10+ Sample Book Cover Templates – PDF, Word

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Books have captivated readers of all ages, across history, spanning centuries and culture. They have shaped civilizations and influenced thought. The best and worst of them have been burned, banned, worshiped and ridiculed but they remain to be the cornerstone of all knowledge, and so for this, books would be feared by those who find comfort in ignorance but they will continue to exist as long as there are stories and truths to tell.

Elements of a Good Book Cover

Every successful author started somewhere small and even the most acclaimed in history have received quite a number of rejection slips before they made it big. If you have a manuscript ready and got a publishing house to print it, you’ll need a cover that would sell your book from the shelves. Make that first impression count by taking note of the following elements for a book cover:

1. Message: Text and images or illustrations would make up the design for your book cover. In order to get it right, you have to consider that one message you want to tell your target audience in that limited space.

2. Title: Put yourself in your reader’s shoes when choosing the title for the book. Will it make sense to your target readers? Would it be easy to remember? The title should also be relevant to the message on your cover design. All elements should connect together to make a whole, otherwise, you’ll confuse the reader. Try not to spend too much time thinking about the title if something straightforward will do. You don’t have to channel medieval authors just to have a great title.

3. Focus: The most important part of your classic book cover is making it known that it’s about something and the idea should be reflected clearly. This is one element that manipulates the majority of attention and emphasis on the cover so be careful not to shoehorn too many things on the layout. It should get the attention of your target readers at the bookstores in about 5 seconds, not confuse them, which means at a glance they should be able to know:

  • Theme or subject matter
  • Voice or tone of your book
  • The genre of the book.

4. Imagery: This is another very important element. Whether you end up choosing a graphic, illustration or an image for the cover, you have to make it stand out using a plain color that will get the attention of your target audience. It needs to draw your reader while it communicates what the book is about. The visual element should, therefore, be able to evoke anticipation, curiousness, the mood you’re going for and expectations or an instant first impression that would make them pick it up or remember.

10+ Book Cover Templates

Fantasy Book Cover Template

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Size: Available in (US) 8.5×11 inches + Bleed

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Free Non-fiction Book Cover Template

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Size: Available in (US) 8.5×11 inches + Bleed

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Classic Book Cover Example

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Size: Available in (US) 8.5×11 inches + Bleed

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Thriller Book Cover Sample

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Size: Available in (US) 8.5×11 inches + Bleed

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Romance Book Cover Template

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Size: Available in (US) 8.5×11 inches + Bleed

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Non-Fiction Book Cover Design

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Size: Available in (US) 8.5×11 inches + Bleed

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Free Novel Book Cover Design

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Size: Available in (US) 8.5×11 inches + Bleed

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Free Vintage Book Cover Form

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Size: Available in 6×9 inches + Bleed

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Book Cover Design Sample

Book Cover Design Template

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Creative Book Cover Template

Creative Book Cover Template

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Steps to Design a Book Cover

Computers have changed design-focused industries such as goods-packaging, architecture, and publishing. It also paved the way for book cover designs to be more unique instead of just being left to the decision of art departments known to produce covers that sell.

Desktop publishing revolutionized the pre-press process, completing it within the constraints of digital resources which means your cover design will be ready for print once the designer has your file completed. Here are some helpful steps you can follow to get your design ready:

  • Observe: Whether you’re an author with a modest but loyal following, or someone trying to publish independently for the first time, you’ll probably be searching for cover ideas. Try spending some time observing in your local bookstore and notice how customers react to the books they’re scanning on the shelves. Which displays, illustrations, and colors attract certain potential readers? Go over the books with the same genre as your current manuscript.
  • Target your audience: You have written a story, a manuscript with a specific type of readers in mind. Your cover should be created in the same way, with a design that would make them identify with your book. For instance, a book cover with a car on the horizon that has the window rolled down and a laughing driver might attract carefree readers who dream of road trips, sunsets, and wide, open skies.
  • Balance your visuals: The difference between a bang average cover and a standout lies in how balanced the overall layout turns out to be. This means there should be a visual hierarchy, with the placement of visual elements in order of importance, the psychological impact of colors considered and the balance between a simple, strong message and detail of the design.
  • Get symbolic: A well-designed cover has meaning, message and a theme that inherently changes as the reader turn the pages and gets deeper into the story. These meanings or symbols may be vague hazy or mixed in the beginning but with each page turned, the relevant metaphors suggested in the cover design would gradually make more sense.

Tips for an Excellent Book Cover

Massive book inventory offers a wide selection for the average bookworm, but it’s a different story if you’re an author because this means you have a market so competitive that it’s quite intimidating just to think of how you can vie for the reader’s attention and investment. With that said, here are tips to help you get started:

  • Garner a second glance: Your book will only have a few seconds to get the attention of a reader. You have to make those seconds count with an engaging cover that would make your target reader take a second look at your book among stacks of many others.
  • Dress the part: People are inherently visual and this is true even to the most hardcore bookworm who collects books and reads twice as much as the average reader, which means your book will still be judged based on its visual appeal. If your book comes with a selling price close or the same with that of other authors, your cover should stand out or at the very least, compete.
  • Make it professional: Your cover is the crux of your marketing. If you plan to take it one step higher through professional reviews, you’ve got to have a cover polished and designed to compete with other materials that get reviewed.

Types of Book Covers

Determine the best type of cover that would get your book noticed from the pile:

  • Stock Image Manipulation: A vast majority of book designs relies on elements taken from various stock image libraries across the internet, because why not, when they’re professional, high quality, cost-free images for the taking? But just because they are doesn’t mean that the designer has zero jobs to do. It’s up to you to use stock images in creating a unique cover.
  • Illustration: The main leverage for this type of cover design is the style that the artist can bring since it can vary from being creatively simple and subtle to very intricate.
  • Original Photography: On account of resources, time and money, book covers with an original image don’t come very often. This only becomes an option to the wise when the first two types of book cover designs cannot bring the concept into visuals.

Book Cover Sizes

Standard book sizes can vary depending on your genre but they usually fall under the following:

  • Mass-market paperbacks: 4.25” x 6.87”
  • Trade paperbacks: Trade paperback sizes can range anywhere between 5.5” x 8.5” (a size that’s called digest) to 6” x 9” (also known as US trade).
  • Hardcover: These book sizes tend to range from 6” x 9” to 8.5” x 11”.

Book Cover FAQs

Why does trim size matter?

Trim size determines the printing cost for your book. Your page count depends on the trim size and print-on-demand press charge based on page count.

What’s the difference between trade paperback and mass market paperback?

A trade paperback is a larger book and is often the same size as the hardcover original. It’s the go-to format and size for readers. A mass-market paperback is the cheaper version and often has the lesser paper quality.

How many genres of books are there and what are they?

Fiction and non-fiction are two types of books which can be divided further into several genres and sub-genres but these are the most popular:

  • Fiction: classics, modern, post-modern, satire, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, young adult, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, etc.
  • Non-fiction: psychology, philosophy, history, memoirs, religious and inspirational

On average there are about 200 thousand titles published every year, with bookstores featuring books which are often the latest bestsellers, stacked on the floor, behind the glass or on the rows of shelves. No matter its literary potential, your book would have to nail the kind of the first impression that would sell it to the readers and there’s no better way of doing that than designing a cover unique to your story and to you.

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