This is a lovely image I licensed from Fotolia (see below). I’ve loaded it into Photoshop, ready to create an ecover
Want to create a cover for a Kindle ebook – or for a PDF ebook?
Ebook covers are easy to create, and they’re lots of fun to create too. I’ve had several questions about covers from 30-Day Novel-Writing Challenge members, so let’s look at creating ecovers.
To create covers for your ebooks, you need:
Royalty-Free Images (images to which you’ve bought a license to use in your creations)
A Graphics Editor (to create your ecover design)
Everything on the Web is copyrighted, unless the site specifically mentions that the material is in the public domain. Therefore, you can’t just grab an image and use it for your ebook covers. I know that many new writers do this… DON’T.
Not only will it be embarrassing if someone discovers (they will) that you’re using images to which you don’t have the rights, it can be expensive. You can be sued. So, please: only use royalty-free images, to which you’ve purchased the rights you need.
There are many “stock photography” sites which offer royalty-free images. Here are a couple which I use.
Dreamstime offers a huge selection of images, to which you can license various rights.
On that webpage, you’ll read:
Royalty- Free License of use of Non-Watermarked Images and Restrictions
The high-resolution images that you download under the regular Royalty Free (RF) license may be used to make fine art prints, on a web site, in a magazine, newspaper, book or booklet, book cover, flyer, application software (apps) or any other advertising and promotional material, in either printed or electronic media, as long as the item in which the image appears does not contradict any of the restrictions below.
Once you’ve purchased the images you need to create your cover design, it’s time to create that design.
Ecover Design Applications (Graphic/ Image Editors)
You don’t need a fancy image editor like Photoshop, although it’s nice if you do have it. I love playing with Photoshop. 🙂 There’s a free editor, GIMP, which works well – see below.
You can make your cover image any size you choose. However, I usually make my images 600 x 800 pixels. That size will work for Kindle ebook covers you create, as well as for PDF covers.
Now let’s look at free, or inexpensive options for creating ebook covers.
My Ecover Maker (Web-based, easy to use)
My Ecover Maker is both easy and fun to use. It’s a Web-based application, so you don’t need to download any software. It works in your Web browser, and it provides both images and backgrounds, although you’ll probably want to upload your own royalty-free images. Using your own images creates nicer designs.
The GIMP (download, powerful, with a learning curve)
If you want a professional image editor, but don’t want to splash out on Photoshop, use GIMP. It’s completely free to download and use, and is available for Mac, Windows, etc.
Be aware that the GIMP has a learning curve. Check YouTube for tutorials; there are many of them. Expect it to take you at least a week or two to become familiar with the program. It’s powerful, and is worth the effort.
Paint.net (Windows, free, powerful and easier to use than GIMP)
Paint.NET is a powerful Windows image editor, and it’s free. I haven’t used it in a couple of years, but from memory, it’s huge fun, and easier to use than GIMP.
Acorn (Mac, inexpensive)
Although I use Photoshop, I still find myself using Acorn every day. It’s nowhere near as powerful as Photoshop, but it’s fast and easy for quick image edits.
Acorn has layers, so creating quality ebook cover images is easy with this program, and the learning curve is short.
Can’t be bothered? Hire someone to do your ebook cover images
I adore creating ebook covers because it’s fun. However, it does take time. If I don’t have the time to mess around, I hire someone.
You’ll find many people online (use Google to search) who’ll create ebook cover images for you.
Fees range from $5 (at fiverr) to $50 to $150 if you use a professional designer.
Turn Your Words Into Gold: Write and Sell An Ebook In Just Eight Hours
Here’s what I love about writing ebooks: you write them once, and they keep on selling forever.
I know several writers who’ve taken to the Kindle platform like the proverbial ducks to water. One writer friend turns out a new Kindle ebook every month, like clockwork. The last time we spoke, she had 11 ebooks selling — and her income is rising month by month.
Another writer friend mixes writing her own ebooks, with writing ebooks for others. Currently she’s been commissioned to write a biography, and a family history, for the same client. She’s finding it huge fun, and she’s making more money than she’s ever made.
The benefit of writing and selling ebooks is that once written, they can keep on selling forever. Would you trade eight hours for an income stream?