Appendix A: Open Textbook Cover Toolkit

This toolkit can be used by printshops, providing print-on-demand services, for textbooks missing a cover or in cases when a different cover is needed. Authors and publishers are also welcome to use the toolkit.

All images used to create the templates in this toolkit are either covered by a Creative Commons Attribution International Licence or are in the public domain.

Book cover elements

This book cover toolkit allows for the essential items of a book cover to be added (title, author) as well as other optional items such as photos or other graphic types, a tag line, and logo. There are three book cover styles to choose from — simple, graphic, photo — each with a template file that can be copied as is or customized.

Template Files

There are two types of files:

  • Visual Guide (PDF)
  • InDesign Template

Visual Guide

The Visual Guide will help you see the elements of the book cover so you can copy their styles, size and placement. If you do not own or have access to Adobe InDesign, then you may use another program that you are comfortable with.

Please note: Whichever program you use, you will need to export your cover to a JPEG image file to upload into Pressbooks to make the cover. Microsoft Word does not export with a high enough resolution to be usable.

InDesign template

InDesign is a layout program created by Adobe. If you own the program or have access to it, you can download the template and edit it with your book’s information. You can also modify the template to personalize your book by changing the fonts and colours used. If you have selected the photo or graphic template then you can modify those elements as well to suit your book. If you are not an InDesign user, but have hired a designer to create your book cover, you may pass the template onto them to modify.

Book cover styles

There are three book cover styles to choose from:

  1. Simple: colour cover and text
  2. Graphic: pattern background and text
  3. Photo: image and/or pattern background and text

Each book cover template has a screen or print version. The print version includes a spine and back cover. This is not required for screen viewing.

Book cover final files

When exporting your finished cover choose:

  • PDF for print files
  • JPEG for screen files


If you decide to use the graphic or photo cover template, you can find a list of openly licensed and public domain graphics (vectors) and images in the Self-Publishing Guide.


When choosing an image for your work, you need to decide if you will be using it for print or for screen. Images for print require a larger resolution than images for screen.

See Textbook Cover in the Self-Publishing Guide for details on choosing an image.

Attribution statement

Attribution may be required if you are:

  • Adapting an open textbook
  • Required to give credit for the graphic or image you are using
  • Include the CC BY licence in your attribution statement

For more information on best practices for attribution statements, see Attributions in the Self-Publishing Guide.


Visit Creative Commons to learn about the various licensing types. Creative Commons licences may be attached to content you wish to use or you may want to choose a licence for your own work.

Find the files for download below.

The Visual Guide is a PDF file that gives you an example of how you can design your book cover if you are using a different program than InDesign. There are notes — accessed by hovering over the dialogue icons — in the file that show size and placement of the book cover’s elements. The below example uses red arrows to identify the location dialogue icons for one of the textbook cover templates.

An example of a visual guide PDF file.
Visual Guide Example. Look for the dialogue icons for notes about how to use this template.

The InDesign Template is an InDesign file that you can use and/or modify to your liking.

There are three options for both the Visual Guide and InDesign file, depending on your needs.

Visual Guide
Print Simple [PDF file] Graphic [PDF file] Photo [PDF file]
Screen Simple [PDF file] Graphic [PDF file] Photo [PDF file]
InDesign Template
Print Simple [ZIP file] Graphic [ZIP file] Photo [ZIP file]
Screen Simple [ZIP file] Graphic [ZIP file] Photo [ZIP file]

Template attribution statement

The textbook cover templates have been designed by Robyn Humphreys, Digital Designer for BCcampus, and are covered by the CC BY licence under which this guide is released. It is recommended that the attribution statement for the template is placed on the textbook’s copyright page as follows:

The template used to create this textbook’s cover is by BCcampus and used under a CC BY 4.0 International Licence.

Media Attributions


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Print-on-Demand Guide Copyright © 2020 by BCcampus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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