As an author of erotic stories, I sometimes need other things beside lube and my keyboard for satisfaction. Being a scribbler of dirty stories, completing one of my masterpieces requires a book cover to show off the contents. Also, the goal is ultimately to extract the pervert’s credit card from their raincoat to purchase a copy of said story.
Creating a proper cover requires a graphics design software package specially designed for the job. Certainly, products such as PhotoShop or GIMP can be employed, but my go-to program has always been CorelDRAW. Corel has been around for years and is a staple of the commercial graphics design business.
The biggest impediment for many authors is the cost of CorelDRAW, but there are now alternatives to be considered.
InkScape is an open-source (i.e., Free) software program for graphic design similar to CorelDRAW. Programmers typically develop open-source software as a labor of love and not money. As a programmer myself, I classify Corel and InkScape as object-oriented software packages.
Object-oriented programs or OOP deal with objects rather than the entire “thing.” For example, when discussing a book cover, each thing on the cover becomes an object, such as the image and blocks of text.
I’m currently working on The Perfect Wife. A story about a woman sucked into the clutches of swingers while her husband is out of the country. But, I don’t want to talk about the story, only the cover.
Using the latest version of InkScape, I developed a cover image to illustrate how easy it is for a person to create and save themselves the cost of hiring an outside graphics designer. I’ve outlined the basic steps I used to generate the output cover image for the publisher.
Starting with the cover image, I resized it to 1600×2400 pixels using PhotoShop (or GIMP).
Next, I created a new project with InkScape as 1600×2400 pixels in size. After adding a vertical centerline, our empty project looks like this:
Import the base image and drag it to the upper left corner.
Then grab the lower right-hand handle and drag the image to the lower right corner of the cover.
At this point, all we have to do is add the text blocks for the story title and the author.
The block of text (an object) has handles on all corners and center points. This allows the text to be dragged around and sized as necessary. See how the addition of the vertical centerline makes it simple to ensure that the title text is centered on the page.
Doing the same thing with the author’s name and the cover is complete. At this point, export the resultant product, and you have a 1600 x 2400 image file to supply to the publisher. Then go to the mailbox and wait for the money to pour in from your frenzied buyers! Don’t forget to bring a bag to put all the money in!
Granted, this is a simple cover, but the idea here is to show you how an author can create a cover using free software. I know that I used PhotoShop, but I could have easily used GIMP to edit the initial image of the blonde to resize it. I should have used GIMP as that would make the creation of this cover image free, ignoring any cost to take or acquire the underlying image itself, but I didn’t.
I’m Larry Archer, and I write erotic stories for the huddled and yearning masses. Foxy and I are swingers in real life. I write erotic stories based on the things we do and see. While the Lifestyle is not for everyone, it’s been fun for us. My smut is explicit and hardcore but with a somewhat plot. My porn novels are generally positive and fun, as this reflects how enjoyable swinging has been for us. If you’re interested in checking out my stories, I publish them at all the popular outlets.