Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Apps for the Print-on-Demand or Self-Publishing Author

In designing the covers for my two latest projects (see links at the top of this page), The Ghost in Me (Feb 2011) and Little Red Riding Hood (March 2011), I found two useful and FREE tools online. Although both are available for purchase in more advanced platforms, if you desire.

The first program is photo editing software at

I used this program to create, enhance, and adds effects and text to both book covers. For The Ghost in Me, I started with a photo I had taken of my models. Obviously, what I ended up with is far different from what I started with. The original photo is shown here.

I also used Picnik to enhance photos that I had created for the extreme donoughts project that Rick Walton and I are working on. (Merged photos were first made in Jasc Paintshop Pro).

The second program that I've found I cannot live without is Artweaver 1.0, which I downloaded from the web. It follows the same format as Paintshop, which is nice since I'm already familiar with that program. And overall, it is even easier to use. Artweaver helped me fine tune the watercolor image I had painted for the Little Red Riding Hood cover. This program can also be used to create original digital artwork on your computer. I used this feature to create my company logo.

Simple, I know. But simple is good.

Also, as far as scanning in the artwork I had created for Little Red Riding Hood, I made life easy with the fine folks at Alpha Graphics in Providence, Utah. They scanned all my images on to my flashdrive for a reasonable rate, which saved me from buying hardware and taking time needed to learn to use it.

Other artists/writers have had success going with this sort of route, as an alternative to scanning in images themselves. I know that Judith Torres, author of Duck, Duck, Moose (, Feb 2011), was very pleased with similar tasks completed for her at Square One Printing in Logan, Utah.

So, if you want to create your own artwork, but don't want to deal with uploading it into digital format yourself, look into local printing stores as a resource.


  1. Great tips Shaunda. These days being an author means doing a lot more than writing, doesn't it. I like your covers.

  2. it sure does, but i think those who dip into the creative side of life (like writers and illustrators) will find all avenues enjoyable, especially if they "let go" and allow themselves to make mistakes and learn along the way. : )


  3. Thanks for the great info on how to make covers. Very helpful.