Monday, January 30, 2012

Covers on the Cheap

So instead of writing this week, I decided to try out the free cover maker website linked above. I made these covers in a few hours money.

Which proves that I'm cheap.

And that I have too much time on my hands.

Essentially, it proves I'm a mom.

Sarah's is my favorite... Although it's cropped weird. SoOo cheesy.


Here is the recipe for making an awesome cover.

First, write an awesome title.
 (This is harder than it looks. Check for tips.)

 B, search royalty free websites for an awesome picture. There's a good chance you could get a stock photo that would work perfectly for free, or less than 15 dollars.

Next, if you can't find a good photo, you can always check out If you find an artist you like, there's a good chance they might design a cover for you for the cheap, or even just for the publicity.

Fourthly, once you have a plan, and/or a picture/ and or just some free time, check out Play around with it. After a few fun fake covers, you will learn what you are doing, I promise. It's super, super, easy/free. You have to become a member to upload pictures,( which costs less than ten dollars) but it is a heck of a lot easier to use than Indesign, or Photoshop, or Gimp. It's very point and click. If you can't figure out how to make it flat, check the upper right hand corner in the finalize stage where it say's 2D. It took me a few days to figure out how to do that.

There you go. Simple. I've just saved you several hundreds of dollars.

You're welcome.

Good luck with it!


  1. ROFL!

    I love my Vampire Lover. I may have to write him now. He'll do a magic show at a dinner-theater in Boca Raton and secretly feast on old people.

    I'll add my 2 cents from self-pubbed books I've seen:
    1) If you think you or your wife or your sister, or, God forbid, your child, is good enough at art to design your cover, you are most likely wrong. I have seen way too many covers that looked like they were stolen from the student display in a middle school art classroom.
    2) Study your genre. If you're writing an urban fantasy, a colored pencil drawing of a girl's face isn't going to attract your readers. (There may not be a genre for that, which brings me back to #1.)

  2. "Stars in Space" made me wonder if the premise is a bunch of ageing movie-stars jettisoned into deep space. I would read that! Thanks for all the great cover tips.

  3. Awesome post, and awesome covers.

    Looks like way too much fun. Personally, I like Susan's and "Funny Tragic, Crazy Magic" covers the best, but I really want to read Sarah's "Abduct This." She should really get on that one. :)

    Great info Sheena. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Very cool! nice for a few hours of playing around.

    Just one thing to be aware of when you go to upload covers to the various sites, the ones above look like they follow slightly different dimensions than what typically is uploaded to smashwords, kindle, and barnes and noble (in particular, these ones look wider.)

    I know the various sites say what the dimensions should be, but can't for the life of me remember what they are (my friend Renee designs my covers - she's and just tells me what I need, for which I am supremely grateful.)

    There is also some difference between a cover on BN and on Kindle, it's crazy but it's a few pixels and it drives me bananas when the site adds whitespace around my perfect black covers! (I write space stories, lol.)

    So just pay attention to the details. when you make your covers you might leave yourself a little wiggle room, then crop the image to exactly the size the various sites call for.

  5. Those are amazing Sheena! It's fun to see a cover for my book! And it's so good to know that it only took you a few hours to do all of them. These are the things that hold me back. And Karen, that's very good advice as well.

    When I'm at a book store, I notice that most of the books I like are designed with very similar fonts and colors--the pictures may be totally different, but it's the fonts and colors that initially grab me. I assume it's because the publishers design similar types of books with similar audiences in mind.

  6. Is Saints and Sensibility already published? What an awesome title.

    Sheena, you are in charge of coming up with my titles from now on.

  7. Oh my god, the cover for Vampire Lover is the most awesome thing I've seen in a long time. I swear I've been hit on by that guy at clubs before... or someone just like him.

    It is indeed fun to see a cover for our stories; too bad I didn't put my synopsis for Graveyard (my novel) up yet. Alas, you snooze, you lose.

  8. Too fun. The covers are great, as is the how-to info.

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  10. Shimmy, these are great. So great, you've inspired me!

    I too love the vampire guy. That's a stock photo? I wonder what it's like to be a stock photo. Never know where I might crop up. =)


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