You’ve written an ebook, and now you want to publish. Well first things first, you’re going to need a cover. Sure you could hire one of the many talented and capable designers out there to create a cover for you. But if you’re like me, then you’ll want to try and do it yourself.
There are a few ways to go about creating a captivating and engaging cover. In the following blog posts, I will attempt to demystify the process and give you the tools to create just what your book needs: a simple, eye-catching and genre-appropriate cover.
The tips and lesson within can apply to all genres of books, but Romance and Erotica are just what we do around these parts.
Part 4: Advanced Techniques and Templating
Textures and Patterns
Using textures is a great way to add well, texture, to your cover. Perhaps you’re writing a story that would lend itself to a crinkly old paper, or you need to create visual interest by using a pattern.
These are all things you can find easily online, and much like stock photos they have their own licences and many stock photo sites will contain pictures and patterns you can use.
Here are some great tutorials to get you started:
- How to Apply Textures to Images Using Photoshop
- How to Blend Textures with Photos in Photoshop
- How to Add a Background Texture to a Portrait
Similarly, you can import, create and utilise patterns in your ebook creations. Here are a few websites to get you started:
And so much more!
Flourishes and Design Elements
Sometimes your cover is just missing something, and this is where flourishes and ornamentation can help you out. There are many websites that cater to this, and through the endless amount of vector packs you might find something you need.
The above cover uses a decorate divider to separate and highlight text. There is also a gender symbol to identify the kink and a ribbon banner for the genre. Such items can add dimension and interest to a cover.
For another example, If you were writing a historical romance novel you might consider adding some curlicues or similar ornamentation to create a visual style representative of the period.
But flourishes don’t always have to be ornate, perhaps you want a cover look like it has a sticker on it, or maybe a vintage label. Below is a list of resources for you to explore and find ideas:
Or many popular stock photo sights sell vectors and clipart alongside their usual selection of images.
When writing a series, be it erotica shorts, a romance serial or even novels it is important to consider branding. Sure your collection titles with different fonts on each one might be individually brilliant, but a cohesive collection will give you instant brand recognition from one story to the next.
A great way to simplify this is to come up with a template for how you want your work to be styled. When approaching a series, I always try to maintain consistency between the covers and there are several ways to do this.
Above you can see that I’ve used the same background, author font, and title style to tie in all these books. For a series I think visual consistency is crucial. Another way to do this is by using the same stock image, sometimes with a different colour overlay, or by recreating a similar feel across everything.
If you look at a series of books by y our favourite trad published author you will see a consistency across the series that creates its own visual style.
Doing this yourself is easy. When you work with Layers it keeps everything separate, so when you need to create boko two you can slot in a picture and into your cover PSD and you’re golden.
A common technique employed by authors who produce boxed sets or bundles is to style them in three dimensions. A 3D image creates an instant visual link to the quantity offered. Although some authors choose not to go down this path and many retailers even forbid their usage.
But if you do decide that a 3D bundle is something you want to create, then it couldn’t be easier in Photoshop.
Putting it all together couldn’t be easier, all you need is our old friend the Transform Tool (CTRL/CMD + T). To fit the guides of the template all you need to do is hold CTRL while resizing each corner. Holding CTRL allows you to distort the images to fit the guidelines.
Recording actions is an excellent way to automate tasks that you find repeating. Processes from simple things such as resizing to a variety of complex tasks such as creating the 3D book you see to the left.
That’s it for now. There’s a whole world more of techniques, tips and tools that you can use when creating your covers. I hope that this tutorial series has given you confidence in creating your own dazzling covers, let me know in th ecomments section or send me an email.
A lot of what I have talked about can be found elsewhere and in more detail and I hope that you will continue to search, grown and try things out. That’s the only way we all learn!