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Write & Publish a Book Yourself: Step #5 Creating the Cover

Now that your manuscript is finished, you need to design a cover to showcase your book. This is the part that will sell the great content inside. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Well, neither does your novel.

Designing Your Book Cover

If you do not have any design skills, this may be one of the more difficult steps of publishing your own book. Just remember that less is more. You do not need a really fancy cover to get someone’s attention; it should be simple and bold.

A tip from a graphic designer (my college degree): every now and then during the process, get up from your computer and walk across the room to view your design. How does it look? Sometimes we get caught up being so close to it that we forget to look at it from another perspective. Think of the books that you have purchased in the past. What did you like about the cover or didn’t like? Mimic the design that compelled you to buy a book. I personally like to place my professional photos on the front or back of my books because I’m branding myself. It also gives a human touch to my advice so others can relate to me. Deciding if you want your photo on the cover depends on the kind of book you’re writing. If the story is about depression, you wouldn’t want a bright-eyed, smiling face on the front. Make sure the images accurately portray the content.

Using Photoshop for Book Covers

Since I am a graphic designer, I do have an extra talent that allows me to design my own book covers. Nonetheless, you can do it too. I have used Photoshop and Illustrator on my first three books. Photoshop is the best tool to use because you need layers and to know the resolution of your images. As I spoke about in the last chapter, you want a minimum 300 DPI (dots per inch) for printing purposes.

In my book I will walk you through the step by step tutorial of creating your book’s cover using Photoshop (for free…even if you don’t have Photoshop or have never used it before!) and uploading it to CreateSpace: How to Write and Publish a Book Yourself.

Tara Richter Author & Publisher

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