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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review: Kindle Renegade E-Book Cover Software

Creating cover images for e-books is always a challenge for those of us with limited graphics skills.

I include myself in that category - so when I heard about a new product called Kindle Renegade that promised to make it easy to create beautiful Kindle e-book covers in just a few minutes using a point-and-click interface, I bought it straight away.

Kindle Renegade is one of the many Kindle-related products being launched on the Warrior Forum right now. It's on offer until 27 September 2012 at a price of around $20. After that time, I understand it will only be available at a much higher price.

Kindle Renegade works online, so there is actually nothing to download. Once you have paid your fee, you are taken to the members area.

Here you can view video tutorials on using the software and launch the cover-design interface (which is WYSIWYG and looks rather like an e-book reader itself). The creators of Kindle Renegade, Dan Lew and Bertranddo, have created a video showing it an action, so I've embedded this below...

As ever, if you are receiving this post by email or RSS, you may need to visit my blog to watch the video.

Of course, the video makes it look super simple, but when you are using a new piece of software for the first time, there is always a learning curve. In particular, I am more used to working with a word processor, and at first repeatedly found myself deleting a whole text layer when all I really wanted to do was change a word!

I did get better, though, and in around twenty minutes produced the cover image below (using one of my own photos). All I have to do now is write the book!

Things I like about Kindle Renegade include its flexibility and speed (once you get used to the way it works), and the wide range of design features it offers (including banners, which I haven't quite mastered yet). It comes with 17 fonts, all attractive and potentially useful. And once you are happy with your cover image, you can export it in .jpg format at a suitable size and resolution for the Amazon Kindle store.

One drawback I found with Kindle Renegade is that you can't save projects. At one point I made the mistake of switching back to the homepage so that I could watch a tutorial again. The cover I had been working on vanished, never to return. It would be good if this functionality could be added in a future version.

There is the inevitable "One Time Offer" when you purchase. This is for an upgraded version which can produce 3D-style cover images and also has a number of extra templates. The 3D covers can't be used for Kindle books, but might be useful if you are selling e-books via ClickBank, for example. The extra templates are attractive, but would only be suitable for a limited range of titles. One tip is that if you turn down the first OTO, you will be offered exactly the same one at a somewhat lower price.

Overall, I thought Kindle Renegade offered a good solution if you are looking for a quick way to create e-covers for non-fiction books in particular, and you don't want to spend time mastering the intricacies of Photo Shop or open source alternative The Gimp.

Kindle Renegade does a similar job to Instant Kindle and E-Cover Creator, which I reviewed a while ago in this blog post. With Instant Kindle and E-Cover Creator you do still have to use Photo Shop or The Gimp, however. Kindle Renegade is a complete solution in itself, and probably quicker and more convenient to use. I do still recommend both, however!

Disclosure: Some links in this review include my affiliate code, so if you click through and make a purchase, a proportion of the fee will go to me. This hasn't influenced my review, but you should of course complete your own due diligence and read the sales page (and this review) carefully to determine whether this product will be relevant to your needs.

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Blogger J.L. Campbell said...

Thanks, Nick,
It's always good to know what's out there.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Thanks, Joy. I agree!

10:36 AM  

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