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Open Educational Resources Collective Publishing Workflow

Create Book Cover

Making Book Covers for Pressbooks

Depending on your design skills and budget, you may want to:

You may need to create two different covers, depending on whether you’re planning to make print copies available:

  • Webbook and ebook cover – displayed on the webbook’s home page in Pressbooks and as the internal book cover for EPUB ebook exports
  • Print on demand PDF coversent or uploaded as a separate file from the rest of the book when ordering printing.

Because Pressbooks PDFs are designed for print on demand, Pressbooks doesn’t include the cover in PDF exports. If you want to include the cover when uploading the PDF to other platforms (for example, institutional repositories, etc.), you’ll need to attach it manually using a PDF editor like Adobe Acrobat or Preview (for Mac).

Note that OER Collective grant-funded books must follow the OER Collective Style Guide for Book Covers which includes the OER Collective logo.

Using the Pressbooks Cover Generator

If you don’t have design experience or access to professional designers, you can use Pressbook’s Cover Generator to create a cover for your textbook. Some benefits of using the Pressbooks Cover Generator:

Changing Your Webbook Cover

You can create and change the default book cover of your webbook in Pressbooks, however your cover image should be a minimum of 800px H, with a width to height ratio between .66 and 1. Otherwise Pressbooks won’t allow you to upload it and you’ll receive an error message telling you what you need to change. Very large images will be downsized to a maximum height of 1500px, so it’s best to avoid these.

Once uploaded, your most recent cover image will be:

  • saved to your Media Library
  • used as the cover image for your webbook
  • included as the internal cover image in your EPUB exports. 

Creating a Print on demand Book Cover

While webbooks and ebook only need a front cover, print on demand covers must contain a:

  • front
  • spine
  • back.

The size of your print on demand cover will change depending on trim size (e.g. Is your book a 5in x 8in trade paperback or a 8.5in x11in textbook?) and page count (a 1,000 page book needs a much wider spine than one with 100 pages).

When you’re preparing your book for printing, you’ll need to provide your printing service with two separate files:

  • PDF interior file – the inside pages of the book, which Pressbooks produces
  • PDF file of the cover – which you can produce with Pressbooks’ Cover Generator or source elsewhere.

Due to the complexity of designing print covers, Pressbooks recommends using their Cover Generator or hiring a professional designer. Your printer can provide clear specifications for your print cover, which you can pass on to whoever is doing the design.

Turning an Ebook Cover Into a Print Cover

If you’d like to turn your ebook cover into a print cover, you can do this using the Pressbooks Cover Generator.


Mays, E. (2015, December 15). How-to: Create your book cover in Pressbooks. Pressbooks.


Adapted from ‘Make a Book Cover’ in Pressbooks User Guide by Pressbooks, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.