Thursday, 28 March 2013

Book Cover (Test Run) + How I Designed It

So, I think I've pretty much sorted a book cover now. I'm going to keep going with the story I'm writing now, because if I keep going the way I'm going, I'm never going to be happy with anything. So, I went out and designed a cover myself, the photo courtesy of Morgue File. I recommend them because a lot of images are free and as long you alter the image in some way, no attribution is necessary.

But first, a bit of background. I'm no art designer and have no art skills. So, this has been designed via Microsoft Publisher 2007 and Paint. It's probably the best I'm going to manage on my own, with the exception of changing words, background and image without spending money. Money, sadly, is hard come to by at the minute, but I'd love to be able to afford a cover artist if I could.

So, here's the cover, though please note the title isn't the proper one (rough draft is still being written and I haven't settled on a title yet). The rest however, like the image, background and text type I plan to use:

So, does it look fine? Feedback is welcome.

How did I design it? That's simple. I opened up Microsoft Publisher 2007. I looked at help there and then typed in 'background'. I was then shown some backgrounds I could download. I chose one. I added the background as an image and resized it so it covered the page. I then inserted the photo from Morgue File. Again, free to use without attribution necessary as long as you don't use the photo as it is. Then, I resized the photo. I then added the text via Word Art in Microsoft Publisher 2007 and I made sure the text had a black outline. That can be done by right clicking the text after it's been inserted. I then saved it as a JPEG.

I then opened the saved file in Paint. From there, I set the dimensions (using Amazon's recommended size) and I resized the image until there were no white edges shown. Or until they were barely visible.

What I did is very easy to do for practically anyone. The only trouble is finding a nice image that's free to use. But you can always try and go without said image. There's just the risk it won't look as good.

Now then, when the book cover is viewed on Amazon's publishing site (where you preview your book, set price etc.), the text doesn't look that nice. Just unclear really and it's only really my name. But when it's viewed via the Kindle program on my laptop, it looks fine. So, hopefully it'll look fine when people view it in the store.

Hope this helps others looking to design a cover without spending money (as long as you have Microsoft Office) and feedback is welcome, as I'd hate to use a cover for my first book that people don't find attractive. Any changes can easily be made.


  1. Not sure what you're trying to communicate with the imagery, but to me it says isolation... What are you going for with it?
    Oh and great tip about Morgue File. Thank you.

  2. Isolation is what I want to communicate, indeed. :) Basic gist: Family on vacation at a cabin comes under attack by wolves and they're cut off. Or well, maybe not a vacation. I've still got to work out some kinks, story wise, with the rough draft still being written. Doesn't feel right that the family's there for a holiday. But yeah, that's the basic idea.

    Not really aiming for anything complicated with the story. But I'd like to nail tension, some horror elements and how the family copes with being trapped, isolated from the rest of the world.

    It does allow me to add a bit of commentary on hunting though.