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Thursday, February 28, 2013

KD Renegade E-Book Cover Maker - Review and Discount

In this post last year I reviewed a newly launched Kindle cover maker called Kindle Renegade. This was a web-based application designed to help self-publishers with limited graphics skills produce decent-looking e-book covers.

At the time Kindle Renegade was being sold as a special offer on the Warrior Forum and still had a few kinks to be ironed out. Following feedback from users, the finished product is now being sold from its own dedicated website. The current version is called KD Renegade (I'm not sure why the name change, and in some places the name Kindle Renegade is still used).

KD Renegade developer Bertranddo invited me to check out how the software had matured since I first saw it, so I was delighted to accept his offer of a review copy. 

The web-based interface doesn't look much different at first glance, but in fact a range of extra features has been added. One I was most pleased to see was a Save button. Previously, if you made the mistake of closing the tab with the application on it, the project you were working on simply vanished, never to return. Now, you can save projects online and reopen them any time later.

There are also now Undo and Redo buttons, which save a bit of time. One of the things I liked most, however, was the range of templates that have been added. There were 33 when I looked, and Bertrand tells me they are adding about four new ones every month. Of course, as this is a web-based application, buyers of KD Renegade will get all future templates as well.

The templates are professionally designed and cover a wide range of book types, including both fiction and non-fiction. Obviously, you can edit anything you want in the template, including text, images, backgrounds, and so on.

You don't have to start your project with a template, of course. You can begin with a blank page, or with your choice of image. However, there is no denying that using a template can save a lot of time. Here's a template-based cover I knocked up in about ten minutes, for a thriller novel I may or may not one day write...

Another feature of KD Renegade is that you can also use it to create 3D versions of your cover image (this was previously an optional upgrade). You can't use such images on Amazon, but if you're selling through a self-publishing platform such as ClickBank (as discussed in my 10-Day E-Book course) they could be just the thing. You could also use the 3D image on your own blog or website. As a matter of interest, here is the 3D version of my example cover.

Pretty cool, wouldn't you say?

Obviously, one drawback of using a template is that others are likely to be using the same image as well. How much that matters is open to debate. Of course, you can make your design unique by altering the font size and style, changing colors, adding banners, and so forth.

Are there any minuses with KD Renegade? Not many. One I did discover is that if you click on Training to view the tutorials, it opens in the same tab, and if you haven't saved your work, it will be lost. In my view, it would be better if the Training page opened in a new tab or window. Still, this does reinforce the importance of saving your work regularly!

Speaking of the Training area, this has three sections. The first contains training on using KD Renegade itself, the second is Kindle and e-book marketing training, and the third contains design and image tips. The advice is generally quite concise but covers all the main things you need to know. The section about Kindle and e-book marketing includes free guides to formatting your work for Kindle and publishing it on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), which is a useful extra.

Overall, I was very impressed with KD Renegade, and pleased to see the improvements that had been made since the earlier version. If you're looking for an easy solution to creating e-book covers, it is well worth considering.

Inevitably, as this is the "mature" version of the application, the price has gone up now, to $77 (about 50 UK pounds). This does include all the templates and 3D image maker, which were previously optional upgrades.

If you commissioned a professional designer to create a single cover image for you, that would probably cost more than $77 alone. To ease the pain, however, Bertrand has kindly offered a special discount to my blog readers. Once you reach the KD Renegade checkout page, enter the code "imwithnick" (just like that, no spaces, and without the quotation marks). A $25 discount will then be applied, reducing your cost to $52 (about 34 UKP). I'm not sure how long this code will work, so if you think KD Renegade could be of value to you, don't leave it too long!

If you have any questions or comments about KD Renegade, please leave them below.

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