Revealing the Magic: DIY Cover Route


Do it Yourself concept

In our last two blog posts on Self Publishing, we discussed designing your own cover as alternate route to getting the cover for your book done. This is mostly frowned upon. Why is that?

Some argue that even though writers have vast imagination when it comes to their story, the same imagination hinders their ability to look at the overall cover in a sales pitch point of view. An author can get attached to their story and characters and want to include as many aspects of it on the cover. This doesn’t always lead to a good cover.

Let’s look at some examples: (covers taken from Amazon listing and in no way a means to down rate the covers and or works of these authors)

NotOne NotThree NotTwo

These three covers all contain an interesting image, but the font just doesn’t pop out enough and kind of gets lost. It is important to make sure the title and author name are visible in thumbnail size. A little tweaking of the title and author name would increase the appeal of these covers.

one  three two

Here you see the font start to pull you in. The array of subjects serve more than pretty images, they hint at the mystery and magic of the book.

ThreeBetter TwoBetter OneBetter

These last three covers really nail what a cover needs: an overall appeal, clear genre classification, and a wow factor.

What if an author doesn’t have the computer skills needed? Unless educated on editing programs it will be hard to create a flawless cover that works. This leaves you two choices, learn the software and enough techniques to give you a cover that will help promote your story or leave the DIY for when you do have the time to do so and hire someone to do it for you.

What if an author’s budget is small or nonexistent? Getting someone to design a cover can get pretty pricey very quickly.

Here is the cover I designed for my book: The Five Kingdoms of Severi. (Cost to make-Under $25.)

FiveKingdomsCover5x8_Preview

The model shown here was selected about a month or so before the cover was completed from Dreamstime. Yet, I could not get the cover to work and ended up tossing the model aside as a possible subject. Only after finding the rest of the elements that comprise this cover over at Dollarphotoclub (free image from Fotolia) was I able to make the model work.

Below are the images used in the cover. See how the main background determined the overall feel and look of the cover. And the best thing is that all the images except for the model cost $1 each.

OriginalPhotoStock

I am both a cover designer and an author, with a little over a year of experience. I decided to create my own cover and the gray scale illustrations that accompany the inside of this book to see what I could do. It might not be the best cover, but with every cover I create there is room to grow.

As long as your cover doesn’t hinder your book I don’t see why you can’t DIY. The best thing about self publishing or indie publishing is that you can always replace your cover with a better one later on if the original one isn’t working. Taste changes.

Things to remember:

Keep the title and author name as big as you can.

Seek an overall look to your cover and ensure you keep the same feel throughout your series.

Don’t be afraid to try textures and mess around with the layer settings.

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