Lulu offers three ways to create a cover for your project:

  1. Our Quick Template cover creator
  2. Canva’s embedded cover designer
  3. Uploading a custom cover

All three options are accessed after uploading your interior PDF. That allows Lulu to make a custom template using your exact page count. Your spine will be sized precisely on this template making it easier for you to create a cover for your project!

Quick Template Cover

Lulu's cover options

This option is a quick and simple cover using pre-filled text boxes, four themes, and the option to upload your own images. The Quick Template cover creator is very basic and best for simple covers, such as review copies or personal gifts.

To begin, you’ll add text into pre-formatted text boxes that will appear on your cover. The title will populate based on the title you entered previously. If your project is using Global Distribution, note that your title and contributors must match the title and contributors entered previously. All other text can be added here.

Lulu Quick Template Cover

Once the text is added, you’ll select from one of our four themes.

Choose from four templates for your book cover

Each theme includes a space for a unique image. You can upload that image after selecting your theme. You’ll also be able to select your theme’s accent color from the twelve available colors.

Upload your cover image and choose a color theme

Finally, we display the cover for review. If you’re happy with the color, image, and text, click ‘Use This Cover’ to finalize your cover!

Upload Cover File

Upload a single page, PDF cover file designed entirely by you! 

When you select this option, we’ll provide a custom template with your front and back cover plus the spine sized to match your paper selection and page count. 

Be sure your cover meets the listed requirements. Once your cover PDF is uploaded, we perform a print-ready check. With that completed, you’re ready to review your project. 

Canva Cover Creator

Our Canva integration allows you to use Canva’s design tools and library of elements to create your book cover. 

The first step is to download the custom cover template. This template includes your front and back cover plus the spine sized to match your paper selection and page count. Once you’ve downloaded the cover, click the Canva button to open their cover designer.

The Canva powered cover designer will open in a new window. Be sure your browser allows cookies. 

To start, you’ll be prompted to create or sign in to a Canva account. This will save your cover designs and allow you to access them later to edit and download.

Their designer will display a pre-sized canvas to match the overall size of your cover (front, back, and spine, plus flaps for a dust jacket). You can use their templates to start your cover or you can create from scratch using their element library.

Important Note: Canva offers a number of ‘premium’ elements and templates. These can be purchased directly through your Canva account or accessed if you have Canva Premium.

We recommend uploading the template we offered to verify the position of your spine. You can do this by uploading the template, adding it to your canvas, and dragging it to the corners of the canvas. From there, you can reduce the transparency to see how the cover you’ve created aligns with the trim, margin, and bleed lines on the template.

Be sure to remove the template from your cover before using the cover.

Once you’ve completed your cover design, click the [Use This Cover] button and you’ll be returned to Lulu with your newly designed cover!

Note: using our Canva creator tool, please know that Canva connects to your browser before creating your cover. That means that it links to the email address/account you are currently logged into via your browser, not your Lulu account. If you were to then log out of your browser’s email, such as your gmail account, and then try to edit your Canva cover, you will not be able to. Canva will show you a pop-up that states what email address is connected to the cover. You may either log into that email address in your browser, or you can request access via a button on that pop-up, and the access request will be emailed to you. You may also choose to share your cover with a variety of other email address via a share button, accessible while creating your cover. If you are using multiple email address or have a designer assisting with your cover, we highly recommend sharing the file with anyone involved.

If you’re new to Canva, we recommend reviewing their design library tutorials to better understand how to use the Canva cover designer.

Special Instructions for Comic Book and Magazine Covers

If you’re creating a Comic Book or Magazine, you have the option to print on the inside front and back cover! To use this option, you must upload a PDF with 2 pages (please ignore the inaccurate Requirements in the image above).

We recommend downloading the template provided for a Comic Book or Magazine to see the layout requirements for this unique cover design.

Hardcover (Dust Jacket) Cover Formatting

If you create a Dust Jacket Hardcover project, you must upload a cover file. Our template shows how to design the flaps along with the front and back cover.

You’ll also select your linen from the available color options and add foil spine text. Note that the total character count on your spine cannot exceed 42. Additionally, there are limited characters our foil spine stamp can support.

Supported Characters:

  • Roman characters sets (A-Z, a-z, 0-9)
  • [];',./!`^&*()~+=:?"]ˇ˘°´¨¸¯- ØŁ
  • àáãäāăćčçďèéëēĕěğìíĩïīĭľĺñńňòóõöōŏŕřśşšţťùúũūüŭýÿźž

Unsupported Characters:

  • _ (underscore)
  • nonroman character sets (Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, etc.)