Updated: Sep 20
As an author, you know that creating visually appealing designs to promote your book can be a challenge. With Canva, it’s easier than ever before. This program allows users to create beautiful designs without having extensive knowledge of graphic design or computer coding.
In this Canva review, we'll take a closer look at this platform and explore its features, pros and cons, and how you can best utilize it for your author career.
What is Canva?
Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create a wide range of designs, including social media graphics, presentations, posters, bookmarks, and more.
One of the biggest reasons why Canva is such a popular tool is that it makes graphic design simple. Business owners and entrepreneurs are able to easily create supplemental marketing materials themselves without needing to rely on hiring a graphic designer.
If you are pressed for time or you just don't have a design eye, Canva may not be the best option for you but if you're willing to learn, Canva's features can save you a lot of time and money to create professional-looking designs.
Some of the specific features that Canva offers include:
Canva offers a wide range of templates for users to choose from, including social media graphics, presentations, posters, flyers, and more. These templates are customizable and can be edited to fit the user's needs. With the free plan, you can access over 250,000+ templates but the paid plan (Canva Pro) gets you 610,000+ templates with new designs added daily!
Canva offers a variety of design elements, such as icons, shapes, and illustrations, that can be easily added to designs. You'll be able to use over 1 million elements on the free plan and over 100 million premium photos, audio, video, and other elements with Canva Pro.
Canva offers basic photo editing tools, such as cropping, rotating, and filters, that can be used to enhance images.
Canva allows users to collaborate on designs with others by sharing the design and allowing multiple people to edit it.
The free plan allows up to 5GB of storage while the Canva Pro gets you 1TB.
You can easily create folders for specific designs to keep your work organized.
Canva Pro users can easily resize designs for different platforms with the click of a button. This is useful if you start a design and realize the dimensions aren't what you need or if you want to repurpose one design to create another. This is not available with the free Canva plan.
This Canva Pro feature allows you to easily remove the background from images in your designs. This can be useful for creating transparent backgrounds, isolating objects, and more. Personally, I use the Background Remover to isolate my children's book illustrations and characters so I can create more unique designs.
Brand Kit Creation
Canva Pro users have access to additional branding features, such as the ability to upload custom fonts and create brand kits. This will save you a lot of time when you're customizing templates to your brand colors, fonts, etc.
Social Media Scheduler
If you're a Canva Pro user, you can actually send your social media graphics and designs straight to the social media platform itself! You can easily create a Pinterest pin and then post it to your Pinterest without extra steps.
What can Canva create?
All of that sounds great but you might be wondering what specific materials you can design that will help you as an author.
Here are 25 quick examples:
Social media graphics
Author visit presentations
Bookmarks & other promotional materials
⭐️ Want these promotional materials done and designed for you? Reach out! ⭐️
How does Canva work?
To use Canva, simply create an account and log in. From there, you can choose from a wide range of templates or create your design from scratch! Canva offers a drag-and-drop interface, which makes it easy to add text, images, and other design elements to your project.
Advantages of Canva
It has a number of advantages that make it a favorite among designers and non-designers alike. Here are some of the main pros to using Canva as an author:
✅ Easy to use: Canva's drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create professional-looking designs without any design experience.
If you're an advanced user, Canva will also satisfy your needs: you can customize fonts, colors, and images according to your preferences or needs in no time at all. If you want more control over how things look in your creations, there are tutorials available online that show how various elements work together when used in different combinations--or even just one at a time!
✅ Affordable: Canva offers both free and paid plans, with the paid plans being very affordable in comparison to other design software.
✅ Wide range of design elements: Canva offers a vast library of stock photos, illustrations, icons, and more, making it easy to find the right design elements for your project.
✅ Collaborative: Canva allows you to share your designs with others and collaborate on projects, making it easy to work with a team.
✅ Flexibility: Canva has a mobile app, which makes it easy to create and edit designs on the go. You can also use Canva on multiple devices: desktop computers, smartphones and tablets that run Android or iOS operating systems (iPad). This makes it easy for children's book authors who travel frequently or work remotely from home because they can access all their files from anywhere with internet access!
Limitations of Canva
While Canva is a well-loved graphic design tool, there are a few cons to keep in mind:
❌ Limited customization: While Canva offers a wide range of design elements, it can be challenging to customize these elements beyond basic adjustments.
❌ Limited File Types: Canva only allows users to download designs in a few file types, such as JPG, PNG, MP4, and PDF. This can be limiting for users who need to use other file types for their projects.
❌ Limited font selection: Canva's font selection is somewhat limited, which may be a disadvantage for authors looking for a particular font. Canva's font library is limited, which can be frustrating for users who want to use a specific font for their designs.
Is Canva Pro Worth it? (Free vs. Paid Canva Plans)
I get this question a lot when working with authors. What it comes down to is your own personal goals, budget, and design capabilities. Many authors can get away with the free plan for a while (I did when I first started out) but if you want to hit the ground running with your author career, branding, and marketing efforts, Canva Pro is well worth the investment.
If you're on the fence, one of the best things to do is start with the free plan to get a feel for the platform. When you're ready, you can upgrade for just $12.99 per month (or pay for the year and save 12%) and can downgrade at any time.
If you're unsure how much you'll use Canva Pro's features, they do have a free 30 day trial so you can play with premium features like Background Remover, Magic Resizer, Brand Kit, Social Media Schedule, Magic Write, and more.
I hope this Canva review has been insightful as you decide on the best apps and tools for your author business. Overall, Canva is a great tool for authors looking to create visually appealing designs to promote their book. With its easy-to-use interface, wide range of design elements, and affordable pricing, it's a must-have tool for any author's marketing toolkit.