5 Reasons Why I Love Canva
*I would like to note before continuing that I was not paid to write this. I just really love Canva and genuinely believe it has helpful features for amateurs and professionals alike.*
Want to know another thing I love about books? Book covers. I know there’s this old phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” While it is good advice, let’s face it: we totally judge books by their covers. Book covers done well are what makes readers pick the book off the shelf to read the description. As such, authors should always think about what they want on their book covers.
This is why I love Canva. Canva is a website where I can design a variety of documents, from postcards to flyers, but I’ve only really used it for Wattpad book covers. Good covers are what encourage Wattpad readers to read your book, so I’ve found it very helpful in this regard.
Here are five reasons why I’ve come to love Canva:
1) It’s free
Well, sort of. It has free features. It’s free to make an account, but there’s limited access to photos, illustrations, fonts, layouts, etc. So just FYI, not everything about it is free.
However, this doesn't make it any less useful. There’s still a ton of free stuff available, so it’s really not that limited, especially if you’re just starting out or just need a quick cover for Wattpad. This brings me to my next point:
2) It’s great to have in a pinch
Back when I first started using Wattpad, I used to have to enlist other users to make nice covers for me or make a crappy one myself with programs on my computer that were not made to make Wattpad covers. When I found Canva, I didn’t have to do this anymore.
Canva has a template specifically for Wattpad book covers (which is free). It also has free images and fonts available for you to use to design a book cover. This means you can make a cover when you need a cover, and you won’t have to post your story without one.
My “Letters to San Francisco” cover, for example, only took me a few minutes to make. I just search for photos of San Francisco and old letters, plopped them on the template, then chose a font that looked like (legible) cursive writing. Boom. Done.
3) It’s easy to use
Because I have access to a lot of free content, making a cover is super easy. There’re not many steps to the process either. Pick a picture (or upload one, if you want), plop it on there, adjust as needed, pick a font, type it in, done. It saves automatically, too, so you don’t have to worry about losing your work.
It’s also easy to download your cover to your computer – just click the button at the top. You can choose to download it as a JPG, PNG, or PDF standard and print, however you like. There’s no complicated process for when you’re just starting out.
4) It’s a great learning tool
It’s easy-to-use features and access to free content makes it a great learning tool for those wanting to learn how to design their own book covers. Though I could make a cover in a matter of minutes, I found myself just making covers for fun, for hours. I definitely fell down the rabbit hole with Canva, but this isn’t a bad thing.
Spending time on Canva really made me consider what elements I felt best represented my stories. How did I want those elements to appear to the reader’s eye? What colors did I want to use? What font worked the best? These are questions I never considered before, and I look at book covers and the work that goes behind them in a whole new light.
Practice makes perfect, so spending time on Canva to practice making book covers is time well spent in my book (pun not intended).
Speaking of learning, Canva has special programs for students and teachers. How about that?
5) Professional upgrades are there if needed
Though a lot of its content is free, there are professional upgrades on Canva that are there if you need them. I haven’t used the professional features or paid for any images or fonts yet, but I like knowing they’re there.
Canva also allows you to invite team members so you can collaborate together. In fact, you can even make a team for free, and invite up to 400 members. If you have a small independent book publishing business, or are trying to begin one, I feel like this is good feature to have when you and your team want to toss around design ideas on book covers.
Canva also has a subscription program called Canva for Work, which gives you even more access to images and fonts, and gives you more uploading ability, like custom fonts.
Have a nonprofit? Eligible nonprofit organizations can sign up for free Canva for Work accounts, which is another great feature for professionals.
This doesn’t even cover half of what Canva offers to authors and other professionals, but these are just a few reasons why I’m happy I discovered it. So, yeah. I love Canva.