How to Get a Cheap Cover – Part VIII

(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?

3 Comments

  1. I have a bookcover software making program that I plug in the number of pages for my interior file. Then I insert pictures and text. But it’s saving it so that I got a clear picture onto CreateSpace that gave me the biggest grief last year.

    Here’s what I had to do. I saved the entire cover as a jpg and had to make the resolution 300 DPI, like you said. Otherwise, CreateSpace will say it’s blurry. For good measure, I use 380 DPI. Then I use the easy cover making program in CreateSpace (when you’re uploading your files). CreateSpace has a template that allows you to insert the entire cover on it. However, I have noticed when using that template, I always get a “this template failed” message. I exit out of the cover maker program and open it again and then it comes up. Weird. But this happens every single time.

    So yeah, as long as it’s 300 DPI and in jpg form, you should be good to go on CreateSpace. (I tried pdf but it never worked. I don’t know what I was doing wrong there.)

  2. Thanks for the info! I got lucky and had a friend who had Adobe Illustrator, so I just gave him my cover saved as a PNG and he opened it in Illustrator and saved it as a PDF. I’m afraid my PDF’ing skills are very lacking, LOL! But I’m glad to know that Create Space will let you upload the entire cover as an image, in case I can’t get him to do that again!

    1. I hope it works. 🙂

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