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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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