I promised to keep readers updated on how work is coming on my ebook formatting, which must include the creation of a cover. Everything published in ebooks must have a cover that can be used to sell your book online, either through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or any of the other ebook readers.
I was steered toward Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, and since I will have a lot of book covers to make which I want to look professional, I decided to splurge. I found a copy for $79.99 with a $20 rebate, so that’s not bad for an investment. Happily, I have a friend who has made some lovely covers using that program, so she spent about two hours on the phone with me getting me up and running with a basic understanding of this difficult program. It’s wonderful to have friends, and I’m grateful to every one of you who has come to my aid during this journey.
I’m pretty much a klutz when it comes to understanding computer programs from this new electronic age. Today, after making one cover that looked like my five-year-old great grandson had drawn it in a Big Chief Tablet, two or three more that didn’t even make it through to the end stage because I grew disgusted and deleted them, I finally came out with a decent enough cover — I hope — to lift up my first short story, Hard Way Home and it’s bonus story, The Traitor, to Smashwords along with the cover.
If you are familiar with Photoshop, then you can easily make your own covers. Just be sure they don’t look like my aforementioned childish first attempt, unless of course, that’s deliberate because of the content of your story, article or book. I’ve asked three of my honest writer friends to take a look at the cover and give me an opinion before I take the final step and “lift up” to Smashwords.
A few clues for your cover: It must be 600 x 900 pixels and 72 resolution. Create in many layers from cover color to text to photo, picture or design. Make sure when you’re happy with the look, to save it to Photoshop, then save to jpg. Once you have done that it can’t be worked on any more and you’ll have to start over in a new file on Photoshop. I kept this one fairly simple so I could get used to using the program. Later I will try to improve on my designs, especially for the books. I think a good, simple clean cover for short stories and/or articles is okay.
Look over your finished jpg carefully, then make it smaller as if it were on Amazon, and make sure it’s still good and readable. Good luck and send some comments on how this is all working out for you.
Velda, you're such an inspiration, and I appreciate all of the information you share. Now you've got me motivated to get some short stories on ebooks!
I created covers for my first two books. I use them for promotion purposes until the publisher comes out with the offical cover, but I love creating new things with Photoshop.
Your posts are so helpful. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.
I KNEW I didn't want this much information! URK!