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Adventures in Indie, #4: Canva

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Jan. 31st, 2017 | 09:01 am

Originally published at J. Kathleen Cheney. You can comment here or there.

There’s a last category of cover that I’m using. Self-made covers, more or less.


I only use these on books that I’m planning to use as a giveaway book: giveaway for joining my newsletter, giveaway for my Patreon patrons, or publicity giveaway.  If I’m planning to make money off of it, I’ll pay someone to make a professional cover for me.


Now, I don’t have any talent for visual design, so I’ve actually been relying on a graphics design service called Canva that has a lot of templates for bookcovers in its memory.


Here’s an example:



The cover on the left is their template.


I’ve long struggled with this cover because it’s very hard to find a decent looking illustration of an Asian dragon…that’s white (like the one in my stories). But I ran across this picture of a stone dragon in Canva’s files, purchased it for use for a minimal charge (1$), and swapped it out for the old template. Then I changed the words, moved them a bit, and voila I had a decent looking cover.


It’s not an award winning cover, by any means, but it does give me a cover that I’m not ashamed of putting on my ‘giveaway books’.


I’ve actually got a couple more of those in the pipe, including Fleurs du Mal (a short story that I will be giving out to my newsletter subscribers and my Patreon patrons) next week, and Shared Dreams which I’ll be giving out in March.


(By the way, readers of this post can click over to the “Extras” tab and download/read a PDF version of Fleurs du Mal free.)


The point being that since I’m not rolling in writer dough (still in the red, admittedly), I need to make some concessions to wise funding. So in this case, self-made covers (with a design company’s help) fit the bill of looking moderately professional without being an instance of throwing money into the wind.


I’m trying to approach books as a business investment, but the promotional ones must be less expensive!



Next Week: Editing and Formatting

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Comments {2}

J. Kathleen Cheney

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from: j_cheney
date: Feb. 4th, 2017 02:13 pm (UTC)
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Since I'm switching over to indie mostly (until 2018 at least) I really feel like I have to treat this more like a business. I need to invest money into things that will bring me profit. Things like this (and other promo items like pens and bookmarks) need more careful consideration.

(And since I have a Patreon where people invest money in my writing, I especially feel like I need to use their funds wisely.)

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