Friday, 18 July 2014

How to Make an eBook Cover

This applies to Wattpad too, so feel free to adapt, by changing dpi, dimensions and images etc. For Wattpad you can use copyright images if you're smart about it, but for commercial things, you won't be able to get away with it.
As a graphics designer of three years, I know some stuff about Photoshop. However, when I entered eBook retail, I was hit with a ton of bricks known as "the learning curve". eBooks are not standard and a lot of places have strict guides, so before using this guide it might be better to check up on the website you're submitting your work.

  1. Decide on your cover size. 1600x2100 is an ideal starting point - I advise that if you are not sure of the size, you go right ahead and use those. 
  2. Create a new image in your photo editor of choice. For commercial use I advise Photoshop CS6, but if you want free, go to GIMP 2.6 (not 2.8 - it sucks). If you're only dealing with Wattpad, you could also use an online editing platform such as Picmonkey, or Pixlr. I know that when I'm doing light work for Wattpad, I use Picmonkey as it has pre-ready filters and vectors and other images.
  3. Locate, and save, images you are allowed to use. You can purchase images for commercial use from Photobucket etc, or you can get free, professional-quality images from MorgueFile. Ensure you have consent to use the images.
  4. Edit your images! This is always the hardest part, but when you have a vague idea what you're going for, it should be easy(ish). Start by removing any backgrounds you don't need on your foreground image using Photoshop's Background Eraser Tool with an appropriate leniency, or use your platform's alternative. Using an online service may or may not allow you to use this and you may have to hand-erase the backgrounds.
  5. Apply your foreground image onto your background. I tend to stick with a textured background. I usually use a grunge textured background in a pale color such as white, which is easily re-colored into the tone that I need. I also have a myriad of gradient and texture overlays.
  6. Make your title, review, and name bold. Don't make them hard to see. Maybe even use a stroke outline.

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