AI generated images for book cover design (midjourney and dalle2)

midjourney book cover art

A huge controversy is raging surrounding AI art tools that allow you to generate artwork with text prompts. Many cover designers are strongly against it, but we believe in consumers’ right to choose the best and easiest option for them to make great book covers.

We here at Creativindie covers do not use AI art, though if we do so in the future, they will be clearly labelled and explained – there are some copyright limitations to Midjourney and similar tools that authors need to be aware of.

Book covers are about more than just sourcing reliable copyright-free stock photos. The text and typography is also hugely important. So far, most AI art would need heavy photoshopping (actually, this week I discovered a few best midjourney prompts for book cover design that are unreasonable good, without needing any fixing…so I’m going to use them as templates and teach how to use AI for book cover design *if you choose to*.)

I understand that both cover designers and authors want to make sure they don’t get in any legal water over ill-defined AI art usage terms – which is why many cover designers are outright rejecting Midjourney as a tool.

That said, it’s an exciting possibility that is sure to shake up the publishing industry in huge ways over the next year, so you should read more about using AI art in commercial design and potential copyright issues.

How to make an ANIMATED book cover that blows people’s minds

Yesterday I saw something on Twitter that blew my mind: it was a promotional image of a book; but inside the book cover the pieces were moving around. It was amazing.

So I started researching animated book covers. I found some examples, looked for tools I could use for making animated gifs, and came up with these.

Animated book cover design, YA fantasy cover by Derek MurphyAnimated book cover design, YA fantasy cover by Derek MurphyAnimated book cover design, YA fantasy cover by Derek Murphy

How to make an animated book cover design that blows people's minds.

animated book cover design YA dystopia

animated book cover design dark fantasy

If you like these covers, can you help me out by pinning them on Pinterest?

If you actually want to READ them, check out my fiction site, Urban Epics.

 

What good are animated book covers?

They won’t work on Kindle or iBooks (though I’m going to test them anyway, maybe I can find a workaround). But they WILL work on Wattpad, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media sites. So whenever you post a promotional picture of your book cover, you could awesomefy it (that’s not a word but it needs to be = make awesome).

Now I just need to learn how to make those animated covers look amazing on a static 3D product shot… I’ll learn that next. The danger is, of course, once I give away all these secrets, everybody is going to do it, so on top of all the author-spam you usually see on Twitter or Facebook, now the images will be moving. It’ll be like Myspace all over again (obnoxious, hard to look at).

So what I should do is keep these secrets to myself, so they only show up on my covers and I have a marketing advantage. But.. I’m not going to. These covers were easy to make, and the tools are cheap. Be extremely cautious, don’t overdo it, but for shits and giggles, here’s a tutorial on designing your own animated covers.

If you like this tutorial and animate your book cover, share your cover on Twitter and tag me: @creativindie so I can see it.

How to make your own animated book covers

Firstly, add some sparkle. I used this site, paid to remove the watermark. It only has a few features, but it plays off the natural light/dark contrast of your book cover, and you can select the areas for some amazing effects.

Here’s a video tutorial.

Secondly, I found DP Animation Maker, a bit more expensive at $37.77, but it can add great effects, especially for light, water and movement.

Animated book cover effect for Michelle Madow's Elementals

Thirdly, I wanted to find a way to morph images, so, for example, a face can blink, or smile. To do that I’d need two or three pictures and merge them together.

Animated gif version of Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave - learn how to make your own animated book cover!
animated book cover design The 5th Wave Rick Yancey


I can do that with http://gifmaker.me. First I have to make the different versions of the cover, then I add the photos and turn them into a gif. I thought this might work especially well to add a “splash” effect with a big quote, review, or description – a little bit of extra sales copy space on your cover image.

You can also make an animated book cover in Photoshop but it’s more of a process.

How to save/share your animated book covers

The gifs you make can be pretty big; you can try to use Gifmaker’s resizer to make them smaller. If you upload them to Giphy.com the file size doesn’t really matter – Giphy is great for posting on Facebook (if you use a Giphy link it will preview the animated gif, but if you upload the gif straight to Facebook, it won’t play).

However, on Twitter I’d rather just upload the picture directly – Twitter DOES show the animation. A Giphy link works too but it clicks to Giphy, which I don’t like. You can embed the pictures on your website as well, and pin them to Pinterest (where animation works).

Have fun! Remember to tag me if you make your own animated covers so I can see.

Want more tips, book cover design templates and some free books?

I have more free stuff – templates, an email series on cover design, and my books on writing and book marketing.

 

Free book cover design software and formatting templates

book formatting design templates

After designing over a thousand book covers (and earning about a quarter of a million bucks from my design business) I decided I’d rather write full-time than design covers for a living. But, since I’m deeply committed to helping indie authors and pretty established in the publishing community, I’ve devoted thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into building DIY book cover tools, templates and resources – so authors can design their own covers without making critical mistakes.

This is obviously a work in progress, because cover design is complicated, but the templates have been downloaded by nearly 100,000 authors, and my YouTube videos have over a million views. Here are some things to get you started.

If those resources are useful, please share them! If you need more help or more advanced templates, you can join my Epic Book Design Package and get my first first book marketing course for free.

$30,000 worth of beautiful premade book covers for indie authors

premade book cover templates

I spent lots of time looking through premade book covers. I find way more than I can ever buy (in my last shopping trip I added over $20,000 in covers to my cart). But I want to share these great deals with other authors, and also keep them altogether in one place in case I’m trying to find them again, so I decided to link to my favorites here.

Please note, many of these are not good enough as is – they have potential or great art, but in many cases (not all) the text would need to be redone to really make the cover as epic as the art suggests.

 

Where to find premade book covers?

Here are a few sites that have premade covers you can check out. I also recommend following book designers on Facebook to see their latest premades.

PS This is an old list so the covers below probably aren’t available, and book cover design has gotten so much better these looked great years ago but aren’t competitive enough today.

Betwixt

Sold By::
Exquisitely Covered Books

 

Creatures – ebook and paperback

Sold By::
Andrei B.

 

Blue Forest – ebook and paperback

Sold By::
Andrei B.

$200.00

Shadows – ebook and paperback

Sold By::
Andrei B.

$250.00

Shadows – paperback and ebook

Andrei B.

The Ends of Space

Sold By::
Covermint

 

 

Tame the Magic

Sold By::
Covermint

 

Elsa

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers

 

Sanctuary

Rocking Book Covers

 

 

 
Straight to Hell 

Sold By::
Ivan Zanchetta
$149.00
$149.00
  The Seeds of Hatred 

Sold By::
Ivan Zanchetta
$149.00
$149.00
× Crusader 

Sold By::
Ivan Zanchetta
$149.00
$149.00
× Abduction 

Sold By::
Grady Earls
$200.00
$200.00
× Warlock 

Sold By::
Grady Earls
$200.00
$200.00
× Porch 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Forgotten 

Sold By::
Grady Earls
$200.00
$200.00
× Zero Hope 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Displays 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× The Kingdom 

Sold By::
Grady Earls
$200.00
$200.00
× The Decent 

Sold By::
Grady Earls
$200.00
$200.00
× The Journey 

Sold By::
Grady Earls
$200.00
$200.00
× Cindy 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× For the Crown 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× The Last Spell 

Sold By::
Winter Editorial Design
$85.00
$85.00
× Mystic Woman 

Sold By::
Creative Book Covers
$90.00
$90.00
× Shattered Glass 

Sold By::
Cover Quill
$145.00
$145.00
× Opaque Divinity 

Sold By::
Ivan Zanchetta
$149.00
$149.00
× Into the Woods 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× Wolf Ridge 

Sold By::
Plumstone Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Divided Hearts 

Sold By::
RobBridges
$200.00
$200.00
× Contessa 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× Reputation 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Flock of Crows 

Sold By::
Cover Quill
$145.00
$145.00
× Policing 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Magic of Elysyum 

Sold By::
BRoseDesignz
$180.00
$180.00
× Wide Awake 

Sold By::
Joy McGee
$80.00
$80.00
× Warrior biker 

Sold By::
Erica Petit
$290.00
$290.00
× South winds 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$275.00
$275.00
× City of war 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$230.00
$230.00
× Autumn death 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$299.00
$299.00
× Thrall 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× Silent tears 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$285.00
$285.00
× Visionary 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× Rain of leaves 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$275.00
$275.00
× Daria 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Dream World 

Sold By::
matyan90
$50.00
$50.00
× Quiet Wind 

Sold By::
Bukovero
$80.00
$80.00
× Wanderer 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× The Flight 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× Hammer of Doom 

Sold By::
Ivan Zanchetta
$149.00
$149.00
× Master of Insanity 

Sold By::
Ivan Zanchetta
$149.00
$149.00
× Dreaming of Adventure 

Sold By::
Exquisitely Covered Books
$120.00
$120.00
× Into the woods 

Sold By::
Raquel Neira Digital Art
$90.00
$90.00
× Secrets 

Sold By::
Harper Design
$75.00
$75.00
× Unspoken 

Sold By::
Harper Design
$75.00
$75.00
× Set Adrift 

Sold By::
Covered Creatively
$75.00
$75.00
× Into The Waves 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× Thorns 

Sold By::
LML Book Covers
$80.00
$80.00
× Midnight 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× Caught in the rain 

Sold By::
Adriatica Creation
$100.00
$100.00
× The Storm 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× Vampire series three covers 

Sold By::
Erica Petit
$890.00
$890.00
× She was every inch a Queen 

Sold By::
IndiElaborates
$70.00
$70.00
× Spell Bound 

Sold By::
Susan Digital Designs
$90.00
$90.00
× THE STORM 

Sold By::
Ragdoll – Digital Art
$60.00
$60.00
× The Red Queen 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× Bad Boy 

Sold By::
Erica Petit
$290.00
$290.00
× Torn Ebook Cover 

Sold By::
Ebook Covers Online
$60.00
$60.00
× Wasted Years 

Sold By::
Ivan Zanchetta
$149.00
$149.00
× Awakening 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Warrior night 

Sold By::
Erica Petit
$490.00
$490.00
× Fantasy night 

Sold By::
Erica Petit
$490.00
$490.00
× The Pendulous Wood 

Sold By::
RobBridges
$150.00
$150.00
× Flying 

Sold By::
topbookdesigner
$99.00
$99.00
× Offville 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Arabella 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× Clerical Conspiracy 

Sold By::
Ivan Zanchetta
$149.00
$149.00
× Urban Fantasy 

Sold By::
Love Books
$60.00
$60.00
× Runaway 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× In the Forest 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× Woman in Blue 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× Gods of the Time 

Sold By::
Bukovero
$80.00
$80.00
× Book Cover 236 

Sold By::
Ammonia Book Covers
$89.00
$89.00
× Bound Ebook Cover 

Sold By::
Ebook Covers Online
$60.00
$60.00
× Guide to World traveling 

Sold By::
topbookdesigner
$99.00
$99.00
× Fantasy 

Sold By::
topbookdesigner
$99.00
$99.00
× Angel 

Sold By::
topbookdesigner
$99.00
$99.00
× The Curse of the Werewolf 

Sold By::
Winter Editorial Design
$70.00
$70.00
× Fighting Eternity 

Sold By::
Covered Creatively
$75.00
$75.00
× Lakeside 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× The Spirit 

Sold By::
Ivan Zanchetta
$149.00
$149.00
× Dusk – Print & Ebook 

Sold By::
Iskon Design
$89.00
$89.00
× Into the Forest 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× The Duchess 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× Walls 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Melina 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× The Visitor 

Sold By::
Ivan Zanchetta
$149.00
$149.00
× Cover 5 

Sold By::
ArtestudioTeo
$75.00
$75.00
× FURY 

Sold By::
JMN-ART
$50.00
$50.00
× White Queen-full wrap and ebook 

Sold By::
Drop Dead Designs
$70.00
$70.00
× Voices in the sea 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$285.00
$285.00
× Outlander 

Sold By::
Adriatica Creation
$150.00
$150.00
× Free Mind 

Sold By::
matyan90
$50.00
$50.00
× September 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$285.00
$285.00
× Eternal autumn 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$199.00
$199.00
× Far away 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$250.00
$250.00
× Melody 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$240.00
$240.00
× Away of forest 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$230.00
$230.00
× Deputy 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Fuming 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× The Voyager- 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× Deception 

Sold By::
Ivan Zanchetta

 

× Gothic Christmas 001 

Sold By::
Peculiar Perspective
$100.00
$100.00
× Blood Promise 

Sold By::
Camilla Design
$99.00
$99.00
× The Rise of Today 

Sold By::
Everpage Designs
$70.00
$70.00
× Rose 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× Silence 

Sold By::
lady_amarillis
$85.00
$85.00
× Crooked Road 

Sold By::
Cover Quill
$85.00
$85.00
× Archway 

Sold By::
GRUNGYCOVERS
$99.00
$99.00
× Ward 8 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Lifers 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Love Romance 

Sold By::
Graphic Lane
$46.00
$46.00
× Light And Dark 

Sold By::
Enchanted Whispers Art
$75.00
$75.00
× Longing For The Ocean 

Sold By::
Enchanted Whispers Art
$90.00
$90.00
× Montana Magic 

Sold By::
Covermint
$69.00
$69.00
× Inborn Alienation 

Sold By::
Bukovero
$80.00
$80.00
× Room melody 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$250.00
$250.00
× Free spirit 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$199.00
$199.00
× Flings 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Youngsters 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Crazy Lovers 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Only Mine 

Sold By::
Serena Daphn
$79.00
$79.00
× Wizard 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$175.00
$175.00
× Lena 

Sold By::
Rocking Book Covers
$60.00
$60.00
× Butterfly 

Sold By::
WaterFall
$30.00
$30.00
× Wistful 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× The dark dreams 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$230.00
$230.00
× Book Cover 205 

Sold By::
Ammonia Book Covers
$89.00
$89.00

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Dragon Warrior 

Sold By::
Cover Quill
$80.00
$80.00
× So Faraway 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$150.00
$150.00
× DARK HUMANITY 

Sold By::
Juan Padrón
$35.00
$35.00
× Evolution 

Sold By::
Willsin Rowe
$60.00
$60.00
× Trapped 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× Dark Angel 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$150.00
$150.00
× Book Cover #12 (EBook or Paperback) 

Sold By::
Amy H.C Design
$90.00
$90.00
× Angel of Mercy 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$150.00
$150.00
× Detective – ebook and paperback 

Sold By::
Andrei B.
$150.00
$150.00
× Midnight 

Sold By::
Aeternum Designs
$430.00
$430.00
× Wonders Of North 

Sold By::
RedHoudini Design
Scepter 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$150.00
$150.00
× Warrior biker 

Sold By::
Erica Petit
$90.00
$90.00
× Fantasy night 

Sold By::
Erica Petit
$210.00
$210.00
× Warrior angel 

Sold By::
Erica Petit
$210.00
$210.00
× The Calling 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× ERZSEBET 

Sold By::
London Montgomery Covers
$90.00
$90.00
× Forever- wrap and ebook 

Sold By::
Drop Dead Designs
$70.00
$70.00
× Demon Leap 

Sold By::
Juan Padrón
$40.00
$40.00
× DARK HUMANITY  

Sold By::
Juan Padrón
$35.00
$35.00
× Trapped 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$120.00
$120.00
× Dream Catcher 

Sold By::
Enchanted Whispers Art
$80.00
$80.00
× Huntress 

Sold By::
Enchanted Whispers Art

 

 

    PRODUCT PRICE QUANTITY TOTAL
× Dragon Breath 

Sold By::
Enchanted Whispers Art
$130.00
$130.00
× Myth Wielder 

Sold By::
Covermint
$79.00
$79.00
× The Belladona 

Sold By::
London Montgomery Covers
$80.00
$80.00
× Eyes 

Sold By::
PastFuture
$65.00
$65.00
× The Scapegoat 

Sold By::
Book Covers Art
$150.00
$150.00
× Salem 

Sold By::
Erica Petit
$210.00
$210.00
× X Squad 

Sold By::
arte´ book designs
$60.00
$60.00
× Searching 

Sold By::
Book Covers 2 Buy
$150.00
$150.00
× z-Clouds 

Sold By::
Madelene Martin
$50.00
$50.00
× Tidewater 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× Dream Catcher 

Sold By::
Enchanted Whispers Art
$80.00
$80.00
× The Fair Maiden 

Sold By::
Covered Creatively
$60.00
$60.00
× Vintage 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$80.00
$80.00
× A Promise Kept 

Sold By::
Victoria Cooper Art
$65.00
$65.00
× Rose Romance 

Sold By::
Erica Petit
$210.00
$210.00
× Emerald Queen 

Sold By::
Enchanted Whispers Art
$70.00
$70.00
× The Crows 

Sold By::
Enchanted Whispers Art
$80.00
$80.00
 

How to design your own book covers in MS Word

I’m finally getting started on my 100 DIY book covers in MS Word project. The idea is to design book cover templates that indie authors can easily edit and change to make their own.

I was pretty sure I could make great covers in Word, but I’m only really beginning to figure things out.

Here’s one I made this afternoon. I took a picture of the whole workspace.

designcoversword

 

Here’s another one I made tonight, in about 30 minutes.

witchnight

Is it just me, or are these pretty freaking amazing for book covers made in MS word? And they aren’t even finished yet. It’s crazy that these covers are taking me much less time than ones made in photoshop, because with Word I can really easily strip out the background, change colors and contrast, make cool wavy text like the one above.

It’s both incredible and humbling, exciting and depressing. Maybe I’ll just stick with Word for book cover design. 🙂

My new plan is to come out with 100 templates a year, and sell those as a big package alongside client work.

 

UPDATE – you can now get a bunch of free book design templates at www.diybookcovers.com and make your own awesome book covers in Microsoft Word!

 

Cover design secrets that sell books

If you need help, make sure to download my free guide!

I’ve helped design over 1000 book covers, including hundreds of bestsellers – download my free book to learn all the insider secrets I use to sell more books. Click here to get it now. I’ll also share some of the advanced book marketing tactics I’ve used to make a full-time income with my writing.