Monday, May 2, 2022

DIY Resources to Design a Lead Magnet Cover

by Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @KHogrefeParnell

For the last couple of months, we’ve been walking through a series on creating a lead magnet to offer valuable content to our readers. In case you missed the other posts and would like to catch up on the series, click on the different topics by title.

Today, we’ll take a look at the final step: creating a cover for your lead magnet. You can certainly hire a graphic designer to make your cover, though be prepared that custom covers can be pricey. 

Also, don’t make the same mistake I did in thinking that if I bought InDesign, I could teach myself to be my own graphic designer. Wrong. There’s a reason people go to college to learn how to use this program.

For those of us who still prefer do-it-yourself projects, we’ll look at two easy-to-use platforms. You might already be subscribed to their services. 

Option 1: Canva
Canva is a versatile design platform which I discovered after my failure with InDesign. I started with the free version and later subscribed to the annual plan. I use it for everything from social media graphics, book review memes, blog banners, and more.

Since I already pay for this service (current annual cost of $119.99), I defaulted to it when I needed to design my lead magnet cover. Sure enough, they have e-book cover templates. Draft2Digital, the service I used to format my lead magnet’s interior, recommended a cover size of 1600 x 2400 but said all you really need for a cover size is a tall rectangle. If you subscribe to Canva, you can easily resize their design templates or simply begin with the custom size you prefer.

I started with one of Canva’s designs and then modified it, swapping out images with their stock photography and changing out the colors and fonts. If you already have a stock image that you’ve purchased from services like Shutterstock or iStock Photo, you can upload it into Canva and then design your cover from there. 

Canva still offers a limited free version that can give you a taste of the platform and might be enough for you to design a basic cover.

Option 2: BookBrush
BookBrush was designed with authors in mind, and I’ve used it to a limited extent for social media memes specific to my books. To create a lead magnet cover, you would use its Cover Creator tool that lets you choose among templates for e-book, print, or audio formats. Each option further customizes by platform (for e-books), book details such as print size and trim size (for print), and two audio cover sizes. 

You also have the option to search templates for each type of project and further refine your search by genre. Among all its cover options, BookBrush boasts that it offers 3,000 templates. Like Canva, you can also upload your own images (or purchased images) and begin designing from there.

The cost for BookBrush ranges from $99 to $246 per year, but just for signing up, you do receive 15 free downloads, which should be plenty to design an e-book cover. 

Putting it all together
Whichever service (or designer) you choose, I suggest getting two or three possible covers and then requesting feedback from writers or readers. For example, you could create a poll on social media to solicit feedback and involve your readership in the process. I included two cover options in my newsletter and asked my subscribers to vote for their favorite. 

As promised, I have completed my lead magnet, and you can download a copy to see the cover (designed using Canva) and interior (formatted using Draft2Digital) by signing up for my newsletter. If you just want an example lead magnet, feel free to subscribe and then unsubscribe. However, I hope you’ll stick around for monthly content that includes personal encouragement, featured author interviews, giveaways, and the latest details on my December release.

Have you used either Canva or BookBrush before, or what are your go-to design resources?


Kristen Hogrefe Parnell writes suspenseful fiction from a faith perspective for teens and adults. Her own suspense story involved waiting on God into her thirties to meet her husband, and she desires to keep embracing God’s plan for her life when it’s not what she expects. She also teaches English online and is an inspirational speaker for schools, churches, and podcasts. Her young adult dystopian novels, The Revisionary and The Reactionary, both won the Selah for speculative fiction, and her first romantic suspense novel with Mountain Brook Ink releases December 2022. Kristen and her husband live in Florida and are expecting their first baby in August. Connect with her at


  1. Kristen this has been a very helpful series...thank you. Love how your cover came out! :)

    1. Thanks for your comment, Chris! I'm so glad this series has been helpful and that you like the cover too. :)