BOOK COVER DESIGN – How to Design Your Own, Unique Cover Updated 8/5/15

When I first wrote this blog, little did I realize that it would be my most POPULAR Blog of all.  I wanted to let other #authors out there realize they can design their own #bookcovers just like I did.  So, without further adieu, I hope you enjoy this Blog, and it helps your own ideas. And then, a little “imp” got into me, and I wanted to do something totally different I have never seen another #author do.
I wanted to have a bit of fun with my books.  Originally, it was an accident, but I decided to use it on ALL 3 of my books.
After you read the #blog, I #invite you to “Find the Wolf” on both books 1 & 2.

Good luck!  And, thank you for reading it! ~~~ #lkkelley

I chose to design my own from scratch using my own, personal photos, and those of a couple of great photogs!  Because of the cost to have someone else design it, and I despise the “pre-cover” designs which so many are using, I wanted it unique to my book, The White Wolf Prophecy ~ Mating ~ of the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy.  I wrote all three books at the same time, and it helped me decide my first book cover.

Book Cover Design for The White Wolf Prophecy ~ Mating ~

First, I decided what I wanted based upon the locations in my book, and the descriptions of my characters.  In fact, in one case, I rewrote my hero’s description to fit in with the man I chose to be the hero. It’s pretty easy. I used Photoshop 9 for my book cover.  

And, believe me! If I CAN DO IT, so can you! 

Step 1


1.  CHOOSING THE PHOTO:  I was lucky enough to have taken many photos on a trip to Colorado.  You can do the same thing by using one of your own photos even if it’s not exactly in the book, you can make it work. 

I decided upon 3 photos.  After deliberating for days, I decided upon photo #3 for its continuity.  It was perfect.  Step # 1 was done.  

#1 ~ Mt Evans
#2 ~ Mt Evans
#3 ~ Echo Lake 

 The final concept was done for the front and the back of the book.


Step 2

Choosing #Character #Photos

2.  CHOOSING the concept design:  This was a bit harder.  I had to dig into my photo database to find just the right look.  I wanted something that would match, as best as possible, the characters in the book.  After a long search, I decided upon these.


Next, I put my concepts together into 3 different ones.


3.  I had my background, I had my faces, and I finally had at least a working concept.  Next, came Photo Shoots.

Step 3


Luckily, I just happened to have 2 people who were the PERFECT subjects. they were the same as in my original concept.   These are the photos that I decided upon. First, Kaitlan O’Hara:


Next, Cordone Valon:



After seeing these final choices, I chose Kaitlan # 2 and Cordone #2.  Now, I had to remove the backgrounds of both.  This, I believe, takes the longest time – especially when you have never done it before.  I can’t even count how many times I removed the backgrounds.

Step 4

#Assembling the #Final #Cover Design

4. After all of this, I had my faces, my photos, and all I needed to do was assemble the pieces together, and put a white wolf into it.

5. Again, and above, was my original concept.  As you can see, I placed them on the left side of the cover.  What I didn’t realize was that the faces would be cut off on the spine of the book. So, I had to redesign the concept into a workable design.  So, I reversed the photos when I was ready for my final design. But, then, I found another…




6.  It was at this point that I thought I was almost done.  All I needed to do was to put the name of the book, and my name.  But, that was when I discovered, much to my dismay,  after I had thought I finished, I realized I had put what should be the back half for the book of Echo Lake on the book’s front!  I was really irritated.  Now, I had to go back and redo it to make it right. I’m going to admit to you that I was so angry at myself, I almost threw it out the window, and I was actually tempted to leave it as it was.  But, my gut, and my penchant for excellence, was telling me that I was taking the easy way out, and so, I redid the front – again.  But, I closed it all out, and didn’t bother to come back to it until a few days later, simply because I didn’t need to still have anger at myself.

7.  After a few days, I came back, and did it all over, again.  This time, though, I went slowly to make sure I had it right.  And, voila!  I had it!  I almost danced all over my house in glee!  Until my #publisher told me that I needed to move Kaitlan’s face over, and Cordone up a bit, because the characters would have their faces and hair partially removed.  So, here I went again!  I had to start again. But, this time, I got it right!


Step 5


8.  So, I slapped the Title of my Book and my name on the book, and then realized I didn’t know what font I wanted to use.  I experimented for a couple of days with different fonts, finally deciding upon one, and I was finally finished.  Saving it to 600 dpi, and 8.50 x 11.50 inches, I was finally finished, and off it went to the publisher.   But, it didn’t end there.  There were a couple more redos, because of the placement of the Title that was too big, and my name wasn’t big enough.  But, these didn’t take too long, and I was finally done, and the publisher was totally impressed by the final product!

And, here is the finished product:

What Did I Learn by 

Designing My Book Cover?

  • Pay attention to the placement on the book of photos
  • Save #photos to 600 DPI @ 11.50 x 8.50
  • Pay attention to the spine of the book cover
  • Have really great #photoshoots, or at least excellent photos already taken, and save each one of them to 600 DPI
  • When I had a good design, I saved the basics of that design so I could use it, and alter it if needed saving each of those as a separate file as well.
  • I also learned to save photos with no backgrounds especially if I changed anything at all.

I know that not everyone is able to design their own cover, they just don’t want to take the time hiring it done, or just pick a stock book cover.  But, I wanted my book cover to be different than everyone else’s out there.

Just like my book, it’s unique.  My characters are a completely new concept to the supernatural world, and are just as unique.  I wanted the same for my cover.  If you look just above Cordone’s right shoulder and into Kaitlan’s hair, you will see a “ghost” of a White Wolf.

This was actually a lot of fun – designing a book cover!  Fun, exciting, and not only am I proud of the story within the cover, but my cover is totally unique, and I did it!

The next book is being edited as I write this, and I am also about to design my cover for the second book in The White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy!


Using what I learned above, I assembled the cover for book 2.  I wanted my books to be uniform with slight changes so that anyone buying the books would be able to recognize them immediately.  This time it took me 1/4 of the time it took me the first time around, I invite you to judge the results. 


This is the final book of the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy.  For this book, I had one place, and ONLY one place in mind!  It reminded me of my vision of the amazing Secret Pool in book #1.  This photo was taken by me with my amazing Character, Kaitlan Seneca O’Hara Valon (aka: Laura Kelley).  To get this photo was a huge undertaking.  It began by leaving Arvada, CO, on June 24th, 2014, travelling to Glenwood Springs, CO, where we stayed overnight so that we could get n early start walking 1 1/2 miles up to Hanging Lake, CO.  This place is like no other anywhere!  1 1/2 miles seems easy – except it was virtually straight up hiking, and took us a couple of hours to hike.  Below you will find some of the Promo photos that I took with not only Kaitlan, but her Father, Canaan as well as me.  I won’t go into the fact that I don’t like to be in pics, but I love to take them.  However, I had a SPECIFIC pose in mind from the 3rd book, and we tried to capture it. The last photo shows the photo that I would use as the final cover.

The photo below is the photo I chose for my final book cover. It is exactly as I imagined it, and I couldn’t be more happy with it! Putting it together was even faster than the first two, because, by now, I was experienced in the design process.  No. I’m not a professional, and would never say that I was. But, as I said at the first…I wanted a UNIQUE design for all 3 books that no one else had.  And, I had tons of fun doing it!





You can purchase my book right here, as well as at book stores around the area.

Don’t forget to  #followme on #Twitter for #updates!

#werewolf  #werewolves  #vampires  #paranormal  #fantasy  #werewolfromance  #elves  #lkkelley  #paranormalromance  #sciencefiction #whitewolfprophecy  #978165000500  #romance  #books  #bookcover  #bookcoverdesign  #blog  #hallofrecords  #colorado  #amazon  #barnesandnoble  #bam  #usa  #fortsmitharkansas  #arkansas  #authors  #writers

Thanks to:

 ElleKelle Productions – Laura Kelley

 Razorbackfoto – Matt Mclenahan


Official Website for the White Wolf Prophecy Trilogy 

Any use must be obtained by the author. Thank you.

© LK Kelley  2013


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