WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Publishing

Publishing Ask and post advice about the publishing process. Discuss new media and options.


Create a fine book cover for my book and not go bankrupt, how?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-31-2012, 02:33 AM
brokenmusic (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Create a fine book cover for my book and not go bankrupt, how?


I would like to get a reasonably good quality and relevant book cover for my self-published non-fiction? What are my options besides hiring a designer (which would obviously be expensive)?

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-31-2012, 03:10 AM
RichardWhite (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11
Thanks: 0
Thanks 2
Default

I guess there are a number different paths you may go here.

First you can try to create one for yourself with specialized software available. Check "create book cover" in Google, lot's of some very low-end software solutions to that. I've never tried one myself, because I think it's more rational to use Photoshop for that and million other purposes.

Then you could contact an illustrator who'd sell you his own work to use it as a book cover. Check the following sites: IllustrationMundo, DirectoryOfIllustration - many agents selling services of actual designers there - and HireAnIllustrator. It's sometimes challenging to find exactly what you need because those sites do not allow search actual illustrations by keywords and phrases. They only have a list of illustrators and examples of their works.

The best option in my opinion would be to use quality stock illustration and purchase exclusive rights for it. There are many sites for that, but there is one that is created specifically with books and self-publishing authors in mind is Get Book Cover. It allows flexible keywords search and also has an in-browser editor to put various text on the cover and convert the purchased book cover for print or digital use.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-31-2012, 05:24 AM
Zodea's Avatar
Zodea (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Iowa
Posts: 393
Thanks: 14
Thanks 33
Default

Have you considered talking to the local high school art department? They have great artists as well as classes that specialize in computer aided design.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-05-2012, 01:29 PM
kmz
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

If you really want to save money, you can consider self-designing it. It might take some time and effort but it's cheap. I found this online tutorial about making book covers here. It's actually quite thorough and helpful. Doesn't work quite as well if you have GIMP, though.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-08-2012, 02:17 PM
Secret Ninja (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

As Zodea said, pass through a school.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-11-2012, 08:44 AM
blinky's Avatar
blinky (Offline)
Scribbler
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Far away
Posts: 38
Thanks: 4
Thanks 6
Default

A bit of a do-it-yourself suggestion here:
I suggest taking a photo of something (or draw a picture) that's relevant to your novel and edit it using Paint.Net.
Paint is a free software that can be downloaded from its website but it'll only work if you have Windows 7.
Or you could always get Photoshop.
__________________
Blinky-Writer in Training
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-28-2012, 04:35 AM
Mr.Horrific's Avatar
Mr.Horrific (Offline)
Scribbler
Official Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 32
Thanks: 7
Thanks 3
Default

Hi there, I can help you. No fees whatsoever, just for the experience of learning. I was on a gaming forum and did some artwork there for some guys and have been designing my own e-book covers. I wouldn't ask any money, or to read your non-fiction book, or even any recognition. Simply tell me what to design and I will do my best.

If you can't help others, you can't expect help. And I expect a lot from the world, so I've got to give a lot.

[P.S. This is not advertising: absolutely free, no strings-attached, no imprint or anything necessary on your part.]

NOTE: I will TRY. No guarantees.
__________________
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
E.A. Poe

Last edited by Mr.Horrific; 02-28-2012 at 04:37 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-27-2012, 06:02 PM
dotx (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

Try the Writer's Cafe at Kindleboards. Tons of designers there for very reasonable prices. How much are you looking to spend? The cover in my signature was designed by somebody I found there.
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Get my latest book
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-29-2012, 05:03 AM
Willoughby's Avatar
Willoughby (Offline)
Copyist
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 54
Thanks: 0
Thanks 7
Default

You can probably find a very reasonably priced artist at deviantART.com who can make you a nice, pretty cover (:
__________________
What I'm working on:
Nothing.
I just journal.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-08-2012, 01:38 PM
jon_saunders's Avatar
jon_saunders (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

You could try Fiverr.com if you don't want to spend too much money.

Visit fiverr, click graphics on the right side menu, select covers and then sort by either recommended or rating by clicking the appropiate tab at the top.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-14-2012, 01:30 AM
BookReader (Offline)
Scribbler
Official Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 33
Thanks: 1
Thanks 6
Default

students at college art department or graphic design department
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-18-2012, 01:40 PM
markcarraway (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

I have used fiverr before as well, but most of the covers I have gotten there were pretty generic. Hard to get something really customized and relevant for just five bucks.

What I do know for certain is that ANY money invested in a great cover that is clean but engaging is money well spent!

Good luck!
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-12-2012, 09:08 PM
Mie (Offline)
Abnormally Articulate
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 136
Thanks: 3
Thanks 19
Default

Originally Posted by Mr.Horrific View Post
Hi there, I can help you. No fees whatsoever, just for the experience of learning. I was on a gaming forum and did some artwork there for some guys and have been designing my own e-book covers. I wouldn't ask any money, or to read your non-fiction book, or even any recognition. Simply tell me what to design and I will do my best.

If you can't help others, you can't expect help. And I expect a lot from the world, so I've got to give a lot.

[P.S. This is not advertising: absolutely free, no strings-attached, no imprint or anything necessary on your part.]

NOTE: I will TRY. No guarantees.
Sure, Ill bite. How do I get in touch?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-21-2012, 08:43 PM
kindleheart (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 18
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by brokenmusic View Post
I would like to get a reasonably good quality and relevant book cover for my self-published non-fiction? What are my options besides hiring a designer (which would obviously be expensive)?
I do agree that a colorful, professional e-book cover will help your new e-book stand out from the competition in the Amazon Kindle E-Book Store. When your e-book stands out, you sell more e-books. When you sell more e-books, you are very happy.

If you are saying that you don't want to hire anybody, then you can try to do it yourslef. Simple free clipart is all you need to draw the reader's eye. Mix those with some simple colors that sell and you will have yourself a stellar cover.

You want the eCover to show the personality and style of your eBook.

So, start by asking yourself - what is your book about? Do you want your reader to feel happy? Do you want them to be excited? Do you want them feel a sense of urgency? Choose your free graphics based on how you want your reader to feel when they think about your book, and make sure that your eCover incorporates the selling color for that mood.
__________________
"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
" ~ Self publish your book on Kindle. Marketing blueprint for online promotion.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-22-2012, 10:16 PM
J. Newman's Avatar
J. Newman (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 409
Thanks: 92
Thanks 44
Default

For my first two ebooks I approached two established artists here in Bangkok whose work I admired. I asked if I could use their work for free. Both artists agreed. They liked the idea of their work being used on a book and the promotion that it could spell. For another book I had a photographer friend design the cover. Again free. The last one I designed myself using a stock photo and microsoft paint!
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-26-2012, 09:17 PM
Lin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Just do it. Most non-fiction, poetry and "literary" covers are very, very easy to put together.

Gather some covers of books like yours to see how they were done. If the trend seems to be a simple photograph, look for one on a stock agency. I bought the photos I did these covers for for a couple of bucks apiece.
http://www.amazon.com/Shooting-Your-...dp/B007DORD7O/
http://www.amazon.com/Linton-Robinson/e/B002BLP59C
Boneyard 11 here is two stock shots

Imaginary Lines and Mayan Calendar Girls were given to me free by the authors
Weekend Warrior ebook (the beer bottle grenade) was a fairly easy assembly, Afro Cuban Boogie Woogie was a really easy assembly of stuff scraped off the internet, the outlines of Cuba and Africa were pics of kids' puzzles.

The paperback of Weekend Warrior and My Funny Valentine were shot with a sixty buck pocket camera in my back yard.

You can probably do this.

A good free program, the one I use, is paint.net
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-27-2012, 12:52 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,696
Default

Or you could use GIMP. Once you nail down how to use the program (really easy!), you can create some nice covers.
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-27-2012, 04:18 AM
Mike C's Avatar
Mike C (Offline)
Legend
Official Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 9,117
Thanks: 99
Thanks 1,572
Send a message via MSN to Mike C
Default

The difficult part with doing it yourself is not having it look like you did it yourself.
__________________
لا شيء يدوم‎
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-27-2012, 08:32 AM
Lin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The big thing paint.net offers is very easy, instinctive operation and the best control of layers of any program out there.
You mention "layers" and people choke because they might have been exposed the nightmare way Photoshop does them. Paint.net is a breeze and makes dropping on element onto another with transparency, moving it around, rotating or shrinking it, etc. WAY easy.

There's your recipe for doing a cover, right there.
-Start with a good image, perhaps from a stock photo site.
-Create title/author type in another file. (GIMP has the "alpha-logo" filter which makes it easy to create beveled of gradient type--but be careful not to go to far) Title and author are the most important element on your cover--make them prominent, crontrasted, and easy to read at thumbnail size.
-Use "Black/alpha" adjustment on the title, cover file to drop out the background. Copy the title type.
--Use "Layers" tab to create a second layer on the photo file, then paste the title on it. Move it around, stretch it (watch out stretching too much) rotate it, zoom it, whatever it takes to set it in a good place.
--Do the same with the author name. "Flatten" from the Image tab, and save.

You see a lot of book covers built around three horizontal bars of different color. This is the way easy route. Drop title in one bar, author in another, and put artwork in the wide one.

Be sure to create your files in the format for Kindle or CreateSpace or whatever you will publish.

Start by doing the print book cover at 300 dpi (set this in the "Image" tab under "Resize") One you have it together, copy it and convert to 96 dpi for ebook covers, and in their proper size.

NOT brain surgery.
You see a LOT of really stupid, ugly covers. That's because they were done by writers (or even paid designers) who are morons.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06-30-2012, 01:45 PM
kirispupis (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 81
Thanks: 1
Thanks 10
Default

For non-fiction you should be able to do it yourself.

1) Go to IStockPhoto or Shutterstock and search around. Find the image that best works for you and pay a few $ for a license.
2) Fonts and layout are extremely important. If you do not have experience in this, ask a friend. A lot of people have some level of design skills and will often help you for free.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 06-30-2012, 07:09 PM
Lin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

See that's what you get for ignoring posts by your olders and betters
When you DO say something that makes any sense, you might find out it looks like you're just ignorantly repeating what just got said.

Except, of course, said better.

This ignorance thing is kind of fun, actually.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07-01-2012, 07:54 AM
kirispupis (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 81
Thanks: 1
Thanks 10
Default

Actually I removed the ignore as it was too tempting to see what the posts were.

I didn't completely repeat what you said. I disagree that the poster should bother putting the cover together if he/she is not familiar at all with graphic design. While it is easy to put something together, it is equally easy to get it wrong. A single wrong font can completely send the wrong vibes.

There are 286,000 graphic designers in the US and far more who dabble in graphic design on the side. Chances are you know one so at minimum have that person proofread your cover (or preferably have them do it in the first place).

I am a photographer myself and dabble in graphic design on the side, but my graphic designer friends laugh at me when I produce something, so when I truly care about something I just have them do it.

Note that there exist web sites where you describe what you want and graphic designers bit on the work. Many of these designers live in places like Indonesia so the prices aren't bad. Unfortunately I have not used them myself so I don't know the sites but perhaps someone else here knows.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-01-2012, 10:21 AM
Lin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I just don't understand why you keep harping about these stupid posts.

Try this. Before unleashing another onslaught of verbosity about this shit, why not ACTUALLY PUBLISH A BOOK????

Then you might get taken more seriously when being such an expert on it. And MIGHT even learn a bit by doing it. Maybe even change your opinions as a result.
Like using LSI as a one-shot author to be. You're in for some major bumps on that one and I hope your wife reads what I said about it and pulls your ears back to keep from wasting money.

This is really about it for me. I've spent a lot of time trying to educate you, even sent you a free ebook. And it just doesn't work.

You think you've got it all figured out, and there is no point in anybody trying to tell you anything.

Like all these high school writers in here posting their tips and rules for writers.

Just pointless. Why don't you go publish a book, then come back and tell people how it worked out?
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-01-2012, 09:12 PM
kirispupis (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 81
Thanks: 1
Thanks 10
Default

I have published books. Three of them that together earned $200k. Yes, they were photo books - but they still had covers so that gives me some qualification here. For the first two books, we had a guy who dabbled in graphic design do the cover. The last cover was done by a professional graphic artist. Guess which copy sold the most?

How about instead of trying to throw your weight around by constantly raising the experience banner and directing people to your website with your mug shot on every page, you actually try to contribute and hold a polite debate?

So what I disagree with you. Why do you see the need to get all upset over it?
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07-02-2012, 06:40 PM
Lin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Because you have a shitty attitude.
That whole "ignore button" tantrum as an instance.

It's not "throwing your weight around" to cite experience in discussions.
If you have done books that worked out, mentioning it helps people evaluate you comments.

Try to get over your insecurity, and yourself in general, and you might work out better.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 07-04-2012, 09:53 PM
wyf's Avatar
wyf (Offline)
Homer's Odyssey Was Nothing
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: UK, bottom half
Posts: 1,097
Thanks: 135
Thanks 126
Default

Lin's right we cant all afford graphic designers. I designed my own cover with help from spouse. here is is.....

now i just have to get the book into an improved form!!
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 07-05-2012, 12:06 AM
Lin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Not bad at all.
I assume you use the cover straight up for amazon, etc, and the one with the drop shadow for web display. Is that a transparent background, or on white?

Some might quibble that the title is too small for thumbnail view. But I take it that you're going with the idea that "brand" is more important than single title, probably have a series?

I'm not second-guessing you here, just mentioning my own approach on it. I would probably have run the title bigger. there's room to stack it at upper left and run the author name big at the bottom. The series thing can fit in anywhere.

That's pretty much what I did on this one. I was given the photograph, which I cropped and zapped up a bit, then dropped the title in stacked.

http://www.amazon.com/Saras-Sleep-ebook/dp/B008BAL00K

Simpler without the subtitle, of course. One other thing I'd do about that design is raise the legs about a half inch (on the 3 1/2 inch cover I see here) to make a strong diagonal across the cover. That would give more room for the author/subtitle below and a stack title to the upper left and I think you'd find the stronger composition would pop out.
The two most helpful composition principles for covers, to me, are the diagonal and the "law of thirds", or phi/golden mean. If you divide the cover in thirds vertical and horizonal you end up with loaded sectors and four points in the middle where the "lines cross" those are power points.
The simplest way to see it is take a picture of a moon or bird on a blue sky. In the center it's very static. If you can crop it so the bird is at one of those points, it "looks better". Diagonals kind of do that automatically.
Note the position of the rose on the Sara's Sleep cover.
I realize you may well have heard all that before and I'm not trying to patronize you.
It's a really good job with a good color palette and evocative image.
And a good example of what we're saying here: this ain't rocket surgery. Writers shouldn't sell themselves short without at least taking a shot at it.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 07-05-2012, 12:09 AM
Lin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

So, those your gams?
Oooo la
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 07-05-2012, 01:23 AM
Devon's Avatar
Devon (Offline)
Guard Dog and Playful Pup
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: In the ether of my imagination
Posts: 10,834
Thanks: 904
Thanks 1,696
Default

Ooo. All of this is making me scrutinize my own cover.
__________________
Twenty-year-old Marisa discovers her life is all a lie:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Twisty mind candy:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 07-05-2012, 12:58 PM
wyf's Avatar
wyf (Offline)
Homer's Odyssey Was Nothing
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: UK, bottom half
Posts: 1,097
Thanks: 135
Thanks 126
Default

Originally Posted by Lin View Post
So, those your gams?
Oooo la
You should be so lucky!!!

To answer your questions, the drop shadow is for a website and its on a transparent background.

The title maybe is too small, it was originally designed for print, but I can always move thigs around and I figured that people dont know me so wont care whose name is on the cover, likewise the title, but might buy on the strength of a smutty picture!

Can we see your cover devon? Maybe we could run a cover workshop, Lin has lots of idead and knowledge, and when my beloved isnt being mr grouch he's really useful on this kind of stuff.

Last edited by luckyme; 07-05-2012 at 01:26 PM.. Reason: please use the edit button.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Publishing


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:57 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.