INSIGHTS

Book Covers: The Secrets

You have completed and are in the process of completing your book, but before you can self-publish it you will need few more things like your book blurb for the platform where it will be published, and the book cover, which is by all measures the most important marketing tool you have to sell your book. So how do you get your book cover, do you have some ideas that you need to translate into a book cover, or do you have no preference and want to rely fully on some book cover designer to help you.

Either way, you will have to do a lot of research, and you will have to carefully study all your options, and particularly the cost in time and money. No matter what you will learn from the present blog know that solutions and costs change by the minute, so take this knowledge and run with it, but make sure you do your research and always try out things yourself before giving up and paying for it.

Do it yourself or pay for it?

So how do you decide to create your book cover yourself or pay for it? Only you would know the answer, but to help you consider the following particularities:

  • - If you are planning to write a lot more books and you know you have in you to produce many more books, then it would be beneficial to learn the skill of book cover creations, as you will see later making a book cover is not really something of the realm of the impossible for a beginner, but as any creative work the quality of a work done by a professional will almost always outdo the work of a beginner, but a beginner could very well complete a work that will answer the requirements of a book cover and with limited effort.

  • - If your time is too valuable and you are making considerable income, then do not spend your expensive time learning a skill you can pay for, a simple book cover will probably run you between $200 to a few thousand dollars.

  • - If you have the time and you don’t mind learning a skill that could be very valuable to your career later even if you have the money to pay for your books, then I personally advise to learn the creation of book covers. Most self-published authors create their own book covers.


If you want to pay for it:

You did your research and you find out you can afford to get your book cover done by skilled book cover designers, so what do you do next? The best way is to do it via platforms that specialize in the type of work you want to be done. Two types of platforms always come to mind: Professional and Semi-Professional.

  • Professional: are companies with their own army of designers, they offer jobs of all types from simple book covers to the entire process of editing, marketing, and publishing the book. This type of company will be the most expensive, but their work is rarely questioned.

  • Semi-Professional: with this type of platforms, you could test your luck, either you will meet a book designer that will blow your mind with the work quality and timeframes for a mere $300, or you will experience the worst luck and spend few thousands for a work that doesn’t rise to your expectations. It is risky but worth the try if you have the money and willing to try your luck. Few platforms for this type of work are Freelancer.com and UpWork.com, Foverr.com of course there are many others, but these are the most famous.

  • I personally started with Fiverr because you can tap in to very affordable ($20) to some international hidden talents, my very first experience paying for a book cover was via fiverr.com ($30 for the premium package and gave a tip of $15) and with a designer from Sri Lanka, it took him 12 days to do my cover that I have found the stock photos myself via depositphotos.com and shutterstock.com, and I had made a cover myself (see image below with the submarine, I gave the designer this rough idea, of course the cover I made wasn’t ready for use, it was a simple rough idea but it helped the designer put it together, I even created my own logo for the series (the two crossed swords with the futuristic background) and asked him to put it in my cover, below the cover tithe robot is what he made for me (I found the images myself and told him where to put them, the girl was mentioned in this first book but she is the main character is book 2, which really expands on the notion of the citizen servants, head to the characters page in my website for more info about the characters of this book series and others: samborgui.com/)

If you want to do it yourself:

You decided you are willing to test your creativity in making book covers yourself. So where do you start? Here I can help you, if you are willing to pay few hundreds of dollars to pay for some sophisticated software and spend some more dollars trying to learn it, or paying for the training then I advise you to simply forget about it and just pay a freelancer to make your book cover. But if you want it done free, then you probably would want free software, and the software you will need should be a good photo editing software, where you can mix, and create layers, merge pictures and backgrounds, in other words. unlimited creative possibilities.

This is the moment I will share with you what I have learned in my day job (Cyber Security Professional and Academic): DO NOT DOWNLOAD FREE SOFTWARE FROM SHADY WEBSITES, if you find that some software actually costs money and you found it for free somewhere else than know, my friend, that there is nothing free in this world. That free software is probably loaded with malware, if you want your computer to be a victim of ransomware, or don’t care about your written book of your private document and identity being sold to the highest bidder then go ahead and download that awesome free software, but if you are careful then you better get a trial from the official website of that software and delete it before the trial runs out.

I took the liberty of showing you below two of my projects from the beginning to their final state (used Gimp, which is a free open source software, to make these book covers, see below the tools I wanted to share with you so you can experience yourself, but I should tell you, I personally like Gimp because of its simplicity and the abundance of tutorials in YouTube that show you how to use it)

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Get open-source software

JT Pennington wrote an article on opensource.com about the best open source photo editing software, and he outlined the following 14 photography editing tools, each one of these tools names is hyperlinked, check it out

1. Gimp

2. darktable

3. LightZone

4. Shotwell

5. Raw Therapee

6. digiKam

7. Photovito

8. UFRaw

9. Fotoxx

10. Rapid Photo Downloader

11. F-Spot

12. Photoflow

13. Pixls

14. Hugin

But again, do your research

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Free high-Quality Stock Images

Whether you wish to create a website, a presentation, or an educational report, visual images are always a vital component.. However, if you use a copyrighted image, it can make you get into a legal hassle. On the other hand, hiring professional models or taking photographs on your own can be an expensive affair. Fortunately, we have the option of stock images available that you can easily get for free or at a very reasonable price.

Free stock images come in handy for bloggers and website owners as they can source these photos and use them as featured blog images. They can alternatively use it on social media or even within articles, guides, and blog posts. It is especially beneficial for those bloggers who have just created a blog and want their site to look awesome.

In the forthcoming sections of this write-up, we have provided a list of free image download sites. These are some of the best places to find attractive, high definition photos for your blogs, social media, or websites. The amazing thing is, you can use the stock photos from these websites as per your requirements.

So, without much ado, let’s get started.

Table of Contents

1. Pixabay

2. Pexels

3. SplitShire

4. Gratisography

5. Life of Pix

6. StockSnap

7. ISO Republic

8. Foca

9. Reshot

10. Shot Stash

11. Flickr

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12 Free Graphic Design Tools for Authors

(Thanks to David Gaughran)

  1. Canva

  2. Book Brush.

  3. GIMP

  4. Stencil

  5. Coolers.co

  6. HTML Color Codes

  7. Tin Eye

  8. PSD Converter

  9. 3D Cover Creator

  10. Remove BG

  11. SmallPDF – PDF to JPG converter

  12. ImageOptim

  13. Canva Pro

Lastly

These 12 graphic design tools are Outlined by David Gaughran. For details click here to read more of what David offers.


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Using Resistance to Build Strength

(Knowing yourself and your psychology will unlock your hidden Powers)



Success doesn't come without struggle, without challenges, without hard work. In this book, we will talk about struggle as if we are talking about training to lose weight. We will talk about it not to overcome it but to embrace it, to learn its value and to love it. We will talk about the drivers of the struggle: what do we want from this life, and what others want from us? Can we deliver and why not?

For so long, people saw resistance in everything to be a bad thing. Only lately we have learned that resistance creates strength, adversity creates inner force, and above all, they create the need to cope with it all. In this book, we will talk about the facets of struggle that a person needs to understand about themselves first before they can really find their inner forces, those drivers we always seek that will help us lift mountains.

The topics of this book are:

A. Explore

1. Explore The Self

• What do we know about ourselves?

• Self-Access using real psychological metrics

• Record the difference between what we know about ourselves and what we found out using scientific self-assessments

• Synthesize our character

2. Explore your Environment

3. Explore the Rules you are Under

4. Explore Your Limitations, (Mental, Physical, and interactive

B. Decide

1. Determine your future self (study others, envision, brainstorm, and decide)

2. Determine your inner drivers for success

3. Determine your own rules to achieve the future self (embracing struggle must be at the top)

4. Respect other's rules (societal, legal, freedoms.

C. Act

1. The secret water (sticking to the rules no matter what the hardest process is, learn from the power of water and the futile rock resistance)

2. You can convince yourself this is how.

3. Create the plan to build the new habits

4. Mold the new habits

5. Enjoy the minor victories

6. Build on momentums

7. Stop, rest, recover, and self-assess

8. Repeat.

D. Share

1. Share The knowledge

2. Share The best practices

3. Share The wealth

4. Share The joy

5. Build the Society of Tomorrow