Evolution of an eBook Cover: Part 2

Evolution of an eBook Cover: Part 2

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Welcome to Part 2 of Evolution of an eBook Cover! If you missed Evolution of an eBook Cover Part 1, check it out here.

We left Part 1 with an ugly shade of brown. In Part 2, we will address color, subtitles, and thumbnail blurriness. Read on!

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cover design - 5
Version 5

cover design - 6
Version 6

cover design - 7
Version 7


Here’s what worked: 1) Cat photo at the top. 2) Author name at the bottom. The only issue was the subtitle which makes up a whopping 1/3 of the cover. No big deal. Let’s do this.

Version 5: Subtitle was too generic, but the diagonal was visually appealing. (Dynamic Diagonals! Do you remember that from composition in art/art history class?)

Version 6: I felt this version was too busy. Subtitle looked good, but didn’t really capture the essence of my poetry collection.

Version 7: I went back to the dynamic diagonal as seen in Version 5. For the subtitle, I used the name of one of the poems in the collection: Into the White.

I also did away with the feathering that appeared in Versions 2-4 and instead covered the border with a white line. I think that this gave the cover a much cleaner look.


Poetry is inherently romantic and so red seemed like the most logical choice for my poems. I was very pleased with the red, so much so that I uploaded the cover to kdp and published it.

When it went live, I was happy… for about 30 seconds. Then I noticed that the thumbnail was blurry! (You can see the blurriness I’m talking about in the above images of Versions 5-7.)


I spent some time searching for remedies on forums and blogs. No dice.

I looked at other covers on Amazon and noticed some blurriness, but not as bad as on my cover. I tried to ignore it.

Then I realized that I was in DENIAL! I had to fix it. I had to!

So the next day when I was scrolling through covers on Amazon, I noticed that covers with plain backgrounds were more blurry than covers with photo backgrounds.

I also discovered through some more Googling that the cause of the blurriness is known as Compression Artifacts, which you can read more about at about.com. It seemed to me that artifacts (or blurriness) are worse when using a plain background.

To avoid blurriness, you need a background that has lots of different colored pixels. That way, when the image is compressed, the blurriness blends in.

I found a photo of footprints and paw prints in the snow from a winter trip in Virginia a few years ago. I had to adjust the position of the text a bit, but I was pleased with the new image and uploaded the cover. It took about 3 days for the blurry cover to leave and the pretty cover to appear.

It was well worth it!

final cover


The Final Version!


Now, some of you might be asking “Could uploading my file as a TIFF format rather than JPEG format help?” And the answer is no.  Book covers are posted as JPEGs, not as TIFFs. Therefore, it is my firm belief that: It is better to have a photo than a plain color as a background for your book cover.

I hope you have found these posts educational.

Here is a list of Key Takeaways for eBook Cover Design:

1. Size your cover at 4500 px high x 2813 px wide at 350 pixels per inch

2. Use Google Fonts for FREE fonts, so you don’t have to worry about license/copyright issues.

3. Use what colors YOU like. Your cover is an expression of you and the book you have poured your heart into.

4. Use a photo rather than a plain color as a background for your book cover to avoid blurriness.

5. Experiment until different fonts, colors, and photos until you love your cover! How many books have you picked up, just because of a well designed cover? It’s well worth the time and energy to create a beautiful one.


Need a Cover? Hire me!

For a free quote, send me an email at zydoyle.com.

Check out my other services under my Hire Me! page.


Get my Poetry Collection: Two by Two TODAY!

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  1. […] the following post and its sequel (Evolution of an eBook Cover: Part 2), I will reveal my process for creating the cover of my poetry collection, Two by Two: […]

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