Create! Design! Make it so.

When I find a new tool to assist me with publishing books, I want to stand on the highest crenellation and shout it to world. I want to leap onto my fastest gelding and race through the countryside proclaiming its wonderful attributes. I want to grab the wheel of the most dependable brigantine and sail to every port to tell them of my findings.

Instead, when I find something right under my nose that I already have but can use in a different way to support my writing, I usually blab about it and show it off to my family. When they tire of it, I tell everyone in Blogland. So here it goes.

Are you an independent book publisher? Do you pay others to create book covers for your ebooks? Do you have a fairly new version of MS Word?

Then stop paying others to create wonderful book covers that you may not be happy with because they can’t get it the exact way you want it.

If you have a recent MS Word program (I have 2010), you also have Power Point. Before I learnt the book cover making technique, I hadn’t used this program. To me, it was used for presentations only. Nothing more. I was wrong.

Book covers – amazing book covers – can be made using this program. The only limitation is your imagination.

Here’s how it works:

The first thing to do is set the page size. I use 6×9 (except with Lost in Her World because I created it before I learnt how to change the page size). It’s a standard size, but you can use whatever you wish. You do this under DESIGN and then PAGE SET UP.

If you want to free-bird it instead of using the design templates for colour design and text placing, go into HOME then LAYOUT and choose blank. Now you have a blank page to work with.

From here you can choose background colours and tone them anyway you like or you can insert a picture which then becomes your background. If you’ve played with formatting pictures in an MS Word document, you already know the basics of cropping, corrections, colour and the other features of photo manipulation. You can also remove background to use only the part of the image you want. Play with it. Have fun.

Text can be added anywhere on the page, including on the image. Go to INSERT then TEXT BOX and then use the curser to draw the box where want it. Don’t worry about placement, you can move it anywhere you want later. I stretch mine out to the edges of the page so when I center the text, it’s in the centre of the page.

Text can be formatted like any Word document, so play with it to see what works best with the background.

When it’s all said and done, you can save the page in one of several formats, including JPG. The samples here are saved in that form.

Perhaps an entire cover is not what you want to create. No prob. Pictures intended to be used on covers or the inside of books can be manipulated/created in Power Point and saved as a JPG.

Below are covers I whipped up. Literally. Once I became familiar with the possibilities, I could create a cover in a matter of minutes.

I give the credit of this knowledge to Dean Wesley Smith’s blog The New World of Publishing: What Indie Production Actually Costs.

Diane Lynn Meyrick

Diane Lynn Meyrick

Candy McMudd

Diane Lynn Meyrick

Diane Lynn Tibert

16 thoughts on “Create! Design! Make it so.

    • Thanks for dropping by, Libby. I’ve used Photoshop, but gave up because it was too complicated. I suppose I could have learnt more, but it seemed more confusing than it had to be especially when I already had simple program to use (Ulead).


    • Thanks, Laura. The software is more amazing than I had thought. I’ve played with it several times since and have decided to format/create the images I plan to use in making the Mystery Light in Cranberry Cove book trailer. I’ll let you know when I get it posted to YouTube.


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