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 2019

  1. 1
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 200 )
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Poster
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other design
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other art or illustration
    • Facebook cover
    • Signage
    • Logo design
    • Business card
    • Banner ad
  2. 2
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 141 )
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Poster
    • Magazine cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Logo design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other art or illustration
    • Typesetting
    • Product label
    • Other web or app design
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Stationery
    • Signage
    • Other design
    • Icon or button
    • Character or mascot
  3. 3
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 27 )
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other business or advertising
  4. 4
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 58 )
    • 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
    • Business card
    • 3D
  5. 5
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 102 )
    • 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 business or advertising
    • Other book or magazine
  6. 6
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 44 )
    • 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
    • Facebook cover
  7. 7
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 115 )
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Poster
    • Character or mascot
    • Banner ad
    • Other design
    • Icon or button
    • Product packaging
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other art or illustration
    • Social media page
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Logo design
    • Facebook cover
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • T-shirt
    • Sticker
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Merchandise
    • Infographic
    • Card or invitation
    • Other web or app design
    • Product label
    • Other packaging or label
  8. 8
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 352 )
    • Book cover
    • Banner ad
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other design
    • Other web or app design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Product packaging
    • Facebook cover
    • Logo design
    • Signage
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other art or illustration
    • Business card
    • Social media page
    • Product label
    • Other packaging or label
    • Logo & business card
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Brochure
  9. 9
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 86 )
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Logo design
    • T-shirt
    • Poster
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Signage
    • Other art or illustration
    • Magazine cover
    • Other design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Merchandise
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Banner ad
    • Stationery
    • Other web or app design
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Other business or advertising
    • Logo & business card
    • Card or invitation
    • Car, truck or van wrap
    • Brochure
    • Icon or button
  10. 10
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 221 )
    • Book cover
    • Product label
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Product packaging
    • Logo design
    • Poster
    • Other design
    • Brochure
    • Signage
    • Other packaging or label
    • Other business or advertising
    • Facebook cover
    • Landing page design
    • Other web or app design
    • Other art or illustration
    • Merchandise
    • Card or invitation
  11. 11
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 52 )
    • Book cover
    • Logo design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Other design
    • Logo & business card
    • Banner ad
    • Poster
    • Other web or app design
    • Facebook cover
    • Card or invitation
    • Business card
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Web page design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
  12. 12
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 118 )
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other design
    • Logo design
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Other art or illustration
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Cup or mug
    • T-shirt
    • Other packaging or label
    • Other business or advertising
    • Card or invitation
  13. 13
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 55 )
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other design
    • Facebook cover
    • Other web or app design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Banner ad
  14. 14
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 40 )
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Other design
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting
    • Product packaging
    • Poster
    • App design
    • Facebook cover
    • Banner ad
  15. 15
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 81 )
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Magazine cover
    • Social media page
    • Other web or app design
    • Logo design
    • Brochure
  16. 16
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 143 )
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Product label
    • T-shirt
    • Character or mascot
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other book or magazine
    • Sticker
    • Product packaging
    • Logo design
    • Other design
    • Banner ad
    • Tattoo
    • Other web or app design
    • Other art or illustration
    • Magazine cover
    • Logo & business card
    • Poster
  17. 17
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 63 )
    • Book cover
    • Poster
    • Other book or magazine
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Banner ad
    • Magazine cover
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Logo design
    • Infographic
  18. 18
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 99 )
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other design
    • Icon or button
    • 3D
  19. 19
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 169 )
    • Book cover
    • Other web or app design
    • Other business or advertising
    • Banner ad
    • Other design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Social media page
    • Infographic
    • Other art or illustration
    • Logo design
    • Facebook cover
    • Business card
    • Brochure
    • Stationery
    • Magazine cover
    • Landing page design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Icon or button
    • 3D
  20. 20
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 16 )
    • Book cover
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Signage
    • Poster
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other art or illustration
    • Logo design
  21. 21
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other design
    • Logo design
    • Icon or button
    • Facebook cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Logo & social media pack
    • PowerPoint template
    • Magazine cover
    • Business card
    • Banner ad
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Social media page
    • Product packaging
    • Other business or advertising
    • Logo & hosted website
    • Landing page design
    • Logo & brand identity pack
  22. 22
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 63 )
    • Book cover
    • Typesetting
    • Other book or magazine
    • Magazine cover
    • Other design
    • Logo design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Facebook cover
    • Web page design
    • Other packaging or label
    • Other business or advertising
    • Logo & business card
    • Business card
  23. 23
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 43 )
    • Book cover
    • Poster
    • Logo design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Product packaging
    • Other design
    • Other art or illustration
    • T-shirt
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other book or magazine
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Product label
    • Logo & business card
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Brand guide
  24. 24
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 155 )
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Banner ad
    • Other design
    • T-shirt
    • Social media page
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other art or illustration
    • Character or mascot
  25. 25
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 139 )
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Banner ad
    • Other design
    • Poster
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • WordPress theme design
    • Other packaging or label
    • Brochure
    • Web page design
    • Social media page
    • Product label
    • Merchandise
    • Logo design
    • Card or invitation
    • Logo & brand identity pack
  26. 26
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 80 )
    • Book cover
    • Logo design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Social media page
    • Other design
    • Magazine cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Facebook cover
  27. 27
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 79 )
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other design
    • Logo design
    • Facebook cover
    • Business card
    • Typesetting
    • Infographic
  28. 28
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 241 )
    • Book cover
    • Other web or app design
    • Logo design
    • Facebook cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Icon or button
    • Other design
    • Product label
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other business or advertising
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Business card
    • Signage
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • T-shirt
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Poster
    • Brochure
    • Banner ad
    • WordPress theme design
    • Product packaging
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Other art or illustration
    • Logo & business card
  29. 29
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 46 )
    • Book cover
    • App design
    • Landing page design
    • Other web or app design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Poster
  30. 30
    • Book cover
    • Logo design
    • Product packaging
    • Poster
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Product label
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Card or invitation
    • T-shirt
    • Other book or magazine
    • Logo & business card
    • Other design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Other business or advertising
    • Magazine cover
    • Car, truck or van wrap
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Signage
    • Merchandise
    • Infographic
    • Business card
    • Brochure
    • 3D

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?
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