Our first short story class is well underway, and is huge fun. One of the most popular questions I receive is about ebook covers. When you’re publishing a short story, paying $100 for a premade cover can be a tad challenging, particularly if you need a lot of them in a short period.
A mini digression. Yes, I’m aware you can get a cover for $5 or $10. Caveat emptor. If you get an inexpensive cover, make sure you know the image’s source. Horror stories abound.
One student decided that she wanted to write two short stories a week for the next two months; this means quite the investment in covers. She set out to do her covers herself, and kudos to her.
I wrote about Canva and Picmonkey in this article last year, and said:
If you’re publishing a couple of short stories a month, payments to designers add up fast. In addition to money, time is a concern too. Good designers are booked up months in advance…
The solution? It’s time to take courage, and learn how to create your own covers.
Ebook covers: the DIY solution
Without any doubt, the easiest way to create an ebook cover quickly, without any design experience, is by using Canva.com. The app works in any web browser, you don’t need to download anything.
You’ll find many templates for ebook categories, and genres. For example, here are some examples of the “Love” templates for romance fiction.
Tips to help you to design great ebook covers
Let’s look at some tips for what you might consider when creating your own ebook covers.
- Remember emotion: what emotion does the cover arouse in you? Chances are your readers will feel what you want them to feel.
- Arouse interest — vital. Over the past year, I’ve noticed that many covers, particular in some genres of fiction (and nonfiction too) seem to have a cookie-cutter, “me too” quality. Remember that it’s your name on the book. You don’t have to create a cover which is similar to every other cover in your genre, sub-genre, or category.
You know what feelings you want to evoke in readers. Your designer and editor, with all the good will imaginable, can’t read your mind — have the courage to trust your creative self.
- I seem to be gushing over Canva, sorry, but one of the benefits of using Canva is that you don’t need to worry about typefaces or font choices — Canva chooses fonts for you. Of course you can change them if you wish.
- Pay for royalty free-images, and keep a record of the license information. With so many stock image libraries online, you can get a great image for your cover for a dollar, sometimes less.
Sourcing dubious “free” images online, when you have no real idea of the images’ provenance, is a foolish economy.
- Accept that you’ll become better at creating covers the more you practice. When you’re 100% better in a year or two, you can redo your covers, or hire a designer.
Good luck with your ebook covers. 🙂
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