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eBook Cover Creation - Part 4 - Preparing Your Cover Image


For the purposes of this tutorial, I am going to re-create my cover for 'Prospero'.

For simplicity's sake (since we're total amateurs) we are going to make the image we downloaded (and paid for, right?) the entire cover. You can add text and other touches later, but white space should only be used by talented hands.

To edit our image, download GIMP;
GIMP is a wonderful tool that happens to be free. It is an Adobe Photoshop clone that does virtually everything Photoshop can, but it doesn't suck all available resources from your computer. When open, it will look like this;

Open your new image. The first thing you will want to do is rotate it, since the image is basically sideways for our purposes.

To do this, go to Image -> Transform - Rotate 90o Counter-clockwise

Next we want to verify that the image fits our resolution of 1000 x 1600.

Go to Image -> Scale Image

For my copy of the image, the default resolution is 2004 x 3208.

Over-write the Width of 2004 with 1000 and then press [TAB]

The Height automatically adjusts to 1601. Close enough. ;p This means that the image fits the 1.6 aspect radio.
(There's probably a better way to determine this, but remember....we're amateurs.)
Hit cancel - we'll continue working with the oversized image for now.

If you want only a portion of the image as your cover, you can use the crop tool to select an area. In the Toolbox palette, select the Crop Tool.

You'll note that as you click and drag over an area that the aspect ratio for your current selection will be displayed.

Experiment until you reach an area that is 0.60:1, or as close as you can get to it.

Once the left mouse button is released, all areas outside the image will be darkened.

You can click and drag on the boxes in the corner of the shape to adjust. You can also click and drag the selection around to fit the area of the image you'd like to crop to.

Double-click in the centre of your selection and the image will automatically crop to the selection.

Resizing is an option, but since it was at the correct resolution, I kept my image at it's default size.

The basis of our cover is ready - next we will add the cover text!

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