Updated: Jun 15

We all know us writers are an imaginative bunch. I mean, we spend most of our lives prancing about in completely made up worlds, right? And yet, when it comes to designing our book cover, we can often hit a wall. Either we have something specific in mind and don't have the talent (or budget) to pull it off, or we have no idea what we want and don't know where to start.

While, it's always a goods idea to hire a creative professional to do work you're not comfortable with, that's just not always possible when you have little to no budget. So, here are 4 free design tools you can use to really spruce up your book cover.


Over the last few years, Canva has really taken the amateur design world by storm. With a ridiculously intuitive drag and drop interface and a seemingly endless supply of beautiful templates, Canva is hands down the best design tool for those who neither have the time nor money to learn Adobe Creative Suite.


If all of Canva's free book cover templates aren't doing it for you and you've decided to head out on your own, then one of the most daunting tasks is often finding just the right font pairing to make your title and name pop off the cover. Fortunately, there's Canva Font Combinations (formerly Type Genius), where you can choose a starter font, and the platform will show you a good font to pair it with and show you a good example of the pairing from a real live website.


The next important piece of your book cover design is the image that will accompany all that text. While it can be great to have a custom image or illustration, sometimes you simply can't afford to have someone create something original. That's where Pexels comes in, one of the internets largest databases of free stock photography. Just search for the type of image you have in mind, and voila! Pexels will serve hundreds of beautiful, fair use images. Be sure to check the rules for each image, since some of them require that you give the photographer credit when making money off the image.


Wanna touch up your cover image or layer different photos together? PicMonkey is low-cost software that enables you to mimic most of the basic functionality of Photoshop without the price or headache of learning a complex photo editing program. You can try the system out for free for 7 days, and if you like it, it's just $8/mo afterwards.

Creating your own book cover can not only be a fun and creative project, but it also gives you greater control over the way your book is perceived by readers. Using these four tools, you have everything you need to craft a clever book cover design.

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