One of the unexpected and strange challenges of designing a book with iBooks Author (and with most of the other tools and e-bookstores available) is designing the book’s cover. With iBooks Author the cover is merely more than an icon displayed alongside your book’s metadata; you don’t really get to look at it when actually opening or reading the book (Apple provides you with a place holder for “Intro Media” for that purpose). The practical implication is that designing your iBook cover is a very different undertaking. To avoid wasting time, jump straight to the appropriate design parameters for your ebook cover.

What then are those parameters?

Design parameters for your iBooks Author cover:

This post by Craig Mod covers the challenge and ways to address it with far more elegance and actual book design expertise than I could ever dispense. To summarize:

  1. Your book cover is an icon -you need a startling graphic and a color scheme you own, and little else.
  2. If you are going to put a title on your cover, remember that big type wins.
  3. Apple will insert your book’s title in bold letters next to your cover on the iBookstore. Your book cover should not include a title.
  4. Ditto for your name (except that one will not be in bold).

I am following Craig Mod’s advice and have modified my iBook cover for Travelogue 1 as you can see in the “before” and “after” versions shown below:

Version 1: Too busy and full of elements that are irrelevant on the iBookstore (book title, author’s name, etc.):

Travelogue 1

Version 2: Conveys what’s needed and nothing else -strong graphic, subject matter of Travelogue 1 (surf) and the figure 1 to make it clear there will be others.

Cover 2