Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Making Covers for BBW Billionaire romances - an Indie author perspective

I have a new cover for His Competent Woman

The old cover was designed by a pro but I didn't really like it very much. So I thought I'd have a go myself.

A friend asked me why I don't just commission a cover and keep doing so till I get something I like, so I thought I'd blog about it.

A publishing house has an inhouse team of photographers and designers who create something unique. It takes months and costs thousands.

Indie authors usually don't have that kind of budget.

For people like me who earn Ringgit Malaysia and pay 30% tax in the USA on every book sold, our margins are even thinner. 

Cheap book covers cost anywhere from $100 to $20. I've spent a fortune over the years, and had some nice ones but more that were, "OMG really???? Noooooooooooooooooo!" What's weird is that the more expensive ones have been totally unusable whereas the cheap ones have been okay.

It was driving me bonkers so I took some lessons and started making my own. They're not great but they aren't any worse than some of the ones I paid for and can't use.

Here are covers I've made myself in the last few months.






I'm reading articles on design and leaning on friends like Emanar and Beng Beng who are design people for advice and criticism. It's an evolving skill and I hope I'm getting better.

If you like what you're seeing, and you want to make a book cover, these are the most useful things I've learned so far. Hopefully it will help you avoid some of my mistakes.

Get a subscription to Deposit Photos or other stock image service. These have quality images.

Go look at covers in your genre that sell. It will give you an idea about the kinds of images people use as well as where to put your author name etc.

You will need some editing software. I'm using an ancient programme that's no longer sold. I suggest Paint, which is free.

Then you need fonts!  I have picked up a bunch of free ones from www.1001fonts.com.

When you pick a photo, start by reducing it to kindle size, 1600 by 2400 pixels and saving it. Then start messing with the text. I'm saying this because otherwise you can end up with blurry text.

When you have sorted out what fonts you want to use, WRITE THEM DOWN. Because you won't remember if you used Garamond or Californian FB in three months time.

When you have something you like, make three versions: a 1600 by 2400 for Kindle and a 800 by 1200 for blog posts and a 600 by 800 for FB. Check your file sizes to make sure they are reasonably sized. Amazon and other companies charge for sending big files, and it slows downloading on blogs, so your cover should be 600kb or so for your novel, and as small as 80kb for fb and your blog.

That's all I've time for today. If you find this interesting, and have questions, feel free to comment or email me. You can find me on FB!

And please buy my books!  If you're a kindle person, find Ellen Whyte romance here and AJ Adams cartel and other romance here.   If you're not, then I'm also on Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes etc etc. Click on the tab above for links to individual books. I'm in a rush now but will come back and put all the links in one go later. See you!

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