In preparation for my next e-book release, I’ve been playing with Amazon’s Cover Creator.
This can be found within the Kindle Direct Publishing process, at the point where you would normally upload a cover that you’ve created elsewhere.
Designing with Cover Creator is far, far easier than trying to do it with GIMP or any other such design software (unless you happen to be an expert – which I am definitely not!).
There are only three steps:
- Choose Design – select an image from those available within Cover Creator or upload an image of your own.
There is a reasonable selection of images available and they are split into sections such as Animals, People, Architecture, Food and Drink etc. I found a picture which I felt was a reasonable likeness to the heroine in my tale.
- Style and Edit – select the layout, colour scheme and font.
There are a limited number of each of these. The layout dictates whereabouts on the cover the title, subtitle and author name will appear. Colour scheme and font are self-explanatory.
- Preview – see how your design will look in the Amazon store.
This is the only part of the process that caused me problems. When I tried to Preview I kept getting the message, ‘Cover Creator has encountered an error. We recommend you refresh your browser.’ So I contacted Amazon. They suggested that I use Firefox as my browser instead of Internet Explorer. This worked but first I had to delete everything I’d already done in Internet Explorer and start again.
At any point in the Cover Creator design process you can save the cover and come back to finish it later. And you can design in Cover Creator before your book is ready to be uploaded.
Inevitably there are some disadvantages to Cover Creator, the principle two being:
- The limited number of variables available (i.e. images, layouts, colour schemes etc.) However, I would guess that Cover Creator would become much more difficult to use were there to be an infinite choice. Just be prepared for someone to have a similar cover to yours!
- Covers created within Cover Creator cannot be used outside of Amazon. So if you intend selling on other platforms, source your cover elsewhere. Initially, my next book will be exclusive to Amazon so I’m not going to worry about this at the moment.
Here is a sneak preview of my proposed cover design. Any comments gratefully received!
To put my design in context – this book is intended to be the first in a series of stories (each around 8,000 words long), all of which will be set in The Museum of Fractured Lives. Each e-book will feature a different donor to the museum and tell the story of the object they are donating. Maxine is the heroine of the first book.
It was loosely inspired by The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb which I told you about here. However, I should emphasise that everything in the book is totally fictional. I have never visited the museum.
#1 by Linda on June 25, 2013 - 10:12 am
I really like the idea of your story series – should be a winner! Also like the stylish cover. You’ll be able to use the same basic design for each story as long as you can find the right portraits to fit the different characters.
The only part of your post that had me shaking my head was ‘… you can design in Cover Creator before your book is ready to be uploaded.’ I’d find it too tempting to spend hours creating beautiful covers for books that only exist in my head!
#2 by Sally Jenkins on June 25, 2013 - 11:57 am
Thanks for the positive feedback, Linda. I wonder if I should look at the portraits available in Cover Creator first and then write the story around them?! Or, as you say, would I get too distracted designing the cover …
#3 by juliathorleyJulia on June 25, 2013 - 10:31 am
What I great idea for a series. I remember your blog post about the museum. I like the cover: straightforward and giving plenty of prominence to your name.
#4 by Sally Jenkins on June 25, 2013 - 11:59 am
Thanks Julia – I just hope I can do the series idea justice.
#5 by Jenny Roman on June 25, 2013 - 10:39 am
Thanks for a really interesting post, Sally. I’m trying to put together a short story collection for Kindle, and was worried about cover design – your experience is very encouraging. Thanks for the info – and best of luck with ‘The Museum of Fractured Lives’ series – sounds great.
#6 by Sally Jenkins on June 25, 2013 - 11:59 am
Good Luck with your collection, Jenny. And give Cover Creator a try (but not in Internet Explorer).
#7 by Tracy Fells on June 25, 2013 - 3:39 pm
I find these post so useful Sally. Though I’m not epublishing right now I keep saving them all to come back too at a later date. Also love the story collection idea you’re working on. Cover does look very professional. Just wonder if this is part of a series could you include some artwork or logo to highlight the series. You have the series title but wonder if some other layout scheme or image could be used to trumpet the name of the series? Good luck with this when it comes out.
#8 by Sally Jenkins on June 25, 2013 - 7:07 pm
Thanks for the comments, Tracy. Some sort of logo is a good idea but designing it is outside my capabilities and I don’t want to spend a lot of money that I might never get back via sales. I think for the time being I’ll have to concentrate on keeping the covers uniform.
#9 by Parenting Teens on June 25, 2013 - 5:44 pm
You’ve got my interest already……will be reading it!
#10 by Sally Jenkins on June 25, 2013 - 7:08 pm
Thanks, Parenting Teens!
#11 by Nick Daws (@nickdaws) on June 27, 2013 - 11:52 am
Looks good to me, Sally! The fact Amazon don’t allow you to use “their” covers in other online stores is a possible drawback, but I wonder how important it is? I’m not sure how much it would actually matter if you used a different cover design for Smashwords, for example. I know it’s a branding thing, but I suspect only a tiny number of people would notice, and probably not one of them would care! Just thinking aloud, really.
#12 by Sally Jenkins on June 27, 2013 - 12:36 pm
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Nick. If I decide to make the book available on another platform I’ll probably see if someone on Fivrr.com can make me a very similar cover to the Amazon one.