Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Paperback Book Covers in Canva

You’ve got the ebook cover for your book done but now you need to make it into a paperback cover and have no clue how. Don’t sweat it. In today’s video I’m going to show you how to turn an ebook cover into a paperback cover. So, stick around:

What’s shakin, WriteRighers? Keith Wheeler here, and if you want to continue to get hints, tips and tricks on how to make self-publishing easier to navigate, then be sure to subscribe to the channel and hit your bell icon so you can get alerted each and every time I put out new content.

In a previous video, I showed you how to make an ebook cover using canva and I’ll include a link to it, here. I’ve gotten multiple requests asking me how to take that canva ebook cover and turn it into a paperbook or print book cover. So today I’m going to show you how easy it is to use canva for book covers. I’m going to flip the screen around and we’ll get this canva book cover tutorial started:

To start, since I’m publishing on createspace, I’m going to go to createspace and in the search bar I’m going to search for book cover templates. If you’re using a createspace alternate platform like kdp or, you can go to their sites and run a similar search.
I’d love to know what platform you are self-publishing your book on. Let me know in the comments below. 

While you’re doing that, I’m going to select the book cover template link. Now I’ll just fill in the info and click build template. Just click here to begin the download.

It’s going to download a zip file, I need to extract that info so I can use it to make my book cover in canva. So I’ll navigate to the zip file, right click and select Extract All.
Next, I log into canva and select Create a design. In the top right corner select Use custom dimensions. We need to create the full spread cover of our paperback book here in canva, so we’re going to start by making sure we’re working in inches.
Now to calculate the dimensions of our print book, we’ll start with width. My book is 6 inches wide for the front, 6 inches for the back, according to the template we downloaded, the spine is .25 inches and then a .125 inch bleed on both sides. So, 6 + 6 + .25 spine + .125 right bleed + .125 left bleed = 12.5 inches.
Calculating the height of my paperback book is much easier. It’s just 9 inches high + .125 bleed on top and .125 bleed on the bottom. So my height will be 9.25.

Then click Design.
Here’s my blank canvas in canva. I will now go to uploads and upload the canva ebook cover, I created previously as well as the .png template that I downloaded from createspace. Now if your .png file is over 25MB, the free version of canva won’t except it, so I just open it up in paint and resave it as a .jpg file and that’ll do the trick and then upload that to canva to make your book cover.
Once I have both files uploaded, just click on the bookcover template, stretch it to fill the screen. Then click on the ebook cover. Place the book cover to the right side to act as your front cover, stretch it to fit the entire area. Remember to cover the red bleed areas. Next move it around so it fits in the area but make sure nothing important falls into the red area as they may get cut off when the paperback book is being printed and cut.

The next part is my favorite because you can make it as simple or intricate as you’d like. To make the back cover for your print book, just click on element and select shapes. I usually just pick a square and drag it over the entire book cover in canva. In the top left corner you can change the color of the back. Click arrange and move it to the back and then back again. And there you have it.
If you want to make your canva book cover a bit more detailed, you can add in a text for the back cover description. When you add in text in canva, you can place it where you want, adjust the font, font size, arrangement, text color. It even allows for bolds and underlines. If you want to go further you can add in your author photo, another text box for an author bio. You get the idea. Just be sure to arrange everything so that nothing important is in the red area and that you don’t cover up the barcode area.

Then when you’re all done, you will click the cover template layer and delete it.
Make sure that everything is saved and download your book cover. Depending on the platform you’re publishing your book on, you can either download pdf or jpg. Since I’m using createspace, I’ll download pdf Standard.

There you have it. A canva book cover tutorial on how to make canva book covers.
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Until next time, I’m Keith Wheeler and remember to Write Right!

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