E-books have revolutionized the publishing industry, opening up the market to writers who wish to self-publish. It costs you nothing to write and design your own e-book to sell on your website or even via sites like Amazon, which sells e-books. To make your e-book look professional, you want to consider at every aspect of its creation, from the writing to the designing of the front cover. Fortunately, with the advances in design software, making an appropriate cover for your book presents only minor challenges at most.
1. Think about the theme of your book and brainstorm for ideas that represent the book’s themes visually. If you wrote a cookbook, for example, stylized illustrations of food would offer effective visual representations of your theme.
2. Sketch out several sample covers based on your brainstorm. You’ll work out any difficulties in your design at this stage. Remember to also design both a front and a back cover. (See Resources for more information about design elements.)
3. Make a file folder on your computer in which you can store all of your page design templates and the accompanying photos and illustrations.
4. Take any photos required of your e-book’s covers. Upload them onto your computer using the software and cables that came with your digital camera. Save these in your file folder.
5. Draw any illustrations you need. If you draw your illustrations by hand, you’ll want to scan them into your computer at a high resolution—at least 300 dots per inch (dpi), following the instructions that came with your flatbed scanner. Save your illustrations in your file folder.
6. Open up your page layout software and set the page parameters. If you choose a standard 8 ½ inch by 11 inch paper size for your ebook cover, your readers will find it simpler to print out if they choose to do so. Additionally, adding the covers to your book is simpler if you import your book’s text into the page layout software first and leave the front and back pages blank for your covers. This allows you to create one file for your whole book instead of having to import separate pages.
7. Import your graphics into your page layout software, following the design ideas you created during the brainstorm stage. Make size adjustments to the graphics as needed.
8. Add text to the covers of your e-book.