This post is for the indie author finished writing their first book and ready to take the next step toward publishing. Here’s the thing, every writer begins somewhere. When you finish your first book, you’re left with figuring how to hire an affordable editor. Once you tackle that issue, you’re left with the overwhelming task of finding a cover designer. But what if you don’t have the money for a cover designer? What if you’re simply trying to scrape by with your finances—and hiring a cover designer or buying a pre-made cover isn't an option? *For a quality premade or custom cover, I recommend BookCoverZone.
This scenario happens all the time. Now what?
1) Cover Elements
If you have to create your own cover, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. But do your research on what a good cover looks like. Search books in your genre and pick a few that you like. Take notice of the type of font, size of the font, how an image is placed, and the location of the author’s name. Is there a tagline? All of these elements are part of what makes a cover good or bad.
Now if you’re like me, then placing complimentary colors together is tricky. When it comes to colors or graphics, keeping it simple is better for a newbie. What I mean is: If you’re trying to add an amazing “eye-catching” twist to the font or graphic (such as glowing edges, 3-D effects, etc.), and you realize that the end result looks funky instead, remove it.
Be careful about using images that aren’t yours to use. You can’t grab any image on the web and assume it’s free for use. Two sites that contain royalty-free, free for commercial use, images are Unsplash and Pixabay. Both of these sites have a disclaimer and will explain more about what royalty-free and commercial-use means. You can also Google these terms for more information. Or you can purchase a license for a specific image on IStockPhoto and other sites as well.
*A new site I haven't used yet is Pik Wizard. I've searched their website, and the photos look wonderful. I also emailed them, and they said the images are allowed to be used for book covers!
3) DPI and Resolution
If you’re creating a cover for an ebook, then the resolution of your cover image won’t have to be as high. But if you’re creating a paperback cover, one that you can upload to CreateSpace, then the resolution of your cover will need to be at least 300 DPI. What’s DPI? It stands for dots-per-inch. The lower the DPI, the blurrier your image will be when it’s printed on paper.
If you’re not a graphic designer, then you probably lack graphics software (such as Photoshop) on your computer. If that’s the case, then Microsoft Publisher is extremely helpful and will enable you to maintain the quality DPI of your cover. Microsoft Word doesn’t do this as well, or as easy. The only problem that I found with Publisher is it doesn’t convert to JPG well (the font blurs), but it does convert to PDF extremely well. And CreateSpace allows you to upload a PDF version of your cover.
I hope this post helps you. What other programs have you used to create promo graphics or covers? Comment below and let me know! Don’t forget to check out my book on Amazon, A Wordy Woman’s Guide for Writing a Book.
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