Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Blank Canva

A few days ago, Carrie wrote this kick-butt post on why authors need graphics (and can make them in Canva) and I'm going to piggy back off that post and talk about how I made a short story cover using Canva.

I'm not as tech-savvy as I should be for being in my mid-30s (And I don't care what my husband says, iPhones are not intuitive). I don't know how to use Photoshop or GIMP and I get frustrated with technology easily. So when I wanted to publish my short story on Amazon, I had every intention of buying a premade cover, even knowing I wouldn't make a return-on-investment for a 99-cent short story for a long time. But then I discovered Canva and saw that they had an option to create a kindle book cover. So I thought, what the hell, I'll give it a shot. Check out the cover below.

The short story is a spooky YA romance and I think this cover conveys the genre.


Not bad, right? I got the image from Canva (it cost a dollar) and I used one of their book cover templates. I played around with font color, trying white to see if it stood out better against the image. It did for my name, but the color didn't work for the title. You can see my surname isn't totally visible in black. I even played around with filters, adjusting the light for various effects. I think this cover works because of its simplicity. One compelling image and simple fonts. Is it perfect? No. But no one who has reviewed the story has complained of the cover art, so I put this in the success column.

Now, I'm going to be totally honest when I say I don't really recommend authors make book covers for full-length novels using Canva because I think the features are too limiting. However, if you want to publish a short story on Amazon or Wattpad, then Canva is a great site to use.

The cover art cost $1. You can't beat that. And I did make back my ROI. The entire short cost $21 to produce (I paid for a copy edit). It's now free on Amazon, iTunes, BN, and Kobo. And it will stay free. One Night Is All You Need was a beloved piece of writing that was just taking up space on my hard drive. A copy edit, a cheap cover and I was able to publish this immediately. It's a nice sample of my work.

In fairness to Canva, this cover is the best I can do with my limited skills. I'm super curious to see what better designers can do with the program. In fact, if you have designed a book cover with Canva, please link to it in the comments. Show off your stuff.

-KGG



5 comments:

  1. Nice! Love how you can self pub on the cheap and still have a quality story if you know the right tricks :-)

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    Replies
    1. Well put. I was fortunate to get free content editing when I got a R&R on the story from a literary journal, who eventually passed. So, I just needed line edits and the cover. I love that story. Glad it's out in the world.

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  2. Thanks for the post, Kimberly! Although I use Canva a lot for graphics, I would have never considered using it for a cover until I learned that you used it for your short story. I agree that it's not right for a full-length novel, but I'm considering a short story and this would be an excellent option. I think you did a great job - and it fits the story well.

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