Creating a Book Cover with Little to No Budget

Hello, readers and writers!

This week I thought I would share some tips and tricks I’ve learned while creating my own book cover for my second release, Escape: A Romance Novel. I see the question pop up on multiple social media groups and forums about how authors on a budget create their book covers. Do they pay someone to do it? What are their tips and tricks? I wanted to share my knowledge and trial and error with anyone else looking for ways to create their book cover!

Well, here is how I do it.


Google is your friend when it comes to designing a book cover. There are a few questions you need to ask yourself when designing:

  • How long is my manuscript?
  • What dimensions would I need in order to have my cover wrap around a paperback copy?
  • Do I want to use a free image or a copyrighted image (with their consent/permission)?
  • What can I afford?

When I was designing my book cover, my budget was basically $0.00. So I was looking for free images on Pexels, Unsplash, and Free Stock Photos. If you did some more Googling, I guarantee you would be able to find a website that fits your needs, whether you pay for the image or don’t.

Using the Right Program

I used Canva to design both my ebook cover and my paperback cover. There are other useful programs you can find while Googling, but I just really love this one. They have a lot of helpful templates for a variety of things, and I used custom dimensions to create my paperback cover.

Here are my photos to show off:

To the left is my paperback cover and to the right is my ebook cover.

Design, Scrap, Design

Creating these covers took me a long time. An ebook cover is usually much easier because you’re only dealing with a small surface to create your design. Sometimes it’s as easy as picking a photo you like and then adding text. If I were you, I would look at the way professionals do it so you can get an idea of what a good book cover looks like.

During all of my research, I had found many videos on how to create a book cover using a variety of programs, but nothing ever came out looking right. I had to spend a lot of time studying the way professional designers made their covers look in order to finally create my own designs. I have a high respect for designers because creating these covers took me months before I was finally happy with the result.

Ask Opinions

Ask someone you trust will tell you the truth. If that’s a friend, family member, or even a writer’s group you might be in, then that’s your place to go. Ask what they think about specific parts of your design. Maybe even have a few different versions if you’re not sure exactly how you want it to look, and hopefully, they will give you helpful feedback.


You’ve created your design! It was hard work and took a long time, but it was all worth it in the end when you can finally self-publish that novel without worrying you look like an amateur. For any other questions or advice, contact me, and I’ll see how I can help!

Consequences of Writing Taboo Romance (1)

Thank you for reading!

Check out my release here, and enjoy the rest of your week!

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