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.