DIY COVER REVEAL: CHALLENGES OF THE GODS

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coverrevealdiyI had an interesting conundrum this week. Bloggers are supposed to have a three-day exclusive when doing a cover reveal for authors. So I asked myself for the same deal but, sadly, I said no.

As a result, this is not an exclusive story. But at least here I can add all my sassy comments, unfunny puns, and, perhaps, also help other people who want to create media for their own cover reveals.

And don’t worry, it’s actually easier than it looks! There are some powerful and easy tools that do most of the work for you. You don’t need photoshop, or even be a photoshop connoisseur to create one.

For instance, the image below was created using Canva’s Twitter format:

Cover Release 1
Canva’s Twitter format

DIY COVER REVEAL IMAGES

You may be surprised, but the book you see on social media is not actually there. At the time I created them, the book wasn’t even published. And yet, I have pictures of it in front of awesome landscapes. How did I do it?

It’s not as hard as it seems, and, more importantly, it’s free. You can do it in a few short steps.

After you have a cover image from your designer (or yourself), you render it as a real book. Don’t worry, there are tools that will do that for you. Next, you find an image to be used as background. Finally, you assemble everything into pictures that will fit every platform: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even on the side of buses if you like it.

  1. Have your cover ready
  2. 3D Render your book.
  3. Find a background image.
  4. Assemble everything
  5. Post it online, bus stops, or just hang it on a brick wall.

4step


1. Have Your Cover Ready

You do need to have the final cover of your book before you proceed. There are also websites that help you create the book cover, but this is not covered in this post. Canva can also be used to create your cover.

Here’s a YouTube video that can help you out:


2. 3D Book Cover Mockups

Next, you need to render your book with a transparent background, so you can apply it on top of of other images.

Like everything else, there’s always a paid option. But there are a few websites that’ll do it for you, like diybookcovers.

On step 1, you chose the type (template) of rendering you want, and if you need a single or composite (e.g. iPad + paperback, or paperback + phone, etc.).

freeonline.JPG
DIY Book Cover 3D Render Step 1

After you click on next, you go to step 2. There, you browse and find your cover, and then click on “upload.”

diystep2
DIY Book Cover 3D Render Step 2

This step is a bit confusing because after you click on “browse,” and after you select your cover, the name won’t show up on the gray box, and you may think you’ve done something wrong. You haven’t! Just click on “upload” and then the filename will show up, and the image below it.

Finally, you click “next” again and you’re almost ready. Step 3 may also be confusing because the image doesn’t change to the new, 3D rendered image as one would expect. Instead, you have the same cover below you and you may think nothing happens. But don’t sweat! Just click on “PNG” and the 3D image will be downloaded for you. Finally you can appreciate how awesome your book is, and, by association, how awesome you are.

diystep3
DIY Book Cover 3D Render Step 3

Note: be sure to download a PNG image with transparency. If you get a JPG, merging it with a background won’t look as good.

For more options, Jenny Tan goes over nine free web tools for creating 3D book mockups.

Some websites require you to do more work, but you can also end up with stunning designs. If you *are* a Photoshop expert, and have Photoshop, here they are:

  1. Cover Vault
  2. Stockindesign
Cover release 4
Canva’s Instagram format

3. Free Royalty Free Images That Are Also Super-Free

Let’s start with finding the right background image. There are many websites that provide all kinds of images, but more often than not they are paid sites. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from buying a picture, and a lot of authors do exactly that. Still, if you want to save some money, or if you do that often, there are images you can use for free.

But be careful: don’t use just any image you find using Bing or Google search. Most of the images on the internet are copyrighted. Instead, be sure you’re using free royalty free images that are also free to share, modify, and use commercially.Here are a few websites where you can find these stock images:

  1. Pexels
  2. Pixabay
  3. Unsplash
  4. Creative Commons
  5. Librestock

awesomelandscape


4. Pictures, Assemble!

At last, you can create your final design. But you still need a tool that’ll help you assemble your pictures, add your text, etc.

A great website for this is Canva. There, you can actually tell the tool which social media you’re going to publish it, and it’ll create a design with the right size. Then, you just upload your background, your 3D mockup, and assemble the final image.Canva allows you to add text, shapes, pictures that you upload, etc. David Gaughran talks about how to create a killer design with Canva in this blog post. Or, if you prefer, Colin Newcomer gives 8 alternatives for Canva, in case you don’t like it.

If using Canva, the first thing you need to do is to create a design:

canvastep1
This is Canva 2.0. Canva 1.0 is slightly different, but you’ll find the type of design you need there as well.

Canva gives you several different designs you can use for all the different media platforms.

Note: always use the correct design for the media platform (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), even if you have to remake it. Otherwise, the picture you create won’t show up correctly: it may be cropped in weird ways.

Next, upload your images.

canvaupload

Don’t use the background option unless you want to use one of Canva’s backgrounds, and not an image you found earlier.

canvarep

Finally, you can select different types of text that you can add to your post.

canvatext

All that is left is just formatting text and moving boxes around. Once you’re done, you can click on the download button and pick an image format.

Cover release 2
Another Canva’s Twitter format because why not

5. Spread the Word

Step 5 is where you post it wherever you want, including online, bus stops, or maybe you just hang it somewhere.

*Just for fun, you can add your picture everywhere using PhotoFaceFun.


Conclusion

The conclusion is obvious. After everything I said,  you must buy my #SFF debut novel on January 7th 2019.

Other than that, don’t let the large number of websites mentioned here intimidate you from getting the best images for your blog, or Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. You don’t have to be a designer to use those tools, and the designs you create will give you more exposure for your story, which is what matters in the end.

Cover Release 3 (Facebook format)
Canva’s Facebook format

Acknowledgments

Thanks to my lovely daughter for the stick figure and help with the post.

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