Owing to the popularity of the previous author-focused tutorial on how to make a free 3D cover image of your book and thanks to a curious reader question, I thought take our tutorials a step further and see how to create a banner that lists the author's book covers and possibly some accompanying call-to-action text too.
We can use the author book banner to help market the author in the following ways:
- A header image decorating the top of your website,
- A great image enticing a website visitor to click and signup to your email list,
- A Facebook/ Twitter or LinkedIn header image.
- A catchy way to start your emails.
Watch the tutorial on Youtube.
The example given to me was a book banner created by author Nick Stephenson. So armed with the example banner image below and the question of how to create something similar, quickly and for free I opened up Pixlr and starting experimenting.
We want to make something like this.
It turn out to be really simple, let me show see how to do it.
How to create an author book banner
- Understand what a book banner image really is.
- Have your cover images ready.
Despite the lofty title of post, what we are really doing is making an image roughly 900 pixels (long) by 300 pixels (wide). The banner image must include images of the author’s book covers and possibly text, if the author wants.
What you need before beginning the tutorial is obviously the cover images of each title you want to display on the banner. Due to size constraints you would not want to show more than six covers. For authors having fewer titles, no problem, I will also show you how to include text on the banner to take up the remaining space.
So for this example I grabbed 4 random covers from authors I have previously helped, here they are individually.
Get your basic banner image ready, using the free online image editor Pixlr starting here:
2.1 Select “Create new image”
2.2 Select your desired banner image size, I use 900 x 300 in this tutorial
2.3 Select an appropriate banner image title.
So you should be staring at a blank white banner image, within the Pixlr interface.
The next step is to add the cover images that you should have easily available. Note the exact dimensions of the original cover images is not vital as we will resize larger images, scaling them down in size.
3.1 Place the first cover image on the banner by selecting "Layer – Open Image as layer" and navigating to your first cover file.
3.2 Now chances are that the larger cover images will spill over the banner borders, not to worry, let’s resize the image to the perfect fit using the Edit – Free transform option.
Using the free transform tool, making using you have the correct layer (cover) selected, you are able to resize the cover image to the perfect fit by dragging the blue corners of the cover image.
Remember that every cover image you insert will be listed as a new layer on the right hand side layers menu. The transform tool then transforms or “resizes” whichever cover image you currently have selected.
3.3 Repeat Step 3 adding as many cover images as you would like. Resize all the cover images using the free transform tool found in the the edit menu and then dragging the resized cover image to the right spot.
Once the cover image is resized, you will be asked if you want to save your changes to that specific cover image, click yes. (Covers can be resized again later, not to worry!)
Let’s add some text to our banner image. This step is entirely optional.
Using the text button, found on the selection pane near the bottom left hand side of the screen, add some text. I recommend playing with the font size and face until you are happy. Just remember to stick to a font face or family that looks professional. I would really not recommend using Comic Sans, Lucinda Sans worked for me.
Possible text to include could be:
- “Coming soon!”
- “New from author xxx.”
- “Get your best-selling eBook from author x today”
Save and export.
So you have created a banner image, adding your cover images and resizing each cover image as needed. You have then added text to include a possible message or call to action for your readers. The next step is just to save the banner directly to your computer.
File – Save
No more steps, you are finished – Well done!
Here is our new author book banner:
What else are you looking to create, quickly easily and for free? Give me an example and I will do my best to find a way around paid software to save the author a buck.