Posted on October 27 2015 in writing & reading
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is coming! For those who are new to NaNoWriMo, it's a month-long writing challenge. Participants aim to write 50,000 words during the month of November.
As I mentioned in last week's email, I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. My project is Young Adult historical fiction and in preparation, I've been researching the time period, plotting out the story, and reading books to get inspired. Which is good and important NaNoPrep, but I also wanted to do something fun... :)
Today, I'm going to show you how to create a cover for your NaNoWriMo project. It only takes a few minutes to create a cover in Canva (a simple graphics editing tool). As an added bonus? According to NaNoWriMo.org, adding a cover increases your chances of "winning" NaNoWriMo by 60%.
(See that naked novel cover spot? Doesn't it look sad? Let's fix it!)
How to Make your NaNoWriMo Novel Cover
1. Sign in to Canva.com or create your free account.
I chose to use Canva because it's free and simple to use. You can quickly create beautiful images for everything from Pinterest to printed materials.
2. Under Create a Design, choose Custom Dimensions. Set your dimensions to 230 X 300 pixels.
Although Canva provides Book Cover and Kindle Cover design templates, those images are too large to upload to your NaNoWriMo account (sad face). We'll use the cover dimensions provided by NaNoWriMo (230X300px)
3. Change the Background of your design.
You can use a free image (type in the search field to find images in Canva), a color, or a free pattern. To keep this tutorial simple, I chose a color. I clicked Background in the left hand navigation, then used the color picker to choose a color.
4. Add your title.
Next, click Text in the left hand navigation to add a text field. Type in your title, or use multiple text boxes if you'd like to use more than one font. In each text field, you can edit the font (color, size, style). You can also move and rotate the text field.
5. Rename your file.
Canva uses the template name for files. To avoid confusion (or a desktop cluttered with unfamiliar file names), rename your file to something you'll recognize. Click on the file name in the top navigation, then type in your new file name.
6. Choose Download to save your file.
Save your file as a .jpg or .png.
7. Upload your cover image to your NaNoWriMo.org account.
Sign in to your NaNoWriMo account. On your NaNoWriMo dashboard, click the link in the empty cover image spot. Follow prompts to upload your cover image.
8. Share your cover!
I'd love to see the cover you made. Tweet me @bridgidlee, tag me on Instagram @bridgidgallagher or share a link to where you've posted it in the comments below. You can also add me as a buddy on NaNoWriMo.org (search for bridgid_gallagher).
P.P.S. More helpful links, from the YA Buccaneers blog: how to come up with story ideas, how to pick the idea you work on next, how to have a successful NaNoWriMo experience, and how to get unstuck when you hit the writing wall.