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.

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Brandon Sanderson: Fantasy Writing Lectures

I’ve been watching a series of lectures by fantasy author Brandon Sanderson on the craft of writing with the focus on the fantasy genre. These lectures took place at BYU. Whether you write fantasy or not, much of the writing advice applies to all stories.

I’m working my way through them, but what I’ve learned so far is:

  • I’m a chef, not a cook.
  • Conflict connects characters, setting and plot.
  • Everyone must be good at something.
  • Yes, but; no, and.
  • Captain Jack Sparrow is the perfect character who is incompetent, yet highly proactive, and that’s what makes him (and SpongeBob) interesting and entertaining.

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Wandering Slowly into YouTube

My Wandering PathI’ve been taking photographs since I was 11 years old. Over the past 39 years, I’ve felt comfortable behind the camera, but I’ve never overcome my discomfort of being in front of it. I’ve seen other authors bite the bullet and create videos on a regular basis and post them to YouTube. It helps get their names and books out there.

They don’t always talk about writing or their books. They create a following with interesting videos on a variety of topics.

I had shared a few videos in the past, but I want to do more. I’ve convinced myself the only way to do that is to gain experience making videos – because I like a challenge and my world isn’t crazy enough.

My first step was to watch videos by different people to see how they went about creating content. There are a wide-range of styles and subjects on YouTube, so it is easy to find something to pique your interest.

When I began practising with my phone to shoot videos, the first issue I noticed was the audio. I saw YouTubers often had a mic clipped to their shirt, so I did a little investigating.

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