I love playing around with photography and design but still hope to do a proper course at some point, if possible. However, I thought I’d highlight two of the design programmes I presently use most often, as neither is particularly difficult if you give them a go and both can enhance possibilities for indie authors.
I mainly use Canva for creating lots of small social media posts. Pictures and photos always attract more attention on Facebook and Twitter, while Instagram is all about the visual. Here's one I use on twitter - if I remake this one I would probably enlarge the text a little.
All you need to get started is to sign up on the Canva page and remember your password for repeat visits. Here you’ll find all kinds of design possibilities, from FB author page headers, to twitter visual posts, to even designing your own e-book cover.
I sometimes take part in the RNA twitter tweets day on a Tuesday and it certainly helps a promotion post to stand out if you make a nice little visual caption. You can upload your own photos, book covers and so on to use, or you can use their own backgrounds and elements, many of which are free. Others cost only a dollar or so to use but I haven’t needed that option yet.
Picmonkey is my favourite programme for creating book covers so far. To get started, again you need only sign up and away you go. This is more like a photo editing programme, so you would upload your own photo or image then crop, change and enhance it to use as a book cover. This is one I made, as are my short story collection covers and a few others.
Picmonkey has lots of good fonts, effects and special elements. The basic tools are free to use and you then download your completed masterpiece to your computer. There is also a paid Royal option which gives you more tools – I still use the basic so far and have found it quite adequate.
Although I’ve used both these programmes a lot, I’m still learning as I go so it’s another great way of procrastinating while picking up new ways of creating covers and promoting social media posts!
Hope you enjoy trying them out.