Finally Gave Canva A Try
For a while now, I have been hearing from other authors about how useful Canva is for designing book covers as well as other book marketing materials. The first time I went to the site to check it out, the site pages would not load properly. The home page seemed to load fine, but anything else was simply a blank page other than social sharing icons on the right-hand side. Eventually I got around to trying a different browser in a different operating system. That seem to make all the difference. As my first experiment with designing a book cover on Canva, I created a new cover for my book of photo tips: Take Five! for Better Photos You can see the new cover here. Read on to see the old cover that it replaced, and my thoughts on using Canva so far.
To give you a little history, this book started out in a different electronic format. It was originally a PDF that I sold through the ClickBank platform. After a few years of limited sales, I eventually updated the text, replaced the cover, and published it for the Kindle... where sales are still limited. The original cover was not very attractive, and the replacement cover was never what I wanted either. Because the book is a low priority for me, however, I did not want to take a lot of time on it.
Below, you will see the original cover (left) and the second cover (right). While the newest cover still may have some flaws, I think it is a significant upgrade from the older versions. The new design cost me nothing because I used my own photo and merely used one of the free layouts that Canva provides.
Canva is a pretty easy site to use, but I get frustrated using it sometimes due to various design decisions such as opening a new tab when the existing tab could simply be reused. It does offer a novice-friendly drag-and-drop interface and a wide variety of images and design elements, including the all-important piece of document layouts. Much of it is free to use, but some of the design assets require a minor payment to use. At $1 per asset, though, even paid designs are very affordable.
I do not think that Canva will replace having custom book covers designed by cover designers, but for a quick job for a low priority project, it is more than capable. If you have not tried it yet, I recommend giving it a shot. You can use it for a lot more than covers, of course, so even if you are having a designer prepare your covers, there's a good chance that some of the graphic design functions of Canva will be useful for you.
As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts about Canva in the comments.