It’s time for another tip blog for NaNo, and I do realize that I’m going to end up posting some of the same tips that I posted last year… but that was last year, and this is this year… and honestly, I go through the same prep process with new things added to it every year. So.
For today’s tip, I’m going to tell you something that I know I’ve told you before, but I find it so important that I don’t mind telling you again. The National Novel Writing Month website actually tells you this as well.
Make yourself a cover!
I don’t care if it’s really good, if you go into the Artisan forums and ask someone to make it for you, or if you just go to a free domain photo site and make something in paint. The point is, people who have covers have a might higher percentage of winning than people who don’t. I don’t get the exact science behind it, or the reason… but I really do find it to be true.
(Above is a cover that I made myself for my novel in 2014)
A Cover, at least for me, means that I have a vision of my project. It means that when I’m looking at it, I can imagine what it will look like when it’s put into an actual novel format. I’m not saying that the cover that you make is going to be the cover that you keep – if you’re pursuing traditional publishing, I’m pretty sure that you won’t even get a say in what that cover is when you first publish. But for now, and for your mind? It’s going to be there for you. You’re going to see it as a book, not just as that thing that you’re trying to throw together in a month as best you can.
For me, I try to always use public domain photos, or something that is free to use. I don’t like using people’s pictures without their permission. The place where I made my covers (yes, you heard me right, plural) for this year is publicdomainpictures.net. Everything there is public domain, so it’s been pretty fun. I wouldn’t, of course, self-publish anything without doing further research… but for the intents and purposes of making a cover that I can use for NaNoWriMo? It’s a great site. There are quite a few places where you can get free to use photos if you do a google search – any one of those is a wonderful place to start, if you’re going to make your cover yourself!
Once you’ve found a picture that you like, it’s extremely easy to take it to a place like Lunapic, or even your own windows programs if you prefer. Add some text, including your name and a title. The great thing about it is this – you don’t have to feel like you’re tied in to the title that you choose. If you decide to change it later, this isn’t a professional cover. This isn’t something that you paid a ton fo money for… this is a cover that you made. This is just something that you did to give your mind a visual of what your book coudl look like.
Nothing is set in stone, except for the fact that you have the determination to turn your story into a novel!
So, that’s all that I have for tips today. If you guys want, i can do a blog on how I made my book covers! I’d love to share. Other than that, keep in mind that NaNo is in about 2 weeks now. Get your outline pounded out, get your prep-prepped! It’s going to be time to go on a pretty rad adventure soon!
Until next time guys!!! Keep reading and writing, and keep being absolutely awesome!
Author Amanda McCormick
My Discord Group (click to join) is starting to rev up for NaNoWriMo! If you want some help with plotting and a group to stay steady with after, feel free to click and join!