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 that the publisher, who might also be the book’s author thanks to the rise of self-publishing, cares enough about the book that they invested in an effective cover. It also acts as a signal for the book’s intended audience, getting the book into those readers’ hands.

Keep the word “effective” in mind as you search for the best freelance book cover designer to hire. 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

There are a few ways to get a great design for your book cover. On 99designs, you can:

  • Launch a design contest
  • Start a project directly with a book cover designer you find on our platform.
book cover design
Design contests give you options. By Alfie™

If you’re not sure exactly what you want or you’re open to suggestions centered around a few ideas you have, we recommend you launch a contest to have a variety of designers send in their take on your idea, giving you options for your book cover. You then pick your favorite and work with the designer to hone it to perfection.

Learn more about book cover design contests ->

If you know exactly what you want in your book cover design, pick one of the top designers below or search through our platform with keywords that will connect you with the right designer for your book cover.

The 10 best book cover designers to hire in 2018

Top Level
5.0
( 38 )
  • Book cover
  • Print or packaging design
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Other design
  • Other book or magazine
  • Card or invitation
  • Poster
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Magazine cover
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Banner ad
  • Social media page
  • Product packaging
  • Other business or advertising
  • Facebook cover
Top Level
5.0
( 172 )
  • Book cover
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other book or magazine
  • Other design
  • Poster
  • Other art or illustration
  • Other business or advertising
  • Facebook cover
  • Signage
  • Logo design
  • Business card
  • Banner ad
Top Level
5.0
( 80 )
  • Book cover
  • Banner ad
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other design
  • Other business or advertising
  • Other art or illustration
  • Logo design
  • Web page design
  • Other book or magazine
  • Logo & business card
  • Card or invitation
Top Level
5.0
( 57 )
  • Book cover
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo design
  • T-shirt
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Signage
  • Poster
  • Other art or illustration
  • Magazine cover
  • Other design
  • Other book or magazine
  • Merchandise
  • Banner ad
  • Stationery
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Other business or advertising
  • Logo & business card
  • Card or invitation
  • Car, truck or van wrap
  • Brochure
  • Logo & brand identity pack
Top Level
5.0
( 12 )
  • Book cover
  • Other book or magazine
  • Postcard, flyer or print
Top Level
5.0
( 35 )
  • Book cover
  • Poster
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other design
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other book or magazine
  • Signage
  • Other business or advertising
  • Social media page
  • Magazine cover
  • Logo design
  • Other web or app design
  • Other art or illustration
Top Level
5.0
( 291 )
  • Book cover
  • Banner ad
  • Other book or magazine
  • Other design
  • Other web or app design
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Product packaging
  • Logo design
  • Facebook cover
  • Signage
  • Other art or illustration
  • Business card
  • Social media page
  • Product label
  • Other packaging or label
  • Other business or advertising
  • Logo & business card
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Brochure
Top Level
5.0
( 87 )
  • Book cover
  • Poster
  • Other design
  • Logo design
  • Magazine cover
  • Other business or advertising
  • Signage
  • Other book or magazine
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Sticker
  • Other art or illustration
  • Brochure
  • Banner ad
  • Social media page
  • Other web or app design
  • Logo & business card
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Business card
  • Logo & brand identity pack
Top Level
5.0
( 92 )
  • Book cover
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Poster
  • Character or mascot
  • Banner ad
  • Other design
  • Icon or button
  • Product packaging
  • Other book or magazine
  • Social media page
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Other art or illustration
  • Logo design
  • Facebook cover
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • T-shirt
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Merchandise
  • Infographic
  • Card or invitation
Top Level
5.0
( 84 )
  • Book cover
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo design
  • Other Graphic Design
  • T-shirt
  • Print or packaging design
  • Social media page
  • Other art or illustration
  • Icon or button
  • Product label
  • Other book or magazine

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

Quality

book cover design
by Martis Lupus

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 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 use of color, scale and typography
  • Their record of successful client communication and satisfaction in accordance with our code of conduct.

Experience with book cover design

Our top freelance book cover designers all have extensive portfolios. A newbie book cover designer can hit it out of the park with a design, but when you work with someone inexperienced, you’re taking the risk that they might not have the skills to really give you what you want. 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.

Professionalism

Professionalism is as important as the other two qualities we look for in top book cover designers. After all, we’re a service platform—you come to 99designs for a book cover designer expecting to work with a creative professional. A few key elements of professionalism we look at are:

  • Proactive, clear communication skills
  • Prompt responses to client inquiries
  • The ability to anticipate clients’ needs and address them before they arise
  • A strong reputation for satisfying clients

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. Find a designer whose portfolio is full of covers that look like those books.

book cover design
by Predra6

Think about the following when you’re searching for the right designer to do your book cover:

  • 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
  • Are 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.

Want more book cover designer choices?
Search for the ideal freelance designer for your project