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Book Covers
  • Advice please on designing my own cover for my books using photos or my own artwork.
  • It took me a lot of playing around until I was happy with mine. I'm sure an expert eye would say there is a lot wrong, but one of the things I have noticed on very amateur-looking covers is that the title is placed too high, or over a busy bit of picture, so it's good to see a space in the picture where the title can happily sit.

    I tried out different fonts and text sizes, often making the first letter bigger than the rest. I used the same font on the spine.

    I also designed (most of) them as a double page - front and back, plus spine space, so that there was continuity.

    Here are my children's books:

    https://helenlaycock.wixsite.com/helen-laycock
    Thanked by 1Lizy
  • Check how it looks when it's the same size as shown on Amazon (or wherever you plan to sell/advertise it).
    Thanked by 1Lizy
  • Your covers look very professional, TN.
    Thanked by 1Tiny Nell
  • TN - I love your covers. What tools do you use?
    Thanked by 1Tiny Nell
  • How did you do your volcano one, LizY?
  • I bought it from Magic Owl Designs but sales covered less than a quarter of that cost!
  • Lizy said:

    TN - I love your covers. What tools do you use?



    They have evolved really, Lizy. The photo for Mandrake's Plot was given to me free of charge by the photographer (so I mentioned him inside the cover), then I just used a CS template for the rest.

    For the others, I have used images (free for commercial use with no attribution required) from Pixabay. Sometimes this has involved overlaying another silhouetted image (Glass Dreams, The Secret of Pooks Wood), or I have had to add another image to the original (Martha and Mitch). I have made the back covers interesting too by adding tiny details rather than a large image.

    You can do a lot with text using Word. I had to bend text for Charlie Chumpkins so that it looked as though it was in the glass of water. I used reflection for the text of Salt as it's set at the coast.

    I haven't paid a penny for any aspect of my books.

    Thanked by 1Lizy
  • I will take time to recoup that cost, which is why marketing is so important.

  • If there's a particular feature that interests you on any cover, just ask me!
    Thanked by 1Lizy
  • Carol said:

    I will take time to recoup that cost, which is why marketing is so important.



    With twelve books, I'd have to fork out four figures for professional covers which is why I didn't go down that route - although I would have loved to!

    Marketing is the hardest part of this game.

  • Oh, and I used Publisher.
  • Some nice covers there, TN. I especially like the "Secrets of Book Wood" - quite atmospheric and dark.
  • KramerKramer
    I use Adobe InDesign in my day job to design artwork, consequently I would recommend it.
    Very easy to manipulate text and images and to save / export into a variety of formats.
    Cost of the application (a monthly fee is charged these days) would likely be detrimental to many.
    It is what I used to put together the "mock up" cover for my WIP.
  • I was afraid of my first venture into publishing looking amateur, but I can't justify any more expense. Even if I'd opted for an 'off the shelf' design from Magic Owl it would have cost enough, but I had to have one modified.
    Hence my need to learn the DIY process.
  • *Prepares for Lizy Angst*
  • Now you 'own' the Magic Owl design, can you re-use it somehow, like change the colours for a new cover?
  • Yes! Especially if it's the next one along in the series... or do a close up of part of it...
  • I actually asked her that months ago, but apparently she keeps the copyright or something? I could only reuse it by paying her to redesign it.
    No, I don't understand it either.
  • Look on Pixabay. I am sure there will be a choice of volcano pictures, if that's what you want. Check top right of the screen for Free for commercial use and No attribution required.
    Thanked by 1Lizy
  • There are some great images on pixabay - which appear to be listed as free for commercial use. Worth investigating, Lizy.

    https://pixabay.com/en/volcano-lava-landscape-glow-lake-1728164/
    https://pixabay.com/en/volcano-eruption-moon-island-2224519/
    Thanked by 1Lizy
  • LizLiz
    Lizy said:

    I actually asked her that months ago, but apparently she keeps the copyright or something? I could only reuse it by paying her to redesign it.
    No, I don't understand it either.



    I can - it would be like a publisher publishing your story in a different book without paying you again. If it's in a different book, with a different cover and a different ISBN, they have to pay you again.

  • Baggy mentioned a copyright free image site - what was it called?
  • TN and Cladia mentioned pixabay.com.

    Baggy's link was about designing your own covers.
    Thanked by 1Lizy