I’ve been thinking of changing the book cover of The Things We Do for a long time. But it was a case where I didn’t have decent enough skills/knew what I was doing. When I first created the original image (the second one), I kinda knew that it wasn’t the best, but it was the best I could do at the time. Now I can do better and I did. The first image is what I’ve come up with.
I really am cheap, I could try and dress it up as frugal, but that would be wrong. If I can do something myself, write, edit and design, whatever, instead of pay someone else then I’m going to have a crack at it. But they’re professionals you say, they’ve got more experience and talent. Well, I say that they got there by practicing and working on their craft. Which is what I can do too.
I write in my spare time as both a form of entertainment and low expense hobby. I’ve been doing it seriously for at least five years now.
I edit all on my own stories. I have yet to hire a professional to do what I can do for free. And for the record, I’m a pretty decent self-editor. Turns out that editors are not some mystical being that all writers absolutely need. I’m also full of a crippling fear that drives me to be a bit of a perfectionist.
I source all my cover photos from stock websites. I spend hours mulling over what image I should buy because for the last few years I’ve been living with the aftereffects of having a budget and sticking to it. I die a little when I waste money now.
I do all the photoshopping/editing when it comes to my book covers. Here is where I admit that I do not have much experience with that skill. That is why I keep things simple. I pick an image that I think represents the story as a whole and I keep the text over it simple.
As a character trait, I’m more than frugal, I’m a bit cheap. This bleeds over into my writing. I try to do as much as possible myself. Writing, editing, book covers.
So I’m going to write about my techniques for creating my book covers. While I have a creative flair for storytelling, it doesn’t necessarily cross over to design. I have practically zero graphic design training. Red flags when creating my own book cover right? Well, I employ the KISS method.
Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Most times, before I even finish the first draft of my story, I’m on iStock looking at potential images to use. Things that I look for is that it is a representation of a theme or idea. This means I am not limiting the interpretation of my book. I can have anywhere from 20 images to over 200. The more I have in a folder, the more likely I haven’t found something I like yet.
I keep things simple because like I said before I don’t have much experience in graphic design. The program I’ve always used has been Pixlr.com. It’s a simple photoshop website. I’m sure there are more advanced features of the site, but I only how to use the simple things. I think eventually I might have to employ someone, but not until it is absolutely necessary.
Here are the book covers I have created myself in Pixlr.com.