Your AI ebook cover is the first impression readers have of your work.

Here we describe the process of creating an AI ebook cover. In this case, we want a cover that represents the fusion of AI and WordPress for ebook creation.

Our team used ChatGPT 4 to generate a complex prompt for the cover. This included abstract elements. We wanted a modern design. The idea was a color palette blending WordPress blue with shades of gray and electric blue.

Running this prompt through Midjourney version 6, we found the results too abstract. We simplified and generated a design featuring a human face with a robotic android feel. We refined this concept further using Midjourney’s ‘/describe’ feature. This offered four new prompt suggestions. These prompt themes focused on futuristic women and high-tech, using a specific color palette.

Our team downloaded a batch of images from these prompts. We used them as inspiration to design our ebook cover. We decided to adopt a primal color theme of red, black, and white. Roger Black, a famous magazine and newspaper designer inspired us. We referenced one of his magazine covers for its grid simplicity.

Using GIMP, an open-source cross-platform image processor, we created a new cover. We sampled specific hex colors (black, red, white, gray, and light gray) from Roger Black’s website. Finally, we used Placeit.net to create a mockup of the physical book with the cover art. It’s watermarked and used only for testing purposes.

We use the following AI resources and open-source programs to produce the covers in this example. They include paid ChatGPT, paid Midjourney, and offline free GIMP image processor. You can use other free AI resources as substitutes. We are demonstrating principles that you can apply with many different resources of your choosing. For example, Photoshop or online resources like https://pixlr.com/editor/

There are many YouTube instructional videos online about how to use these resources.

Here are more details and images of our AI process:

Using ChatGPT 4, we asked for an image prompt about making AI ebooks for WordPress website owners:

Screenshot of ChatGPT

“Design a 2D flat-style ebook cover that creatively symbolizes the fusion of AI and WordPress in the context of ebook creation. Instead of literal representations like brains or logos, use abstract imagery: envision a landscape where a flowing river, representing the WordPress platform, merges seamlessly with a digital matrix or circuitry pattern, symbolizing AI. The color palette should be more nuanced, blending the traditional WordPress blue and white with additional shades like soft grays and electric blues, to suggest innovation and digital technology. The style should be modern and sophisticated, with a clean, uncluttered layout that leaves space at the top for the book title and at the bottom for the author’s name. The overall impression should be one of harmony between technology and creativity, appealing to both tech enthusiasts and creative WordPress users.”

This resultant prompt above is more complicated than necessary for Midjourney version 6. But we ran it anyway in Discord.

Our goal is to produce high-quality, relevant, feature images. One that is unencumbered by copyright or usage fees.

Here are the results:

The first spin of the prompt.
The second spin of the prompt.

These illustrations felt too monochrome, abstract, and impersonal — even boring. So we simplified the prompt to:

Design a 2D flat-style ebook cover that creatively symbolizes the fusion of AI and WordPress in the context of ebook creation. –ar 2:3 –v 6.0

With this result:

We like the personal touch of a human face. But still maintaining a robotic android feel in the fourth abstract image. We produced and enlarged the image by pressing the U4 “uprez” button:

Candidate 1 from the selection process.

We downloaded the candidate. Then uploaded it for evaluation using the /describe feature in Midjourney. It generated 4 prompt suggestions from that image. We pressed the Select-All button to produce 4 versions from each prompt.

  1. a digital graphic image of a smart, futurist woman, in the style of flat composition, dark cyan and orange, mechanical designs, serene faces, light blue and red, computer-aided manufacturing, subtle tonal values –ar 85:128
  2. techno head illustration by nick m, in the style of tom whalen, light sky-blue and red, layered and complex compositions, uhd image, women artists, classical proportions, jon foster –ar 85:128
  3. an illustration with graphic design, illustrating a woman’s head and face, in the style of futurist mechanical precision, dark turquoise and light red, 32k uhd, tom whalen, industrial and technological subjects, colorful complexity, aykut aydogdu –ar 85:128
  4. graphic illustration and design the sexgrounded, in the style of high-tech futurism, colorful portraits, teal and red, pristine geometry, light orange and dark gray, 32k uhd, industrial machinery aesthetics –ar 85:128

In minutes, that produced the following 4 panels of 4 images:

Prompt 1 – a digital graphic image of a smart, futurist woman, in the style of flat composition, dark cyan and orange, mechanical designs, serene faces, light blue and red, computer-aided manufacturing, subtle tonal values –ar 85:128
Prompt 2 – techno head illustration by nick m, in the style of tom whalen, light sky-blue and red, layered and complex compositions, uhd image, women artists, classical proportions, jon foster –ar 85:128
Prompt 3 – an illustration with graphic design, illustrating a woman’s head and face, in the style of futurist mechanical precision, dark turquoise and light red, 32k uhd, tom whalen, industrial and technological subjects, colorful complexity, aykut aydogdu –ar 85:128
Prompt 4 – graphic illustration and design the sexgrounded, in the style of high-tech futurism, colorful portraits, teal and red, pristine geometry, light orange and dark gray, 32k uhd, industrial machinery aesthetics –ar 85:128

We produced all these sample images in minutes. Not hours, days, or weeks like a traditional illustration. We felt all had good potential. We downloaded them as a batch from the Midjourney website using the “+” select all button. That way we didn’t have to enlarge and download each one.

All images are downloaded from the Midjourney website in bulk.

Reverse-engineering: Selecting a grid sample for page layout.

Roger Black is a famous magazine and newspaper designer. We wanted to use a primal color theme of red, black, and white as he did in his designs.

rogerblackcollection.typenetwork.com/
This is one of the examples magazine covers. We liked its grid simplicity.

We visited Roger Black’s website. We then downloaded and imported the sample cover. We used it as a template for Gimp open-source image processor. And created a new cover built on top of it as a pattern using layers.

New cover built in GIMP.

We used a freeware colorpicker utility to sample hexcolors used on Roger Black’s website:

black

231f20


red

ee3124


white

ffffff


gray

95969a


light gray

f0eee1

Prototype

The typography used was all open-source fonts downloaded from online freeware sources. Those included Trajan Pro, BigNoodle Titling, Arial Bold, and Arial Black.

We then did a test using https://placeit.net/ to create AI mockups of physical products. It’s watermarked and we used a screengrab for testing.

Mockup of a physical book with cover art in place.
Prototype

FINAL COVERS FOR A SERIES AND BUNDLE

We have 5 ebook sections and an appendix. These are offered separately and as a bundle. We needed covers for all. The prototype concept was simplified during this process. All final covers were assembled in Gimp image processor on a Linux operating system. We love open-source programs. Here are the results:

Alternative Methods of Production

There are many pathways to achieving a striking and meaningful cover for your ebook. For those looking for alternative resources, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Freelance Designers: Websites like Upwork (upwork.com) and Fiverr (fiverr.com) offer a plethora of talented freelance graphic designers who can bring your vision to life.
  2. Design Software: For those who like a hands-on approach, software like Adobe Photoshop (adobe.com/products/photoshop.html) and Canva (canva.com) offer user-friendly interfaces and powerful tools for creating custom ebook covers.
  3. Pre-Made Cover Templates: Sites like Canva (canva.com) also provide pre-made templates that can be easily customized to suit your ebook’s theme and genre.
  4. Online Cover Design Tools: Tools such as Book Brush (bookbrush.com) and Placeit (placeit.net) offer easy-to-use interfaces specifically for creating book covers, with numerous templates and customization options.
  5. Learning Resources: If you’re keen to learn more about design, online platforms like Skillshare (skillshare.com) and Udemy (udemy.com) offer courses in graphic design and book cover creation.

Your ebook cover is the first impression readers have of your work. So it’s worth investing to make it stand out. Whether you choose AI-generated designs, hire a professional, or dive into designing them yourself, the perfect cover for your ebook is within reach.


BONUS MATERIAL

Ebook Cover Design Checklist

Ebook Cover Design Essentials

  1. Theme and Genre Alignment:
    • Ensure your cover reflects the genre and theme of your book.
  2. Title and Author Name:
    • Title is prominently displayed and easily readable.
    • Author’s name is clearly visible but not overpowering.
  3. Imagery:
    • Use high-quality, relevant images.
    • Ensure images are legally usable (rights-cleared or royalty-free).
  4. Color Scheme:
    • Colors complement each other and suit the mood of the book.
    • Avoid overly bright or clashing colors unless they fit the book’s theme.
  5. Typography:
    • Font choices are readable and appropriate for the book’s genre.
    • Consider font size and spacing.
    • Don’t get font happy. Using too many fonts is visual noise.
  6. Layout and Balance:
    • The design is not too crowded or too sparse. It’s called: content density.
    • Important elements are not cut off in thumbnail view.

We discuss this list of fundamental principles in other sections of this ebook.

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