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Sample Ebook Virtual CoverA quick visit to Amazon.com (or any other website that sells digital books) will clearly show that virtual covers are essential to selling your e-book. People really do judge a book by its cover - so you need to make it great.

There are a couple ways to get great cover art for your ebook. The first is to create it yourself. This is the most time-consuming of the options and most likely to end badly.

Creating Your Own Virtual Book Cover - Most Challenging Option

To make your own cover, use your favorite drawing, painting or graphics software. Draw a rectangle. Add a book spine and pages to give your rectangle three dimensions to look like a closed or partially open book. Fill your drawing with interesting colors or patterns. Add your title and author byline to the front and spine. Embellish and revise ad nausea.

The process sounds simple, but the devil (as they say) is in the details. If you don't have any graphic design experience, this is not going to be easy. The software alone has a steep learning curve.

Still want to try doing it yourself? Well, then you'll be wondering which graphics program to use - and there are many to choose from.

Some standard office programs provide the ability to create graphics, including MS Word. Trying to use one of these programs to make a cover for your e-book almost guarantees bad results. So, don't be tempted - it won't end well.

Professional level, but more complicated graphics software you could use just as well includes Macromedia Fireworks, CorelDraw, or (the gold standard) Adobe Photoshop. Professional cover art designers and graphics artists tend to use the pure, flexible, more complex, programs for their work and there is a very good reason. The results speak for themselves.

A more recent development in the area of DIY cover design is the advent of web-based tools like the ones at Fast E-Covers Online. No more purchasing and installing software - everything is online and you just log in and get to work.

Developing your cover from scratch is do-able, and even you could do it if you were so inclined. But I don't recommend the do-it-yourself approach. This is because, if you're short on software skills, artistic talent, or time or if you would rather focus your energies elsewhere, then there are more efficient ways to get cover art.

DIY Killer Cover Shortcuts

Shortcuts to the build-it-from-scratch approach include using templates, action scripts and style presets that 'plug-in' to a program like Photoshop and automate some of the steps, or using dedicated ebook cover art software.

Templates are available for purchase on the Internet, and some sites even offer free basic templates if you will link back to their site. Buying or borrowing templates will still require you to add your own text and additional graphic elements, so you'll still be investing some time, just a little less time than drawing each line of the picture from absolute zero.

You can also buy specialty ebook cover software from a number of web sites. I don't recommend this either. The software generally is a glorified set of templates, but gives you more choices and more freedom to change this and that. You will still have to do the work of designing your own cover.

If you do design your ebook cover art using free or purchased templates, or free or purchased software, you own the copyrights to the finished artwork and to anything else you design with the templates or programs.

Hiring An E-Book Cover Designer - The Best Option

To get the best results, I recommend that you hire a designer like Vaughan Davidson at Killer Covers to prepare your cover art. There are numerous reasons why this is a better option. When you hire a designer to create your ebook cover art, you will get the following benefits:

  1. You get full copyright and exclusive ownership of the finished artwork.
  2. Professionals with professional skills can turn around your project quickly. Sometimes in a matter of days.
  3. You avoid wasting time fighting with software to create your own artwork.
  4. Designers are familiar with what types of colors, fonts, and overall designs are better for marketability.
  5. An artist can likely also help you create matching graphics for your web page menus, headers, etc.

Artists who design ebook covers generally charge from $50 to $500. If your investment of, say, $100 results in an additional 100 ebook sales, wouldn't that be a good investment? YES! This is why I recommend professionally designed ebook cover art. The cost is completely offset with improved marketability and increased sales.

Cover Art Resources

A full set of resources for creating virtual covers for your e-book are listed on the Recommended Resources Page.

Creating Killer Cover Art For Your E-Book, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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Filed under: Creating E-Books