How to Use KDP’s Cover Creator

The other day I posted How to Publish in KDP and mentioned that I would cover how to use the new KDP Cover Creator. Here is that post.

(Click images for full size if you need to)

If you want to know how we got to this step, please check the previous post, otherwise I am going to assume you’re right with us at the “add a cover” stage.

Click the “cover creator” button.

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This may bring you a pop up. Depending on what you’ve been doing to your book, you may want a different option, but we want to save our changes so we don’t have to enter all the info again.

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A little box with an orange swirly will pop up. depending on your connection speed it may sit there swirling for a long time, or a very short time. My net was running good tonight so it went fast.

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When cover creator first opens it will have a “how to” splash screen that doesn’t really tell you much of anything. Feel free to click “don’t show me this again” and then click continue.

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Now we have some more options. First we’re going to try browsing their gallery. I don’t really recommend doing this because if you’re using that image, who else is? But, we can take a look because those pictures are free and can always be a good cover placeholder until we get some cash or find a free image elsewhere.

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You’ll get a pop up with photo categories. Browse through them and see if there’s something you like. I am going to choose Black and White.

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This opens a selection of black and white photos. Let’s scroll through and find something creepy and/or mystical, shall we?

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Once you’ve selected a picture, click on it. This will bring up an image overview and a bigger version. If you don’t want it after all, then click on the category name in the upper left to go back to the thumbnails. If you do like it, then click “use this image”.

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The page beneath the pop up now loads with a bunch of design options. If you see one you like, feel free to “choose this design”

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Personally, I am going to try uploading my own image now, so I am heading to the “choose new cover image” option.

This pops up the image screen we started with. This time I am going to select “upload my own image”. Note: Images should be .jpg or .tiff and should be between 1000 and 2500 on the longest side.

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Click the cheery computer icon to get a browse dialog box. Navigate to the image you’d like to use and click open

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You’ll get another orange circle that may take a long time to disappear, or may go away fast, depending on your connection speed.

Once it loads you’ll see we have those same design options again

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This time we’re going to actually commit to this image and choose a design. Of course, you don’t have to. You can continue to upload and/or browse until you find something you like. Then, choose a design when you’re ready.

You’ll notice there are options that require no picture. If you choose one of these, you still get to edit the colors, text, and layout. Since those tools are EXACTLY the same as the cover with photos, I’m not going to do a separate section for that. You can use the following steps for either the image layouts or the non-image layouts.

Hover over the design of choice so that it says “Choose this design”, then click on it.

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A new screen loads. 

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You’ll want to close the tool tip box by hitting the x. Remember that you can change designs at any time by choosing “Start Over” or change your image by choosing a new one.

KDP has automatically put the title in for us, including the “short” that I added, which in this case looks silly. So I am going to close it out (by hitting the x in the upper right corner of the cover creator), change the title and go back in. Half a tick.

Back.

I changed the title, but it made no difference, as the cover creator refused to update. Since I am not going to use this cover it doesn’t matter for me, but if you plan to use it, make SURE your title is the way you want it before you hit that cover creator button.

There are lots of things to edit here. Let’s start with the fonts.

You can either use the Font Tool, which lets you choose from pre-made “themes”:

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OR you can hover directly over the text you want to edit:

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And then click to get a box of options

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Here we can change the font by clicking the arrow and choosing a new one

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The size (including an auto fit option)

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Change the color:

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Make the words Bold, Italic and drop a shadow behind them (useful on lighter backgrounds)

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And change the position (Justify, left align, center, right align)

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As you may notice, I centered mine and changed the font and the size, but left it white.

Now you can do the same for the author (you can see an example of drop shadow on it) and if you have a subtitle (alas, I don’t).

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What about those other buttons? Let’s play with the layout next.

When you click on it in the tools, you’ll get a string of layout options:

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Click through them to see the differences. When you find one you like, click on the layout tool again to make the strip go away. Sadly, I like the original best, so I am sticking with it.

Now it’s time to play with colors, because that neon pink is terrible!

Click on the color tool and it gives us the option to choose colors individually, or to pick a premade color theme. To try different themes just scroll through and click on them:

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Terrible, I know, so we’re going to choose the colors ourselves.

Click the color you want to change:

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And get a pop up. Click on the teeny tiny squares to choose your color:

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Repeat for the other colors.

After I got the colors changed, I decided to change the layout, too. Now, we can preview the cover by clicking the preview button:

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The preview lets you see it in color, black and white, and in thumbnail. Switch between them by clicking the icons on the left.

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If you’re happy with it, click the Save & Submit button. You’ll get a white screen that says you’re submitting your cover, and then be taken back to the edit project page. From there you can finish your publishing (see previous post) and submit your book.

Have you tried the KDP cover creator? If so, what did you think of it?signature

12 Comments

  1. Katie Cross says:

    Sweet! I didn’t even know they had a cover creator. Great idea. Thanks for another post I’ll have to bookmark!

    1. I think it’s new as I had never seen it before, either 🙂

  2. I am soooooo glad I don’t have to do my own covers. Tech savvy I am not.

    1. It’s always good to find someone who knows how to do it when you don’t – saves SOOOOO much time!

  3. rosedandrea says:

    That was a very thorough walk-through! 😀

    If the created covers were sharable to Smashwords my self-pub problems would be severely diminished.

    1. Sadly I doubt they are as Create Space’s aren’t – I messaged them once about that and their answer was an emphatic no – you made it on their program, so it had to stay on their site. 😦 Though to be fair, I haven;t asked about the kdp covers…

      1. rosedandrea says:

        I’m not too worried about it. I’ve made a few cool new friends in this quest toward a nice cover. There seems to be an upside to everything. 🙂

  4. Shah Wharton says:

    Reblogged this on Shah Wharton's Cover Design and commented:
    I reblogged this post because it’s an excellent insight into KDP’s cover creator form Joleene Naylor.

    1. Thanks for the reblog!

  5. I’ll stick with photoshop. Just sayin.

    1. Ha ha, yeah, I’m happy with my poor little Paint Shop Pro 😉

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