I know. Covers are hard.
That’s what we’re being taught, and maybe that’s also backed up by experience with graphics programs. I’ve been there.
There’s one graphics program that I could work intuitively. And I still use it from time to time, even though it is severely outdated. I hated all the others.
I hated Photoshop. I hated GIMP.
Until I made the decision to learn cover creation.
And using the rules of Profit First, I decided to go with GIMP, because it is free, and because it’ll work in Linux. (I’ll shift my computer to Linux eventually, so I keep that in mind.)
GIMP is not exactly user-friendly, and there is a learning curve. But it is very powerful, and certainly doesn’t have to fear a comparison to Photoshop. And there are tutorials which make it much easier.
Why did I make that decision?
The truth is that it’s easy to outsource cover creation. There are many, many offers, and for quite a while I was using a service for formatting and cover creation. It was comfortable to hand over my manuscript and some money and get a book to upload in return.
But I wanted to be in full control of my books. I wanted to be able to fix a typo when a reader told me. Which I couldn’t when I couldn’t change the files myself.
I created my first full indie book earlier this year.
Everything in it is my own. The text, the formatting, the cover and even the picture I used in the cover. The exception is the font I used, it’s a free one with acknowledgement.
And I can tell you that it’s an absolutely amazing feeling to actually do this on your own. It gave me a sense of power I had not known before.
It’s a mindset thing, really.
And it’s totally worth the learning curve for GIMP. Or any graphics program you choose to use.
Remember, most of the pictures you see on a book title have not been created by hand. They come through Shutterstock, Pixabay, Adobe… and are combined to create a pleasing title that fits the genre. You can learn to do that.
Or you can decide to outsource that part of your indie business if you think it takes too much time away from writing. That’s the beauty of being indie.
But today, I want to encourage you to give it a try. Just remember that the actual title of your book should be readable in thumbnail. And that it should fit your genre.
It is quite doable.
Here’s some tapping to release those limiting thoughts about cover creation.
Even though I believe cover creation is an arcane art and it takes years of study to do it well, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to play with a graphics program and see what I can come up with.
Even though those covers look so impressive that I can’t even imagine being able to create one, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to know they are made by combining a number of pictures to make them look so impressive.
Even though it feels scary to try to create my own cover, especially since I won’t be able to match what I see in my mind, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to create an imperfect cover and just play with it for now.
How do you feel about creating your own cover?
How do you feel about learning to handle new programs?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.
Image Source: F. Moebius
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