Frustration breeds resourcefulness.
I saw it with my 6-year-old child who was desperate to watch a cartoon one morning after I’d had too much wine and too little sleep (a one-off, of course 😉 ). I told him that if he wanted to watch TV, he had to figure out how to do it on his own…and miraculously, he did! Ever since then, he operates our Apple TV better than I do—which might not have been the greatest idea I’ve had, but which had seemed great at 6 o’clock in the morning.
What does this have to with book cover? Everything! Yesterday, I decided to resuscitate the novels I’ve filed away inside my computer, and offer them for free on Wattpad. Considering I didn’t want it to cost me too much money (book cover designers are expensive and so are all those shows on the Apple TV), I attempted to make one all by myself.
First, I downloaded a picture from Dollar Photo Club (you pay 1$ for he rights to use a picture). See original picture above.
Second, I downloaded 2 free fonts, 1 for my name + tagline and 1 for the book title. This took a few hours, not because I’m particularly slow, but because there are just tons and tons of amazing fonts.
Third, in Adobe Photoshop, I layered the writing over the picture, and then I cropped the picture in a neat rectangle. And then I sat back and looked at it and thought, “Eh…now what?”
And that’s when I discovered something magical…Actions! While browsing the Internet to understand how to create filters in Photoshop, I unearthed the existence of ready-made, downloadable filters. I found free ones that replicate what you can do on Instagram, and I found bundles you can purchase for 5$. It was a revolutionary moment in my life, and in the life of my book cover image.
Oh, and having some gifted writer friends like Erin Hayes definitely helps. See below her take on my cover. Darker.
You should see her latest book cover, Death Is But a Dream…It’s gorgeous. And she did it herself! I’m going to try my hardest to get her to reveal her tricks.
And then I had to make it look like a paperback book of course. Thanks to Boxshot, in a few clicks, it turned into this:
I’m sure someone else can make it better than I can—I’m very far from knowing my way around Photoshop—but I thought the result was neat enough to display as the digital cover of my paranormal romance, which you can find for FREE here.