How to Create Amazon KDP Book Covers

How to Create Amazon KDP Book Covers main article image
Posted on May 30, 2022 by Eric Antwi

“To get rich, you have to be making money while you’re asleep” -David Bailey


Making money online has always been the desire of every digital marketer. Regardless of the amount earned, it makes you feel great. After beginning to scale up, you will look for more lucrative and reliable ways to make more money. Unfortunately, this great desire does not get materialized for everyone because most people do not follow the right guide and therefore become frustrated and give up.

“KDP” stands for “Kindle Direct Publishing”, and it’s Amazon’s self-publishing platform, where you can create either a high content book, like an e-book for Kindle or paperback books. Amazon is the largest e-commerce store on the face of the planet, controlling more than 85% of the eBook market and 65% of the print book business. The simple explanation for this is that millions of customers across the globe shop on Amazon every day. You are therefore certain of making sales on this platform if you get things right from the start.

In my opinion, and from the perspective of several other people, publishing low-content books on the KDP platform is one of the best ways to make money online. Bottom line: it is legitimate, underutilized, long-term, and profitable. All you have to do is to join the platform, upload your books, and earn while you are asleep or even on holiday. However, start this business with the understanding that this is a real business and never a quick money scheme.

There are two sides to every book, the interior, or what is traditionally termed the content of the book, and the book cover, or the exterior part of the book. You can acquire these components in a variety of ways. First, you can of course create the design yourself. You can also outsource these components to whoever you think has the skill and the expertise to work on them for you. Finally, you can also buy premade interiors and covers on the internet, from places like Creative Fabrica. This is a favorite among most top sellers.

In this article, I will walk you through all the “need to knows” regarding the KDP world and provide a step-by-step guide on how to can create your own book cover from start to finish. After that, all that is required is for you to upload these books using your own created account. This is perfectly acceptable. There is no crime nor sin here. You do not have to be a graphic designer, or writer nor have any related prior experience to start this lifetime business opportunity.

Eight Reasons to Quickly Jump Into This Business

  1. Your product doesn’t perish or your stock run out as this is a digital product.
  2. No need to worry about shipments, as Amazon does all for you, including printing the books out.
  3. You do not need to pay money to register nor are any other fees involved.
  4. You don’t have to worry about the marketing aspect – Amazon does that.
  5. You can enjoy royalties from a giant company.
  6. It is highly profitable. Since a KDP requires relatively low effort to make, it’s always a bargain. You don’t have to spend months in front of a PC.
  7. You do not have to be a graphic designer to create these kinds of books. No previous experience is required.
  8. Publishing is also easy because there are only a few pages to print.

Know the Difference Between No Content Books and Low Content Books

“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”–Andrew Davis

No Content Books

No content books are, as the name suggests, books with little to no content. The interiors of these books, as said earlier, are blank, have absolutely nothing in them, or with minimal content only. You may be surprised how on earth someone can make money selling books with zero content. Well, the truth is that many people are selling these kinds of books on Amazon at this very moment!

Examples include:

  • Notebooks
  • Blank Journal
  • Blank Books
  • Sketchbooks
  • Primary story journals
  • Blank comic books
  • Handwriting books
  • Handwriting Books
  • Graph paper
  • Logbooks

Low Content Books

Low-content books on the other hand are paperback books that contain little to no text or images but are designed to provide the reader or user with guided content.

Examples include:

  • Quote books
  • Coloring books
  • Guest books
  • Planners
  • Recipe books
  • Password books
  • Address books
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Daily planners

All About the KDP Book Cover

Go to KDP cover templates and download the right trim size of the book you want to create the cover for. Save this at a place on your computer where you can get to it quickly.

To design any book cover, you must know these (3) things:

  1. The trim size
  2. The page count
  3. Color

Remember that your file type must be a single PDF file. This cover must include the back cover, spine, and front cover as one image. The total size of this book cover must not be larger than 650 MB. KDP recommends a file size of 40MB or less because large files can slow down printing.

Setting Your Cover Size

Your cover needs to be sized with bleed in order to meet KDP quality standards. Bleed is a printing term that refers to when printed items on a page, such as images or backgrounds, reach all the way to the edge of the page. To size your cover file with bleed, add 0.125″ (3.2 mm) to the top, bottom, and outside edges of your cover.


The KDP templates make it easier to create a print-ready paperback cover with programs that can open a PNG or PDF file and save a PDF file. As said earlier go to the cover calculator and template generator. Then enter your ink and paper choices, trim size, and page count, the calculator will generate a layout like this:


Know This

  • Full cover. Total width and height of the cover file, including front, back, spine, and wrap.
  • Front cover. Width and height of the visible cover area after it’s printed. It’s the same for the back cover too.
  • Safe area. Place all text and images within this area, so they don’t shift to the front or back cover during printing.
  • Bleed. Setting your bleed properly ensures printed objects reach all the way to the edge of the page. Accounting for bleed is important because it prevents a white border from appearing at the edge of the page when the book is trimmed.
  • Margin. Don’t place text or images in this area, unless they’re intended to wrap to the inside cover.
  • Spine. The outside edge of the book where the pages are gathered and bound. Your book must have a minimum page count of 79 pages to include text on the spine.
  • Spine safe area. Place all spine text and images within this area, so they don’t shift to the front or back cover during printing.
  • Spine margin. Don’t place text or images in this spine area because they could shift to the front or back cover during printing.
  • Barcode margin. This area ensures that the barcode doesn’t shift during printing and scans properly.

Note: For Right to Left content, the cover calculator and template generator will generate a layout with the front cover placed to the left of the spine and the back cover to the right of the spine. The barcode will be placed at the lower left-hand corner of your book’s back cover.


Using Bookow


You can also go to Bookow and use their KDP calculator to calculate spine width and total width and height of the print cover for KDP.

Note: The full width and height calculated here includes the spine and bleed. Your cover PDF must be the exact size as given by this calculator, and your background color and/or images must go all the way to the edges.
See below for a page count of 122


Manual Calculation of Book Cover Size

To format your paperback cover, you’ll first need to calculate the spine measurements. The bleed is always 0.125 on all sides. The spine size is always provided and it is dependent on the trim size.
Insert corresponding information into the following equations to find your cover size:

Cover Width = Bleed + Back Cover Width + Spine Width + Front Cover Width + Bleed
Cover Height = Bleed + Trim Height + Bleed

Formatting Your Cover background

When formatting your cover background, please take the following under consideration:

• Bleed. All covers have bleed. If you want to add a background (e.g. color or image), make sure it extends 0.125″ (3.2 mm) beyond the final trim line on all outside edges. All books are trimmed to size, and to ensure that the background fills the page, it needs to extend 0.125″ (3.2 mm) past where the book will be trimmed on the top, bottom, and outside edges. This will prevent a white border from appearing at the edge when your book is trimmed.
• Illegible text. When choosing a background, consider how much it contrasts with the text. If the colors are too similar, the text might blend into the background and be hard to read.
• Borders. We don’t recommend borders because we must allow for a 0.125″ (3.2 mm) production variance that may trim the border or cause it to appear uneven. If your file includes borders, they should cover at least 0.25″ (6.4 mm) inside the trim line. If you include a white border, it must meet our minimum border width or we may reject your file.

How to Design a KDP Book Cover Step by Step

As said earlier, you can get your KDP interiors from Creative Fabrica (for example) and simply prepare your book cover and upload it to KDP.  Let’s begin our design;
There are several ways to follow in designing KDP books. Some of the most popular are Canva, GIMP, and Powerpoint. For the purposes of this article, I will show you how to use Canva to design your book cover.

How to Use Canva to Design Your Book Cover

Before you start your design process, it is important to know the size of your book cover. You can get the book dimensions in several ways;

1. Go to bookow.com and get the right book dimension. See below:


2. You can also right-click on the book template > choose properties > details if you are on a PC. This will also provide you with information about the book size/dimensions.

3. Having gotten the accurate book dimensions, now go to canva.com

4. Click on create new design as show below

5. Put in the right book dimensions


After putting in your dimensions and clicking “Create new design” you should have a blank canvas like the one below.BLANK CANVAS6. Now upload your KDP template into the canvas like this. Now you can create your design over the top! Adjust the transparency so you can easily keep within the guidelines.


7. When you have completed the design, you can unlock it and delete the KDP template you uploaded as the guide. Go to file and download this file as PDF print as your KDP cover.

Your final project should look like what you see below (with your own design of course).

Go to Amazon KDP and upload your book interior and cover today!

Do not forget to visit my store on Creative Fabrica.

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