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Better Covering

You might remember that I created the covers for my current three published short stories using the ancient MS Paint tool.  What I created was far from superior – for reference, just click on the Unfree Fiction tab above – but Paint was what I had available at the time.

Turns out I was wrong.  Google Docs (now Drive) has a draw tool that is far superior, also free, and has the advantage of storing whatever you make out in the cloud, safe from floods, disk crashes and motherboard fires.

The cover I came up with the other day, for the novella that I am turning into a novel, actually looks like it might NOT have been made by a preschooler with a wireless mouse.  The process was quite simple.  First I did a web search for Solar System images, found one that I like by NASA (read: public domain), and pasted it in the draw tool window.  Then there was a little judicious cropping, to turn a square into a tall rectangle – book cover shaped.  Then I created two text boxes for the title and my name.  Done.

Took about twenty minutes, most of that time spent trying to figure out the quirks of the thing.  It allows me to download it in various formats; I used a JPEG, but PDF is also available.

The only really annoying bit was that I could not figure out how to crop the pasted image.  I could size the background to book cover shape, then center the image over that background.  Only the part of the image that is on top of the background actually prints/exports, but the only way I could see what that looked like was to go to print preview, then come back to the draw screen and move things around.  I could shape and resize the image, but I could not crop it.  Granted, I only have about a half-hour’s experience on the tool and it is quite possible I missed this function, but find it I could not.

Anyhow, this is what I came up with.  It is light-years beyond the other covers – granted, the NASA image is the real reason for this.  I may rethink this before I publish, but for right now, it looks pretty good to me.  Now all I have to do is finish writing.





Categories: Publishing, Technology
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