My book covers may not be stellar, BUT I believe in the time worn adage that you should never judge a book by its cover. My books, as some of you know by now, are idiosyncratic — & I would NOT have it any other way. So, it would be crazy if I didn’t design the covers myself. Yes, of course, I have tried the ‘cover creators’ provided by KDP (& others). I find that they kind of force me into a straight-jacket. But, to be fair, they have given me inspiration & ideas.
I used to create my book covers using Word. SMILE. I had it all nailed down. I used a TABLE as the basis for the cover. That way I could set the height & width of each cell — one cell for the front cover, one for the back cover & another for the spine. It worked, & I successfully created over 25 covers that way.
Then it occurred to me, one fine day, that it might be even easier to create a cover using PowerPoint. There were TWO points in favor of this approach.
- With PowerPoint you can specify a CUSTOM slide size (via the DESIGN tab) to the exact height x width dimensions you need (& in my case specifying that in inches). There are NO margins you have to contend with. So, once you get from KDP — via the HELP section — the cover dimensions (via a set of two TEMPLATES), you can just bang them in & BINGO you have a slide that is the right size. In the above example, for a 166-page, 10″ x 7″ book, the required dimensions, including the TRIM was 14.63″ x 10.25″. So, I created a slide EXACTLY to that size. No margins. You can see that above.
- PowerPoint’s built-in ‘Save As PDF’ works a treat. No messing about. You don’t have to specify any options or parameters. Just a straight ‘Save As PDF’. Within seconds you have a PDF to the EXACT dimensions you (& KDP) need. That is it.
Once you know how many pages are in your book, you can get a KDP cover template …
The templates are downloaded as a .ZIP. No problem. Just click on the zip file & you will see two files inside. Just copy them & save them somewhere else. One of the files is a PDF. Check the PROPERTIES on this file to get the cover dimensions. That is what you use to set up your PowerPoint custom slide size. The other file is a PNG (i.e., image file).
Once you have created your PowerPoint slide INSERT the PNG file. It should fit the slide 100%. Exact size. You can now really use it as a template. Keep it as the BACKGROUND.
Check Category ‘Books‘.
They Really Do Have ‘Rolex’ Watch Faces For The ‘Garmin Fenix 5’ For REAL — After My Joke Suggestion.
My post, on this blog, from a few months ago.
Today, I got an e-mail from a Garmin ‘insider’ telling me that two Rolex watch faces are indeed available in the ‘Garmin Connect IQ store’.
I went looking. Sure enough.
Yes, I downloaded them. They didn’t blow me away. Appears that you have to PAY for the ‘read’ face. I might do that when I get a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus.
I don’t think either is as good as the watch face I created, in minutes, on PowerPoint.
I couldn’t resist.
Took me less than a minute to dash this off using PowerPoint and post it. But, I did provide some MAJOR clues.
Got me me thinking.
Well I was having so much fun and it only takes me seconds — on PowerPoint. So, I did this too. Those who know me will appreciate the IRONY.
Do NOT follow the above Microsoft instructions.
At least on Windows 7.
It will automatically result in ALL Office 360/2016 apps, i.e., Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc. being removed from your computer — without you being asked or told.
It is not funny.
It is bloody diabolical.
Satya Nadella is such a bloody FRAUD.
Another scheming, money-grabbing FAKIR of the worst type,
with no shame.
I hate Microsoft.
++++ Search on ‘Microsoft’ for other related posts >>>>
..by Anura Guruge
++++ See Category ‘Books’ on sidebar for my other book posts >>>>
Yes, most publishing platforms now provide some sort of cover design tool. Though I generally create my own covers using Word (yes, word) or PowerPoint I am always glad to know that I have a fallback option if I get fed up messing around trying to meet the margin requirements.
In Kindle’s latest newsletter I happened to see that they now offer a cover designer — albeit in beta.
Today, now that I have a ‘second’ between books, having published my 18th (as a sole author) over the weekend, I decided to give it a try. Yes, I got a couple of error messages but it was easy enough to circumvent past them.
It looks pretty decent. Yes, I could create any one of these covers, in my sleep, in Word or PowerPoint. But, I am glad that I now have another choice.
Yes, of course, I am working on yet another book. For the last 20 years or so writing books is something I do on a daily basis. Yes, these covers above will give you a clue. I will even tell you more. With luck, if I live long enough, there will be a series of books. I collect trivia and data points like there is no tomorrow. Even if I don’t remember it all, I invariably remember how to go back and retrieve what I was thinking about. Seems like a shame not to share this given that I can easily cover popes, astronomy, computers, calendars and numbers — just to start with. Yes, numbers. There is a lot of stuff you can learn about numbers.
But, I have made a promise to myself. I am going to slow down. I have published 7 books so far this year. That is a bit insane, even for me. IF I continue at that same pace, one that I have been working at since September 2011, I could complete at least 3 more books this year. BUT, I am not going to. I am going to cut back on the hours I spend writing books. Maybe just 4-5 hours a day – 2 of them on my ‘midnight’ 3rd shift.