There are hundreds of articles and blogs about this subject. I’ve been told to take it to a graphic designer and have the cover done professionally. But on my budget (of almost nothing) that isn’t an option.
I also had to try think what would match the genre of the story, and that was another problem. It’s not a science fiction novel, but a romance novel with science fiction elements. The customary book covers of this genre don’t fit at all, being usually either of strange aliens, or musclebound men engaged in a breathless and passionate embrace with a woman (human or otherwise) in front of a starry background.
I needed a cover that had the sci-fi element, with a cute but not overly shirtless man to bring some romance to it. And then I had to have a font that said romance but not flowery romance.
One can do hours of research on what font is best suited for what genre, but after spending those hours doing just that, I came to the conclusion that nothing was as effective as seeing what worked with my own eyes.
I already have my basic cover, which I edited using Gimp, an open source programme similar to Photoshop.
Download Gimp here
Gimp is very technical, and sometimes it has made me want to scream and give up, or at least look for a stress-relieving bar of chocolate. But most complicated things in Gimp can be solved by Googling the problem. Many people who are a lot cleverer than me have had to solve the same problem.
I found a good website for free fonts and looked at as many of them as I could. Just be careful to read the text document that comes with the fonts. Sometimes they aren’t free for commercial use, even though they are on a site that says they are.Free fonts for commercial use
What I found to be the easiest way to test fonts was to get a Word document of my cover and type the title over it using the “behind text” formatting option for the picture. that way it is easy to highlight the text and move down your list of fonts in Word so you can see what each font looks like without even having to click on it.
Just another idea. Try the fonts all in capitals as well. Sometimes you get interesting results.
I went through all the fonts on my computer and thought that this one seemed the best. But I still wasn’t happy. It didn’t have that “oomph” factor that I would expect from a title. It didn’t stand out at all. So I had to go back to the drawing board.
And that’s when I found that Gimp also does logos. I won’t go into the time it took me to be able to do this, or the many cups of cocoa and snacks it took while I figured out how to do it, but eventually I worked out how to make a logo and put it onto my cover.
I will explain how to do that in another post, because it gets a bit involved.
I’m still not happy with the font. I need to experiment further with colours and types of logo and font choice, and assignments are still looming on the horizon. These are the ones I have managed to do in the meantime, just as experiments.
This was the first one that I tried. Better than a normal font, but it still doesn’t stand out very well.
This is quite fiery and might work well if I find the right font to go with it. I’ve also since worked out how to make it look less blurry.
I quite like this font, but I’m not sure about the colour and the spacing of the two words.
This is probably my favourite one so far, but it still doesn’t leave me with the feeling that it is the right one.
I did like experimenting with two different fonts for the title. I think it might work well.
This one is certainly bright. Maybe too bright! And I’m concerned that the title isn’t that easy to read.