As I near the completion of my book No Excuses Fitness, I’ve been experimenting with the layout of Kindle book covers.

After some trial and error, and critique and feedback from some folks, I chose this as the final candidate.

No Excuses Fitness Cover
Final Cover

What do you think?

How did I do it, you ask? Here are the tools I used: Unsplash, Dropbox, PicMonkey, Canva, and Painnt. Let me take you step-by-step.

It was surprisingly easy, using an image from Unsplash, an overlay from Canva (free version), the mobile Painnt app and my premium PicMonkey account, saving everything to my Dropbox account.

overlay example

I initially used Canva to research templates for Kindle book covers. Although the free version of Canva has Kindle cover templates, I found it very limiting, unless I bought the premium package. However, I did find a textured overlay that I exported.

Although I have a lot of my own fitness images, I decided to search in Unsplash, a free image collection website. I found a silhouette of a woman running which works for this cover and for what I want to convey. Unsplash allows users to use, edit and publish images without copyright infringement.

silhouette of runner
Original Unsplash Image

A small caveat: using images of faces from free or reduced-fee image collection sites is risky, in my opinion. They are probably OK to use for blogs, and I use these images for my PowerPoint slides, but I would steer clear of using faces in a published book or other works. How do you know the person authorized their image to be used? Lawsuits happen over copyright infringement, so keep yourself protected.

Painnt Image graphic

Once I cropped the image, I used Painnt, (a mobile app that lets you upload images to your choice of filters), to alter the image further. I chose a filter that had similar colors to the above overlay.

In PicMonkey, I used their book cover template and simply used the Canva overlay as the base. I then uploaded the image (as an overlay) and experimented with text and colors with the result you now see in the first image.

If you are a serious photographer and want to easily edit your images and create graphics for blogging and other projects, but don’t want to spend a lot of dollars, I highly recommend the premium package of PicMonkey.

Picmonkey costs $47.88 per year ($3.99/month) which now gives me free access to mobile editing straight from my phone.

I like Painnt for the filter effects. Painnt is a Microsoft product for mobile that costs $12.00 per year and eliminates the watermark.

If you are a Canva user and have a premium account, you should be able to create Kindle covers very easily.

I save all my work in Dropbox. I also pay for a premium Dropbox account which costs $120 a year ($10 a month) giving me 2TB of storage.

Below are the three covers that were voted down. They were all created using the tools as described above.

As a photographer, I enjoy using Adobe LightRoom but I save that for the serious images rather than graphic design projects. Topaz Labs, a photo editor with cool filters, is an add-on to LightRoom. Both of these are on the pricey side. I chose Painnt over Topaz Labs since I don’t use it every day. LightRoom already comes with my educator subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

To create my final book cover, my cost was about $15, not counting the time I put in to do the work.

While on my creative cover streak, I also created a custom logo and watermark for the book and social media. What do you think?


This was created in PicMonkey, too, using text and overlay features. I was able to change colors from the original overlay. Her hair color now matches mine and I like green.

If you delve into the world of creating book covers or other graphic design projects and have a little creativity and patience, then I hope you can find the right set of tools for use. These worked for me.

Eventually I will have to design a paperback cover, too. I believe Kindle KDP has a “how-to” for that. I will keep you posted. And I will welcome any ideas and suggestions.

My launch date for No Excuses Fitness is set for early June 2020. #NoEXFit

Creating an attractive book cover is both an art and a science. Hiring a professional to create your book cover is money well-spent, but if you have skills in photography and graphic design, you can successfully create your own using the tools as I have explained.

And it was fun and a nice break from writing.

…And I need to get back to it!

Who knows? Once I finish this book project, I might delve into book cover design!

© 2019 Copyright-All rights

44 thoughts on “Fitness Friday: No Excuses Fitness Book Cover Reveal

  1. So much to love about the book cover. First and foremost, that it covers a book! Congratulations on your latest book. I am so very proud of you.

    The cover art is lovely. The colors spoke to me first. The soft tones of the blue-green combination. Just beautiful. But I also like golden shade radiating from the runner’s body, or perhaps it is her healthy aura? Uplifting, welcoming, warm.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear Leslie! Still some writing to do, but this was a worthy distraction. Thank you for your feedback about the colors, aqua is a very universal color. I hadnt noticed the gold radiating from the runner, so thank you for mentioning that.


  2. Great cover, thanks for sharing your process! I enjoy using PicMonkey also, although I use Luminar (sort of like Lightroom) for more intricate editing. I have been considering investing in Dropbox to backup my pictures and documents so I’m glad to know that you like it. When I was a Graphic Design major in college – way back when – we didn’t have computers. I love that the new technology is so accessible and relatively easy to use… and fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Terri,
    I like the colors on the cover you picked. I also really appreciate you telling us how you did it. I am also working on a book. All I need to do is figure out how to publish it and your process will be helpful since I plan to do the cover myself too. I don’t have any experience with any of those things, but you make it sound like it should be doable.
    I really like your new logo.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I like your final choice over the other options. It’s an interesting process to try things out, and see what works and what doesn’t. There’s often no right or wrong answer. It’s just what works for what you want to present.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love both, but especially the custom logo, Terri. It’s simple and really stands out.

    I don’t think I would have the patience to create my own book cover, although I do enjoy creating my blog post templates, even though I get frustrated at them sometimes. Thanks for taking us through the steps.

    Don’t forget to come over and promote the new book on my blog. The door is always open to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Terri!

    I definitely prefer and like the version you picked over the other two. The imaginary and colors are great. I love what you did with the tools and options you had available and I’m sure you had fun playing around with it. I wonder whether there is a way to not cover up the entire book jacket/book cover with text, though. Or whether another color for your title would integrate with the background better, but would still stand out enough. Or a smaller font and keep the black letters? This is tricky.

    Part of me looks forward to creating a cover for my memoir (in Canva) myself, but I do believe it is hard to not make it look like a self-published book. If only I could afford a professional for things like that. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for the valuable feedback, Liesbet. You make a great point about the text. This cover image will be for the e-book cover. I haven’t decided on how I will tackle the paperback cover since it involves the back, too. I may go with a similar cover to the one on the far right of the gallery, with smaller text and font colors. Decisions, decisions!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The book cover version you choose is definitely the most appealing cover. I like it! I agree with you that I wouldn’t use faces, or images of people that I do not personally have a written consent from. In the first book I published there is a large photo of a Native American lady performing a ritual inside of the book. I took the photo myself, and I got a verbal consent of using the image, but I never got a written consent and I remember that made me nervous for a long time. Best of luck with the rest of the process of publishing your book. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Terri, I love your new cover, and think you’ve definitely chosen the best and most “clickable” one. I also really like your font selection – especially the unmissable clarity of it. Toni x

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Also the lady’s body is too big in scale – IMHO – Further (if you don’t mind my being honest) I think you also limit the women readers with that image too. It seems to appeal to a a very fit younger woman – perhaps I am wrong but because we come in so many shapes and sizes – the girl (or woman) but she seems young – well she is a certain body type – already Uber fit and -well…
        In the yoga world we grow so weary of the stereotypical yogi used in ads and on covers—// you know the type – the extra lean figure (looking underfed) with low to no body fat and wearing half shirts doing super limbo poses – when in reality most who practice yoga look nothing like the women used for ads.
        And so when I saw that cover -first I thought it might be the story of some lady’s bio – then – my next impression – I just thought it was a book for young athletes – likely female – and maybe the book would be about how to fine tune the workouts – for already fit people –/
        When I continued to read I saw that the book is really for everyone – or wait – the ones not with a routine!! and your goal is to help people get motivated – get moving and find ways to start… and keep it going – right?
        And oh my goodness do we need more of this content in circulation .

        The pros of the cover – the color – that teal with value had interest and was easy on the eye and connected to fitness
        Also – The minimal vibe- although the scale was off and the girl’s outline seemed too large – I could tell you were going for less is more cover.

        Okay / one last comment –
        I was shocked at the irony of you not using your own image after you wrote a book about blogging with your own photos. Still makes me chuckle –
        But I know that sometimes it is more than okay to grab some free stock images! They have rescued me many times and there are some great images out there.

        In closing (can you tell I like to talk about book covers – ha)
        I think you should create a cover that has a few tumbling squares (or circles) with joyful photos inside –
        Keep the teal – but show a few photos that depict the beauty that comes with getting motivated and improving life. It is a big deal…
        And in this day and age where doctors are not encouraging exercise like trey should – and instead they are coming up with weird conditions that keep people from thinking they can get working out…
        Well we need a book like this – for men – women – trans – and especially those with autoimmune and depression

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree with your points and I appreciate the comments and perspective! I do plan to put my image inside the kindle book and on the back cover of the paperback. Thank you, Yvette, for your critical thinking and approach to the cover. I have work to do! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well I was Passing time in the sauna (we have a red light sauna and I try to sit in there every day – it is pretty awesome) and so I had a Little time to expound – glad it was not too much – and of course you can ignore all of it — lol
        Have a great week and be in tour again later

        Liked by 1 person

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