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Custom Book Templates

Book Templates for Self-Publishing

Find a free book cover template for covers & inside pages

Free book templates give you an easy way to get a professional-looking book in no time. 48 Hour Books offers free book formatting templates and book cover templates, so your book stands out and looks great. Learn why book templates streamline the publishing process and how to choose the best book cover template for your book. Plus, download your choice of free book design templates so you can get started right away.

Jump to Templates

Book template options

Book templates are not one size-fits-all. As you might expect, just like there are many different sizes and styles of books, there are many different options for book templates, too. We provide inside and cover templates for our four most popular book sizes: 4.25x7 inches, 5.5x8.5 inches, 6x9 inches, and 8.5x11 inches. Cover templates are for books up to 440 pages. Additional sizes may be available upon request.

Some common types of book template options include:

  • Cover style (soft cover or hardcover)
  • Size (i.e., 6”x9”, 7”x7”)
  • File type (Microsoft, InDesign, Photoshop, etc.)

Which book template you choose will depend on your book, the desired finished size, your intended audience, your personal preferences, and your software program compatibility.

For interior book templates, you’ll likely use a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word.

For book cover templates, you’ll probably use creative design software such as Adobe Photoshop (image software) or Adobe InDesign (a layout program).

How to use our templates

Book template and book sizing FAQs

What is a book template?

A There are two basic kinds of book templates:

  • Book layout templates are for the interior of your book (the pages inside)
  • Book cover templates are for the exterior (the cover)

Book layout templates are also sometimes called book formatting templates or book interior design templates. They’re like a blueprint for your book. Book templates are documents that are pre-formatted so that all you have to do is fill in your text.

Book layout template

Interior book design templates take the guess work out of sizing, fonts, spacing, and margins, so you know your book will look professional and crisp.

When to use a book layout template

You don’t need to wait until after you’ve written your book to download a book template!

In fact, if you download a free book formatting template before you’ve written your book, you can save lots of time later, during the formatting stage. Book templates make it easy, too. You don’t need to fuss with document settings: You can just open up the file and start typing right into the template.

Book layout template

What is a book cover template?

A A book cover template helps you design the cover of your book. These book templates help you design not just the front of your book, but the spine (where the pages come together) and the back cover, too.

Book cover template

Book cover design templates help you account for all the major parts of a cover design, so you know you aren’t leaving anything to chance during the book printing process. Plus, they ensure that your book has the right dimensions for sending to the book printer.

When to use a book cover template

A great time to use a book cover design template is after you’ve written your book and are ready to begin the self-publishing process. The book cover template helps you refine your cover design, and you’ll need it to be complete before you can order a printing of your book.

Book cover template

Why use a book template?

A Using a book template helps ensure your book is formatted correctly for printing. When you use a template, you don’t need to worry that your file is the wrong size. Book templates ensure you’ve got the right document dimensions for the printer. This streamlines the printing of your book and reduces the risk of errors in formatting which can slow down the publishing process.

Using book templates also saves you time. You don’t need to learn graphic design or typesetting in order to use a book template. You can be a beginner and still have a beautifully formatted book when you use a book design template.

Using the right size book template

A To choose the right size book template, start with an idea of what size book you’d like to produce. (These are also called “trim sizes,” because the printer “trims” the pages to this size.) How big should your book be? While ultimately it’s your choice and your decision, there are a few standard sizes when it comes to publishing your book.

Book sizes

  • 4.25” x 7” (novel)
  • 5.5” x 8.5” (half-letter)
  • 6” x 9” (trade)
  • 8.5” x 11” (magazine)

For reference, fiction books are usually 4.25” x 7”, 5.5” x 8.5”, or 6” x 9”.
Non-fiction books are usually 6” x 9”, 7” x 10”, or 8.5” x 11”.
Children’s books are typically 7” square or 7” x 10”.
Memoirs are often 5.5” x 8.5”.

We also provide custom page sizes, so you can get exactly what you want! Custom sizes are especially suited for photo books and cookbooks.

How do you use a book cover template?

A To use a book cover template, you will first need to choose which software you want to use to create your cover. We offer two free cover design templates (Adobe Indesign and PDF) in four of our common book sizes.


PDF templates can be opened in several editing programs including Adobe Photoshop, which is a well-known program that’s useful for creating graphics, images, and, book covers. You can purchase this software from Adobe and download it to your computer.

Our PDF book cover templates will have the file extension .pdf. When you open a PDF book template in Photoshop, you’ll be able to design your cover on top of the template: enter text, adjust settings, and even insert images or photos. You can also open this template in Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat and simply use it as a guide to determine how to lay out and correctly size your book cover.


Perhaps, lesser known in the Adobe suite of software is a program called InDesign. This software is designed for use in Adobe inDesign and PDF layout, making it perfect for composing your book’s cover. Documents for this program will have the file extension .indd. When you open an InDesign book template, you’ll see margins, bleed, and trim area, plus room for text and images.

The trim is the outside edge where the paper is “trimmed.” The bleed shows where printing that goes off the edge of the page will end. It helps avoid tell-tale white lines when you have images or graphics that should go all the way to the edge.

Using the book cover template step-by-step instructions


Use the form below to access your free cover design template, then download it to your computer


Next, open the file in the corresponding design program.


Add your text and images. Using the text cursor, enter your book title, author name, and other information in text fields.

Then, insert photos, images, or graphics as required. We recommend that your images be at least 300 dpi for best printing quality; zoom in to about 200% to get an idea of how blurry images may print.

You can change colors and select your favorite fonts, too.


Be sure to stay within the margins. Keep all text at least 0.5” away from the edges of the front cover, back cover, and spine. This will avoid portions of your text being “cut off,” difficult to read, or even missing.


Watch the bleed (this is the pink shaded area on the cover template). The bleed area extends past the edge of your page and will get cut off. If you’re using a background, make sure it reaches to the outer edge of the pink bleed area. If not, your cover may have unwanted areas of white where the background failed to reach before it was trimmed.

How do you use a book layout template?

A To use our book layout templates, watch our video or follow the step-by-step instructions provided below.

Using the book layout template:


Use the form below to access your free book layout template, then download it to your computer


Next, open the file in a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word.


If you haven’t started writing yet, simply start typing! We’ve included placeholder text to show you how everything will look, so be sure to delete that by highlighting any text you don’t want and pressing the “delete” or “backspace” key on your keyboard. If you’ve already typed your book elsewhere, you can either:

A) select all of the text in the template and paste your entire book in its place – you’ll have to add styles and formatting to each section afterwards - or,

B) copy and paste each chapter and heading one at a time to preserve the template formatting.


Add pictures wherever you'd like by going to the "Insert" menu and choosing the image file from where it is saved on your computer. You're also welcome to change the font size, style, and spacing as you wish!


Save the file as both a Word Document (for edits in the future) and as a PDF. After saving, open up your PDF to confirm nothing has shifted out of place.

What size do I make my book cover?

A If you just need help with the size of your book cover, you may not need to use a template at all! Once you’ve chosen your trim size, you can calculate your book’s cover size.

Perfect Bound Book - Even If It Hurts

For Perfect Bound book covers: Since it's a wrap-around cover, it needs to be TWICE the width of the finished book, plus the spine. To determine the width of your spine, divide number of pages (not sheets, but pages) by 440. For example, if your book is 120 pages, the spine will be 120 / 440 = 0.27 inches.

Example: for a 5.5 x 8.5 book that is 120 pages long, the cover should be 8.5 tall and 11.27 wide (5.5 front + 5.5 back + 0.27 spine = 11.27 inches wide)

Perfect Bound Book - Even If It Hurts
Coil Bound Book Cover Layout
Coil Bound Book Cover Layout

For Coil Bound books or Saddle-Stitched booklets, since there is no spine, simply send us a front cover and a back cover, the same size as your book pages. Remember to include a 1/8" bleed if your artwork is intended to bleed off the edges.

If your artwork is going to bleed (go all the way to the edge of the book) you'll need to have it extend 1/8" beyond the edges on top, bottom and sides. This extra artwork will get cut off.
Hardcover Book - Fearless

Case Bound book covers are unique. The case cover is larger than the inside of the book (it hangs over the edges), so you'll want to add 0.26" to the width of both the front and back cover (add 0.52" total to the width). You'll add 0.2" to the total height. The artwork wraps around and sticks to a heavy board, so we ask that you include 0.7" of bleed on all sides of the cover wrap.

Hardcover Book - Fearless

Example: for a 5.5 x 8.5 book that is 120 pages long, the cover should be 10.1" tall and 13.19" wide including bleed (5.5 front cover + 0.26 overhang + 0.7 bleed + 0.27 spine + 5.5 back cover + 0.26 overhang + 0.7 bleed = 13.19 inches wide)

Book cover size calculator

We offer a cover size calculator to help you determine what size your book cover should be. The calculator takes into account how many pages your book is and what type of cover you’ll be using. Both of these factors affect the final document dimensions. This is especially useful for determining how wide your book’s spine should be.

Choose from soft cover or hardcover size calculator, then click to download the file.

Open with Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader.

Then, enter your selected book size, paper stock, and number of pages in the document to get the exact dimensions of your book’s cover. (Find out how many pages your book contains by checking the file in your word-processing program.)

Get free book templates

Enter your information to download our free book templates that you can use in self-publishing your book.

Yes! Give me access to FREE Book Templates.

You will be able to choose template sizes and options and after submitting this form.

Get 25 free books when you order 100 or more