My Ultimate Book Cover Design Guide!

I’ll teach you how to create your own book cover on Canva!

Shelby Sullivan
4 min readAug 31, 2023

Create your own book cover today by getting the guide HERE on my Gumroad page!


If you have been following my blog for a while, you might know that I have been working on SulliWrites’ Canva Book Cover Design Guide since October 2022. This huge undertaking has been a wild ride filled with ups, downs, and all-around effort.

I’m so excited to announce that I have finally finished a massive, detailed beginner’s guide on book cover creation — and I can’t wait to talk about it with you!

I can’t believe it is finally done!

Why a Book Cover Design Guide?

The cost of a custom professional book cover can cost anywhere from $300-$800+, even before the editing, typesetting, marketing, and other publishing costs.

After reading dozens of stories about authors who had sunk $2,000+ of their savings into the publication of their first book (with very little ROI), I knew I had to help them alleviate some of that cost. Especially since creating a book cover in Canva costs nothing with free images and fonts!

For the past 10 months, I turned years of experience with Canva book cover designing into an easy-to-understand practical tool for self-published authors. I wanted to help authors create their own book covers on a budget — or for free! — all by themselves.

Now, I’ve succeeded in that goal!

First, though, one BIG THANK YOU to Maddy, my best friend, cheerleader, and critic, who was integral to making this all happen. ❤ I miss you every day, babes.

Now, 10 months, 4 rewrites, 2 beta reads, 1 editor, and 87 pages later, The Guide is Done!

Finishing this project has been a huge milestone marker in my life.

I have always wanted to create something that would be valuable to others. I wanted to make a guide that saved authors money while also showcasing how fun and easy it can be to create your own Canva designs.

That’s why I created an inexpensive guide that can help authors save hundreds of dollars on their startup publishing costs, and I hope this is only the beginning.

I also couldn’t have done it without my beta readers, who were so helpful in giving me perspective on the reader and what the guide really needed. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to trust that the guide was ready, and I’m so glad it finally is!

So, What’s in the Design Guide?

In this design guide, you can expect:

  • 87 pages of informational and practical design advice, exercises, examples, and visual aids.
  • 40+ total front cover, back cover, and book layout design examples (created by me!) using Canva’s tools, free images from, and the Midjourney art generator.
  • An introduction to design elements, such as how to place and use titles, subtitles, reviews, author bios, taglines, summaries, images, colors, and font, to your advantage to better help sell your book.
  • Step-by-step walkthroughs on designing around images to create cohesive and legible front and back book covers.
  • An explanation of how to use KDP’s book layout template to properly size, space, and design your cover to meet KDP’s requirements.
  • An overview of how to use Canva’s design tools to make your images and fonts POP!

Where Can You Find It?

SulliWrites’ Canva Book Cover Design Guide will be available on my Gumroad page as of Tuesday, September 5th, for purchase.

More than anything, I hope my guide inspires authors, alleviates some of the financial burdens of publishing a book, and teaches authors a new, valuable skill.

In the future, I hope to teach authors how to typeset, print, and market their own books — and someday own a publishing house of my own!

What Comes Next?

Interest in the design guide has already come from several friends and colleagues that I’ve discussed it with.

Because of some of their suggestions, I have outlined a workshop and course idea where I will coach a few authors at a time to help them create their own book covers from scratch.

If this interests you, please feel free to join my newsletter and stay updated for more information as this idea grows.

Thanks again for coming along with me on this journey. If you want to learn more about graphic design and book cover creation, check out these other articles I wrote on the subject:

If you have any other questions about the launch of this guide, feel free to reach out to me on my website!



Shelby Sullivan

Hey, I'm Shelby! I'm a professional writer, editor, blogger, and cover designer. Learn to make book covers and contact me at !