Every once in a while I get an email about this one book cover designer creating new designs. So of course, I rush over and check it all out. There was this one image that captured me, but I didn’t buy it in time so it got snapped up by another. It was just a picture of blood dripping down a woman’s face. I loved the image so much I had to think of a story to go with it. And I did. I’ve got a nugget of an idea and slowly expanding it.
Anyhow I still wanted to use the image and found it on iStock. I downloaded the watermarked image and experimented with some minor effects on Pixlr.com and I think I got it just right. Does that mean I’m copying the designer? Anyway, the story is only one chapter complete so it’ll be awhile before you see it.
This is the cover image I created for Becoming Stardust. For the longest time I didn’t know what to use. I had over 200 images saved in my iStock folder and I just kept adding more. Eventually I was like, don’t overthink it! Just pick something with a bit of action in it that has a major sci-fi element and involves space and space travel.
So not four hours ago I went on an image bing and found this one. I thought about it for a while and experimented with in on Pixlr and decided that this would be the one I choose.
So I bought it for one credit and put it together. I had a few issues when downloading the final produce because for some reason my computer is automatically formatting the 300 dpi image to 96 dpi. But when I open it up there seems nothing wrong with it 🙂
So here is my cover for my free prequel short story. I have also written up the synopsis for you guys.
Before Ilona took on the identity of a dead girl, she was a hunted girl. Her mother and she had known nothing but running until the bounty hunters finally caught them. Wounded and orphaned, Ilona sneaks her way onto a smuggling ship. Subsequently becoming part of the crew. This appears to be the break that finally gives her a safe upbringing. However, it is just the beginning.
For those who’ve been following Feet or Fins from the beginning, you know that I barely have any graphic design knowledge but at the same time, I was too broke to afford to hire someone. I pretty much went and did the most I could do with what I had. I picked an image that I thought represented the story and only fiddled with a few things while adding text.
For the longest time it was good enough for me and then I changed my mind. I created a second book cover and then, later on, reverted back to the old one. But I still knew that it wasn’t the best I could do, but I moved on to other things.
Today as I was looking through a few websites that featured pre-made book covers I began to wonder again if I could do better. I spent a few more hours looking on iStock to see what I could find. And voila! I found something interesting. So I fiddled around a bit and created this 🙂
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 just created the book cover I’m going to use for my short story. I’m trying to put forward a particular scene and when I was looking for female statues I keep getting only religious-themed ones. And I wasn’t looking for that. I just wanted a statue that was not too ornate and of a female from a medieval time period.
The image I found for this novella was already sitting in one of my many iStock photo boards 🙂 I like the simplicity a lot (you know because I not much of a photo editor). But I think this book might be near completion by the end of this year or early next year 🙂
The cover was also easy to make. I just bought the image for a credit on iStock.com and using Pixlr.com put the text over it and made it the same yellow in the image. I then went into layer styles and picked outer glow. I made it black, chose a size that was like the other black lines and then merged all the layers down to one image. I then sized it to Smashwords book cover dimensions and voila!
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.
I went and finally created the cover image for Save One. I had this particular image in the back of my head for such a long time now. I experimented with other images, but my mind kept going back to this one. I really think that it’s a decent representation of my story.
The main character is a black teenager and given that the story is a dystopian set in a military state, I didn’t really find any images that embodied that environment. So naturally, I went and found something that I think represents the main character. And since I know almost nothing about image manipulation I kept it simple 🙂
Yesterday I completed the first draft of my prequel novella Jump Start. It is around 20,000 words and today I’ve made up a cover image for it.
I just uploaded my second book – My Cousin Megan. Amazon seems to have accepted the book cover image I submitted but Smashwords did not. So I had to go back and make a second one that wasn’t as good as the first one. It was the pixel issue. The image I used was a medium-sized one I got from iStock.com, but the sizing was out of whack I guess. You can’t tell really. So I downloaded the large size, which made all the fonts in Pixlr seem too small, even after I changed the image sizing down the the 2400 pix wide they require.
This the final image I wanted to use.
And here is the second I had to make up on the fly 😦 It’s not as good.
Damn you smashwords, why you so difficult sometimes?
But I seemed to have had a smaple download within the first minute. So the image is luring people in I think 🙂