Cover design is one of the biggest challenges authors have with self-publishing. Authors can spend so much energy and money on their covers, that the ebook that they’re writing takes second place.
Here’s a tip…
Self-publishing secret: the cover hooks them, the content sells them
Yes, your cover is important. Your content is more important however. You need to get a process in place so that you don’t spend too much time worrying about cover designs, especially if you’re publishing consistently.
Over the past year, many more authors have started self-publishing short fiction: short stories and novellas. And why not? Writing short material boosts your sales, and if you’re a new author, you can learn how to write fiction by writing and publishing short stories.
I’ve just published Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories, and the most popular questions I received related to ebook covers.
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. So, if you wait for your designer to get to you, you’re losing money because you’re not publishing regularly and consistently.
The solution? It’s time to take courage, and learn how to create your own covers.
Let’s look at a couple of ways to create professional ebook cover designs quickly.
1. Canva to the rescue: a great cover design in minutes
As you can see from the image above, Canva.com offers lots of templates for ebooks and blogging. Click on the Kindle Cover template. Canva creates an ebook cover for you instantly.
You can upload your own image to use on the cover, or you can choose an image from Canva. The image in this cover below is a free image.
Alternatively, if you already have a cover image you want to use, you can upload it from your computer.
2. Picmonkey: upload your own image, and create a free cover
I love Picmonkey.com. It’s a fast an easy way to create a cover image. Click the Design image at the top of the page, and choose custom. Enter your cover’s dimensions.
For your book cover designs, Amazon recommends these dimensions: “a minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side; for best quality, your image should be 2500 pixels on the longest side.”
When your image is created, click the Overlays icon, and choose an image from your computer.
As you can see in the image below, you can resize your image, fade it, and can change the blend mode too.
Tip: once you’ve edited the image, click the Combine Elements icon on the top of the page to ensure that you don’t mess up your image when you begin adding elements, such as text, to it.
Once you’ve finished editing your cover, save it, using the “Sean” option, so that you get the best image quality possible.
Creating images for a series? Create a template
Make notes while you create your cover image, so that you can create similar images in future. Make a note of:
- Where you obtained the image, and any image license restrictions;
- The fonts you used;
- The cover dimensions.
Save a copy of the original image file too — this means that you can revise the cover if you need to do it.
Canva will save your cover image, so that you can use it as a template for future covers.
Picmonkey however doesn’t save anything. This means that when you close Picmonkey, if you don’t save your image, it’s gone for good. In addition, Picmonkey only saves flat images; you can’t save any of the image’s layers, and can’t go back to edit the layers later.
To create a template in Picmonkey, save versions as you go: a version with just the image, then another version with elements which won’t change from book to book — the author name for example.
Yes, you can design your own book covers
Creating your own book covers isn’t difficult. Yes, you’ll get a better cover from a pro designer, but you can learn to create your own. When you publish regularly, knowing that you can create your own covers saves hassles.
Once you’ve created several ebook covers, you’ll be able to create a new cover in just a few minutes. And of course, since it’s an ebook, you can change the cover at any time. Self-publishing has many benefits, and easy editing is one of them. Have fun. 🙂