I am brand new at this and I have no idea how to prepare my book cover. The templates and instructions are like a forien language to me. Can anyone help? I do not have photo shop and I can not get anything done in paint. I have created a cover design in pintmaster. Any suggestions?
Have a look at my cover designs here, if you are interested I can design it for you at a reasonable price.
Otherwise if you want to put your head into it, I can give you links in this community with instructions of how to do it.
In that case you need to spent some time learning free softwares similar to photoshop, like GIMP or Paint.net. Search them on google and also their tutorials. All will be available for free.
Once you learn them, you need to import the .png template CS provides in the book uploading page. It also has a psd template, which will open only in photoshop.
then you can design the cover.
Basically you can even design it in MS word but that can be too much work and CS will keep rejecting it, as many others here are experiencing it.
Once you start designing it in those softwares and need more help, then you can post questions here.
Do you have specific questions concerning the template? Terms you're not familiar with or numbers you can't seem to understand? I can't help with the software, but I might be able to help you understand the template.
Also, there is software that isn't as expensive as Photoshop, but it works well for prepress (I've used it years ago and my daughter has used it more recently):
PaintShopPro, previously owned by Jasc, but now distributed via Corel is only $99 and it works really well and in CMYK (color gamut used for print. If you send it RGB, it's flipped "on the fly" before printing and this can give unexpected results in some cases, although many digital printers accept RGB files).
Gimp, as another poster suggested is also an option, and it's completely free, but it only supports the RGB color gamut.
There's an article here explaining RGB and CMYK colors: http://www.copy-cd.biz/dtp-area/RGB-vs-CMYK.jsp
Paint.net has no CMYK problem.
If you are not used to designing softwares I would not recommend Paintshop pro, like photoshop it has a very steep learning curve.
Also CS uses digital printers, in the long run it doesn't matter you use cmyk or RGB profiles
If your software exports in RGB, don't mess with it. CMYK is for offset printers, and there are different settings for each different press. A printer using offset will give you the color profile for his machine, but this is a non-issue with digital printing.
Some of the companies who are dealing directly with novice designers are accepting RGB files, however they're still flipped to CMYK "on the fly" aren't they?. And this can have unexpected results. Some of the things I've run across in prepress have been 90% black and wide shifts on purples, blues, hot pinks and oranges.
For instance here are the ink specs for HP's Indigo 5500
HP Indigo inks
Standard Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black
Photo 6-color printing Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Light Cyan and Light Magenta
HP IndiChrome Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Orange and Violet
PANTONE colors ?PANTONE-licensed HP IndiChrome on-press 6-color printing using CMYK as well as orange and violet
?PANTONE-licensed HP IndiChrome off-press Ink Mixing System, for spot color creation, using CMYK as well as orange,
violet, red, green, blue, bright yellow and transparent
?HP Professional PANTONE Emulation Technology (PANTONE-licensed CMYK values for 4-color PANTONE simulation,
utilizing ICC profiles to provide optimized simulation values for the specific press and media combination)
Creative you understand the meaning of digital printers?
I not going to sit down and explain it you.
It is very easy to search on net and find the info of indigo inks.
maybe you should search some info about digital printers as well, your posts proves you know nothing about them.
I think I have a pretty good grasp on how inks and toners work for web offset, sheet fed and digital, I've been working prepress since the early '80s, long before computers were on the scene and have been doing covers for Booksurge since the late '90s, back when they were called Digitz. LOL I just came here because the CS process is a bit different and wanted to familiarize myself with it, and someone from the organization mentioned it to me a while back.
But thanks for your concern. And don't worry about having to sit down with me. hahahah.
I do not have photo shop either. I used the free Open Office suite(at Sun Microsystems, http://www.openoffice.org/). Open Office supports Mac/Windows and Linux. Its almost like Microsoft Office but its completely free. The Draw program that comes with the Open Office suite is what I used to use the template. Draw is a full graphics program. You can equate paint(graphics) is to notebook(text processor) as Draw(graphics) is to Word(text processor). Paint and notebook have less power and Draw and Word are full power applications for what they're used for.
Before using the book cover template you must have your book complete, the number of pages your book will take up will determine how wide the binding part of the book cover will be. The thinker the book the larger the binding part will be. They couldn't stress that enough. the binding part is what people at a library or any book shelf will see first and not the front or back cover.
Once your book is done come back to CreateSpace and go to this page: https://www.createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do, to create your custom template. Use the form to plug in your book specs and it will generate a custom book cover template based on your information.
if you're following these instructions you'll just need the graphic files for non psd(photoshop) applications.
Load the graphic file into the graphic program. I used the rectangle shape from the Draw tool strip and sized three of them; one for the front cover, one for the back cover and one for the middle spine. All I did was choose the rectangle as my shape, dragged each one to the template. When I did the front cover I dragged the top of the rectangle to the upper left corner of the front cover area, dropped it and then sized it to go to where the red outline area begins and not past it. If you have photos you would like to hang off the edge of the cover then you would go and overlay the red area.
After laying the three panels I locked or grouped them together and applied my background color. You can also apply a background image. I used a background color and added text and small photos to the cover. Once you have the canvas in place then you do regular graphics design stuff like add color, pictures, text,style them place them where you see they should be. You can make use of color gradients, opacity with Draw. I made my spine my name and book title. I angled the letters to replicate the way the letters on most spine are placed, to match others on the book self, your buyers will place your book on the book self also.
After I was done with adding text and photos to my final book cover; front spine and back I locked everything together as a group. I can now drag my cover off the template and easily size it back onto the template. Draw only allowed me one layer which was the template layer. I saved two version of my book cover: One with the guide and saved as an open Draw file and the second I deleted the template layer and exported that out to pdf. I tested the pdf file with a pdf read. When you export make sure you set the final pdf to high quality and to show only one page at a time and make sure the menus are there for the viewer to use(you can turn these of as a feature - ebooks do this to prevent illegal use of their pdf file). You'll see these options when you perform the export. All that strange text about bleaching applies to adobe users the Draw export to pdf doesn't have many setting to set and bleaching isn't an option.
I recently had my files reviewed and approved on the first shot.
All in all if it didn't take long to use the template, deciding on the actual design took the most time. All you are doing is making sure your book cover fits the template dimensions. It should fit snug on top of the template. And you have to make sure none of your photos will be were they will place the isbn box else the reader won't see it, the isbn box will cover it up. The rest is regular graphic design tasks. And you're making sure when you export to pdf that it lines up as it did in the graphics design program(wysiwyg - what you see is what you get). If you ever had a text file exported to another format and then opened the file in the program that creates that file format and it loads as gibberish or is way off kilter in its alignment then it wasn't exported into that file format correctly. The instructional documents were trying to convey that you need to properly export to pdf so that they can read it with their pdf program - wysiwyg to your view before the export was done.
Hope this is helpful.
CreateSpace.com Self publishing author of Tell No Lies But Keep Secrets
P.S. If you are looking for a cheap graphics creation program then Web Graphics Creator, http://www.webgraphicscreator.com/(I do not even know if they have an affiliate program, that's the root domain link). Its $39.99 and you get a logo creator, business card creator, flash button creator, tons of templates and an easy to use interface. On their site you'll see some familiar graphics, the larger sites are using this program. It is one of the highest rated graphic programs out there and you'll get more than your money's worth. It took me, a non graphic person, about two months to become good enough to use the shapes and other features to create custom graphics instead of the templates. I can't wait to show off my new site once completed. I also created graphics for a pc software program, not just the web. You can look very professional. If you are going to have your own site it'll come in handy there as well plus the business cards feature is a plus.
"Some of the companies who are dealing directly with novice designers are accepting RGB files, however they're still flipped to CMYK "on the fly" aren't they? And this can have unexpected results. Some of the things I've run across in prepress have been 90% black and wide shifts on purples, blues, hot pinks and oranges."
I don't know if they are or not, but if so, this might explain why user CMYK profiles make for covers that barely resemble the original colors. I'm speaking in general terms, not CS specifically. (The light blue cover I uploaded to CS was also uploaded to another POD site. CS's was darker than expected, but the other cover was lavender!)
Some of the digital presses do handle the RGB fine, but many don't (especially older units) and you have no way to know where your file is really being printed or off what machine.
You're still bound to see color shift between printers and runs, though, that's just life... but if you convert to CMYK and then proof it (either onscreen just with Acrobat, which I find works well, or a print proof from Kinkos or Staples or some place using a commercial laser printer), you'll have a pretty good predictor for what's going to happen. Plus, while all don't handle RGB well, they all work with CMYK so you don't have to worry about it.
But with so many people using any program possible to create this stuff, I fully understand why they tell people to leave the color alone and let them do it. I can't imagine the headaches their staff have to deal with.