Monday, June 10, 2013

Creating E-book covers

Now that I have the rights back to the rest of my backlist titles, I need to get them ready to be uploaded for sale. Naturally, I’m starting with the books for which I have digital files so that all I have to do is proof, format, add a cover and upload them.

If I only had one or two books, I’d probably buy covers. But we’re talking over 20 books! So...I decided to see if I could create covers myself for the Westcott series and Miss Tibbles books. I knew a few things I wanted for these covers:
1) Title and author that can be read even in thumbnail size
2) A consistent look to the series so that if someone had lots of books (especially my books) on their reader, they could spot the ones in the series quickly.

3) I wanted covers that would catch the eye if one were scrolling quickly.
4) I wanted covers that indicated something about the story.
Next I researched covers--both what were on my e-reader and on websites for sale. I looked at image websites and pored through literally hundreds of pages of images. And I began to research photo/image manipulation software

What I discovered:
1) Gimp is a good, free software program but with a steep learning curve. Fortunately there are YouTube videos on how to do various things with it.
2) Often what I thought would look great didn’t. Thank heavens I was experimenting with preview images before I had to buy any!
3) It is sometimes easier to change details in the text than try to find exactly the right image or try to change an image you've got that works otherwise.
4) Image websites offer either subscription membership or purchasing images with credits or both.
5) It gets easier and faster, the more one works with the software. The real time sink is still finding and choosing the right images.

Here are a couple of the covers I created. You can see more in the carousel at the top of the page. You’ll recognize the ones I did by the common elements on the bottom half of each cover.