The cover

[Article originally published in Italian. English translation made by Melissa Merzagora with the revision of JoSeBach and Evgenij.]

The cover is the first thing the reader sees, the showcase of the book.

The covers can be divided into various categories, which are more or less suitable depending on your needs. I divide them by order of difficulty in the making:

  • a lot of searching: a picture taken from Pixabay or other copyright-free websites (unless otherwise warned). Free and as editable as you want. If you are lucky you will find the picture you are looking for; it can be either an image of an object (a house, a city, etc.) or a character (the latter, however, will be much more difficult to find).
    Please note: Do not use copyrighted pictures. I know that you will find beautiful fanart, but they are owned by the authors or those who commissioned them. If you want to use them, you must first have the permission of the owner;
  • a lot of searching and some fixing: similar to the first, but requires a bit of work; download a basic version of Photoshop to make small edits (color change and more);
  • more serious work: here you need a graphic designer with at least a little experience; images can be taken from pixabay or other sites, but with a fair amount of expertise it will be possible to give them prominence;
  • graphic designer: a graphic designer creates it from scratch or almost. This requires the involvement of a professional or an advanced apprentice.

The cover of a Wattpad book can also be from the first of these categories, since it is a no-profit site, but, if you aim higher, remember that you will have to offer works of higher quality. There are many people who are willing to make you a cover on Wattpad. The quality is very diverse, but some jobs are undeniably beautiful. Look at what they did for me:

Beautiful, isn’t it? Remember not to press your graphic maker, and above all do not be punctilious, if they are doing the work for free. Remember to read the rules of the graphics service well and respect them. A graphic designer could even take five hours to make a cover, and having their rules and their own work not respected does more damage than you may think. And if the graphic designer calls you back and points out in a polite way that you were wrong, APOLOGIZE AND BEHAVE LIKE CIVILIZED PEOPLE. So, please, if you request a work remember that they are the ones who are doing you a favor, not the other way around.

I add a detail suggested by a user:

“Covers stand out thanks to the text. It has often happened to see some covers with an illegible title because of the wrong font, or the wrong color or even title was split and placed on the sides. However, I would like to give some advice for those who are not familiar with it:

-YouTube has a lot of tutorials and you can start from there;

-the title has its default positions: top, bottom and center (never on the sides or too attached to the edges);

-the white color highlights your title on a very dark or colored photo (as long as it is bold or large);

I hope this is useful. Obviously, each narrative genre has its own style of graphics. Don’t stick a picture with a title so randomly mashed up. Put soul as you put it to write ;)”

Having clarified this, I would like to point out the existence of Canva, a free app accessible also directly from Wattpad, that can be used to create covers.

I will talk more about this in a future article.


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