Please note: This is for making a paperback cover.
This is the software I use to make paperback covers. (I use this or GIMP for ebooks.) It’s called BookCoverPro, and I’ve had it since early 2009. I love it because once you figure it out, you can make a paperback in about ten minutes. Here’s the link to the site if interested: http://www.bookcoverpro.com/features/
1. Double click the icon to open it, and you’ll get this menu.
2. You will want to choose “New” on the menu bar.
3. I go by the pages of a book, so I choose the “Pages” option and type in what the entire interior file of my book (aka the pdf document) is. Let’s say the book is 240 pages, but the entire document (with title page, dedication page, etc) comes to 250. I type in 250.
4. Now click “OK” and you come up with the screen that will you use to make your cover in.
5. To avoid white space along the edge of your cover, you will want to choose “Bar” on the menu bar. This is what you’ll get.
6. Change the color of the bar and drag it out to cover the entire cover. You need to make the bar large enough to go over the yellow lines along the edge of the cover. You will want to go halfway between the yellow and purple lines. (The purple lines are the ones furthest out.) Createspace will trim off the excess, but if you bring the bar all the way to the pink lines, your cover will be rejected. I had to call them up to figure out that was my problem a year ago when they changed their system.
6. Go to “image” in the menu bar and click the picture you want to use for your front cover. Resize the picture until it fits over the black area to the right (which will be the front cover).
7. Go to “text” in the menu bar and in the box for “text properties”, type your title. For the sake of this post, I titled this book “The Wedding”. You can choose whatever font and size you want. You can also change the color or put it in bold or italics. You can also center it (which is what I do). When you click on “Apply” at the bottom right, you’ll get the text box on the top left corner. Drag it to the front cover and place the title wherever you want.
Also, make sure the text isn’t too close the edge because CreateSpace will reject your cover and make you do it over. I believe it’s 0.5 inches from the yellow line is what they recommend.
8. Using the same method to type text, now type in your name and place it where you want on the front cover. If you have a series title or anything else you want to put on the front cover, do so using the same method.
9. The back is what I do next. I usually add two images to the back (sometimes just one). For this example, I’ll use a picture toward the middle top of the back cover and my logo to the bottom left. The logo should be far away enough so the ISBN will fit in the lower right corner of the back cover. Just use the process that you used for adding the picture on the front cover. My logo consists of two wedding rings and “Ruth Ann Nordin’s Books” on it. If you have a publishing name or a logo image already in place, use that.
10. Now I add in the text to the back cover. This is where I put a tagline (or teaser) at the top (above the top picture), add the book description under the picture, and then add a short author bio under it. I use differnt fonts for each task. When I am done with that, I put the price of the book above the area where I expect the ISBN code to be. I also added a “bar” (from the menu option), made it long and narrow, and adjusted the color. This way I have separated the description from the author bio.
I don’t know if anyone can read what I put inside the book description box, but in case you can’t, I basically said I try to not to get too close to the yellow line on the left or to the purple line on the right. I justify my margins. I use Arial (it shows up nicely) and usually go with either a 12 or 14 font size.
For the author bio, I put the books I’m most known for, the genres I specialize in, where I live, who I live with (I never give specifics like names), and my website.
11. Then I do the spine. This can be tricky because you have to center the images and text in the spine so they aren’t too close to the purple lines. If they are, CreateSpace will reject the proof.
Note: I choose “vertical” for orientation and “center” for alignment with the title and my name. I use my logo at the top, then put the title in, then put the front picture in, and then end it with my name. I did this when I saw some traditionally published romance novels with that format. So I’d take a look at the spine on the traditionally published books in your genre and try to imitate it.
12. Go to “Menu” (at the very top left of the menu bar), choose “Export to E-book”, and a box will pop up.
13. Put “Resolution” at at least 300 DPI (so the cover will be clear). Then click on the boxes next to “front”, “spine” and “back” so you’ll save the entire cover. For “Output File”, browse for wherever you want to save the cover. Then click “Export”.
14. When you are done, be sure to save your work in BookCoverPro because you might need to adjust the cover later, and it’s a pain to start from scratch.
15. Now go to CreateSpace, go to add a new book to your dashboard, and when you get to the Cover Creator, choose “The Pine” which I highlighted in blue. Uncheck the boxes for “title” and “author name” and upload your cover. If you get a warning that your resolution is too low, go back to BookCoverPro and save the cover under a higher DPI value. I like 380, but adjust this until the resolution is good.
Quick Note on making an Ebook Cover
This is very easy. Just expand the front cover so it starts at the purple line (along the spine) and it ends at the purple lines on the edge of the right side of the book. You should adjust the text so it’s centered for an ebook. You get more room with an ebook than you do with a paperback. Go to “Menu”, “Export to E-book”, 300 (or more) DPI, Parts “Front” only, and browse your output file.
Hope that helps.
*I bought the pictures used in this tutorial. Bride with flowers: http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-bridal-bouquet-image3615807. Bride and groom on the prairie: http://www.dreamstime.com/bride-and-groom-image1324946. Rings:http://www.dreamstime.com/golden-wedding-rings-image11274366