How to DIY a Stunning eBook Cover without Photoshop


Do you want to create a fabulous ebook cover without using Photoshop? Do you feel like your design skills are limited? Are you on a tight publishing budget? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re going to LOVE today’s post and the accompanying freebies.

I’m seriously excited to share it with you!

By the end of this post you will have the templates, overlays, and a video (and text) tutorial you need to design your own amazing ebook cover without Photoshop.

Meet my free Book Cover Design Kit!

How to DIY a Stunning eBook Cover without Photoshop

This free download comes with a blue template image that is correctly sized for a 6×9″ book.* It also includes two different semi-transparent overlays: one in white and one in black. The overlays are simple to use, and provide a really nice result.

(*This template also includes the extra height and width required by CreateSpace for a full-bleed paperback cover.)


But is this method really author-friendly? And can it actually produce a nice cover?

Author C.L. Wells tried the white overlay and had this to say, “I needed a stand-in cover until I got to the real one in a few months. This little overlay took me from a ‘meh’ cover to one that’s received multiple compliments. You only need very basic skills to use it. Needless to say, I’m in no hurry to replace this cover…”

Cover designed by C.L. Wells using the Wordquill Book Cover Design Kit

Cover designed by C.L. Wells using the Wordquill Book Cover Design Kit


So, let me show you how to make your very own ebook cover!

You will need:

Watch this video for the step-by-step instructions:


Or, if you prefer written instructions, follow along below:

  1. Download the Book Cover Design Kit. (Subscribe now for access. If you’re already a subscriber, check our latest newsletter for the access password.)
  2. Go to  (skip this step if you’re using a different graphics program, of course!)
  3. Go to “Edit” at the top of the page. Select the blue template image from where you’ve saved it on your computer.
  4. Click the “Overlay” button at the left edge of the page. (It looks like a butterfly.)
  5. Click “Add Your Own” and select one of your images from where it’s saved on your computer. (Be sure to only use images you can legally use for this purpose!)
  6. Drag the corner circle to resize it to fit the width of the cover. Move it to either the top or bottom of the cover.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the second image.
  8. Repeat steps 4-6 but this time, select either the white or black overlay included in the Book Cover Design Kit. Resize it to fit the entire cover image. Be sure the overlay is covering the edges of each image.
    TIP: if you need to change the height of the overlay without changing the width, hold down the “Shift” key while you drag a corner.
  9. Click the “Text” button at the left edge of the page. (It looks like “Tt”.)
  10. Click “Add text.” Type the title of your book. Change font, color, and size to your taste. If you click “Yours” above the list of fonts, PicMonkey will allow you to use fonts installed on your computer. For more help with picking fonts and colors, check out the post, Making or Breaking a Book Cover: Font Choices.
  11. Repeat steps 9-10 for the author name and any other text.
  12. When you’re happy with the cover, click “Export” at the top of the page. If you’re not already logged in, you’ll be prompted to either log in or create an account. No need to pay for the full version of PicMonkey if you don’t want to. The free version works just fine!
  13. Name your file and select a quality level. I usually select the highest quality for covers. Don’t change the dimensions.
  14. Click “Export to Computer” to save to your computer.
  15. Enjoy your amazing new cover!


So, there you have it. Enjoy making your very own book covers with this kit!

If you have questions, post them below and I’ll do my best to answer! If you’d like to share the design kit with someone, do me a favor and encourage them to sign up for our newsletter to get access. Thanks a bunch!

Have you joined the Wordquill Facebook group? If you’d like feedback on your (clean!) cover design made with this kit, feel free to post it in the comments of the group’s post about this article. The other group members, including myself, will be happy to give you our thoughts!

21 thoughts on “How to DIY a Stunning eBook Cover without Photoshop

  1. I’m loving this and I can use it pretty well on Canva too. But I can’t change the color on Canva like I can with PicMonkey. So I thought I would try GIMP. Do you have instructions for changing the color in GIMP?

  2. I tried that. One of the pictures is small. And I do not know how to make it bigger.

    1. Oh, good!! I’m sorry for the delay in replying. Got kind of swamped over here. πŸ˜‰ Let me know if you end up with any more questions! And if you’re part of the Facebook group, you’re always welcome to post your cover for feedback if you want. (As long as it’s clean!) πŸ˜‰

  3. It’s fine!

    I will!

    Actually we are not on Facebook, so we would not be able to post anything.

  4. Hi! I downloaded the kit, but my computer won’t let me open it for some reason… I guess it doesn’t like the ZIP format (I’ve had problems with this before). Do you have any tips? Or could you make it downloadable without the ZIP part? Thanks! πŸ™‚

    1. If right-clicking and selecting “extract” or “unzip” or (on Mac) “Open With>Archive Utility” doesn’t work, use the contact form to send me an email and I’ll help you out. πŸ™‚

  5. Is there a way to make the “fog” of the overlay not as wide? For some reason it seems to be taking over a lot of both photos.

    1. Yes, you can adjust the height of the overlay by dragging the top or bottom edge of that layer. Let me know if that makes sense!

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