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Let’s Create a NaNoWriMo Cover!

Afternoon, folks!

Just because I’m a social media pariah these days doesn’t mean I won’t update Novelarnia! And wouldn’t you know it, WordPress has a cool option to advertise new blog posts without me ever needing to log into Twitter or facebook. Pretty swanky stuff. 😀

So, National Novel Writing Month is right around the corner! Are you participating?

For those who said yes, did you know that, according to the NaNo peeps themselves, having a novel cover for NaNo increases your chances of winning by 60%?

This isn’t super surprising, honestly. How awesome does it feel to look at a fake book cover for your novel and imagine it being on shelves? As my mentee Becky said, “Now my book feels real.” A novel cover gives visual inspiration for your story, and not much is better than that!

Here are a few novel covers I’ve made for friends in the past:

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Now, I didn’t draw ANY of those images. I simply used a program to slap text on top of them. Listen up, because this is important: Do not borrow images for a for-profit site without the artist’s express permission. This means you cannot use a created cover for something like Amazon UNLESS you drew / photographed it yourself.

Remember when we talked about copyrights? Yeah. Those are real, and I would never want to be accused of stealing. So whenever I borrow images from someone else, it’s only ever for my own personal site (off which I make NO money), and I always credit the original artist.

In the above picture collage, the artists / sources are: warrior girl, star mermaid, dragon, dragon background, bananas, and newspaper overlay.

So always be conscious of what you’re posting, and who you’re crediting when you do!

So, how do you make a cover?

Simple answer: Canva!

This program is GREAT for creating covers. They even have an option for it when you open the site! Click on the “Kindle Cover,” then create to your heart’s content. 🙂 Here are my tips when going about it:


Follow the tone of the story. For example, I made a cover for the aforementioned mentee, Becky. I was proud of it, but she wasn’t very enthused. Why? She’s writing a Sleeping Beauty retelling, but added a sci-fi element I didn’t know about. So my first take was less sci-fi and more fairy tale. Not true to her book, and thus not a good choice for her novel!

Find inspiration through Pinterest. If you haven’t already been using Pinterest for your novel, I highly recommend looking into it! I make boards for every book I write. It’s great visual inspiration whenever I hit a block. Plus, Pinterest usually links back to the original artist, so giving them credit for the fantastic picture isn’t too hard. 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 4.53.27 PMFont is key. Even if you’ve found the perfect picture, arranged it on Canva, it might still not look as you imagined. Changing the font makes a BIG difference, so play around with it! And if none of Canva’s fonts are The One, check out this awesome site called DaFont. Again, easy to credit the creators of those fonts; they’re right there on the site!

Try to match colors. You can use a color-picker like this one to match everything! Covers look more cohesive when the blank space pulls a color from the background image.

Finally, don’t forget to resize the picture for the NaNoWriMo site! The NaNo site uses very specific dimensions for covers. I recommend making your cover in the kindle size for your own private use, then resizing it for NaNo. As of 2017, the dimensions are 230 x 300 pixels. You can go to a website like this for easy resizing!

How’s it all come together? Well, here’s my newest cover! You can check out more about EYE OF THE STORM on the Books section of my website, or on my NaNoWriMo page!

Some treasures should stay hidden.
Artists: Left, Center, Right


So that’s it! Do you make covers for your novels? I’d love to see them linked below! 😀

As always, even though I’m not on social media for now, you can still email me!! Or add me as a buddy on the NaNo site! 🙂


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