After I made my decision to publish my novel as an ebook, I needed to focus on the practicalities:
- editing my manuscript
- creating a cover for the ebook
- publishing it to various ebook platforms
I will cover each of these points over the next few posts, but to begin, let's start with the front of the book and work our way in.
In this post I'm going to walk you through the steps I took to create my book cover. After I decided to self-publish, I went back to Karen McQuestion's blog and read her experiences with creating a book cover for her ebooks. She mentioned that she used fotoflexer.com. While there are several websites with free templates for book cover design, many required Photoshop software, which I don't have. I enjoyed working with fotoflexer.com because it was very easy to use and of course, it was free!
I started with this cover, which I created from a picture of pages from my 'red journal' and text I incorporated for the title and author's name. It's okay, but a little naked.
I went back to fotoflexer.com and played around with the special effects. I changed the font of the title to reflect the writing style of the journal, since journals play an important part in the novel. And then I added a border to the outside of the photo to give it an anchor.
Still not happy, but working with the same photo, I played around with the color of the photo by adding a sepia element to the coloring and then a black background for the title to highlight it. This is actually pretty good.
Then, I decided I wanted to try something completely different. So after reading an article about designing book covers on Galleycat.com, I found a great resource for photos at the Library of Congress image collection, which is where I found the lovely picture above. I uploaded it to fotoflexer.com again and added the title, name, and frame. Still, I wasn't completely satisfied.
After several tries, I eventually came up with my final book cover. By playing around with the special effects on fotoflexer.com I was able to change the color of the original, crop the image, and change the fonts so that it became a cover that reflected not only a pivotal scene in the book, but also the mood.
Granted, I'm not a professional, not even close! But I'm pleased with the final product.
In my next post, I'll talk about the editing process...