Designing a book cover is one of the most exciting parts of self-publishing. This is especially true since traditionally published authors are not typically allowed much input about their book covers.
Consequently, at the beginning of designing your book cover, you may feel quite powerful.
Yes! I get to design my own book cover! I’m going to nail this! Yes, I realize I have just used three exclamation points. Here, have another!
Well, maybe you didn’t think that exactly, but anyways…
As Spider-Man fans know, “With great power comes great responsibility.” As I designed my first cover, I felt the full weight of that statement.
In the following post and its sequel (Evolution of an eBook Cover: Part 2), I will reveal my process for creating the cover of my poetry collection, Two by Two: Into the White. If you enjoy this post or if you love quality poetry, please consider getting the eBook!
The first thing I did was crack open a new document in Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and set the size as 1563 px x 2500 px at 72 pixels/inch per the recommendation at kdp.amazon.com.
However, some say 2820 px x 4500 px would be better. In the end, I recommend your cover to be 4500 px high x 2813 wide at 350 ppi for best image quality.
“All [Google] fonts are Open Source. This means that you are free to share your favorites with friends and colleagues… And you can use them in every way you want, privately or commercially — in print, on your computer, or in your websites.”
By using Google Fonts, you can rest assured that it’s completely FREE; no strings attached. Awesome, right?
My poems are simple and I wanted my cover to reflect that, so I kept it just black and white.
As we proceed, you will notice that the title of my book changed as I designed the cover. This is another great aspect of the flexibility and power that comes with self-publishing.
As pleased as I was with the cover, I thought it needed something else. So I added a photo of my cat.
For Versions 2, 3 and 4, I experimented with different titles, placements and colors.
- I experimented with another font, Baskerville, in the subtitle of Versions 2 and 3. However, I had not yet thought of the copyright/license issue. I discovered a replacement Google Font later: Libre Baskerville.
- I moved my name to the top in Version 4 to see how it looked. I was not a fan, so I moved it back to the bottom.
- With the image of my cat, I used the cookie cutter tool in photoshop to add a 10 px feather. This got rid of the hard edge of the photo.
- These covers all sport a brown/tan palette. The reason I chose those colors was simple. Many tutorials on book cover design say to choose colors from the photo you are using. That gives the cover a very harmonious appearance.
- I used the eye dropper tool in photoshop to pick out the exact hex code for the colors from the cabinet my cat is standing on. In case you are curious, the light brown is #ffcc99 and the dark brown is #663300. The gray font in Version 3 is #333333, which I found in my cat’s fur. You can experiment with hex codes at http://www.color-hex.com/.
- I tried desperately to appreciate the brown, but I just couldn’t. Brown is one of my least favorite colors. So I ended up changing it.
- Main message: You DON’T have to use colors from the photo you are using! Use what colors YOU like.
To see what color I changed the brown to, read Evolution of an eBook Cover: Part 2!
Get my Poetry Collection: Two by Two TODAY!
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