Making a book cover template in InDesign

Wanna design your own book cover, but don’t know where to start? Here’s a short and snappy tutorial on how to make your own template using Adobe InDesign.

InDesign is a great tool for any layouting job. If you’re fortunate enough to know how to use this program, but haven’t yet set up a template for designing book covers, here’s a nice and easy video tutorial from All you need and no embellishments.

Save the template and use it for all your wonderful future bestselling book covers!

Once you have your book finished, the template all set up, and you’re ready to layout your cover, you will need to adjust the spine width. DiggyPOD has a nice Book Spine Width Calculator that will help you. If you have a printer lined up they will be able to tell you what paper weight to choose (#50, #55 or #60), I would go with #50 because it’s a little bit cheaper and a little bit less heavy to lug around.

For self-publishing the most useful format is Trade Paperback, which is usually 5.5 x 8.5 inches or 6 x 9 inches.

Tips: Things To Think About When Designing For Print
Don’t forget to use Bleed, at least 1/8″ (or .125″), and if you have pictures that go from edge to edge, make sure to extend them outside the page onto the bleed. If you don’t you will end up with an ugly stripe on the edge.

It’s considered good practice to convert all text to Outlines before creating your PDF.

For printing, CMYK is the recommended color space, and the resolution is usually a minimum of 300 DPI. That goes for the pictures you place in your layout as well.

For a deep, true black color you will need to use Rich Black, which is not just 100% K (that will end up looking like a washed out black, or a dark gray), but a mix of colors over black, say for example CMYK 50/50/50/100 (or other mixes depending on what result you’re looking for).

Export to PDF for High Quality Print.

Think InDesign is expensive? Well, yes, it is. But they have a free trial, and you can get a Creative Cloud subscription for only InDesign for $19.99 / month here.