Designing a cover. Have you noticed how a lot of self-published books on Amazon, particularly the ones with 20p price tags, have terrible...

My First eBook: Part 3

Designing a cover.

Have you noticed how a lot of self-published books on Amazon, particularly the ones with 20p price tags, have terrible covers? Like, as you gaze at them, valiantly holding back the tears and vomit, you wonder if the person who designed them has ever seen a printed book in a shop? I'm not sure if what I just said is really controversial - nobody seems to talk about it, so it might be one of those things everyone knows about but no one mentions, like the menopause and the fact that Daft Punk are overrated - but I've said it now, so deal with it. Whenever I see these terrible eBook covers, I think, surely this person could have done better than that, if they're creative enough to write a book?!

With that in mind, I set about attempting to design a cover that a real book cover designer might design, if they'd had only a very light head injury recently. And what I found out is this: it's really hard. Covers like this one and this one just get it so right - font, style, effortlessness... and it's so hard to recreate that yourself, having had no design training at all and with only the shitty kind of free software one obtains when one doesn't want to do pictures and that for a living. So yeah, I apologise, cheap eBook writers of the world. I was so wrong about your design talents.

Anyway, I've come up with a couple of designs I like. I'm going to keep working on it, so there'll probably be another "Designing a cover" post soon, but for now, here they are:

FIRE. (click for full size)

ANGRY SCRAWL. (click for full size)

The problem I've found - and I might be wrong here, feel free to correct me - is that Amazon really don't care what size the cover art you upload is. And nor do Smashwords, as far as I can see (I haven't decided how to publish it yet. Maybe both - these are the two options. Thoughts on a postcard, or in the comments section). They offer guidelines, it must be at least this and at least that; but no clear standard, which would be nice for a computery person like me who likes rules and clear guidelines and all of that bullshit. So I've read a few blog posts and they said that it should be something like 1500x2500 pixels, so that's what I made the above. They look good enough to me, sizewise, but if you've published to Kindle or whatever before, let me know what you did. I want this communication to be two-way. Why don't we talk like we used to?

Where was I? Oh yeah, those two covers. Do you like either of them? Do you have suggestions? Do you like onion rings as much as I do? Answers in the comments or in tweets to me. Thankyouverymuch.

You may also like

1 comment:

  1. First one took me about 5 minutes to read. That might just be because I'm a retard though, wouldn't read too much into it.