How AI Can Help Design Your Book Cover | Self-Publishing Relief

by | Book Cover Design, Other Helpful Information, Self-Publishing | 1 comment

How AI Can Help Design Your Book Cover | Self-Publishing Relief

If you’re preparing to self-publish your book, you probably have ideas for your cover design. Your vision for the perfect book cover may be something as minimalist as a distinctive typeface on a solid background or as elaborate as a flying dragon on another planet. Typically, the photographic elements of an affordable, professionally designed book cover are limited to the choices available in stock photography. However, the design experts at Self-Publishing Relief are always tracking the latest advances in book cover design and have noted the unexpected ways artificial intelligence (AI) might expand your options. Here’s how AI can help design your book cover.


How To Use AI To Design Your Self-Published Book Cover

Designing your self-published book cover requires a special blend of creativity and strategy. You want your cover to stand out, grab attention, and act as your point-of-purchase marketing. But you also want to be sure the design is appropriate for your genre—or your buyers won’t recognize your book as one they want to read. It’s important that your book cover resonates with your target audience.

When choosing potential images for your cover, consider the central themes, emotions, and key elements that define your narrative. You can also ask ChatGPT to analyze your synopsis or the first five paragraphs of your story for additional input on your genre and mood. This information can help you rapid-prototype your ideas.

Compare successful book covers within your genre to identify prevailing trends in the color palettes, typography choices, and imagery. If the image you want for your book cover design doesn’t exist in stock photography, you might try ChatGPT’s image generator, DALL E, or other graphics-based AI platforms (Canva’s AI image generator, Microsoft’s Designer) to create images that are closer to your vision. For example, if your concept for your romance novel cover includes a red bicycle and a cozy cottage but you can’t find that image in stock photography, you can try creating that visual using AI.

Image created using Canva’s AI image generator

However, using AI doesn’t guarantee you’ll get exactly what you’ve imagined. When attempting to make the example above, we asked the image generator to produce “a cozy cottage with roses and a bicycle nearby.” In the resulting images created by the AI, often the bicycle tires were weirdly warped, or the roses were unrealistically gigantic. And when we requested a “blue bicycle,” the house and surrounding landscape turned blue—but the bicycle completely disappeared.

You can repeat this process while changing the input to focus on characters, settings, pivotal moments, or symbolism to capture the essence of your story. Play with color schemes, compositions, and typography to find a design that conveys the desired tone and captures attention on the bookshelf or online marketplace.


Important Note: The US Copyright Office has recently determined that images made by AI cannot be copyrighted, as only human-made creations are eligible for copyright. If you use images generated by AI, be sure to confirm that you aren’t breaking any copyright laws. Remember: You must rely on your own moral principles when using AI; the programs have no internal ethics.

Why You Should Still Hire A Professional Cover Designer

Unless you are an experienced graphic artist, it will be expensive and time-consuming for you to create your own cover design. Along with conveying your story’s unique elements and capturing the tone of the appropriate genre, there are technical aspects of book cover design that must be considered. A poorly designed, amateurish cover can tank your book sales. It’s important that your cover design is made to the correct specifications regarding resolution (dpi), size, and other technical aspects so that your cover doesn’t appear low quality, out of proportion, or over-pixelated. Professional designers have the tools and expertise to elevate the quality and impact of your book cover—with or without using AI.

When used properly and with an understanding of its limitations, AI can help create a memorable cover design for your book. The cover design experts at Self-Publishing Relief have the skills and experience to create a book cover that will best present your vision while still checking all the right boxes for genre, point-of-purchase marketing, and quality. We can also help guide you through every step of the self-publishing process to ensure you have a book you can be proud to put your name on. Check out our budget-friendly cover design portfolio and our self-publishing packages, then set up your free consultation call!


Question: Would you want your self-published book cover designed by AI?

1 Comment

  1. Wendy

    I tried an AI for my latest cover image. I asked for “teenage faces on a candle quartz crystal in anime style.” I got “girl holding a taper candle in photo-realistic style.” Several variations in my request never even got me in the right city, much less the proverbial ballpark.

    Draw it myself in less time than it takes to get an AI to understand what I want.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Find An Article

Recent Articles



Thank you so much for all the amazing help you provided! I’m already thinking about my next project and you better believe I plan to use Self-Publishing Relief!

—Bianca Chambers Carter, Writer

Read Bianca’s review!



Using Self-Publishing Relief is the only way I would ever consider publishing my work… the process was seamless: They answered all of my questions and always kept me apprised of the next steps.

—John McCord, Writer

Read John’s review!


The team at Writer’s Relief and Self-Publishing Relief was supportive and helpful in creating my chapbook — from sending multiple cover design options to patience and thoroughness during review rounds. They made the publishing process easy and enjoyable!

Laurin Becker Macios, Poet

Read Laurin’s review!



I have found my people with Jill, Carol, Dave, Joey, Ronnie, and all the fellow “bookies” at Self-Publishing Relief. Their level of expertise is seasoned and savvy for navigating through the indie publishing landscape, as we established the imprint Occupy the Word Publishing. What is more, the team’s enthusiastic tenacity to solve difficult issues and create new opportunities in developing serious readership for my novels makes it a powerful pleasure to work with them. 

King Grossman, Novelist

Read King’s review!

Thinking about self-publishing?
Receive your FREE copy of our helpful guide...


Act now! Enter your name and email on the right to receive..
  • Design tips to boost your book's marketability
  • Insider secrets for writing the best back cover book blurb
  • The importance of a flattering headshot

Send Me My FREE Guide!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Pin It on Pinterest