Yesterday we looked at how to find and download high-quality stock images for your book cover project.  If you missed the article, click here to check it out by clicking here.

In this article, we’re going to use MS Paint to turn it into a book cover There are also online programs will let you do something similar. But since you adding font to a photo for your first time, start with something simple.

First, you’ll need to open up Paint, click the menu in the upper-left corner, and then choose “open” to find your file. If you’ve just downloaded your image, you’ll find it in the downloads file. Otherwise select it from the file you saved it in.

openinpaint

You’ll want the image to have a nice working size, so use the slider at the bottom right to zoom in or out.
paint-slider-bar

If the image isn’t the right shape or there are excess parts you want to remove, then, with your mouse, click on select.

paint-select

Then draw a vertical rectangle around the section you want to keep and click the crop button.

 

paint-crop-book

Now you need to pick a font. This, honestly, is the most challenging part. A lot of them look cheesy when they are just added to a photo. It’s very important to find the right one. Going through dozens and dozens of fonts can give you a headache. I recommend using Baskerville Old Face or Elephant. Try them out yourself, but make sure you go simple. A complicated font will look unprofessional.

When you place the text, make sure it is visible over the background. Here is an example of dark text on a dark background, it is too difficult to see:

paint-crop-book-text

But by moving it to a lighter part of the image, it now sticks out clearly.

paint-crop-book-compare

I’d suggest using the “Save As” option to test out several different styles so you can save them side-by-side. That will make it easy to pick the winning look.  Also when you hit Save As, you can choose from different file formats like JPG, PNG, and TIFF – depending on the format preferred by the site you’re uploading to.

You’ll have a free, quality cover to represent your work. It may not be award-winning but it is a good place to start.

~ Nicholas Bugden