Create a Cover for Wattpad Books

How to Make a Nice Book Cover for Your Wattpad Story

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

Unfortunately, people will judge a book by its cover. This means that if you want someone to read your Wattpad story, you need to get their attention. Luckily, it’s not all that difficult to create a book cover for Wattpad.

Even a novice can design something eye-catching.

Today, I’ll show you how to use the Canva integration for Wattpad. It’s an addition to the platform tailored for creating the cover art for your story or novel.

Need help writing your book? Knowing how to structure your manuscript can go a long way to providing a better exeperience for your readers. Take a look at the Reedsy Masterclass for How to Write a Novel. It was perhaps the most influential three months I’ve spent for crafting my books.

How to Add a Book Cover to Wattpad

For this tutorial, I assume you have a Wattpad account. If not, you should make one. There are several benefits of writing on Wattpad including building an audience and getting your name out there as an author.

You can do this from a story already added to the platform or when creating a new one. For the purposes of today, I’m going to set up a new novel.

Step 1: Create a New Story (or Open an Old One)

From your Wattpad dashboard, click the “Write” option.

Write Option

Click the “Create a new story” option from the drop-down window.

Create New Wattpad Story

This will bring you to the settings of your manuscript.

Step 2: Add the Cover to Your Wattpad Story

In this screen, you have options for the title, description, main characters, category, tags, and other elements. Fill these out to make sense for the story you’re going to publish.

Keep in mind that this can all be changed at a later date. You can add very basic information right now and then fill it out later as your story progresses.

On the left, click the option to “Add a cover.”

Add a Book Cover Option

If you already have a cover, simply click the “Upload Cover” option from Wattpad. In this tutorial, we’re using Canva to create one.

Click the “Create Cover” option at the bottom.

Create Cover Option

The Canva editor will take a second or two to load.

Step 3: Edit Your Book’s Cover

Canva will automatically select the templates and default settings for Wattpad. This means it’ll be perfectly sized to fit on the platform.

The editor will have options to add various elements, text, photos, backgrounds, or even your own uploads. For instance, I uploaded an ostrich feather PNG file in my latest iteration of VII’s cover.

NOTE: Premium features and tools in Canva are indicated by a small golden crown in the bottom right corner. These will cost you money to use. Otherwise, you can find a lot of functionality completely free.

The hardest part is figuring out what template you want to use or if you want to just create the book cover from scratch. The most important thing you’ll want to remember is that you want the cover to be relevant to the context of your story.

For the sake of this tutorial, I’m going to use a free template. You can pay for premium images from Canva if you wish, but the free version is more than adequate in most cases.

Let’s say that I want to write a sci-fi book about time travel.

NOTE: At any time during the design process, you can always undo any action by clicking the undo arrow near the top left next to Canva’s logo.

Choose a Template for Your Book

When picking a template for your book cover, some will come with premium elements built-in. Canva will charge you for those elements before you can use the cover in Wattpad.

It may be better to simply design your cover from scratch so that none of the premium additions are included.

Templates are simply a way to show you what elements are on the cover. You can edit anything within the template to fit your needs.

If you can’t find a template that fits your story, just select one you like as I’m going to show you how to edit it in Canva.

Click on a template that you want to edit. In this case, I’m going to use “Midnight Maiden” because I like the glow of the text.

Choose a Template

Change the Background Image (Optional)

Depending on your idea for a cover, a background image could help deliver a nice aesthetic. The reason why this is optional is that you might want to use a photo or illustration instead.

I’ll show you how to change the background in case that’s the road you want to take.

Hovering your mouse over any element in Canva highlights it with a thin, purple box. This lets you select those elements to make edits.

For now, try to click on the background of your template without selecting anything else.

Canva Template Background

Once you’ve done that, tap the “Delete” key on your keyboard. This will completely remove the background image. You can also right-click and delete it that way.

Click on the “Background” function on the left of Canva’s toolbar.

Book Cover Background

From here, search for a background that best fits your manuscript. You can sort images by color or search for certain layouts.

The thing to keep in mind is that backgrounds are usually stagnant images, colors, or patterns. For instance, you can add a brick wall, crumbled paper appearance, water, clouds, and a lot more.

It is completely up to your idea for a nice cover that matches the ambiance of your book.

Change the Cover Image (Optional)

What if you don’t want a background and are looking for something a bit more specific? For instance, I would like something that accentuates “time” or perhaps “clocks” for my time travel book.

Click the “Photos” function in Canva.

Photos

Search for a photo that will best represent your book’s storyline. In my case, I’ll start with searching for “time.”

Find and click on an image you like.

Add Photo to Wattpad Cover

The photo will be added to the Wattpad book cover with adjustment controls. These are the white circles and bars within the purple outline of the image. Use them to resize the image to your liking.

Resize the Photo

If after you resize the photo and it’s not to your liking, simply tap the Delete key on your keyboard and find another image.

Remove Other Elements You Don’t Want

Because we chose a template, we’re probably going to want to remove elements we don’t want on the cover. For instance, I don’t want the trees, wolf, sparkles, or moon elements.

Click to select an element and either tap the Delete key or use the trash icon that appears.

Delete Template Elements

If you want to add various elements to the cover, just click the “Elements” option on the left and add what you want.

Adjust Title Text

Now, we need to alter the text for the book’s title. First, we’re going to match the title to our manuscript.

Double-click on the title text of the template.

Select Title Text

Type the title of your book. In this case, I’m replacing “Maiden” with “Timelapse.”

Enter Your Book Title

As you can see, my title is too long for the book cover for Wattpad. Use the “-” and “+” functions for the font size to make adjustments.

Adjust Font Size

Once the font is to your liking, we’re going to drag the title to where we want it on the cover. Hover your mouse over the purple line until it turns into a four-way arrow.

You may have to click into the text before you get the four-way arrow to move the text element.

Canva will snap the element to align perfectly on the left, center, or right. So, find the place that is ideal for your design.

Unfortunately, I need to move the author text to the bottom before I can put my title at the top. When you overlap elements in the editor, it can be a pain to grab them.

Change Text Color and Typography

Along with the font size, you’ll have options to change the font type, color, alignment, and more. Since the reason I picked this template was because of the font and glow effect, the only thing I want to change is the color.

You can barely see it with the photo I selected.

Make sure you selected the text box you want to edit. Click on the “A” icon with the color bar underneath it.

Select Text Color Options

A new window will pop open on the left.

Choose the color that best fits your Wattpad book cover. Because of the image colors, I’ll need to select something that is in contrast to the background colors. That way, people can read the text clearly.

Choose Title Color for Cover

Now, as you can see, the title still isn’t quite right. It’s a bit easier to read, but I think we can make it stand out even more.

For this, we’re going to add an effect.

Add an Effect to the Font (Optional)

This is an optional step as you don’t really need to add visual effects to the text. I’m just trying to make the title stand out a bit better.

Effects can offer a fun way to show off text in Canva. In this case, we’re going to use them to highlight the text on a difficult cover image.

With the text still selected, click the three dots on the right side of the editor. Of course, on some screens, you might simply see “Effects” already as an option.

Either way, click the “Effects” button.

Adding Canva Effects

The window on the left will change to show different types of effects you can add to the title text.

Adjust the effects as you see fit for your cover.

Text Effects

In this case, I’m using Neon and moving the slider to 100%.

But it’s still not quite as visible as I’d like. This is when we make adjustments to the photo itself.

Adjust Photo Settings for the Book Cover (Optional)

You don’t have to edit the photo if everything is to your liking. Because I want the text a bit easier to read, I’ve decided to darken the photo of the clocks itself.

Click on the Canva photo without selecting the other cover elements. On the top, click the “Edit Image” option.

Edit Canva Image

A window will open on the left with different functions for editing the photo. This includes adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation, adding filters, and several “Adjust” settings that go well beyond the basic.

For this tutorial, I just want the image a bit darker so the text appears more prominent. So, I’ll drop the brightness a bit until I’m satisfied.

Make any adjustments you want to the photo if any.

Photo Adjustments for Book Cover

In my case, I dropped the brightness down to -38.

Repeat the Steps for the Rest of the Text Elements

Now that your title is ready, you’ll also want to make adjustments for the rest of the text elements, such as the author and any “flavor” or subtext you want to show.

In my case, I’m just going to make edits to the author element and remove the rest.

Adjust the Other Text

Explore the Tools of Canva

There are a lot of things you can do in the Canva editor to create a great book cover for Wattpad. The best part is that you can do all of this for free.

Make sure you spend a bit of time familiarizing yourself with what the editor can do. There are so many things you can add to the cover, including picture elements, additional photos, or upload your own art.

As I said earlier, I uploaded a PNG file of an ostrich feather for VII’s cover.

VII Book Cover

Remember, you can always go back into any story in Wattpad and make adjustments. So, if you come up with a different cover idea, it’s as easy as clicking the blue circle with a pencil on the bottom left to create a new image or upload one that you like.

Step 4: Use the Cover for Wattpad

Once your cover is done and you’re ready to add it to Wattpad, click the “Use Cover” button on the top right.

Use Cover for the Book

Canva will process the book cover for you and immediately add it to your Wattpad story details.

Wattpad Book Cover Finished

If you have any premium elements, they usually cost $1 each. You can quickly pay and publish the book cover to Wattpad.

A good way to avoid using premium elements in templates is to just create a cover from scratch. In this case, you just add the background, images, and text as I demonstrated above without the step of adding a template.

Other Ways to Make a Book Cover for Wattpad

Although you can get quite a bit out of the free version of Canva in Wattpad, there are other ways that you can design something nice and simply upload it to your story.

The built-in Canva tool is just something quick and easy authors can use to get started today. But, let’s look at a few other apps you can jump into right now for your cover.

Using the Actual Canva App or Website

I know this is kind of cheating. But in reality, the actual Canva app goes well beyond just making a book cover for Wattpad. In fact, I’ve been using the free version of Canva for a variety of purposes for several years now.

I use it so often that it’s among the top platforms that I wouldn’t mind paying for a premium subscription.

So, why use the Canva app instead of the built-in designer?

First, you’re able to save various book covers for future use or reference. Secondly, you can share those images easily on social media directly from Canva. Think of it as a bit of marketing for your new book.

This is on top of the other useful tools, templates, and abilities you have with a free account.

Snappa

Snappa Wattpad Cover Templates

Although I haven’t tried Snappa, personally, it still looks like a viable platform for creating Wattpad covers. In fact, it even has a section specifically dedicated to Wattpad.

From what I’ve seen, Snappa uses a similar interface to Canva while offering similar functionality.

One of the things that separate Snappa from Canva, though, is that you can’t use Snappa without logging into a free account. With Canva, you can start creating immediately.

However, if you want to save your images or share them on social, you’ll need an account either way. So, it really just comes down to user preference.

Photopea (The Photoshop Alternative!)

Photopea

If you know anything about Photoshop, or want more design options, Photopea is an excellent alternative. It works just like Photoshop in a myriad of ways and supports .PSD, .AI, .XD, and .PDF files.

Although you won’t have the specific size dimensions from the Wattpad templates above, you can still create a cover using the default of 512px by 800px.

Photopea is another web-based graphic design app that doesn’t require an account to use. Just access the website and start creating your cover.

In terms of difficulty, though, Photopea runs just like Photoshop. This means there is a bit of a learning curve if you’re not used to the system. For beginners, Canva or Snappa is far easier overall.

A Unique Book Cover is Better for Wattpad

At the end of the day, you want the cover of any book to appear as unique as possible. Sure, tools like Canva and Snappa are great to get you started.

But keep in mind that if you’re using the free version of the tool, so are about a thousand or so other authors.

Now, you can still use these free apps and produce a unique cover. For example, uploading your own background or photo image will set your cover apart from the others on Wattpad.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with using royalty-free stock images. But if you’re using something that is overly popular, what are you going to do to make yours different?

Well, font choices, graphic elements, sizing, filters, and more are at your disposal. In reality, the odds of you coming up with the exact combination as another author are slim to none.

It’s the primary image I’m talking about.

A reader shouldn’t say to themselves, “Hey, this looks like so-and-so’s cover.” And when you use a stock photo, it could easily happen. It could turn someone off from reading your book.

However, all of the tools and functions available in something like Canva could help you create a semi-unique book cover for Wattpad even if everyone uses the same image.

My point is that you can use the free tools to create a stunning cover. Just make sure you’re doing something that sets yours apart from the others.

What Kind of Book Cover Are You Making for Wattpad?

As I said, people will judge a book by its cover. Creating something eye-catching can lead to more reads on Wattpad. Of course, there are plenty of other things such as the title and description of the story.

In any case, you want the book cover to accentuate the tale. And the free tools above can help you do this.

Michael Brockbank
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