1. iamanoptimist
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    iamanoptimist New Member

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    making a cover for a book

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by iamanoptimist, Dec 10, 2009.

    Hi Guys,

    a newbee question here - does anyone have any tips on how to make a cover for a book??? I have photoshop - but i have to be honest - i'm not particularly good at making covers!!

    Stupidly vague question i know - but any tips would be grand!:D
     
  2. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    This may be totally irrelevent for whatever your intentions are, and if it is I apologize. I would like to point out though that if you're writing a book that you plan to pitch to a publisher, the cover isn't your responsibility. They like to do that themselves. If you're just doing this for yourself that's a different story. I don't personally have any advice though.
     
  3. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    oh gosh, I remember when Dan was getting his done for his free chapbook he had released on his website. He got a friend of his who makes them professionally to do him one and then he just had to put it with the chapbook and convert it to PDF and then put it on his website. Was such a painful process.

    Can I ask why you want to make your own cover? Are you self publishing?
     
  4. iamanoptimist
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    iamanoptimist New Member

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    Cheers for that dude.

    It's more for fun really. me and a mate have made a website for writers where they can write online - and i've got a place to put up some pictures. I'm just rubbish at graphics and wanted to know if anyone has any tips on how to make good looking graphics if you are almost totally inept at graphic design!

    Yeah - self publishing. i find writing a good release for me, but i've never been good at pictures - and i feel bad harassing mates who can do it!
     
  5. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah fair enough. I don't opt for the self publishing route, my partner only did his chapbook as it was an already published story.

    You could always work on trying to submit it to a publisher. But otherwise, I would suggest having a look at some small fiction presses book covers and have a look at what they put on their covers. Don't copy of course, but if you have a look, you may pick up some ideas on what you can do for your own.

    ralan.com has a list of publishers on there, have a nosey around their sites, and see what their covers are like. I do know that Skullvines takes photographs and uses them for their cover pages. You may be able to do something along those lines. It's what I'd do if I had to do one myself to be honest.

    Dan had photos taken for Samhane as well, just they made the cover and image red and blurred a bit. THere is lots you can do with photographs, so maybe that is a path you could go down to save yourself a lot of hassles.

    Hope this helps a bit.
     
  6. Destin
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    Destin Senior Member

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    My advice would be to look up free stock images. Make sure you don't copy anybody's hard-earned artwork and self-publish a book with their work on your cover.
    After you find a nice picture, crop it to the right size.
    Then use a new layer in photoshop and drop on some text (the title and the author of course.)
    Google "layer style text" and follow any of the number of the tutorials that show up to make your text look spiffy. Or leave it plain, it's up to you.

    Voila, a simple cover.

    Doing much more would require some research into photoshop. Tons of info is readily available through google search.
     
  7. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have used many different programs for building book covers and I think the very best one is BookCoverPro. It is low cost, easy to operate and produces professional output.

    Their program for setting up covers calculates spine width from page count, incorporates proper bleed, converts RGB to CMYK color formats and produces several output formats as demanded by professional offset printers. In addition, they offer a wealth of customizable template covers, clip art and layout suggestions. You might try out their "free trial" offer.

    Be sure to avoid copyright problems, as others warned above. You can't use pictures off the web or even pictures of people at random without copyright or proper legal permission. On the other hand, you can shoot your own digital pictures (at least 300 dpi) and use them on your cover or you can purchase an artwork license from a graphics artist to reprint their work. You can also hire a graphics artist to produce your vision...that's what I did for my sci-fi novel cover art. You can see the art at my website listed below.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I see they are Mac friendly. Excellent.
     

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