Posted in nano advice, nano covers, nano prep, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, photoshop, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

NaNo Tip #9 – Cover Yourself Up!


So, I was trying to hold off on making this post until I could ask the person who made my cover for my NaNo Novel this year for permission to post here. However, they aren’t getting back to me, so I’m going to go ahead and to this post. Don’t be surprised if another one pops up with the picture though, because I really like it.

Anyway, when you’re on the NaNo site, they give you the option to add a novel cover to your profile. They even tell you that you’re more likely toΒ complete your 50k race with a cover. I can honestly say that there is probably some truth to that. I know for a fact that if I get a good cover and then use it for my computer background, or even at the top of my document… I don’t know, it makes me feel more official, and more like my novel is really going to amount to something.

I know that not everyone feels like they can make their own cover… but you’re wrong. There are programs out there that help you to do it.

  • Canva can help you to have really nice looking covers, and it’s pretty much a click and drag kind of program. There’s no difficulty to it, and as long as you use the free images, you’re able to download your cover for free.
  • If you’re feeling a little creative yourself, you can always make your own cover using Free Stock Photos, which gives you creative liberty to make whatever you want.
  • If you don’t think that you can make your own cover, you can always go to the NaNo Artisans section of the NaNoWriMo forums. There are dozens of people there more than willing to make covers for your novel. They’re talented and very pleasant to work with!
  • Talk to your friends. You’d be surprised as to how many of them are artistically inclined. If they know what they’re doing, making you a cover photo will only take them a few minutes, and then you’ll get to feel official.

The most important thing in this process is to make sure that you have the rights to use your cover photo content! Free stock images are the way to go with this! However, whatever you choose to do, just make sure that you have fun with it and it gives you a sense of accomplishment. I know that seeing my cover for my novel last year made me feel very nice and official. I created it with free stock images and a little bit of photoshop! I will leave you with an image of my novel cover from last year and good wishes for your NaNo endeavors.

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick
Twitter | Patreon | NaNo Page


2 thoughts on “NaNo Tip #9 – Cover Yourself Up!

  1. I was initially skeptical about a cover increasing my chances of success but I’ve been having fun looking at photos to make even a temporary cover πŸ™‚

    I would say, as someone with experience of Photoshop and working with layers, I found Canva to be awful to use. I’d resize a picture to layer over another and it would replace the first picture instead, there’s no layers palette for you to easily click to work on a particular layer, and, whichever browser I used, the toolbars for opacity etc kept floating below the area of the screen I could click on.
    After all the Canva hype, I was glad to find someone else who’d had issues with canva – “Four stars for being beautiful to look at, -5 stars for a brutal user experience…Little simple things like adding a corporate logo to a project template become a pantomime of all things stupid…What you see on screen (WYS) and what you download (WYG) are not the same image.” (
    If only you want to choose a completely pre-designed layout and adjust the text you’re probably okay, but for anything like actual editing I’d go for GIMP, the free online version of Photoshop.

    I appreciate the free photos link; I have bookmarked a few stock photo libraries that offer free photos (though you always have to watch the fine print restrictions!) but you can never have enough choice of images so I’ll be exploring those sites πŸ™‚

  2. Hey, it’s beautiful! The NaNo site also got me into believing that having cover image increases the chances of success. So I made a cover for the story that I couldn’t finish last year. Hope it works!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s