Make a book cover using your own creativity and tools at home so you can save money and during the self-publishing process. When you get to the point where you are ready to publish your book, there are several affordable routes you can take to create a book cover. It can be a very tedious process, especially if you are planning on self-publishing your fiction, but it isn't impossible.
When your story is picked up by a major publisher, they will generally take care of the cover art and formatting for you (for a price), but if you are taking the self-publishing route, you have to supply your own book cover, or pay someone to make one for you either through the self-publishing company or an outside source.
Hiring someone to make a book cover can be too expensive for you, especially if you are a new author and don't have any writing income to pay for this expense. Maybe you simply can't afford the photo editing software required for designing your own book cover. Or, what if you lack the artistic mindset to create a killer book cover by yourself?
This has personally been a very big hurdle with my books, but with a little time and effort, you can create a great book cover that properly compliments your book. The best thing is, I haven't paid a penny for any of my book covers and probably never will.
You have an artistic ability as a writer, but it is mostly with words. So, your goal is to create a decent book cover that doesn't cost much to produce and looks good enough to sell your book, but still using your built-in abilities as a writer. You just have to tap a little deeper into your creative mind.
Something else to know is when you use print on demand companies and partners to publish your book, their publishing platforms generally have a handful of book cover templates that you can modify to fit your book. These help, but are not always exactly what you want for your book.
Your main focus and emphasis when you make a book cover on your own is on your book's title. Think about book covers for a minute. What do you see on every book cover out there that really stands out and catches your eye? The title of a book is on the cover, and so is a by-line. So, let's start there.
When considering how to make a book cover, the title of a book gives a very broad and basic description of what your book is about in either one word or a small phrase. It should captivate a someone's eye immediately; it should make them want to read it; it should compel them to a point where they want to pick it up and at least see what it is about.
Learn more about writing book titles if you are having trouble coming up with the perfect name for your book. Remember, this is a powerful marketing feature for your book because it's usually the book's first impression.
Once you have an awesome title for your book, open up your word processing program and type it out along with your name (your by-line). Play around with different fonts and font sizes. Don't use plain fonts unless it is appropriate for the type of book you wrote. Try to use a font that fits the time frame or theme of your story. Just remember to make it a legible font and make your by-line a smaller font size than the title as to not distract from it.
SIDE NOTE: Unless you are a very popular author like Stephen King, your name should be smaller than the title. Once your name starts selling your books, then you can make the font size of your name the same as your title.
Great news for you if you use CreateSpace.com or Lulu.com for your self-publishing needs. They offer free book cover designs with their publishing suite. There aren't a whole lot of designs to choose from, but for most applications, they help make a book cover, it doesn't cost you a dime, or it will give you some ideas that will help.
Another consideration when you make a book cover is to think of a color that corresponds with your book's theme. A book's theme is the main feeling people get when they read the book. Examples of themes are love equals red and death equals black. The theme should have a corresponding color. The theme color you choose will be the background color for the cover.
Next, there should be some kind of a picture on your cover that blends into your background. You should use a climatic or intense scene in your book that has a corresponding picture (a barroom, a mountain, a river...). Pictures of characters always help people relate to them better, but they are tougher to come by.
A great place to start is a book store to get ideas. Look at various covers in your book's category and genre. You want the same type of look for your book. You will notice that the more vivid and detailed book covers that include pictures that relate to the book attract you more than the plane books. This is what you want for your book cover.
You should always use original pictures (ones that you took with your own personal camera or that you bought the rights to from a professional photographer) as not to infringe on other people's photo copyrights. Google.com has a great advanced image search that can filter for pictures that offer "reuse" or "share" rights. Just be sure to go to the site and research a photo before using it. It may be as simple as using the website's contact feature and asking to use a photo.
After you have a title, choose a font, and have a great background color and image, choose a complimentary color for the title and by-line font that works with the background and image colors. This color, when looking at the cover, should stick out so people can read it easily.
Make sure your book cover is one page, no more, no less, and ensure it is the same size as your book with no visible margins. If have to use a photo editing program to make a book cover, but it doesn't have to be the expensive ones. There are a lot of free or low cost programs that will work to create a book cover.
I don't recommend trying to use a word processing program to make a book cover. You will have margins around your background and art that will look very unprofessional.
Your book cover doesn't have to be perfect the first time. That's what revisions are for. Don't let your cover hold you back from getting your book into print and for sale. Go with what you have to get your book into the printing presses, then modify it as necessary using the money you receive from book sales. This is a great advantage with self-publishing in that you can revise your work after it is published with no hassle or breach of contract worries.
You may still have some questions about how to make a book cover. That's okay! It's difficult to fully grasp the idea for the first time, especially if you haven't worked with this type of art design.
Don't ever second guess yourself with your book cover design. Your design abilities may not be the best, but when you analyze your own writing and designs, you don't offer yourself the best unbiased feedback.
If you have any doubts about your cover art for your fiction novel, there may be some help for you. You need to find a great design specialist who can create a professional book cover that fits your writing budget.
Ask various people to look at your book cover designs and have them provide their opinion of the design. It's better if you have two or three (or even more) designs for them to compare and analyze. Provide them with a questionnaire to make it easier for them to provide the feedback you are looking for.
Be prepared for negative feedback. When you ask for feedback, you get what you ask for whether positive or negative. People may not want to hurt your feelings, but when creating something so critical to your book's success, you need them to be as honest and forthcoming as possible.
Encourage everyone to give your book cover an honest, non-biased look so you can improve your design or choose the best one that fits your book. You can even provide them with your book synopsis so they can see if your cover relates to the story.
You don't have to pay thousands of dollars for professional design services. My goal is to help you sell your books without having to pay a lot to do it so you can maximize your profits. But design services aren't always cheap either since you are hiring the abilities of an artist, a specialist in their field of expertise, to create a book cover for you.
You have many choices to find professional freelancers out there that may be able to help. You can try Elance.com to find a freelance designer to work for you? Elance is the world's largest marketplace for finding high quality professionals, creative experts and technology specialists. If you need specialized talent to make a book cover for your fiction book, Elance is the premier spot to hire, manage and pay for work online. It is safe and secure and you are the boss through the entire process. If you don't like the work, you don't pay for the work. It is more expensive than most, but shop around for the best price and go for it.
Another great place to find a freelance book cover designer is Guru.com. Guru.com has one of the largest databases of active designers that are eagerly awaiting your project. This platform allows several designers to bid on your project within minutes of submitting your request. You choose the one that fits your budget and work directly with them to create the best book cover for you book.
My favorite site to find cheap freelance designers is Fiverr.com. This site is great because it is within everyone's budget and you can still get a great book cover done quickly and professionally at a price you can afford. A lot of the people offering services here are just looking for some quick work to make a little money on the side. Don't underestimate the quality of work based on the low price.
No matter who you go with on either of the three freelancer sites, remember that you are in charge of the project. A good freelancer will make a book cover design and may give you at least three designs to choose from. If you don't like their work, let them know and they will redo it. Don't pay them until you are satisfied.
Also, when choosing a freelance book cover designer, make sure you check their profile and feedback. And it helps if they speak your language so you can communicate what you want from them. It is okay to provide them with a copy of your book synopsis so they can familiarize themselves with the characters and plot. This greatly helps the design process and provides you with a better end product.
If you have any questions about how to make a book cover, just let me know and I will try to answer everything as quickly as possible to keep you moving toward the publication process.