There have been several moments these past few months where I’ve looked in amazement at what some photo and drawing apps can do on the iPad, and wondered whether they’d be good tools for book cover design. Not only has Piotr Kowalczyk at Password Incorrect wondered the same thing, but he’s actually starting to experiment with the idea.

Specifically, Kowalczyk is testing an app called Phoster, which provides 70 templates that let you combine your own artwork with pre-designed typefaces and layouts. With the right photo and some thoughtful adjustments, the resulting images can pass for clean, modern book covers that look better than 80% of the self-pubbed ebook covers out there.

I’ve used Phoster myself and agree that the end results are impressive, but I’ve never taken it to this next step for a couple of reasons. The first is that I’m not sure how high a resolution you can produce (judging by some of the Flickr pool submissions, it’s dependent upon the source photo up to a point). The other is that I’m not sure the developer has given permission to use the templates for commercial purposes. I’ve asked him to respond to this via Twitter.

But in the bigger picture, it’s a perfect example of cheap* new digital tools that can help improve the self-publishing workflow.

* Not counting the cost of the iPad, obviously.


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