Amazon’s new Kindle Cover Creator is ideal for indie authors looking to save money on eBook cover design. It is another example of how automation tools can be used to reduce the costs and steps between author and reader.
Currently in beta release, the tool is easy enough for anyone to use. In fact I think it makes a great brainstorming platform as well. Authors unsure of what they are looking for can use it to create combinations of images, fonts and colors that can then be handed to a professional designer for further development.
The tool can be found inside your KDP account. Login to your account and select your book from the bookshelf or create a new book. You’ll see a button next to an image of a book cover.
There are three simple steps to designing your cover
1. First select an image (Choose Design)—Amazon provides thousands of royalty free images to choose from or you can upload an image of your own. By the way, you don’t have to use an image. All-text designs are equally easy to create.
- Choose Colors: You can define your own custom colors or choose from one of 27 professionally defined color schemes.
- Choose Layout: Choose from one of eight cover layout designs. You instantly see the results.
- Choose Fonts: As you type your text you can adjust the font type, size, color and positioning or choose from 12 pre-selected font combinations (a real benefit for those of us who are not graphic designers).
- Color Mode (the default)
- Grayscale Mode. We are so used to designing and viewing books in color I wonder how many of us bother to see how our cover might look on an e-ink reader?
- Thumbnail Mode automatically reduces the cover size so you can see what it will look like in the Amazon store. Keep in mind that the cover is smaller still when shoppers are browsing for books. This is another important review step I see many authors (and designers for that matter) skipping over.
When you are done you can submit the result to your book’s KDP page. There is no need to download the file and re-upload it to KDP. However, you probably want to copy and save it locally so you can use it for marketing purposes. By the way, the final image size is a large 1588 x 2525 (72dpi) pixels.
- Like any tool of this type you may be faced with limitations. For example, control over text placement on the cover or accommodating lengthy titles or subtitles is going to be challenging.
- Unless you plan to use your own image you might end up with a book cover that looks very similar to another book cover. This is a common drawback when using stock photography in any application.
- I never got the Help button to work. Again, this is the beta release so your experience may differ.
- While you can download the final result it won’t be sufficient for use as your print book cover because the resolution is too low. Let’s save this topic for another post.
But all in all it is a terrific addition to the Amazon KDP publishing experience. Indie authors now have no excuse for publishing a book with an unprofessional cover.
About this book: Mr. Ziemer’s book is forthcoming and may or may not include elements pictured here. It will be published in August 2013.