To be completely honest, when it comes to making a cover, I would highly recommend hiring a professional. If you do so, please make sure that they are not just taking free photos online, and with a few tweaks making the cover “their own” design. A lot of them are doing exactly that. And you can do something like that yourself without paying someone else. This is why I would not suggest using “free photos” online. Basically, you would be stealing someone’s work. A lot of those photos are just ripped from somewhere and there is no way to be sure that someone will not sue you for using their picture. Having said that, Hire a professional who will do literally everything. But that could cost. Don’t hope to pay 5$ on Fiverr and be done with it. If you want to invest, you will need a little bit more. So save your money for this part (and for proofreading).
But if you don’t have any money, there are some other options. You can use your own photos, but be careful. A lot of DIY covers look exactly like that. And you don’t want that. If you have no idea what to use, you should look at those already existing eBook covers and see what sells. You will easily recognize what sells well and what is not popular at that moment. But I can tell you is that you should use a simple design and this is why. Your beautiful picture will be a thumbnail once you publish it. And it will no longer be beautiful, but messy. The same goes with the letters on the cover (font, style…). If the font is too complicated, maybe the text will be unrecognizable once it becomes a thumbnail. I’m not saying you should use black Times New Roman, but you should consider choosing clean letters. Another important thing, think about the colors. You maybe think that this is not so important, but you would be surprised how important it actually is. There is an entire field of marketing psychology when it comes to colors. Here is some scheme for guidance.
Now that you chose your photo and/or design, let’s move on to the difficult part (at least it was for me). Being that I am not a designer I had little to no knowledge about the design. That is why I will let someone more competent explain this part. Take a look at this simple step by step method which I found very useful. You can do it in literally 5 minutes like promised, but I would recommend putting in some effort.
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