While it is nice, you don’t have to be a graphic design guru to create a cover for your book. The there are some rules you should put into practise though. So get ready to create an eye catching cover!
Side note: If you can’t create what you are looking for, a graphic artist/cover designer is the next step!
First things first. Can you computer handle the load of programs? Paint.net and adobe photoshop are my go to programs when I craft my book covers, but it slowed my old laptop to a crawl. So be sure your computer can handle the load! I do reccomend anything with 8 GB memory to enusre top proformance!
Next we seek our free resouces for images or clip art. REMEMBER to look for ROYALTY FREE images and thank the photographer in your book. If you choose and image that you should have purchased, be prepared to change your cover, and hire a lawyer, because this is the first step to getting sued as an author. Other ways to get free photos is to take them yourself. Use your social media and ask for models to meet you in the perfect location for you, and be sure to be up front that you need volunteers.
When looking for the perfect image, or setting up the perfect shot, keep your readers in mind! You want them to stop in their tracks, turn around, and drop jaws at your cover. We try not to, but we humans do judge our literal book covers. If you need a little advice on your choice, ask the internet. Now you are opening yourself up to hurt feelings, but shake off that intentional critics, and search for the sincere responses. Readers know what readers want.
Fonts are another critical part of your book. It sets the mood of your story, and if it’s too fancy, it may not be readable. And even die hard readers will walk away. Bold is ok as long as it doesn’t take away from the images behind it. Just like the story itself, the cover has to flow well with the mood of the book!
Lastly, if you just can’t hit the mark you set, hire a professional! It’s not really as expensive as you think it is. Even for those just starting out!
Now go write something!