So many of my readers are asking if I make my own covers. Yes, I do make them. Next question is where. Previously, when the site it still running, I used Picnik . That’s one of my favorite websites. And gladly, when the ants invaded them, they presented a new one created by the same amazing engineers. Kudos to you guys. And it’s no other than http://www.picmonkey.com/. So further more, some asked how do I make them? Well, that’s somewhat hard to explain in words. So instead of telling you guys how, I’d show you instead.
First off, you have to find a picture. For this one, I use http://favim.com/. Someone also recommended http://weheartit.com/ to me. I haven’t used it yet. Either one, you just need a picture. So in choosing your picture, ask yourself, what will your story be about. Of course, you can’t put spaceships in your cover if you’re gonna do a story about let’s say a nerd and a jock, unless they’re in NASA or something. So if it’s about candies, then search a picture of candies. Sometimes, listing keywords can also help.
Before, when I offered free cover making I always ask the one requesting for at least five keywords for his/her story. In that way, I’ll know what pic to use if ever I can’t fully picture out something from the summary. So maybe your keywords are candies, teddy bears, flowers, etc. Then use those same keywords to search for a picture. Somehow, a decent pic that will catch your attention will appear.
I’d like to make the current cover of Getting It Straight as the example but I can’t seem to find the feature that I used in order to lighten up the color. I used Picnik for that one. And sadly, there’s no Picnik now. The lead girl is a gender bender. But finding one pic like that is hard. So I searched for school uniform and I found this one:
But instead of using that as the example I’ll use this pic of Ariana Grande who will play the role of Fiona Pearce.
So we have an image, next step is to find a user friendly editing site. It’s easier to create a cover if the site itself is easy to use. So for me, I choose http://www.picmonkey.com/ (now I sound like some PokeMaster here). So first, you have to upload your image. And then crop it. It’s easier to do this now than later. In this way, you can balance things out just right.
In cropping your image, it’s somewhat safe to not put the center image in the ‘center’. Confusing? Why? If the image is in the center, where will you put your title? Unless your title is on the most upper part or down down, it’s safe to put your image on the side and the title adjacent to it. You don’t want to put your title directly to your center image. It will ruin the whole thing. You’re like putting cheese over cheese (I don’t think I make any sense, haha). It’s something like this:
So here’s how I did mine, I put Ariana on the side to leave just enough space for my title.
So now that we have the image, it’s time to play with colors. Now go to the flask at your left. From there, you choose any effect you want. Or if you don’t want to, you can skip it. So for this, I choose Orton and adjusted the features (Bloom, Brightness, Fade). Don’t hesitate to try. There’s always the undo and even the redo button below. So when you’re satisfied with it, you can now proceed to putting your title.
Of course, in every good cover, the title’s always emphasized. So how can you emphasized it well? For me, I use the technique of adding a background to the words to make it more readable. Remember, your reader do not see a whole 300×500 image. They’re only seeing a thumbnail. So picture your title to be readable at a thumbnail size. If you’re having trouble reading them while editing, then expect it to be a lot worse when you use it in Wattpad. So as I said, I put backgrounds for the title.
I read this thing before, there’s also the so called Right hand or Left hand perspective. If you’re right handed, you prefer to look at things that are placed at the right side and vice versa. Since the greater part of the population are right handed, maybe it’s safe to choose right over left. So why not apply it to your titles? I think it helps sometimes. But yeah, it’s still up to you. So here’s mine:
Here’s a tip in choosing what colors to use. Look at the picture. In my pic, Ariana is wearing a shirt with blue stripes, thus the blue box. And her lips are pink, thus the pink box. The yellow box is from the color of the straps of her shoes and the green box is from the color reflected in her eyes. In that way, you’re not using contradicting colors. Another technique is remembering the color combination which you learned during elementary.
If you’re unsure, it’s always safe to use black, gray, or white. Those colors match everything. There’s also the technique called fade wherein you lighten the background.
Just remember that if your background is of a light color or you faded it, be sure to use full colored wordings. And vice versa. If you have a dark colored background, use lighter fonts.
So next stop, we put the words. Choose what you like. Tips: If your story is humorous, use a fun font. If your story is a historical fiction with some serious themes, then use a heavy cursive thing or stuff. And then, don’t forget to accessorize. You can’t go to a party without a pair of earrings or a necklace.
In accessorizing, there’s one golden rule. Too much is ugly and too little is dull. So how do you get it right? Balance it. It’s like you’re dressing up. Five bracelets in one hand doesn’t look good, right? It’s the same. Look at this:
See? There’s a heavy feeling around the cover. And you don’t want that to happen to yours.
Some other tips? Try experimenting.
Here’s my final cover:
So that’s how I do covers and some tips from a non-pro. Hope it helps. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.
Link for Getting It Straight: http://www.wattpad.com/4431713-getting-it-straight