How to create a print book cover using Createspace?

I received plenty of compliments on my physical book cover. I must say it took quite a bit of trial and error, and I mean more errors than I would like, to get it to look the way it does. I used Createspace’s Cover creator, which is a free service provided by Createspace.

The cover creator is actually pretty easy to use.

There are various steps, but after a few tries you shouldn’t have a problem, and who knows after reading this you might get it in one.

From Google: Killer book Marketing

You can use this video from Killer book Marketing if you need detailed help. But above is a pic of what the template looks like.

But first things first.

1. Themes: 

Go through all of the themes. Cover Creator by Createspace allows you many templates with themes. Depending on the tone and mood of your book, you may choose any.

Here are some just to give you an idea.


So all these are templates, with themes. I chose a ‘Beginning’ theme, because I had just one picture that my book cover designer created for me. (Thanks Mark and Peter) But you could pick any depending on the picture or image that you’re using. Also different themes will have different requirements.

2. Front Cover Image:

This is the most important. You have to splash money on this because without an image, its not really going to make your book stand out. I did go through the copyright free images provided by the Createspace team. They’ve got a gallery, where a single key word can present a collection of related pictures, but I wasn’t too happy with the images. Mine was better. The front cover image has to be 300 dpi and about 4.01 x 6.24 inches in size. That’s important. The software will not accept a low resolution image.

3. Ornament:

Now my book has a design element or ornament. You can do with or without, but I felt with it, the cover looked more professional. Some themes have an ornament, some don’t.

4. Title:

You’ll have to fill the title the way you want it to be seen. The place where it will be captioned is fixed. Even the font is fixed for that particular theme. So check all these elements before you select a theme, in relation to your image. The only thing you can change is the color of your font. Test the colors, if you want a specific shade, get the RGB formula and type it in. The main thing is the font has to be seen against your image. So lighter fonts against darker images and vice versa.

5. Book cover color:

Now while you select font color, remember the same typeface color is used throughout. Keeping that in mind, you will have to select a book cover color that goes with that typeface or change everything in the previous step. Also your book color has to go with the image. Mine wasn’t looking too good, so I had to change my image to a sepia mode and then use it. Plus a red book didn’t go with my theme or tone of the book, so I switched to blue.

6. Back cover descriptions:

Its important to have this drafted and edited beforehand. It’s the same description you would probably use in the ‘about’ page on amazon or smashwords. But do spend some time on your book jacket. It’s important for physical books, because people do buy print books based on jackets, so write a compelling back cover.

7. Back over image:

This is your photo. You need to get a high quality image of yourself. I honestly wouldn’t pick a book of someone with a cat unless its a book about cats. Nothing against cats, but this picture needs to be well done. You can read about getting professional author photos here.

8. Spine

Depending on your book, the spine width will determine the font size. Since my book is a 60 page 5×8 size, the spine was absent. But if I did have a larger book, the spine would have to have words. Don’t pack it with too much information. Author name and Title is plenty.

Once you’re done adding the elements, review if it all flows well. I would say give it a few days, come back to it. Share it with someone who understands design and see what they have to say.

After you submit it, Createspace will approve or will not, until its all done. If not, then one of the steps will have a red circle at the top and you will have to review it before you can submit again.

All in all its a pretty fun process. I enjoyed it a lot.

You have more control over the way you want your book to look. So with a little homework, the whole book cover prep will come together quite easily.

It took me a week, to get it right, because I had to change the image and the dpi, cut the back cover descriptions to make it look less cluttered, etc. Still its an absolute thrill to do it yourself. I wouldn’t mind doing it for others as well, I enjoyed it that much. Createspace has really provided an inexpensive way to do print on demand book covers. And as you change the colors and design, images and descriptions, it looks very different. So despite the limited templates, I guess they have fifty or more, you can still make a fantastic cover.

Is your process different? Do you have any tips to make this simpler? Let me know.

Liked it? Take a second to support Pamela Q. Fernandes on Patreon!

Leave a Reply, I'd love to hear from you