Cookbooks with bad covers suck! Yes, you read that correctly, they suck! Nobody wants an ugly looking book, and this is even a ‘cookbook’ for crying out loud! That is why in this post, the 3rd of the cookbook guide series, I want to teach you how to make outstanding book covers.
In my last post(part 2 of 5), I addressed ‘how to properly analyze the profitability and competitiveness of your selected kindle keywords‘ Now, make sure you click on that link so that you won’t miss out on any of those killer methods. Remember that it is a step closer to making those big sales. You can also check out part one here..the link.
So, back to cookbook covers…
Whenever anybody (including you, hehe!) thinks, talks, or writes about food, the first thing that comes to mind is the picture. We just want to visualize it because food is better appreciated when we see it. Cookbooks are like recipe guides that provide us with a lot of tryout options. Who would want a recipe book with no images, talk less of a boring shitty cover? That is why, for a cookbook to make good sales, the book cover must be damn attractive. If the cover is poorly designed, people aren’t going to purchase that book.
If you want a cover that would suit your needs and you are short on funds, why not make it yourself? By the time you are done with this post, you are going to be able to make covers way better than the $5 cover you’d get from a fiver, trust me.
How To Create a Kindle Cookbook Cover [Watch Video]
What Tools Do You Need To Design A Cookbook Cover?
1) Photoshop application: you need some necessary Photoshop skills to get the hang of this software. Other alternatives are Canva.
Canva is a good substitute because you get to understand how to create designs with it by just playing around the application. It is also free, unlike Photoshop.
2) Images are also necessary: You should always use pictures without copyrights. Otherwise, you may run to problems with big old daddy Amazon. For this, you can get images from Pixabay.com.
However, sometimes you aren’t able to find the right images there. My other recommendation is to try “Adobe Stock”; they offer ten free images once you open a new account. If you enjoy their website, then you can choose one of their monthly packages.
Again, you should have some experience with Photoshop before you think of creating your cookbook cover. If your content, title, the description is good, but your cover is wack, your book isn’t going to sell. There’s a very high probability that no one would decide to further and check the book’s content. Therefore, if you are not sure you can do a good job, or you don’t have the luxury of time, just give out the job. It’s better than producing garbage after long hours.
STEP 1) Choose A Couple Of Covers (from the niche your book is categorized in) from Amazon
You should get some book cover ideas from other keywords in the same niche. For example, I want to write on the carnivore’s diet. My guide image would be from the Paleo Diet (another keyword); This is safer so that you don’t end up copying a book cover that has the same title as your book. You are not picking out these covers to create the same design! You are just going to need them as a guide.
Go for the cover of a book that is selling well because the cover is going to be a factor contributing to those big sales. When you’ve finally made your choice, save the image and open it on Photoshop.
The recommended cover sizes by Amazon are height 2560 and width 1600. Take note of these dimensions. I already have a sample book cover opened, but it’s too small. So, I click on images on the toolbar and select “image size”, here I can readjust my cover dimensions. Make sure you chose the chain icon; this way, it will increase the sizes in proportion. Afterward, add the height suggested, 2560 pixels, and press ok.
Personally, I feel a cookbook cover should be larger than a standard non-fiction book. Besides, this makes your cover thumbnail more catchy on the Amazon search results.
STEP 2) Select Images For Your Cover
This is where the work is. Choosing an image is really a pain in the butt and could take you about an hour or more if it’s not your lucky day. It’s going to take an effort to get something that checks all your list, e.g., size, image quality, background, etc. Always make sure you use images that have a contrasting solid color as the background.
Note: The background should ideally contrast every other detail (image, font style, font color) on your cover. This is to the end that your book cover pops.
Make adjustments to the background.
Now that we have an image, we need to replace our sample book cover with our new image.
- So in the tab on Photoshop, go to layers, unlock the sample layer, add a new layer, and then you delete the sample layer. What you’d be left with now is a plain outline that has the dimensions you changed earlier on.
- The next thing is to unlock your new image, paste it on your outlined area, and enlarge till it fills up the outline.
- Lastly, you are going to ‘Add a New Guide’ with a position of 50. This just helps to center align whatever content you’d be adding to the background.
STEP 3) Add a Title and Subtitle
For this, we are basically just going to need a font. If you want something different from the options on Photoshop, you can always google ‘free font’ and make your choice. Now you have to check out the title of your sample book cover for ideas. After this, you can come to your background and try out similar things.
When you are adding your title,
- Your keyword or title (as you’d see from your sample) should be larger than the subtitle.
- Once you create a new layer, let’s say for your title, subtitle, etc. then you may duplicate it. When you do this, you retain the same font style for the next layer. This speeds up the process.
- There are also options to change the general font size, vertical sizing, horizontal sizing, etc.
- You can also use guides (those lines) to create a demarcation you don’t want your words to cross. This is just like the guide of 50 we used earlier for center alignment. Guides are basically for alignment. Check the example below:
When you are adding a subtitle,
I am going to use a circle to add my subtitle as I show on the image below. However, you may add your subtitle below your title, or experiment with other designs. Just check out other book covers on Amazon and see what you like. If you prefer my cover design, then read my following recommendations.
- Now, you must use a color entirely different from every other color on your design for your circle. This is because we want it to be very catchy.
- You can also use a different color for the shape border, just to enhance the outlook.
- Make sure the shape and the outline of the text in it are exact, not too big or small. Be sure to get the right spacing between the text lines. You can also use the bold, italics icon to get beautiful output and emphasize what should be emphasized.
When you are adding a pen name,
- Still, follow all the points listed above in the title section.
- Strategic positioning is important. Make sure the name is on the part of the background that is plain, not like on the food or something as some people do.
- You can also add a dark shadow at the bottom to make the name pop. I use the ‘rectangle marquee tool’ to outline a thin section at the very bottom. Then I use the bucket tool to pain this section with dark grey. Afterward, go to “filters” on the toolbar, choose “blur and motion blur”. In the “motion blur” window, add 90 degrees and configure the shadow distance until it looks the way you like. Also, you can use the same technique on top of your title section.
TIPS and TRICKS to have a STUPENDOUS KINDLE COOKBOOK COVER DESIGN
1) You can use filters around the edges.
This is a technique I like because it just makes the book title and name stand out a bit more. I use the blur→motion filter. This one is not noticeable and still gives me what I want.
2) You don’t have to use the same font style all through your cover
Sometimes your keyword might be something that speaks aggression, or beauty, or warmth, etc. You can alter the font style of your keyword in that light, and this makes it stand out from the other words. For example, mine is ‘Carnivore Diet,’ so I’d look for an aggressive font.
If you want something edgy, you can try changing the background of the font. Don’t worry, it’s not that hard.
For instance, I want to use a scratchy surface instead of a plain one for my main keyword. What I’d do is search for a ‘scratch surface’ image. Bring the image to Photoshop, creating a new layer for the image. Then drag that layer over the layer of your keyword. Afterward, select all your “scratchy surface layer” and invert the selection by Ctrl+shift+I. Click on the same eye option on the side of this layer. This option removes the scratchy surface layer from appearing.
With everything still selected, choose your title layer and use the “erase tool”, then start cleaning the areas you want. Make sure to rasterize the title layer. Otherwise, this option won’t work.
3) You can do books in series, with the same author-name
If you do a book series, then save your first cover as a photoshop file. Afterward, you can use the same cover designs as a template, and the only thing you need to configure is the title, subtitle, and image. Work smart, work less!
From the steps I have shown you, I am convinced you now know how to choose an image, come up with a good title and subtitle design, and many other things. Creating a book cover is not hard as long as you know the appropriate tools to use on Photoshop. That’s why I said, basic knowledge of Photoshop is essential. As you can see, I didn’t go much in detail about Photoshop.
In all, remember that nobody wants to buy a book with an ugly cover.