By Naaziyah IsmailMon. 15 Jan. 20243min Read

How to Make the Best Book Covers on PDF

How to Make the Best Book Covers on PDF: A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Visually Compelling and Professional-Looking Covers Using Accessible Tools and Creative Techniques.
How to Make the Best Book Covers on PDF

This guide delves into the intricate process of creating captivating book covers, drawing inspiration from the works of renowned designers like Oliver Munday, Jamie Keenan, Joan Wong, and Jon Gray.

By exploring various elements such as graphic design techniques, the use of bright colors, and striking imagery, we provide an in-depth understanding of how to design a beautiful and professional cover that resonates with your target audience and stands out as a favorite among a collection of gorgeous book covers.

Naaziyah Ismail
Blog Author - B2B SaaS Content Writer
Naaziyah has written many tutorials on apps and software such as, Jira, Asana, Trello, and PDF Reader Pro. She excels at engagingly simplifying complex processes.

Understanding Book Cover Design Basics

Essential Elements of an Effective Book Cover: Imagery, Typography, and Color Scheme

  1. Imagery:

    • Choosing the right image or collection of images to set the book's tone.
    • Examples include simple images, abstract covers, or complex graphic designs.
  2. Typography:

    • Involves selecting the appropriate font and title treatment.
    • The interaction of text with background images can turn an ordinary cover into a striking one.
  3. Color Scheme:

    • The use of color evokes emotions and sets the book's mood.
    • Bright colors or a subdued palette can make a cover appealing and memorable


The Psychology of Book Cover Design and Its Influence on Potential Readers

  1. Visual Metaphor and Imagery:

    • Using cover imagery to create emotional connections and communicate the essence of the book.
  2. Emotional Impact:

    • The design can evoke specific feelings or responses, influencing the reader's perception.
  3. Target Audience and Genre Reflection:

    • Design choices that attract a specific audience and reflect the book's genre.
    • The cover can hint at the narrative style, enhancing the reader's curiosity and interest.


Tools and Software for Designing PDF Book Covers

Creating a beautiful and professional book cover is a key step in the publishing process. There are several tools and software options available that cater to different aspects of book cover design, each with its own features and usability. Let's compare four popular tools: PDF Reader Pro, Adobe InDesign, Canva, and Pixlr.

1. PDF Reader Pro

Image Source: PDF Reader Pro

  • Features: Primarily a PDF editing tool, PDF Reader Pro offers basic design functionalities suitable for simple cover designs. It allows for the manipulation of existing PDF book covers, including adjustments in text and basic imagery.
  • Usability: Best suited for users who need to make quick edits or adjustments to existing book cover designs. Its interface is user-friendly, but it's more limited in creative capabilities compared to specialized design software.

2. Adobe InDesign

Image Source: Adobe

  • Features: Adobe InDesign is a professional-grade tool widely used by book cover designers. It offers extensive features for graphic design, including sophisticated typography options, comprehensive color palette tools, and advanced layout capabilities.
  • Usability: Ideal for professionals like Oliver Munday or Jamie Keenan, who require high-level design capabilities. However, it has a steep learning curve and is best suited for those with experience in graphic design.


3. Canva

Image Source: Canva

  • Features: Canva is a user-friendly, web-based design tool. It provides a vast library of templates, including those for book covers, making it easy to create beautiful and striking covers with simple drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Usability: Highly accessible for beginners and non-designers. Canva is excellent for creating professional-looking book covers without the need for advanced design skills. However, it might be somewhat limiting for more complex or highly customized designs.


4. Pixlr

Image Source: Pixlr

  • Features: Pixlr is an online photo editing tool with features that can be leveraged for book cover design, such as color adjustments, filters, and overlay text.
  • Usability: Good for designers who need to incorporate detailed image editing into their book covers. It offers more image manipulation features than Canva but is less comprehensive than Adobe InDesign for full-scale book cover design.

"I always used more than one PDF Reader before finding PDF Reader Pro because none of them had all the tools I needed in one platform. Now I only use PDF Reader Pro due to its efficient suite of tools!"
Naaziyah Ismail
B2B SaaS Content Writer
Source: LinkedIn

Planning Your Book Cover Design

Tips for Conceptualizing the Book Cover: Theme, Audience, and Genre Considerations

  1. Understand Your Theme: Reflect on the core theme or message of your book. Whether it's a classic book or a contemporary novel, the theme guides the visual elements of your cover. Consider how renowned designers like Oliver Munday or Jamie Keenan integrate the book's theme into their designs.

  2. Know Your Audience: Identify who your target audience is. Different demographics might be attracted to different styles – a young adult novel might favor bright colors and bold typography, whereas a literary classic might require a more subtle and elegant design.

  3. Genre Specificity: Align your cover design with genre expectations. For instance, romance book covers often have a different aesthetic compared to nonfiction book covers. Look at a collection of book covers in your genre for inspiration.


Creating a Draft Layout or Sketch of the Cover Design

  1. Start with a Simple Image or Sketch: Begin by drafting a simple image or sketch that captures your book's essence. This could be a visual metaphor or a significant element from the story.

  2. Experiment with Color Schemes and Typography: Play around with different color combinations and typography that align with your theme and genre. Even a single pop of color or an abstract image can make a big difference.

  3. Incorporate Background Images or Graphics: Consider the use of background images or graphic elements. If your book is part of a series, think about how this cover will complement others in the collection.

  4. Layout and Composition: Arrange the title, author's name, and other essential elements in a balanced way. The title treatment is crucial – it should be legible and impactful.

  5. Feedback and Iteration: Share your draft with others, perhaps with fellow book cover designers or your target audience, and gather feedback. Be open to making changes based on this input to create the most appealing and compelling cover for your book.


Designing the Cover

Selecting Images

  1. Concept and Theme: Begin by identifying the central concept or theme of your book. This will guide your choice of imagery, whether it's for a classic book, a contemporary novel, or a non-fiction piece.
  2. Image Source and Quality: Choose high-quality images that reflect your book's theme. Consider using professional image sources or creating a unique graphic design.
  3. Visual Appeal: Aim for an image that is both beautiful and relevant. It should stand out, but also be cohesive with the book's content. Look at collections of beautiful book covers for inspiration.


Designing Layout

  1. Drafting a Sketch: Start with a rough sketch of your layout, considering where to place your main image, title, and author's name.
  2. Balance and Symmetry: Ensure there's a harmonious balance between text, images, and empty space. Avoid cluttering the cover.
  3. Consistency Across Series: If your book is part of a series, maintain a consistent layout across all covers for brand recognition.



  1. Font Selection: Choose a font that complements the theme and genre of your book. Classic titles might require more traditional fonts, while modern books could explore contemporary styles.
  2. Hierarchy and Size: The title should be the most prominent text, followed by the author's name and other text elements.
  3. Color and Contrast: Ensure the text color contrasts well with the background for readability.


Best Practices for Image Resolution and Quality for Print-Ready Covers

  1. High Resolution: Use high-resolution images (at least 300 dpi) to ensure the cover looks crisp and professional when printed.
  2. Correct Dimensions: Match the image size and dimensions to your book's physical dimensions. This includes accounting for the spine and back cover if designing a full wrap-around cover.
  3. File Format: Save your cover in a print-ready format, typically PDF, ensuring it maintains quality during the printing process.


Converting and Saving as PDF

How to Convert Your Book Cover Design into a High-Quality PDF

  1. Finalize Your Design: Ensure your book cover design is complete with all elements including imagery, typography, and color scheme. This is crucial whether you're designing a simple cover or a more intricate one inspired by designers like Oliver Munday or Jamie Keenan.

  2. Check the Design Format: Before converting to PDF, confirm that your design file is in a compatible format (such as JPEG, PNG, or TIFF for images; or PSD, AI, or INDD for graphic designs).

  3. Open PDF Reader Pro: Launch the PDF Reader Pro application on your computer.

  4. Import the Design: Use the 'Import' or 'Open File' option in PDF Reader Pro to bring your book cover design into the program.

  5. Adjustments and Editing: If necessary, make any final adjustments to your design within PDF Reader Pro, such as aligning the layout, adjusting the color scheme, or fine-tuning the title treatment.

  6. Convert to PDF: Once you are satisfied with the design, use the 'Convert to PDF' or 'Export as PDF' feature in PDF Reader Pro.

  7. Set PDF Quality: Select the highest quality settings for your PDF to ensure the best resolution, especially important for print editions.

  8. Save the PDF: Save the file in a designated folder, and make sure to name it appropriately for easy identification.


Use PDF Reader Pro for editing, converting, and annotation on your device.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!

Ensuring Correct Formatting and Compatibility for Printing or Digital Publishing

  1. Resolution: Confirm that the PDF is saved at a high resolution (at least 300 dpi) to ensure it's suitable for printing, especially for professional book covers or striking covers.

  2. Size and Margins: Check that the size of the PDF matches the specifications required by your printer or digital publishing platform. This includes the correct aspect ratio for either a single cover or a full wrap-around cover.

  3. Color Accuracy: If the cover uses specific color combinations or schemes, ensure the colors in the PDF accurately reflect your original design. This might involve checking the color settings or using a color-proofing tool.

  4. Embed Fonts and Images: To prevent any issues with fonts or images not displaying correctly, embed all fonts and images in the PDF file.

  5. Compatibility Check: Ensure that the PDF file is compatible with the requirements of your publishing platform, whether it's for print editions or digital formats like eBooks.

  6. Test Print: If possible, do a test print of your cover to ensure that the final product matches your expectations in terms of color, clarity, and overall appearance.

"Confirm that the PDF is saved at a high resolution (at least 300 dpi) to ensure it's suitable for printing, especially for professional book covers or striking covers."
Naaziyah Ismail
B2B SaaS Content Writer
Source: LinkedIn

Adding Interactive Elements (Optional)

Incorporating Interactive Elements

  1. Hyperlinks: Adding hyperlinks to your PDF book cover can direct readers to additional resources, author websites, or promotional content. This is particularly useful for digital publishing.

  2. Multimedia Elements: For an enhanced digital experience, you can embed multimedia elements like audio clips, video, or animations. This can be especially engaging for genres like children's books or interactive nonfiction.


Tools and Methods for Embedding These Features in a PDF

1. PDF Editing Software:

Use a PDF editor like Adobe Acrobat or PDF Reader Pro to embed interactive elements. These tools offer functionalities to insert hyperlinks and multimedia.

2. Adding Hyperlinks:

  • Open your book cover in the PDF editor.
  • Select the 'Link' tool and draw a box over the area where you want to add the hyperlink.
  • Enter the URL or link destination and adjust the appearance of the link.

3. Embedding Multimedia:

  • In your PDF editor, look for an option to add multimedia, often found under the ‘Tools’ menu.
  • Select the type of media (audio, video, etc.) and position it on your cover.
  • Upload the media file and adjust settings like playback options and size.




4. Compatibility Check:

  • Ensure that the interactive elements are compatible with standard PDF readers and devices.
  • Test the interactive PDF on different platforms to check functionality.

5. Optimizing for Web and Digital Devices:

  • Compress multimedia elements to reduce file size for easier downloading or viewing online.
  • Use web-friendly formats for media (like MP4 for video or MP3 for audio) to ensure broad compatibility.


Reviewing and Revising Your Book Cover Design

Importance of Reviewing and Getting Feedback on Your Cover Design

  1. Perspective: Getting feedback provides fresh perspectives that might reveal aspects you haven't considered.
  2. Objective Evaluation: Others can provide an objective assessment of how appealing, compelling, and effective your cover is for your target audience.
  3. Professional Insight: Input from professional book cover designers like Oliver Munday or Jamie Keenan can offer valuable insights into the latest trends and design standards in the industry.


Tips for Revising and Finalizing the Cover Based on Feedback

  1. Be Open to Critique: Welcome constructive criticism and be willing to make changes, even if it means significant revisions to your design.

  2. Consider the Target Audience: Feedback should be weighed against the preferences and expectations of your intended readers. If your book is a romance novel, for instance, consider the standard elements found in romance book covers.

  3. Balance Design Elements: Ensure that your cover has a balance of bright colors, simple images, and appropriate title treatment. The feedback might highlight areas where the balance is off.

  4. Maintain Design Integrity: While it's important to listen to feedback, ensure that the revisions align with your original vision and the book's theme. A beautiful cover is not just about aesthetics but also about staying true to the content.

  5. Check Technical Aspects: Based on feedback, revisit the technical aspects of your design, like color scheme and image resolution, especially for print editions.

  6. Create Multiple Versions: If you receive diverse feedback, consider creating several versions of your cover and get opinions on which one works best.

  7. Final Review: Before finalizing, review your cover for any overlooked elements like typographic errors, alignment issues, or color inconsistencies.

  8. Test Audience Reaction: If possible, test the revised cover with a segment of your target audience for initial reactions.

"Compress multimedia elements to reduce file size for easier downloading or viewing online."
Naaziyah Ismail
B2B SaaS Content Writer
Source: LinkedIn

Best Practices for Book Cover Designs in PDF

Creating an effective book cover in PDF format requires a blend of aesthetic appeal, technical precision, and a deep understanding of your target audience. Here are some best practices to consider:

1. Understand Your Audience and Genre

  • Tailor your design to appeal to your target audience. For example, romance book covers often have a different aesthetic than nonfiction book covers.
  • Research genre conventions but don't be afraid to innovate. Look at collections of book covers for inspiration.


2. Focus on a Central Visual Metaphor or Theme

  • Use a strong, central image or design element that captures the essence of the book.
  • Simple images can be effective, but ensure they are striking and convey the book’s theme.


3. Use High-Quality Images and Graphics

  • For print editions, use high-resolution images (at least 300 dpi) to avoid pixelation.
  • Be mindful of color schemes and color combinations to ensure they translate well in print and digital formats.


4. Effective Typography

  • The title treatment should be legible and visually impactful. Experiment with different fonts but ensure readability.
  • Consider the hierarchy of text - the title should be the most prominent, followed by the author’s name and other text elements.


5. Balanced Composition

  • Ensure a harmonious balance between text, imagery, and negative space.
  • Avoid cluttered designs; sometimes a single image or a minimalist approach can be more effective.


6. Consistency Across Series

  • If your book is part of a series, maintain consistent design elements across all covers for brand recognition.


7. Prepare for Print and Digital Formats

  • Ensure that the design works well both as a print cover and a digital thumbnail.
  • Check that the color palette used looks good on screen and in print.


8. Technical Accuracy in PDF Format

  • Embed all fonts and images in the PDF to ensure they display correctly on different devices.
  • Use proper PDF settings to maintain image quality and color integrity.


9. Feedback and Revision

  • Get feedback from potential readers, other designers, or focus groups.
  • Be open to revisions. Often, a favorite cover in the designer’s eyes might not resonate with the audience.


10. Professional Input

  • Consider consulting with professional book cover designers, like Oliver Munday or Jamie Keenan, especially for major projects or bestselling books.
  • Their expertise can provide valuable insights and elevate the quality of your cover design.


FAQ for Creating Book Covers in PDF

How do I choose the right design for my book cover?

Start by considering your book's genre, theme, and target audience. Look at beautiful book covers within your genre for inspiration. Think about what makes a cover appealing to your intended readers. Incorporating elements like a striking cover, bright colors, or a simple yet powerful image can make a big difference.

What are some key elements of effective book cover design?

Key elements include a compelling visual metaphor, legible and attractive typography, a well-balanced color scheme, and high-quality background images. The cover should reflect the book's subject matter and resonate with its target audience.

How can I ensure my book cover stands out?

Focus on creating a unique and memorable design. This might mean using bright colors, an abstract cover, or a simple design that conveys the book's essence. Look at iconic book covers or the work of designers like Oliver Munday for inspiration.

What technical aspects should I consider for print editions?

Ensure high-resolution images (at least 300 dpi) for a professional look. Pay attention to the color palette and color scheme to ensure they print accurately. Also, consider the dimensions of the cover, including spine and back cover if needed.

How can I incorporate feedback into my book cover design?

Be open to suggestions from potential readers, other designers, or industry professionals. Try to balance personal preferences with constructive criticism to improve the design.

What software can I use to create a PDF book cover?

You can use graphic design software like Adobe InDesign or simpler tools like Canva. For converting your design into a PDF, software like PDF Reader Pro is ideal, especially for ensuring compatibility and maintaining image quality.

Are there any common mistakes I should avoid in book cover design?

Avoid using low-resolution images, cluttered designs, and fonts that are hard to read. Be wary of creating a cover that misrepresents the book's content or genre.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!