Create a book cover

There are a wide variety of tools or applications you can use to create your book cover image.

Book cover creation tools

Examples of tools or applications for creating book cover images.

Tool Access Template available Features Instructions
Microsoft Publisher Available to UQ staff as a desktop application on Windows Download this Template set to 900px by 1200px (23.81 cm x 31.75 cm) Basic features - change background colour, insert images and export as image (jpg or png). Use Microsoft Publisher
Google Slides Anyone (requires a Google account) Template set to 900px by 1200px. You will need to be signed in to Google to make a copy. Basic features - change background colour, add images and export as image (jpg or png). Use Google Slides
Adobe Photoshop Available to UQ staff No Advanced editing features. Photoshop 2023 Essential Training (Linkedin Learning, 11h 9m)
Canva Register for free account No Advanced editing features. Create a book cover in Canva
Pressbooks Cover Generator Available in your Pressbook No Basic - change the background colour, upload an image. Make a book cover


Ensure any images you use are copyright compliant. The Copyright and Creative Commons chapter of this book explains more about using Copyright and Creative Commons licenced material in your work.

Image size

Webbook version

  • It must be at least 800px height. 900px width x 1200px height, .75 aspect ratio is recommended.
  • For your web version, you can directly upload your own book cover image to the Book Info.

Ebook export cover

  • High quality JPEG or PNG
  • Must be RGB
  • Minimum of 300 dpi

Add your cover to your book

  1. Go to Book Info
  2. Under Cover Design, click on Choose file to upload your image
  3. Click Save.

Instructions for tools

Microsoft Publisher

  1. Open the Pressbook book cover template. It is set to 900px by 1200px (23.81 cm x 31.75 cm).
  2. Change Background colour
    1. Click the Page Design tab
    2. Click Background then More Backgrounds. You can then select your preferred colour
  3. Insert text
    1. Click the Insert tab
    2. Click Draw Text Box and draw a text box on the page
    3. Type your text. You can adjust the font type, colour, and size
  4. Insert an image
    1. Click the Insert tab, then click –
      • Pictures for saved images in your files
      • Online Pictures for images online. You can select Creative Commons only after you search. Check the link on the image to ensure you properly attribute it in your book.
  5. Export the book cover
    1. Click File then Save As
    2. At Save as type choose JPEG or PNG.

Google Slides

  1. Open the Google Slide Template set to 900px by 1200px.
  2. Click Make a copy. You will need to be signed in to Google to make a copy
  3. Click Background to change the colour or insert a background image
  4. Click Text box to insert text
  5. Click the text box to get options to change the font type, size and colour
  6. Click Insert image to upload or search the web. For the web search, you can click on the image to check the source and image permissions. Ensure you properly attribute the image in your book
  7. Click File then Download as a JPEG or PNG.

Using Canva

Canva is a free, web based graphic design app that can be used to create a variety of works including infographics, graphs, book, ebook and book covers, flyers and many others.

Avoid using Canva’s templates, images or icons to ensure your cover is copyright compliant. Use your own images or images licensed as Creative Commons.

Is there any cost? 

There are paid subscriptions which provide additional features, including Canva Pro and Canva Enterprise. The paid features include increased storage space, additional design features like Background Remover and more templates and images. 

Does UQ have a subscription? 

No, UQ doesn’t subscribe to Canva. 

Do I need to create an account? 

  • You don’t have to create an account to create something. You can download it without one.
  • You do need an account to save a design.
  • If creating an account, ensure you understand Canva’s privacy policy and any implications for your data.

Creating a Canva book cover

You can create a cover using a template or from a blank design. Canva has templates for book and ebook covers. 

Using a blank design
  • Select the type of work you’d like to create from Home. Click More to see the full range.
Using a template
  • Once you have selected your design type, you can select from the list of templates on the left.
  • Drag it into the blank design.
  • You can then edit the elements within the template.
Creating your design

The options for adding to your design appear on the left.   

  •  Able to select from a wide range of freely available templates. Paid versions also available.
  •  Can edit templates with own information
Templates button in Canva
  • Variety of different shapes available.
  • Can add text, change colours.
Elements button in Canva
Upload button in Canva
  • Choose from a range of free photos.
  • Many photos are only available through paid versions.
Photos button in icons
  • Add text as a heading or part of the body
  • Change the font style, colour, add bold, italics or underlines
  • Can also select from a range of free text formats. Paid versions also included.
Text button in Canva
  • Can add audio files from range of free options. Paid options also included.
Audio button in Canva
  • Able to include short videos from collection of free options. Paid versions also included.
Videos button in Canva

What images and video can I use? 

Free images and video will display a Free icon when you hover on them. 

Free image icon that displays on free images

Paid images and other options that are not available in the free version have a gold crown icon

Gold crown icon to indicate paid images

You can also find open educational images to upload and use.

Downloading your design

  • You can download your design in a range of formats.
Exclamation mark icon You cannot adjust the image size within Canva in the free version. It will only download as 1410 x 2250px in size. PressBooks needs 1:1.5 aspect ratio images. 
Screenshot of type of image menu options
  • Click on Download. Choose JPG.

The design will be lost once you leave Canva unless you are logged into an account. 

Saving your design

You need to create a Canva account to save your design. 

What is Canva’s privacy policy? 

Read Canva’s privacy policy to ensure you are familiar with any privacy implications of creating an account. 

Resizing Your Image

  • You will need to resize your cover for it to be used in PressBooks. It must be at least 800px height. 900px width x1200px height, .75 aspect ratio is recommended.
  • If you don’t have a graphics app, try Windows Paint (under Windows Accessories).
  • In Paint, open your cover file.
  • In the Home menu, click on Resize.
  • Select Pixels and uncheck Maintain Aspect Ratio.
  • Add 900 to Horizontal and 1200 to Vertical. Click OK.
Screenshot of Resize and skew menu option in Windows Paint
  • Save your image.
  • You can also use Adobe Spark to resize your cover. You can resize your image for free but will need an account to download. UQ staff and students have access to Adobe products.

Adding your cover

  • In your PressBook, go to Book Info.
  • Under Cover Design, click on Choose file to upload your image.

How can I learn more? 

  • There is a great range of videos and tutorials to help you create designs in Canva. Check them out in the Learn section. 


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Open Textbooks @ UQ guide and templates Copyright © by UQ Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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