Ladies and Gentleman, may we present the first edition of our
Magic Indie Author Book Cover Making Guide for Kindle and Kindle Fire
These steps guarantee that you shall sell more copies than Dean Koontz and win more awards than all those fancy pants authors who write about 1,000 years of solitude and other ‘look – there it flies over my head’ things.
Follow these 10 Steps and your success is guaranteed. If not, your money back (What … you didn’t pay any money … all this piracy on the Internet is terrible … keep your book away from it).
Step 1: Don’t spend any money and not more than a few hours of time
This is absolutely critical – the foundation for the Photoshop Greatness we are about to unleash on the world.
People should be buying your book for the words in it. For the story. Not for the pretty cover. Weed out the 99% of people who judge a book by its cover and/or want a beautiful looking cover shown on their shelf (virtual or physical).
Step 2: Disregard the ‘Book Cover Design Expert’
Does that designer think you should not have your name in Comic Sans with blood splattered on it. Who does he think he is? Michelangelo? Use your poetic license and disregard his advice. If he’s standing in front of you smack him hard enough for his green beret to fall onto his Starbucks cappuccino.
Step 3: Find a Copy of Photoshop Online – Real Artists Pirate Photoshop!
With Book Covers, as with Facebook Profile Photos, Photoshop is your best friend. Actually, your best friends with Facebook Profile Photos are Angles. That, however, is a story for another day.
It’s easy to find a copy online. Sometimes you even get helpful bonus software along with your Photoshop download which will track all your bank passwords – just in case you ever feel you have more money than you know what to do with (like that time in fourth grade right before your brother/sister/friendly neighborhood bully helped solve that problem).
Step 4: Find Models for the Cover and take Photos
Not Recommended: Contacting someone like Elite Models or a Romance Novel Cover Hero Agency.
We want gritty realism.
Is your significant other or some member of your family good-looking and blessed with perfect cheekbones?
Well, that rules them out.
Find some average looking man or woman who people can relate to. Find some really bad lighting angle. Then take out your iPhone or Android Phone.
Make sure you take half a dozen shots. You might take a very good one by mistake and we wouldn’t want that, would we.
Step 5: Think deep and long about the Design of the Cover
How will everything fit together as a cohesive whole?
Relax. This is a trick question. We don’t want everything to fit together. We want to shock the user into rapt attention.
Is that really an iguana coming out of the woman’s mouth? Does he have a Top Hat on?
The best thing you can do to ensure an amazing cover is to NOT think about it until you have Photoshop fired up. Let The Gods of Photoshop strike you with divine inspiration.
Step 6: Find a Font
It might not seem important but font choice is very important. With the right font you can make your name glitter like twittering vampires at twilight.
If you search well you can find a font that people can’t even see clearly, let alone read.
Open up Word. Look at the drop down list of Font Choices. Close your eyes. Pick one.
What? It’s not Comic Sans. Don’t worry. There are other extremely beautiful and misunderstood fonts we can use. Just keep trying until you find one that speaks to your inner artist.
Brownie Points: If you manage to use completely different fonts for the title, the subtitle, and the author name. Three Separate Fonts on One Book Cover = Three Times the Creative Impact!
Step 7: Fire Up Photoshop and load everything in
Once you start Photoshop the first thing you want to do is find the right colors and backgrounds. Your ‘perfectly average looking person in an amazingly awkward pose’ photo goes best with a very particular type of background.
Rule 1: The Background should not blend in with the photo, the title, or your name. If everything goes well together, how will anything stand out?
Rule 2: The colors you choose should be in violent opposition with the photo and each other. Make sure you don’t do something logical like choose a gold font against a forest background. You don’t want people thinking the book was written by someone who specializes in anything other than words.
Rule 3: Look at a typical best seller cover. Notice how everything is laid out logically. How boring. We want to show we are a rebel spirit – Go Wild!
Rule 4: Does your 6-year-old niece want to help? Yes please. It’ll be so good for her – a true learning experience. It’s not as if you spent 1.5 years writing this novel.
Step 7b: Save the Photo in the Wrong Size and preferably in Low Quality
This might be hard to believe – However, even after applying so much of your creative ability and individuality, you still run the risk of ending up with a cohesive book cover. One that makes the reader think – It’s so pretty and well laid out. This author must not be exciting and artistic and deep.
Let’s remove any chance whatsoever of people mistaking you for anything other than a writer with a beautiful spirit – one whose book covers shine and sparkle with literary genius run amok. One who has The Gods of Photoshop smiling down upon him in pastel colors.
So, careful now, we don’t want to get it right – Save in a size that is either the wrong dimensions or too small. Don’t choose High Quality – where is the mystery and beauty in that. If your cover is clear and bright and easy to see, then how will your readers recognize that the very depths of your soul have been poured into this book?
Step 8: Step 8? There is no Step Eight – Just Submit It!
Isn’t that great. No Step Eight. Don’t delay. Don’t hesitate.
We’re ready! Don’t think twice (not even once if possible). Get it out to the world!
What’s that you say – You should think of a better title?
Why? Take whatever you have and add in the genre and perhaps even the series name. If that’s not long enough, add in ‘A Novel’.
It’s time to Submit – Press the Button!
The key is to get your book and your shiny new Mary Shelley style Book Cover submitted before a disaster.
Like you realizing the cover doesn’t have enough blood to make it painfully obvious it’s a Murder Mystery (No, having ‘A Murder Mystery’ in the title and a clip art magnifying glass on the cover isn’t enough).
But we’re off on the wrong tangent. The time has come!
You’re Ready! Now Go Forth and Submit!
Coming Soon – How to write a Book Title longer than the Book Itself! And Still Leave the Reader Confused!