by Anura Guruge
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 …
Click to ENLARGE. How to get the ‘cover templates’ from KDP Help.
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.
PNG template that you INSERT into PowerPoint. You can CREATE over it. Delete it towards the end or even just keep it in the background.
Check Category ‘Books‘.
by Anura Guruge