Creating Book Covers with Inkscape

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.

Continue reading

How to Make a Cover Using CreateSpace Template

I make all my covers using PowerPoint, so I’ve never tried to use the downloadable template provided by CreateSpace. I have played with the online templates, and they did not impress me. There were too many limitations, making a CreateSpace cover stand out from the book rack as a cover created with CreateSpace online cover creator.

The downloadable template appears more flexible, but I’m not sure since I haven’t played with it. I know, however, others might want to give it a try. This morning, I came across this post:

When you’re ready to have your book printed with CreateSpace and you’re planning on tackling the cover on your own it can seem rather daunting. It certainly terrified me to begin with and I only very recently updated my covers from the originals I made using the CreateSpace online cover creator. There’s nothing wrong with using that though. It depends on you entirely. Today I’ll show you how to make a PDF cover using their downloadable template.

Continue reading

Publishing 101: Cover Design

Publishing 101This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Writers who self-publish have several options for cover design. They can

  • hire someone to design it for them
  • purchase a premade cover
  • use a CreateSpace template
  • design it themselves

I’ll go through three of these four steps quickly and then focus on what I do.

Hire Someone to Design a Book Cover

A quick google search will turn up a long list of graphic designers who will create amazing covers for your book. CreateSpace also offers the service. You can have a cover created specifically for your paperback and one for your eBook. Prices start at around $50 and go up quickly from there. Remember: quality often matches the dollar value.

Elance is a well-used site where anyone can post a job and receive bids for it. The eLance system protects buyers and sellers to certain degree. Like all business, this is a business and it’s your job to do the homework to see you get the best value for your buck. I know two authors who found excellent illustrators on eLance.

Purchase a Premade Cover

I’ve seen several sites around that showcase covers on their pages. All you have to do is submit the title, author name and whatever other text you want on the cover and they insert it for you. Bang! Your cover is complete.

Continue reading

Resources to Self-publish: Cover Design

Below are several posts I wrote about designing book covers. It includes my thoughts on the actual design, images used in the design and the inclusion of an author’s photograph and story blurb.

The post on using PowerPoint was written some time ago. After using the program for more than a year, my covers have improved and I’ve branched out to do front and back covers for paperbacks. Below is the cover I designed for my upcoming book using PowerPoint.

…I’ll list more relevant posts to self-publishing in the coming days.

Anthology FULL Cover

How to Create with PowerPoint #01

This is the first in a series of blogs on “How to Create with PowerPoint”.

I’m often asked how I create my book covers using PowerPoint. I’d like to give a short, simple answer, but the answer is far from short and nowhere near simple if you’ve never used a photo manipulation program before.

PowerPoint is the ultimate tool for writers who self-publish their work, for bloggers and others who create websites and printed material. And it comes free with MS Word. Crop, enhance and edit images, create buttons and banners, design book covers and make headers for any webpage, including Facebook.

Continue reading