Creating book covers is an exciting part of the writing process for me. My covers are another creative outlet to express the story, almost as exciting as the writing of it. Anyone who tells you the cover doesn't matter is fooling themselves. You can have the best story ever written, but as an unknown author if the cover doesn't grab the readers they will be less likely to take a chance on you.
1) The first thing I do is go through pics until I find the one I think represents the story the best. I like to go for more subtle pictures for my erotica. Many people go for the shock value, but I'm not interested in that. So, in the case of Brie on Display, I went to the website Romance Novel Covers and bought one that spoke to me.
* Make sure you purchase pictures that specifically say they can be used for book covers.
2) I didn't want or need the entire picture, so I cropped it to highlight what I thought was sexy about the photo and would draw the readers in.
* Keep in mind that a lot of indies are using the same site. If you are not cropping and manipulating the photo, you are going to have the exact same cover as other indies. Not cool!
3) For Brie, I like the black and white look, so I use Paint.Net (free image and photo editing software). The program takes some getting used to, but it is free so I like it well enough.
4) I have a lovely Phoenix that I put on all my covers and I do not want the girl's shapely butt to be covered up by it. You see, I love the way he is cradling her ass and didn't want that to be lost. That meant I had to reverse the image, but understand that is a good thing! It means that the picture will be less recognizable if someone else chooses the same photo for their cover.
5) Now I add the title, Phoenix, and my name to the cover. To make it POP, I also add a little color. For Brie's books I use a transparent purple, white lettering for the title, and a black background with red lettering for my name. I do that for every book of the series so my readers can easily identify it as a Brie book.
So there you have it. Each cover is an extension of the book and important in its own right. The process is simple, but should be thoughtfully done. It will either attract readers to your work - or not. The choice is in your hands.