I’m always looking for ways to improve the books I write both in content and in appearance. This includes creating better covers with each book written.
Everyone must start somewhere and when I started creating covers more than ten years ago, they looked like an amateur created them. So I pressed on. In February 2012, I wrote about my discovery of using PowerPoint to create covers: Create! Design! Make it so. From this post, it’s obvious my covers still had a long way to go, but I was moving in the right direction: forward.
After eight years of making book covers, banners and promotional material using PowerPoint, I stumbled upon another program that will take my designs to the next level: Inkscape.
Where Did I Discover Inkscape?
I spotted a YouTube video by author David V. Stewart about how he made book covers, so I clicked, watched and fantasized about my own covers. The program he used was Inkscape. His covers looked amazing. He said the program was free on the Internet.
After watching his video, I went on the hunt, found it, downloaded it and started to play.
Unable to do little in the program before learning the basics, I returned to YouTube and began watching videos on how to create and manipulate text. My first creations involved my name and fantasy series title: Castle Keepers. (Click on image to see it larger)
Applying previous knowledge of various programs and designing covers plus watching a dozen more videos about creating in Inkscape, I started to make sense of the program. The learning curve was steep. After text creations, it was time to play with cover designs.
First Crude Covers
After watching a video on setting guidelines to help organize the cover, I set to work using the author name and series title graphics I had created in Inkscape.
I kept tweaking and moving things around and trying new things and finally, I worked my way to something that was pleasing to the eye and functional. When I uploaded it to the printer’s website, their ‘processing’ made it look much darker than I wanted. Knowing the printer printed a tone darker than I see on my screen, I lightened the original. We’ll see how it really looks when the proof arrives.
This program arrived in my world at the right moment because I was about to release this book with this cover. I liked it, but not as much as the new one. It’s strange how a new program inspired me to use different images.
If you’re looking for a program to create covers, banners and promotional material, give Inkscape a try. There are many videos on YouTube to walk you through different steps. They are specific, not lengthy videos that cover many topics. So if I want to learn how to import an image, I search YouTube for that specific thing: Inkscape importing images.
I also created this FANTASY image. Be careful. This program is addictive.
David V. Stewart
As I mentioned, I discovered Inkscape through author David V. Stewart. He writes fantasy and science fiction. If you want to learn how he creates his covers and get a sample of what Inkscape can do, visit his YouTube channel. To find his videos related to book covers, click Playlists, then Book Covers. There are 17 at the time of this post. If you want to learn more about him and his books, check out his website.