Thursday, March 22, 2012

Generic book covers for public domain books.

I bought a Kindle Fire. Yep, sure did. I've since been downloading public domain books like crazy but have found a few problems. The first one being the number of errors, but that's not what this post is about. Well, not really.

You see I would love to volunteer to help fix errors, but doing that takes an act of God apparently. Amazon allows public domain books, but the rules on loading new ones is long and annoying.

That said, I did download some instructions on how to format and I came across the book cover instructions. I did a search for that and found that people have a hard time finding or creating book covers. Now THERE is something I can do, easily and quickly. I could make these and give them to whomever wants them.

Before we do it, I do want to say that I would really LOVE to see what people do with their covers, so please post a link back to yours.

I played around with various formats and decided upon a simple template that can be customized to everyone's desire. You can use imaging software to apply a texture any color and so forth. The result is the sample to the right. You can remove any custom work I've done. The white space or "center panel" is where you would put the title.

Now, here's the thing. The template requires layers and since you can't just smack a layered image on screen here, it requires saving in a layered format. Because not everyone has PSP or PS or whatever paid imaging software there is out there, I decided to use Gimp so that anyone can get it. When I say anyone I mean ANYONE can use it. Gimp is free. Free, free, free! It's not user friendly, but it is free.

So, are there any prerequisites? Yep. Sad to say but there it is. You will need to have two fonts and just so that we don't have people jumping on our backs, the two fonts are freeware/public domain. The first is called Oregon and the other is the cool FogLighten decorative dings.

Naturally you are welcome to change the fonts, but I don't know if you'll get an error message when opening the file. It's up to you.

Once you have Gimp, download my file (by clicking here) and open it in Gimp and you'll see a list of all the layers. Feel free to delete, move redo any that you see fit. Now you have a free customizable book cover.

Remember, don't forget to post a link to your cover art! I would love to see what you all are doing with it. If you have trouble with Gimp, there are a ton of videos out there that will help guide you. In particular you could become familiar with flood filling layers with color and textures and adding text. Let me know if you have trouble.

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