My DIY Book Cover Blunders

Author Bruce FottlerGuest Post
by Bruce Fottler

Five years ago, I finished my very first novel and it needed a book cover. Lacking the funds to hire a designer, or even purchase a pre-designed cover, I wondered: How hard could it be to do it myself?

Six cover revisions later, I can confidently conclude that I asked a foolish question while embarking on a long road of awkward misfires. I learned some tough lessons, and hopefully you can avoid my mistakes. Continue reading “My DIY Book Cover Blunders”

Top Five Ways to Have an Awful Book Cover

BAD BOOK LARGEI’m constantly looking at book covers as part of my “job” here at Indies Unlimited. On top of that, I run into authors posting their covers in groups all the time, asking for input. So I see a LOT of covers. And most of them all have the same issues.

What I find most ironic is that the same people keep posting book covers with the same problems. I don’t get that. Please allow me to make something perfectly clear. And I’m not just making this up to be difficult or bossy or right. I’m speaking from experience. I used to provide my own cover art to my small Indie publisher – and because of that, I’ve taken some lumps. But I’ve also learned some important things about book covers. I share this knowledge freely, to help my fellow Indie authors. Book covers are important. We all want to make a good first impression. Book sales count on it. Continue reading “Top Five Ways to Have an Awful Book Cover”

What I Learned as a Book Cover Contest Judge

really bad book cover artAmong my favorite internet acronyms is AFLE. Translated loosely, the letters stand for another freaking learning experience. (Indies Unlimited is a safe-for-work site, okay?) I don’t know about you, but for me, that acronym perfectly sums up this whole indie author thing. No matter what your background, there’s going to be some component of this jack-of-all-trades business in which you’re going to need a crash course. Or professional help.

Art is one of those things for me. In school, I was an A or B student in everything but art. (Well, and physical education. But so far, nobody’s expected me to do pushups for my books, thank goodness.) So imagine my dismay when I realized I was going to have to design covers for my books. Luckily, I have a couple of friends who are much better in graphic arts than I am, as well as two daughters who know their way around Photoshop. I treasure their advice to this day. Continue reading “What I Learned as a Book Cover Contest Judge”

Book Cover Design In a Rush

rushing to publish running-498257_640Every year, you know what happens: authors rush to get a book out before the holidays. Many times, that means a quick book cover job that leaves a lot to be desired. Don’t be that guy. “But I don’t have time to do a professional-looking cover!” That is just. not. true.

Each of the book covers below were made in five minutes or less using Microsoft Publisher, free fonts from the Internet, and free images from You can find more information on how to do all of those things on our book cover resource page here. Continue reading “Book Cover Design In a Rush”

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