Help! I’m Stuck with my Cover Design!

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Simply put, we all do. If a book cover doesn’t grab my attention, I most likely won’t be buying the book.

Did You Know?

If you're a current Self Publishing School student, you can upgrade to get your cover designed, book formatted, and even uploaded into Amazon! 

Click here to speak with the SPS team about getting your cover designed


It’s an important task finalizing your book cover and putting it out into the world hoping people are drawn to it.


The three things I’ve outlined for you in this article include: what to prepare prior to your cover design process, tips to help you as you go, how to get feedback from your target audience, and how to test your cover.

#1 - Prepare the following items prior to the paperback version of your cover design

  • Write the book description that will go on the back cover.
  • Write your author bio for the back cover. You can make it approximately 3 lines and write a longer bio for the interior of your book.
  • Smile and take your author picture. You can get this done professionally or not depending on your budget.
  • Include testimonials on either the front or back cover if you choose to do so
  • Determine your book size. Some options include 5x8, 5.25x8, 5.5x8, 6x9, 7x10, and 8.5x11.
  • Finalize your page count so the spine can also be designed
  • Fill out the SPS cover designer template. This information will help the beginning of the process with your cover designer go smoothly.

#2 - Some tips to help you along the way

  • View your cover as if it were broken into thirds
  • Place the title in the upper part of the cover so it stands out
  • Make sure your subtitle is clear
  • Use a font that you can read easily for your title and subtitle
  • Use a nice flow of design, either from left to right or top to bottom
  • The author’s name typically goes on the bottom, unless you choose otherwise
  • Coordinate your colors and consider the mood each color sets

#3 - Reach out to people for feedback

A great way to get feedback about your cover design is by creating a Google form. People will feel excited being part of your journey as they vote for which one they like best. This feedback is needed to move forward feeling confident in your final decision.


Be sure to include the following:

  • Thank them for taking the time to vote for their favorite book cover
  • Provide an image of the 3 different cover designs
  • A line for them to submit their email if they want to be alerted about book updates as the launch gets closer
  • A line for them to type a comment to you


For my fellow organization lovers, this one's for you. The Google form will provide you with a spreadsheet (insert heart eyes here!) detailing all of the responses you receive.


You will receive insightful feedback so you can make the necessary adjustments prior to your launch. 



It is helpful to receive feedback from people on Facebook and from family and friends, but be sure to focus on the feedback you get from the people who are your target audience. Those are the people who will be buying and reading your book!

#4 - Test your cover design

Start by looking at the thumbnail version of your cover design next to other book covers. Also, run a split test by using opposite color schemes, print font vs. script font, and using a photo/graphic or not. This will help you see the various options and narrow down what catches your eye the most.


Take your time in choosing your cover design. This is the first part of your book that will be seen by the world!