Aug 18, 2011

Creating Your Own Book Cover

The first thing you need to decide when making your own book cover is the size. The average size for a digital novel is 6 x 9 (inches). The pixel count is 1800 x 2700. Be sure you get the highest quality photos available. You'll want your cover to ROCK! It's the first thing they will see and it could mean the difference between a sell and them moving on to the millions of other e-books available to them.

I had an idea of what I wanted my cover to look like. That's good in some ways, bad in others. Because I had the picture in my head, it made it very difficult to find the right photo. I scanned hundreds of stock photos on three different sites before finding it. And it's PERFECT.

This is Kira, the main character in my book. Don't you just love her eyes?  Okay, so I love the photo, but right away I see problems. For one, it has an ugly blue background and it's taken in landscape not portrait which will limit how much of the photo I can actually use. But I still love it, so I played with the "watermarked" version until I knew it would work, then ordered the high quality version from DREAMSTIME. I purchased this photo for $8.00. Pretty cheap for a cover, eh? Here it is:

As you can see, I flipped it horizontally. I didn't want her nose on the spine of the book. Something you need to consider when making your own. Think of the placement. Now I needed to crop it and get rid of that background. I use Photoshop CS3 to edit photos, but there are a ton of free programs out there and CREATESPACE, where I will eventually upload my cover, has a cover creator you can use for free.

This was the most time consuming and tedious step. I didn't want to lose the integrity of the photo or all her whispy hairs, so I blew it up and literally erased one pixel at a time along her hair line.

Now for the back ground. I spent several more hours (yes hours) searching for the right background, but didn't find it. Then I remembered a few photos I took when camping a few years ago. Here's the one I used.

I cropped the section I wanted and placed it behind the portrait of Kira. When I was finished, I realized I had yet another problem. UGH! The portrait didn't fill the 6 x 9 inch cover, at least not at the size I wanted. You can't see it very well here, but there is blank space at the top and bottom. I didn't want her face any larger and I didn't want to distort it by stretching it.  What I decided to do was fill the space with black and then texture it a little.  You'll be able to see what I mean tomorrow. Make sure you come back to see the finished product and to find out what title I decided to use. (I've been through a few with this novel)

Have you made your own cover? What was your experience like?


  1. Good for you for making your own cover! I haven't attempted it, but it seems hard. Good luck!

  2. I'm impressed. I used Photoshop a few years ago to create my catalog for my puppet business, but I never got this fancy.

  3. Doing photo editing is tedious and time consuming. I can totally appreciate the work going into this and I'm anxious to see the finished product.