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‘.