Thanks so much for signing up for the book design templates! There are links down below, and I can’t wait to help you make your book beautiful, but first I need to tell you something really important: book design and formatting mistakes can sabotage your book sales.

I learned that the hard way. I self-published my first book way back in 2003, a treatise on astrological symbolism in ancient mythology, and I got everything wrong. I painted a canvas for the cover, used basic fonts, added a collage of poorly photoshopped symbols—not to mention, I chose a “clever” title rather than something obvious and clear.

The result: I couldn’t even give my book away (and believe me, I tried).

I was so disappointed by my results, especially after believing that my book would be a huge success, that I quit writing for ten yearsI don’t want that to happen to you. Maybe you have a story or message you believe in. Maybe you want some side income so you can spend more time with family or take long, unhurried walks through the woods.

Maybe you want to start an online business, or build a speaking platform, or even just be able to write all day without needing to work for someone else, or worry about your next paycheck—so you can take a week off without checking your inbox (that’s my goal). Whatever your motivation, whatever kind of project you’re working on, your book matters, and I’m here for you.

My free templates have helped thousands of authors design and publish books, but having the right tools isn’t enough—you also need to learn to avoid common mistakes and understand why a certain font or image is more attractive to your readers (it can literally make the difference between $100 a month and $1000.) It breaks my heart to see authors work so hard on their book, and then shoot themselves in the foot with amateur book design and typography.

So over the next week, I’m going to share some insider secrets to book design I’ve learned after working with hundreds of bestselling authors. I’ll share the best fonts for your genre, easy tricks to double sales, mistakes that can get you blacklisted from bookstores, and make things easy with simple design checklists and specific makeover examples so you can “see” the difference between a mediocre cover and an amazing one (TIP: a better-looking cover won’t necessarily sell more books, it’s more complicated than that).

If you learn nothing else, the golden rule of book design is: be clear before you’re clever. Keep it simple, make sure the genre or subject is immediately obvious, and don’t complicate it.

Download the templates!

There are a LOT of resources here, and I’ve added a free series of video tutorials that will get you up to speed quickly, but don’t worry if it’s overwhelming—you can go through the materials at your own pace. If you get stuck or have any burning questions, you can join my free Facebook group and get support from over 4,500 other authors.


Click the links below to explore the free resources.

These templates are so good, I’ve seen people try to resell them…


Your BONUS gift!

A few years ago I made a Google slidedeck you can use to create your own awesome promotional images like these. Click here to use them.


NEW: I made an amazing new tool recently for 3D book cover mockups –

Check it out here!


This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship

Tomorrow I’m going to share the #1 thing all authors get wrong, why being TOO creative can be a disadvantage, and I’ll also tell you the story of the spider on the chopstick at the blind restaurant in Saigon (it’ll make sense, I swear). It’s really important you read my emails… otherwise I’ll just be sitting here in your inbox, talking to myself like a crazy person. We wouldn’t want that, would we? Hello?


PS. Someone left me this message a few years ago: “Am I correct in understanding that your templates still require all the frustrating, pain in the ass, glitchy, header, footer, page numbering, margin, and page set up formatting and layout that one has to do in Word? Or can one simply cut and paste ones text into your templates, and then the page numbering, and different headers for left and right hand pages appear where they should, or what? You wouldn’t believe the amount of time I am wasting figuring this out. And often instructions that I find online don’t work when followed exactly as they are posted. Your youtube videos are the best and most detailed that I have found.”

Unfortunately, formatting your manuscript for print and ebook can be frustrating, even with the templates. You will need to learn how to use them, but I guarantee the video tutorials are the fastest way to learn. However, if you’re a Mac user looking for a “one click” solution, you should check out Vellum. Most authors find it miraculous.

PPS. If you’re looking for the end of my “ugly book cover” story, it’s this: I spent ten years getting a PhD in Literature and working online as a book editor and then a book cover designer. I also got really good at online marketing and book promotion. A couple years ago, I started writing again, and now make a full-time living as an author. These days, my wife and I travel full-time, working out of cat cafés (they’re a thing!) and speaking at writing conferences around the world. We’ve even been featured in CNN for renting castles to use as writing retreats. That’s my happy ending. Let me help you find yours!

Derek Murphy
Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a cover designing indie author enthusiast, finishing a PhD in Literature and shopping for a castle in Europe.

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