You know the saying: don’t judge a book by its cover. But we all do it, just like we judge movies and games and albums and magazines by their covers. A book’s cover design tells the reader what to expect from the book in more ways than showing what the book’s about. A well-designed cover communicates to the reader that the author and publisher care enough about the book that they invested in a beautiful and inspiring cover. It also acts as a signal for the book’s intended audience, getting the book into those readers’ hands.

A book’s cover is what makes it stand out on the shelf or among the search results on an e-reader’s screen. Top book cover designers create covers that hook readers, just like strong narrative hooks pull them into stories.

How to get the best book cover design

Most people are familiar with the concept of hiring a freelance designer. But this isn’t the only way of getting graphic design done. Anyone thinking of creating a book cover design should consider a book cover design contest.

In a design contest, you write a brief describing what you are looking for, and designers from all over the world submit concepts unique to your brief. You then choose finalists, give feedback to hone the designs and ultimately pick your favorite book cover design. If ideation and seeing a variety of different design styles is important to you, we’d recommend a design contest.

Learn more about book cover design contests ->

On the other hand, if you already have a clear idea of the style and direction you’d like to take for your book cover design, hiring a freelancer is a great choice!

The 15 best book cover designers to hire in 2022

  1. 1
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Logo design
    • Poster
    • T-shirt
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Signage
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other art or illustration
    • Magazine cover
    • Other design
    • Merchandise
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Banner ad
    • Web page design
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Stationery
    • Podcast
    • Other web or app design
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Other business or advertising
    • Logo & business card
    • Icon or button
    • Card or invitation
    • Car, truck or van wrap
    • Brochure
    • Album Cover
  2. 2
    • Book cover
    • Other design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Other art or illustration
    • Product label
    • Logo design
    • Other packaging or label
    • Product packaging
    • Poster
    • T-shirt
    • Magazine cover
    • Logo & hosted website
    • Brochure
  3. 3
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Print or packaging design
    • Poster
    • Other art or illustration
    • Logo & business card
    • Typesetting
    • Other design
    • Logo design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Product packaging
    • Podcast
    • Other packaging or label
    • Magazine cover
    • Banner ad
  4. 4
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Poster
    • Logo design
    • Signage
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other design
    • Magazine cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Web page design
    • Typesetting
    • Other business or advertising
    • Banner ad
  5. 5
    • Book cover
    • Poster
    • Other design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Logo design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Brochure
    • Banner ad
    • Other book or magazine
    • Magazine cover
    • Other business or advertising
    • Social media page
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Signage
    • Other web or app design
    • Other art or illustration
    • Sticker
    • Product packaging
    • Facebook cover
    • Album Cover
    • Typesetting
    • Logo & business card
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Business card
    • Logo & brand identity pack
  6. 6
    • Book cover
    • Logo design
    • Magazine cover
    • Logo & brand guide
    • Other design
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Other book or magazine
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Poster
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other business or advertising
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Podcast
    • Logo & business card
    • Email
    • Web page design
    • Merchandise
    • T-shirt
    • Signage
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Landing page design
    • Brochure
    • Album Cover
    • Typesetting
    • Sticker
    • Product packaging
    • Product label
    • Other art or illustration
    • Facebook cover
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Business card
    • Brand guide
  7. 7
    • Book cover
    • Other web or app design
    • Logo design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Facebook cover
    • Brochure
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Icon or button
    • Typesetting
    • Other design
    • Other business or advertising
    • Business card
    • Product label
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Product packaging
    • Web page design
    • Signage
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • T-shirt
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Poster
    • Other packaging or label
    • Other art or illustration
    • Logo & brand guide
    • Banner ad
    • WordPress theme design
    • Sticker
    • Logo & business card
    • Clothing or apparel
  8. 8
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other design
    • Logo design
    • Typesetting
    • Icon or button
    • Facebook cover
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Magazine cover
    • Business card
    • Social media page
    • PowerPoint template
    • Logo & business card
    • Banner ad
    • Product packaging
    • Product label
    • Other web or app design
    • Other business or advertising
    • Logo & hosted website
    • Landing page design
    • Logo & brand identity pack
  9. 9
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • T-shirt
    • Character or mascot
    • Magazine cover
    • Icon or button
    • Other art or illustration
    • Logo design
    • Tattoo
    • Other design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Car, truck or van wrap
    • Business card
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Brand guide
  10. 10
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • 3D
    • Other art or illustration
    • Album Cover
    • Other design
    • T-shirt
    • Poster
    • Magazine cover
    • Character or mascot
    • Product packaging
    • Other book or magazine
    • Banner ad
  11. 11
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting
    • Product packaging
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Logo design
    • Web page design
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Social media page
    • Product label
    • Other packaging or label
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other art or illustration
    • Merchandise
    • Infographic
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Facebook cover
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Brochure
    • Logo & brand identity pack
  12. 12
    • App design
    • Book cover
    • Print or packaging design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Web page design
    • Signage
    • Product packaging
    • Magazine cover
    • Brochure
    • Other design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Landing page design
    • Logo & brand identity pack
  13. 13
    • Book cover
    • Logo design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Illustration or graphics
    • T-shirt
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Poster
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Product packaging
    • Product label
    • Card or invitation
    • Logo & business card
    • Typesetting
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other design
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other art or illustration
    • Merchandise
    • Magazine cover
    • Car, truck or van wrap
    • Business card
    • Brand guide
    • Stationery
    • Signage
    • Logo & brand guide
    • Infographic
    • Character or mascot
    • Brochure
    • Album Cover
    • 3D
  14. 14
    • Book cover
    • Logo design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Character or mascot
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Other design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Logo & brand identity pack
  15. 15
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Product label
    • Product packaging
    • Logo design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • T-shirt
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other design
    • Magazine cover
    • Brochure
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Banner ad
    • Stationery
    • Other packaging or label
    • Other art or illustration
    • Card or invitation

How did we choose these as the top book cover designers?

Quality

book cover design
By kostis Pavlou

At 99designs, our in-house team personally vets every designer on the platform and sorts them into three categories:

  • Entry level
  • Mid level
  • Top level

Only the most qualified book cover designers achieve top level status. A few of the qualities we look for when we choose a top level book cover designers are:

  • Their technical skills in working with the types of files used in the publishing industry
  • Their use of original concepts to create engaging covers
  • How well they execute design principles like the use of color, scale and typography
  • Their record of successful client communication and satisfaction is in accordance with our code of conduct

Experience with book cover design

Our top freelance book cover designers all have extensive portfolios. They know how to put together a book cover design: where to put the ISBN code, how to bring the book’s story into the cover design and ways to balance text and images. With an experienced book cover designer, you know what you’re getting because they can show you all the great covers they’ve designed for past clients.

In addition to looking at overall quality, we specifically vetted each designer on this list to make sure they had experience with and specialized in book cover design.

Professionalism

Of course, you want someone with design skills, but you also want a book cover designer who communicates with you throughout the process, delivers on time and is generally good to work with. So we took past customer experiences into account to make sure all of our recommended book cover designers are professionals in service as well as design.

What to think about when hiring a book cover designer

When you’re in the market for a book cover designer, think about the kinds of book covers that connect with you. One way to get ideas is to walk through a bookstore or your local library and see which books catch your eye. You can also go online to find inspiring and creative book cover design ideas. Once you have a few ideas in mind, it will serve as a guide to finding a designer whose portfolio is full of similar styles or to guide a designer in the right direction.

book cover design
By Mila.

Think about the following when you’re searching for the right designer:

  • Have they designed covers for your genre before?
  • How about your intended audience? If your book is YA, work with a designer who has experience with YA covers
  • Do the book covers in their portfolio look like books you’d pick off the shelf?
  • Do the book covers in their portfolio make use of trends in their genres? Stepping outside the box can be effective sometimes, but your cover’s got to communicate to readers that it’s going to deliver something specific, whether that’s a quirky children’s cookbook or a sophisticated literary masterpiece.

Are you ready to hire a phenomenal book cover designer?

As an author, you want as many people as possible to read your books and appreciate the work you put into them. The first step in getting your books into readers’ hands is to get great covers for them, and the first step in getting a great cover is working with a skilled book cover designer.

Check out our top book cover designers, and if you don’t find a designer who can tell your story, search through our platform to find the book cover designer who can.

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