that your eBook cover should just be something like a sized down version of a regular book cover that is really not the case.
The basic requirements include size and format. Different sites can vary from each other in terms of image size, resolution, image format, etc. But luckily, most major eBook marketplaces have very similar requirements that you can meet with a single design.
One thing that all sites can agree on, is that your image has to be RGB as opposed to CYMK image. To be more specific, RGB color is used when the image or design is made for devices and online usage, while CYMK color is used when the design is set to go to print. Since we are designing an eBook Cover the right choice here will always be RGB.
The ratio. This is also a pretty simple one. Almost all of the online stores requires approximately 6 to 9 ratio. Of course this can vary between devices and sites but you will find that 6:9 ratio will satisfy most eBook cover legal requirements.
The resolution. This is a bit tricky as it can vary from publisher to publisher. The good thing is that most publishers are starting to be more tolerable with their requirements and not as strict. In most cases you have a lot of room to actually meet the resolution requirements. For example, Kindle Direct Publishing’s resolution requirements state that the short side should be at least 500 pixels and the long side at least 800 pixels, with room to go all the way to 2000 pixels on the long side. BookBaby also has flexibility of 550 to 700 pixels on the short side, and 800 to 1000 pixels on the long side.
As you can see most sites are pretty flexible when it comes to resolution, as long as you keep the format consistent and the image isn’t poor quality. So keep in mind that you shouldn’t go lower than 500 pixels on width and not above 2000 pixels on length.
Choosing and making the cover for your eBook can be as defining as writing it. Ok, maybe not to you, but the thing about not judging the book by its cover is pretty much invalid with the invention of advertising. So of course you need to put a lot of thought about when creating your eBook cover with a template. Even choosing the right template can be defining, especially if you are not a pro with designing. Here are the five crucial things you need to have in mind before you go on in creating your eBook cover with a template.
1. Know the specifics and choose the right template
Make sure you know the dimensions that your template needs to be in. This is probably the most important as it is the only one that cannot be fixed, adjusted or compromise. The dimensions are given and need to be followed. So make sure you know the exact ones before you go on to choosing your template. After that you can choose the template onto which you want to create your eBook cover.
2. Know your book
Keep in mind what kind of eBook you are creating a cover for. If you are to look around the eBook store you are going to notice that different genres of eBooks have somewhat similar covers. So you can basically distinguish a horror, mystery, romance or self-help eBook just by their type of cover. This is good to keep in mind. Even if you are looking to break the mold and want your eBook not to have a typical mystery, horror or romance cover, you should know which mold you are breaking. Which leads us to the next rule
3. Know what you want
This one is all on you. No one can tell you what kind of cover you need. Whatever you are expecting from the cover of your eBook you should decide before you start creating it. Look around and see what’s out there, search for inspiration and take notes. Maybe even do a sketch to see what looks good for you.
4. Keep in mind the size
Now this is completely different than the dimensions of the template you are going to need. This is for you to take note of how big the size of those eBook covers on Amazon look. When marketed eBooks show in rather small thumbnails. So know that your design should be visible and readable even in small size. You are going to want people to be able to make out something of the book even when they see it in small size at first glance.
5. You need a test audience
You might be able to do this alone, but not without an opinion. This is where your friends and family come in play. It is good to have a diverse group of test audience but when choosing one try to have at least some members that match the target audience for your book. That way you can get different and relevant opinions every step of the way.