Where to find a hardbook cover template

Hi ! im a venezuelan book cover designer and i need your help guys… ive being doing covers for a while, mostly for amazon kdp… amazon has theyr own paperback cover template, so you can write the size, pages and paper and it will automatically make a template for you… so… the question is, how can i make a template not for a paperback but hardcover ? i just know the ingram method where they have a template, but… does amazon have a template for making hardcovers ? please help me on this… btw please check my work at ( i cant write the link ) and give me your feedback… all my books are made in corel draw

I suppose you could do like I did a couple of weeks ago and make your own.

Im talking about a designing template… not a mockup

I misunderstood what you meant by template. I thought you were referring to cover mockup templates — sorry.

I’m guessing that you’re referring instead to the KDP or Ingram layout templates they supply to create the final artwork files for covers before uploading them?

I don’t do many self-published book covers, so my information might be outdated. But last I checked, KDP did not print hardcover books — only paperbacks. When I was looking into it a year or so ago, it was only possible to sell hardbound books through the Amazon distribution system by printing them through, for example, Ingram or Lulu.


Out of curiosity, I just did a Google search and found the following, which mostly goes into detail on what I just mentioned. I don’t know how hold this article is, however. But like you, I can find nothing on Kindle’s website saying much about hardbound books — only paperbacks. I’d think if they had recently begun printing hardbacks, that they’d provide instructions on preparing the artwork.

Exactly, amazon has the paperback template, but i need the hardcover template, cause now they are offering that service, but i think they havent got the template yet, so i was wondering if you know a site or place to make templates for that… excluding ingram of course

Here’s some information from just the past few days from KDP’s online community. According to the thread, their hardcover capabilities are in beta testing and not available to the general public yet. One of the people responding says something about needing an invitation to participate. These aren’t people who work for Kindle, but they seem to have legitimate information.

I’m curious. I spend a lot of my time designing books and yet, to date, I’ve never even heard of KDP templates.

For me, the way it has always worked is that my clients (publishers) contact me and tell me what they want, I design two or three options. They pick one and it gets refined. I produce finished artwork, according to their size and print specs. I send finished artwork, followed by an invoice. They pay me some pennies. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

How does this KDP template thing work? I fear the worst, but … I am guessing that you, as a designer, design cover templates (I have come to despise that word) speculatively and put it on some sort of kindle self-publishing site and hope a wannabe author will pay you some money for it? Please tell me I’m wrong and it’s not the publishing equivalent of crowd-sourced logo mill sites.

You’re partly wrong with some legitimate concerns. The templates are layout templates, not design templates. I’ll (over)explain.

At the risk of what you already might know, KDP is Amazon’s self-publishing, on-demand printing company. Similarly, there’s IngramSpark, Blurb and Lulu among others. Amateur authors write books, then sign up with one of these companies to get copies printed. Unlike book publishers that only publish books they deem salable, these on-demand printers will print, bind and make available for wide distribution (both digital and print) any book from any author who’s willing to pay their fee.

Their whole business is geared around catering to amateur authors. Because most of these authors know next to nothing about how to create the mechanical artwork for their books, they supply templates that consist of blank pages with the bleeds, margins, spine position, bar code space, etc., already in position. This is similar to how billboard companies supply layout templates that provide the specs to prepare the artwork in ways that fit their production requirements.

With IngramSpark, for example, one goes online to their template creator and checks a bunch of boxes, along the lines of what dimensions your book is, how many pages it will have, what paper you want it printed on, whether you want a glossy or matte finish and whatever other options and shortcuts they might have. It then spits out a template done up to fit their specifications on how they need their interior pages and covers laid out in order to meet their mass-production requirements.

One can plug whatever design one wants into their system as long as it corresponds to the requirements of their system, and the template helps make sure it’s prepared the right way. For authors who don’t want to work with a designer, there are options to just pick and choose a bunch of options online. For authors who want a more professional look, these blank templates are available for the designers to use.

For designers like you, me and, presumably, the OP, who only need basic specs to properly prepare a layout, these on-demand publishers are frustrating because they go into a huge amount of detail explaining the most basic concepts of how to prepare art files. Explaining to an amateur author things like color profiles, dot gain, bleeds, margins, paper stock weights, finishes, maximum ink densities, signatures, foils, embossing, trims, ISBN numbers and the like, amounts to a print-production course with a straight-up learning curve.

For an experienced designer, it’s tediously frustrating to wade through their dumbed-down terminology and half-baked wordy explanations to find the few nuggets of information that are needed. Given that these book titles are published by the tens of thousands, the templates can be useful in quickly telling a designer that, for example, this is the exact location on the back cover where the barcode needs to go or this is the exact width of the spine considering the page count and the paper chosen.

I have no idea about Kdp and Amazon etc

For printed hardbook covers you need to know the spine width firstly and might be slightly different than the paperback.

You need 20mm bleed on all edges minimium, but depends on who is printing it.

Or you can do it as a dust jacket, which would wrap around the hardback. In that case you will need to include extra flap on both ends that can wrap round the book cover front and back page.

Grrat spots for inc extra info.

Thanks for that.

I knew roughly how it worked for the author, but just assumed Amazon had a fixed number of templates they choose from I didn’t know there was a facility for designers to create more (presumably with cover). If so, do they create them and put them onto some sort of linked marketplace for authors to buy, or are they commissioned independently in the usual way, but rather than by the publisher, by the author direct, and then their a/w just has to comply with Amazon’s system as you described – in much the same as Vistaprint (don’t get me started), et al work.

I know I am sounding completely thick here, but I’d just not come across this before.

When I first read it the familiar, ‘here we go again …’ alarm bells rang and it just felt like yet another nail in another race-to-the-bottom coffin.

The layout templates don’t cost anything (maybe that’s not what you were asking). The templates end up saving the publishers money by removing lots of possibilities for errors and ensuring that all the art files are built to their production specifications.

I’m not entirely familiar with all the details of how authors can create their own covers or lay out the interiors of their books. Like I mentioned, the whole system is designed to enable amateurs to get their books published, so I think there are tools that go beyond simple InDesign layout templates. It’s my impression that it’s sort of the Canva approach to off-the-shelf mix and matching from various pre-determined options. I’m not sure, though, and I suspect that Ingram handles it differently from KDP or Blurb or whomever.

For those authors wanting more professionally designed books, they can line up designers in any way they want. Reedsy.com specializes in matching up editors and designers with self-publishing authors. On Upwork.com, probably the most common requests for designers originate from authors who are self-publishing their books.

All that said, your comments about a race to the bottom and more nails in the coffin are correct. Self-publishing authors are typically trying to do things cheaply, and they’re always naive about both publishing and how to work with designers. This sets the stage for designers to grossly underbid other designers online and crank out the designs as rapidly and with as little thought as possible. It’s not like working with traditional publishers, where the publishing companies wisely keep the authors from getting too involved in the book designs.

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