(I’ve been running a series on my MySpace blog called “Adventures in Indie Publishing” where I tell everyone how I made a muck up of it all so that they don’t have to. At the moment I’m exploring “How to Get a Cheap Cover” and, after a suggestion from Ruth, I decided to post it here as a series (because it’s a long, long post!)
There is an easy route to DIY covers: Cover creator. Whether you’re going through LuLu, Create Space or another POD, they probably have a handy dandy cover creator of some kind. If your POD of choice lacks this, then a good trick is to use LuLu’s cover creator, then download the finished PDF file and upload it to your place of choice. Cheating? No. You still made it. Be careful, though, and make sure that the cover size (aka print size) is the same though! A 5 x 8 cover won’t fit a 6 x 9 book! (You may well need to blotch out a bar code too. I won’t lie, I’ve never done, but I’ve read of it being done)
How do you use this magical and mystifying cover creator? It’s fairly easy. LuLu has a very, very detailed explanation: http://www.lulu.com/en/help/covers_faq. Create Space, however, doesn’t seem to have this (Their Help files are generally not helpful as they rely on forum posts rather than a real FAQ file). But, the tools are essentially the same, so if you read one you should be able to use the other.
You can also create your front and back covers as whole images and upload them into the cover creators (I did this on LuLu for the test version of Shades of Gray) so that you can get exactly what you want. If you do this make sure to have a high resolution image – at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) or it will print blurry.
Does anyone else have experience with the cover creators?