For writers: How to make a "please pre-order" book graphic

This'll be my first DIY, so hopefully, it will be useful to someone. If not, you can use it to add demon horns to my author photo and post it on Twitter. NBD.

1. If you've never used Picmonkey before, go to www.picmonkey.com. You don't have to register, and it's totally free, although for a yearly fee, you'll have access to more fonts and graphics. You can use it to edit photos, make graphics like this one, or put together photos or book covers for collages, like the ones I use for my Facebook and Twitter cover photos.

Just click Edit at the top. It'll nudge you to select an image to edit. Choose your book cover. The screen will then look a little like this:

2. Your book cover is too colorful and has too much contrast to cover with readable text, so we're going to do an overlay to tone it down. This is very simple. If your book is dark, I suggest going darker. If your book is light and sweet, go lighter.

First, click that butterfly on the far left. A new menu of graphics will pop up. There are tons of fun things in here for other times, including banners, postmarks, and the bunnies I turn into bludbunnies. For now, just go to Geometric and choose the rectangle. 

3. Okay, so you have a black rectangle. Use the little circle on top of it to rotate, then expand it to cover your book cover. You can use the color picker to make it any color you want. I'm going with a creepy yellow-green to go with my creepy cover, and also because that creepy yellow-green guy from Sin City messed me up. 

4. You can't see your book cover now, and that's cool. We're going to make it see-through. See that little Fade slider in the color picker box? Tone the rectangle down until you can see your book cover through it, but there's still enough overlay to make text stand out. Don't worry-- you can always fiddle with it after you get the text up. Mine's at 50% here.

5. Now, click on the "Tt" on the far left for text. The text editor on Picmonkey is a little tricky sometimes, especially since you don't have a ton of layer control. It's best if you can do all the text at once, or else you'll have to move the rectangle to the side. So, click Tt, then pick a big, readable font, then click Add Text, and a text box will appear. Double click it to type into it.

6. I try to space out my text so you can still see my name and the book title, but this cover makes that pretty simple. Just play around with text, font, size, spacing, etc. until you like it. You can drag the text box to make it wider, add spaces, or bold it. Don't forget to add your website or some way to find you or your book, just in case you luck into some viral sharing.

I ended up making my rectangle smaller to let the pretty colors from the book cover frame it. 

7. When you're happy with it, click Save at the top. You can even share to social media, straight from Picmonkey. Easy peasy!

Here's another one I did, for contrast. Notice I forgot to add my website. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES, YO.


Good luck!