So you’ve had your book edited by a professional editor, read by a beta reader, and you’ve read it yourself multiple times… it’s time to hire a book designer.


What to do for DIYers

Ordering a Book Cover Design

What to do for DIYers

If you want to do it yourself and you don’t have InDesign, then see this Amazon paperback formatting page. WATCH THEIR VIDEO.

If you have pictures, I would not advise using MS Word for typesetting. But people do and they get by… I don’t know how the images even come out when they are all in RGB. This is not correct by industry standards, as all images for print purposes should be in CMYK and 300 DPI (dots per inch).

Ordering a Book Cover Design

Many authors feel it’s good to order their cover design early on, as this can be:

  • motivation for you, and
  • helpful for getting interaction and pick of choices among your online friends.

If you ensure the cover designer is accessible for the whole book design (or series), winner, you are going to have a CONSISTENT look to your books. If they do the inside and outside, this can also be more consistent, in typefaces and designs.

Advising a Cover Designer on Images

For a book cover design, you have a few different options. First, decide if you want to use real images (photographs) or illustrated artwork (which is created by the artist), or even a combination of both. For artwork, you either commission the work or purchase the rights directly from the artist but with real photos there are a few different ways to do it.

Cover Images: Highest to Lowest Level

You can at the same time, get your Author Portraits done as well. See our Marketing section for Author Head-shot Photographers.

But for Book Imagery:


You can pay a photographer to take photos. This will give you the most creativity and ability to get exactly what you want, but will cost $199 on up.

For all kinds of photos: Glenn Hunt in Brisbane

See Zahrina Photography in Sydney. Specialist in branding.


You can search online for photographers who may be willing to sell the rights of their image or the rights to use it.

If American or Canadian, use this site:

If Australian, use this site:


You can buy the rights to use images via stock image sites (but often with stock images, you do not get exclusive rights; meaning someone else may use the same image on their cover). Stock image sites are:  istockphoto 123rf, and

Stock Image supplier 123rf is quite affordable; I used their cartoon images for a healthy tips book. 123rf charge in AUD and have many kinds of imagery that suit all occasions, including Australian money.

123rf: 10 images per month=$42 (AU).

Lowest stock photo prices in the market. Only at 123RF. (Referral link)

iStockPhoto is another stock photo choice with a range of small credit plans that don’t last long (from $36) or $85 for 10 images over the month (yearly), which is why 123rf is recommended.


Placeit offers this composition for US$8 (own book design)

Placeit offers good 3-D renderings of your book cover (once done) in any kind of three-dimensional setting… best for Ebook or Social Media sharing.

See their excellent Author post about Book Covers and Facebook Ads using book mockups. offer a free mock-up shot and then will try to sell you a package for US$60. You will laugh and be astounded as they place your single cover into all sorts of situations and videos!

If doing a LOT of social media posting and advertising, try the US$14.95 a month or US$100 p.a. for Placeit subscription.

Turn to next page for Book Designer recommendations! and Cover Art and File Artwork Specifications

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