How To Become A Book Cover Designer? Top Full Guide 2022

If you want to learn how to become a book cover designer, there are a few things you need to know.

First, you need to have an eye for design and be able to create visually appealing covers that will catch a reader’s attention. Secondly, you need to be familiar with the different software programs used to create book covers. And lastly, you need to have a good understanding of the printing process to ensure your designs will look great once they’re printed.

What Does A Book Cover Designer Do?

What Does A Book Cover Designer Do
How to become a book cover designer?

A book cover designer develops artwork, images, and text for book covers. Many book designers study the books they design before beginning a job to comprehend the concept and pictures their art should portray. Once the topic has been identified, the designer visualizes ideas and makes a draft of the cover.

They create a final version of the artwork and cover design following approval. From conception to manufacturing, book cover designers construct the cover.

In addition, a book cover designer may:

  • Collaborate on ideas and approval with the author and publisher.
  • If the book is part of a series, make sure the artwork or typefaces are consistent. Create a design that matches the book’s front, back, and spine.
  • Make use of graphic design software.
  • Recognize contemporary design trends

What’s The Difference Between In-house Vs. Freelancer Book Designers?

What's The Difference Between In-house Vs. Freelancer Book Designers

The two most common career pathways for book cover designers are in-house and freelancing. Both have advantages and disadvantages, so you must understand them to make the greatest selection for your future career. Let’s look at some of their traits.

In-House: Pros

A company has engaged in-house designers to create specifically for that company. The most typical company for book cover designers is a publishing firm, which may vary from a tiny, independent publisher to one of the ‘Big 5’ publishers.

Benefits and a steady paycheck

As an employee, you will enjoy the perks of working for a large corporation. Their achievement equals your success – and a consistent payment. You may take a vacation or sick leave without worrying about missing a paycheck because you didn’t work for a few days. You could also receive health insurance and a company-sponsored retirement fund.

Client reliability

Working in a publishing business eliminates the need to seek customers. They will instead come to you. You may have to give up some creative flexibility since you will be reporting to creative directors, but there will always be work ready for you when you get to the office in the morning.

In-House: Cons

Entry barrier

According to Data USA, there are roughly 786,017 designers in the industry, with almost 40,000 students graduating each year with design and applied art degrees as of 2016. Because not everyone will follow the same business, the competition for design employment will be fierce. Suppose you wish to work in-house for a publisher. In that case, you may face fierce competition and a higher entrance barrier, demanding a university degree merely to be considered for the position.

Might require relocation

The majority of large publishing firms (and even small ones) are concentrated in major cities. Working in-house requires commuting and adhering to a regular work schedule, so you’ll have to relocate unless you currently reside in a metropolis like New York or London.

Freelance: Pros

Working as a freelancer allows you to work for a diverse range of clients rather than just one. You are your boss, with no one to answer to, and you make all business and creative choices – yet your firm’s success is dependent on you.

Control over your schedule

Because you don’t have to travel or report to anybody, you may work according to your schedule. This will be especially useful if you know that your most productive and creative hours aren’t always 9 to 5. This also means you have control over your working environment so that you may listen to music as loud as possible!

Creative freedom

While you must still meet the writers’ standards with whom you are working, you are not required to follow anyone’s directions on your specific design – you have complete creative authority over every creative option.

Freelance: Cons

Bearing the full load

As a freelancer, you are responsible for everything. You’d be in charge of finding customers, completing the job, following up on requests and payments, and making other business decisions. Clients are not assured until you do the legwork, and neither is your salary. You will also be responsible for planning your own vacation time, paying for your benefits (such as health insurance), and establishing your retirement fund.

24/7 workload — at least at first

While you have complete control over your schedule and working environment as a freelancer, you will have to work extra-long hours and balance many tasks at once to gain (and keep) customers. While this improves over time, it will take a lot of effort to get started.

How To Get Hired As A Book Cover Designer

Consider the following six stages to becoming a book cover designer:

1. Learn how to design covers

To become a book cover designer, you must first understand how to design covers. These qualities and skills may help you break into the area of cover design. While a formal education isn’t necessarily needed, many designers have a bachelor’s degree.

The most useful degrees may be in the arts and design, such as a bachelor’s degree in fine art or graphic design. These classes may provide you with fundamental information and assist you in developing crucial abilities, such as utilizing design tools to make book covers. These talents, however, may be learned without a formal education.

2. Practice your skills

It’s critical to keep honing your skills after learning how to make covers. In your spare time, experiment with various types of painting and try continuing education art programs. These experiences may assist you in keeping up with new trends and technology.

Participate in an internship or volunteer as a designer if feasible. These changes may help you hone your talents and add to your résumé.

3. Create a professional portfolio

Consider creating a professional portfolio when you’ve obtained more experience and broadened your talents. This collection of papers and photographs demonstrates your skills as a book cover designer.

It is often an extension of your resume and cover letter, and if made online, it may connect a hiring manager to a more extensive, visual display of your talents, such as examples of your work. Display a variety of book cover designs from various genres or reading levels in these examples to demonstrate your breadth of talent. Keep your portfolio up to date so that hiring managers may view your most recent work.

4. Attend networking events

Consider attending networking events linked to publishing or book cover design while looking for employment. Introduce yourself to writers and publishers at publishing events and make your availability known. You can meet a mentor or a recruiting agent at a book cover design event.

A mentor can help you with your career, and a recruiting agency can help you get a job. You may look for these events both locally and online. Consider attending lectures, webinars, workshops, or conferences. These events may provide career possibilities.

5. Market your abilities

You may advertise yourself as a book cover designer when developing your talents and obtaining more expertise. You may prefer to do this advertising online to reach the most number of people, but you may promote yourself anyplace. Make a professional website or a social media account where you can upload photographs and explanations of your book cover designs.

If you post regularly, an author or publishing business may take note. You may also direct hiring managers to these websites for a more detailed summary of your credentials.

6. Contact publishers or authors

It may be advantageous to make direct contact with publishers or writers. This demonstrates initiative and drives to collaborate with them, which they may enjoy. Even if you don’t get the job, you may get a professional reference, useful for networking. Contact publishers or writers, you know that are looking for designers.

Tips For Getting Hired As A Book Cover Designer

Follow these guidelines to get a job as a book cover designer:

Redesign book covers

Consider reworking existing book covers while learning how to create book covers or honing your talents. This is a useful project since you have something to build your design on rather than beginning from scratch. You may also examine the original design to see what made it so popular.

Please explain why you believe your design explains, enriches, or compliments the concepts of the article when submitting it to your portfolio.

Have a dedicated workspace

Maintain a workstation that allows you to concentrate and promotes creativity when practicing or working on projects. This implies you have a dedicated office or studio for your job. These rooms often feature all of the equipment needed for your task and few to no distractions. This might assist you in concentrating on your designs, increasing your productivity.

Be respectful

Respect the original ideas of writers and publishers when you begin working with them. They may have a different vision or request that you adjust your design. Use their suggestions to enhance both the cover design and your abilities. Maintain respectful and professional communication to build meaningful and long-term working connections.

Enter contests

Consider entering talent shows. Several contests and competitions are available to professionals in the art design sector. You could come upon a contest for book cover designs.

Participating in these competitions may help you enhance your design and practical abilities. Contests often include deadlines that mimic the project deadlines of a genuine design assignment. If you win a contest, you may include this qualification in your CV.

Consider moving

In the design profession, freelance or remote employment is prevalent. If you want to work in a physical place, you should consider migrating to prominent publishing centers, such as big cities. Moving to one of these areas may boost your chances of obtaining work since these organizations may prefer to hire a local applicant.


How much does it cost to get a book cover design?

A competent book cover designer would normally charge between $500 and $800 for a single assignment. However, a basic cover from a less-experienced designer would be less expensive, and an ornate cover from a Big 5 designer would be far more expensive.

What is a book cover designer called?

Graphic Designer is an umbrella word for anybody who works with graphics. Many graphic designers make books over their careers, but they may not be familiar with the finer nuances of typesetting and book layout if they are more a generalist.

Do you need a degree to be a book cover designer?

These qualities and skills may help you break into the area of cover design. While a formal education isn’t necessarily needed, many designers have a bachelor’s degree. The most useful degrees may be in the arts and design, such as a bachelor’s degree in fine art or graphic design.


Becoming a book cover designer is a great way to use your creativity to make a living. This could be the perfect career if you love books and have design talent. Here are a few tips on how to become a book cover designer. Thanks for reading this post!