Learning a New Trick: Cover Creation

This old dog learned a new trick over the Thanksgiving holiday: how to create a book cover using Microsoft Word. Now, I will be the first to tell you design is NOT my forte, however, things all just came together and I spent a pleasurable two days tinkering with the design elements, watching Youtube videos, and cursing loudly as my learning curve escalated.

It really began because a friend of mine said she’d do the cover for my Christmas novella. She’s done the covers to my other two Christmas stories, so I thought it would be great. Then the image I got for the couple was difficult for her to drop the background from. My daughter volunteered (ok, I volunteered her) to do that pic, and then a pic of the mistletoe ball. She sent the couple to me to send to my friend, and I thought, “Hey, I think I could do this.” (That is exactly how I started to write romance in the first place. LOL) So I had the elements, I’d messed around a few weeks ago with creating a meme, so I knew a very tiny bit about what to do, and so I just started to put the elements together.

My first mistake was working in PowerPoint. It works fine for memes, but doesn’t have the correct size for covers. I grabbed a free trial for Photoshop, and promptly got bogged down because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. So I went to Youtube to find a video to teach me. That didn’t work either—still too complicated for my simple mind. And then I saw a video for making a book cover using Microsoft Word. I knew I could work in Word, since I’ve done nothing but that for years.

And voila! After two days of dogged stick-to-it-ness, I now have a cover that I think is not half bad. Have I learned how to design? No. I will never be a designer. But for an author with little money at the moment, I think it will work.

I did check out other Christmas romance titles and looked at things like placement and color and fonts. From the video, I learned about things like dropshadows, and text boxes, and how to remove background (such a neat trick!). And my wonderful author friends on my loops have given me invaluable advice for each iteration along the way.

AKBTM15So without further ado here is my brand new cover for A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe, my soon to be released Regency Christmas romance. Next week I’ll have an excerpt for you—and maybe a buy link!

Happy Holidays!

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