Everything you need to know about book cover design in one graphic

I talk SO MUCH about book cover design, but I thought it would be easier to just see all the important stuff in one simple book cover design checklist. So before you publish (or if you see someone’s hideous cover and want to gentle encourage them to make a better one) please share and use this graphic.

If you don’t know what fonts people hate… I’m making a huge post on that, it will be up soon.


how to make a book cover design

About Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors build profitable publishing platforms. Find me
  • Alex Blythe

    Thank you! Handy to have on the desktop instead of having browsers open. Just a quick question: How effective is having the Title running vertical instead of horizontal? I’ve seen it on a few covers of mainstream published novels and a few self-published. By effective, I mean for readability and visibility. I know we naturally read horizontal, so it puzzles me why some books go vertical.

    • The main reason to do that is if you have a longer title in a genre that needs big text; horizontally you’d have to make everything much smaller, so it gives you more space; I’ve also seen some books split the title word in half. It’s still pretty rare though, I’d avoid it if you can.

      • Alex Blythe

        Thanks Derek. Personally I think vertical looks pretty awful, but that’s just me; I thought it may have been some new marketing magic I wasn’t aware of, lol. Keep up the good work, this site’s one beast of information 🙂

  • TariAkpodiete

    this is terrific. thanks!

  • Sara Baptista

    Not bad! The first one opened my eyes 😉

  • Tim Kimber

    Can’t wait to read Title, looks awesome. When’s it released?

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