How to Create a Canva Book Cover in 4 Steps

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Designing a book cover is not as easy as it sounds. Most people think it’s about putting the title, the name of the author and boom! You have your book cover.

Hate to break your bubble but designing a book cover has its own science. Your book cover is the first thing about your book that people see, so it obviously must grab their attention, in addition to accurately conveying the theme of your book.

Therefore, a good book cover design is an important element to your book. Especially in the era of social media, it would potentially act as a marketing tool for your book!

But don’t let that discourage you from trying to create your own book cover. We understand that self-publishing is a rapidly growing field and while graphic designers obviously hold the expertise, digital designing is altogether not very difficult with the convenience of designing tools like Canva and Adobe Spark.

So, don’t worry if you are trying to save up on the expenses of a graphic designer, we got you covered! Let’s design a Canva book cover together!

Assuming you already have opened Canva and have landed on the “book cover” category, let’s get started.

Step 1: Determine the Genre and Theme of your Book

Your book cover can convey the genre and theme of your book without explicitly giving it away. But, you first need to determine the genre of your book – is it a thriller, novel, romance, or non-fiction? Every genre from biographical to thrillers can be elaborated through your book cover design!

Moreover, what’s the theme of your book? Define it to yourself first – what are the key elements of your book? Remember, a well-designed book cover should intrigue the reader – it should reveal just enough information to captivate a passer without giving away too much.

As you land on the category of “book covers” on Canva, you will see there is an option for “theme” in the bar at the left hand. They basically have every theme in existence in there – select your preferred theme for more exact results.

Step 2: Decide on your Colours

Now, let me tell you that it does not matter which template you select, because you can change everything later! Templates are just there to make things easier for you – so here’s a tip on selecting the best template for a book cover: don’t focus on the image and the colours, focus on the text! Where the text is placed, the fonts and how many elements of text are there? Is there a description if you need one?

Assuming you have picked the template, now let’s come to the most important step! And trust me, this is an important one! If you have even slight knowledge of colour psychology, you would agree with me. Decide on a colour scheme!

People are emotional beings – your cover should provoke an emotional reaction in them so they can connect to it! The most successful books are the ones where the reader can relate to the book somehow.

If it’s a biographical, go for plain colours like grey or solid brown, if it’s a thriller, maybe exciting colours like oranges, reds, and blacks, and perhaps a light and bright shade of pink or any colour for a romance book – you get the point?

Step 3: Choose an Image

This is also a rather important one! Pictures convey what words can’t. Here are some ideas for pictures that you can choose as a background for your book cover:

  • Illustrate the threat or problem that is at the center of your story. This can be an abstract concept or concrete object, like a mountain for strength
  • Display one or more of your main characters in an attention-grabbing way.
  • Depict a pivotal scene in your story.
  • Use symbols that represent or relate to the themes of your story.
  • If the title is powerful on its own, limit the imagery and make it the centerpiece.

You can pick an image from the Canva’s own photo library.

choosing from canva photo library for the best picture for your book cover

Or you can upload one of your own.

Now simply replace the original background of the template with it:

Step 4: Add the Words

Now, the most basic step – edit in your title, put your name in place of the author’s name and maybe add description if your book requires it.

Edit the colour of the text if required (it would not be if you had picked the colour scheme earlier). Now, here, as you can see the colours in the original template do not really go well with my background image – again put, do NOT underestimate the importance of right colours!

adding text to your canva book cover

See the difference?

I also changed the placement of the text with respect to the image, but you can determine these things on your own. You may also change the font if you did not choose your template accordingly.

If you followed our step-by-step guide, hopefully now you would have your very own perfect eye-catching canva book cover at your hand!


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Hamna M.
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