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?