Recently, I began to focus on designing book covers. Microsoft Publisher was my initial choice, but it has a severe design flaw that resulted in one of their technical staff being allowed access to my PC to seek a solution. The effort did not succeed, so I abandoned the software package and chose another. It is a rival to Adobe Photoshop but only has a one-off fee and lots of tutorials to support it. The problem? Publisher cannot correctly edit unwanted picture backgrounds on export for printing in PDF format. They show as square, white backgrounds surrounding the main image, even though they are invisible within the original publisher picture.
I have now completed four books in the Snippets series, as per www.terrytumbler.blogspot.com. These are approx. 30,000 words long, self-contained extracts of full-length books and are intended for busy readers who want something shorter to evaluate. The cost to me of handing out these 'snippets' is just over 2 euros each for a paperback.
I have also completed a rewrite of a full paperback, which is three times as long, with the redesigned cover going through the publishing routine without a hitch, the first time, using Amazon. The ISBN to uniquely identify it in the publishing world is Amazon's own and cost me nothing.
The software is Affinity Photo, but is not for the faint-hearted. For my specific needs as a cover designer, it is in a vastly superior league to MS Publisher and well worth the €54 I paid. I needed a half-day to get up to speed by finding and viewing online tutorials, plus reading the free, in-depth guide.
It will save me a bundle in fees paid to professional designers, who typically charge $120. These know all about bleeds, gutters, odd and even pages, margins and the like. So do I.
If anyone reading this needs advice, I can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org