When you look at a book cover and take time to discover its properties, you’ll realise that there’s more to it than text and a background image.

It’s a composition. There’s harmony between the elements that compliment each other in multiple ways. There isn’t just a front cover (unless you’re designing for just eBook, that is) to be taken into consideration; there’s also the back cover and spine to think about too.

Pick up your favourite read and take a good look at its cover. Do you see how all of the elements were designed to compliment and work together? Take a look at a few more covers for research.

The layout of a book cover design

Front Cover

The front cover is usually the first visual element of the book cover that you discover. It’s sole purpose is to sell the book to readers, and includes essential elements such as the book’s title and author name. Other elements to potentially include could be a subtitle, images, series number, or any accolades that you think will bring in more of the right readers.


The old adage says a picture tells a thousand words, so make your front cover imagery count. This is most likely what the reader is going to firstly see, so make it something they’ll remember. Imagery can include photographs, illustrations, even a color to make it standout. BuzBooks can help design a beautiful, professional composition completely bespoke to your book cover.


The title of a book is usually the first thing that is read upon a cover, which is why it is important to ensure it can be read quickly and with ease. Use a font you feel visually conveys the story of your book. If you are struggling to choose a font for your title, why not check out our blog on top free fonts to use on a book cover design?


A subtitle can be useful to include on the front cover design when your title might need some clarity or descriptive detail. With the rise of eBook popularity it might also help to include a subtitle as it will include searchable keywords that aren’t included in your title or anywhere else upon the cover.


Spines should be considered as an important element of the book cover design as it’s what brings together the front and back cover, as well as being the part of the cover that will be visible upon the bookshelf. If your page count is over 100 then you will be able to include text upon the spine. If your spine is large enough to accommodate considering adding a small emblem or icon/logo that will help give more details about your book’s story.

Back Cover

At BuzBooks we believe that the back cover should be considered in terms of design just as important as the front cover. To give your cover that professional edge above your competition keep the reader interested by adding some elements that reflect the front- if they’ve made it to the back cover they are already showing some interest.

Back cover text

The back cover text is highly important with regards to selling your book as it’s your chance to make readers feel they are obliged to buy your book and find out more, almost as a ‘call to action’. Just like a movie trailer creates suspense for a film your back cover text should showcase some important scenes of the story. Although you want to sell your book to the reader, try and keep the text short (around 150 words) to make sure it doesn’t have to be crammed into the design at a smaller font size, and ensuring you don’t bore the reader with too much information on your story. Be sure to pay attention to the text indentations, legibility and alignment.


The back cover also needs to accommodate room for the barcode and ISBN (International Standard Book Number) as this is a requirement for publishing your book. This is usually placed inline with the back cover text in the bottom right corner.

Author biography

Authors can choose to include their author biography upon the back cover or within the interior of the book. This should be relatively short and straight to the point, showcasing your credentials if you’re writing a non-fiction and conveying your personality if your book is fiction. Use your biography as a means of connecting with your readers on a personal level.

Book reviews

Book reviews can show you’re authentic whilst endorsing your story to readers. It shows that other people have enjoyed reading the book so much they are compelled to give you positive feedback about it.


Consider the background of the back cover to be just as important as the front cover imagery. What can you bring to the back cover background rather than just using a solid color? Maybe incorporate a frame around text, or potentially use imagery that wraps from the front cover around the back.

Other tips

Self-publishing authors sell their books in multiple retail outlets, such Amazon.com and Ingram Spark. Covers need to be designed to sell in physical and online retail outlets, thus should be legible in color, black and white, and at thumbnail size.

As cover type and imagery can have decreased contrast when viewing covers on Kindle devices, designers should avoid colors similar in tonal value on cover elements that are touching each other.

As shown there are many elements of a book cover that need to be taken into consideration. It is a very important promotional tool, and it shouldn’t be disregarded. To get the perfect book cover design for your story, get in touch today.