Tag Archives: paperback

Creating Amazon KDP Paperback Book Covers Using Just PowerPoint.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

 


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by Anura Guruge

When Transitioning Paperback Publishing From ‘CreateSpace’ To Amazon’s ‘Kindle Direct Publishing’ (KDP).

by Anura Guruge



I ran afoul of two small things in the KDP setup that screwed up the process. So, I just want to give you a heads-up. They don’t seem like much but either of them could delay the publishing process.

So, here are the two innocuous but, nonetheless, costly ‘gotchas’:

  1. The first (default) option for book interior is CREAM and not white (as you would expect). Cream paper is THICKER. So, this makes the spine of the book BIGGER. So, if you, like I, upload your own cover, as a PDF, your cover size will be WRONG! Very annoying.
    …..
  2.  The default on covers you UPLOAD is that they will contain the barcode! Yikes! Yes, yikes. There is a little box that you have to UNCLICK if you want KDP to print the barcode. Don’t get this wrong. It will cost you a 24-hour delay in publishing.
    …..

I screwed up on BOTH of these — partly because, as ever, I was in a hurry. I am sure that if I took my time I checked all the options carefully I would not have screwed up. But, just want to make sure that you don’t run into these two issues.

Have fun. Good publishing.

P.S., I still miss CreateSpace.


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by Anura Guruge


Amazon Kindle Paperback Proof vs CreateSpace Proof.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and study closely.


With this, my latest book, I ended up ordering proofs from both Kindle KDP and CreateSpace. Nothing to stop you from doing so. You can’t publish the book with BOTH — but I haven’t published it at yet! I am at the ‘order proof’ stage with both and that is perfectly kosher. I did this with my last book too — except at that juncture I couldn’t order paperback proofs from Kindle KDP. I got the proofs from CreateSpace and eventually published with Kindle! They are BOTH Amazon companies so it is by no means robbing Peter to pay Paul.

So, both proofs printed by Amazon — and they both came in Amazon Prime boxes.

But, can you tell the difference, and whose is whose. A very obvious difference right up front.

Yes, the KDP proof as the ugly ‘Not for Resale’ banner. CS has never done that. Instead, they print a BIG ‘PROOF’ on the last page.

But, also an obvious difference in the quality of the cover. You can tell even in these photos. The CS cover is brighter and more detailed. That is crazy.

CS proofs were published in Columbia, South Carolina; Kindle in Middletown, Delaware.


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by Anura Guruge


Amazon Kindle Paperback Option & Ordering Proof Copies.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and study here. The order details from Amazon.


Click to ENLARGE. Click here to access: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202059560


The Amazon Kindle PAPERBACK program is NOT an oxymoron or an April Fool’s joke. It is now over a year old and I already published my last book, “Quick & Easy Meditation“, last September, in paperback and ebook form via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I had to jump through some hoops but I did manage to get it done.

Last September the KDP program did NOT offer the option of ordering PROOF copies. That was a bummer. But, I, a veteran self-publisher, CHEATED and got the proof copies I needed. I am NOT going to tell you hear how I did that! {Smile}

As of earlier this year KDP did start offering Proof copies — albeit in BETA test form, the whole paperback program a beta as well.

The KDP Paperback program is temperamental and has BUGS. You have been warned. More than likely it will object to your cover size even if you FOLLOWED their requirements!

Ordering Proofs is not straightforward either. You cannot do it right away. They send you a link via e-mail — and they tell you that it can take up to 4-hours to get the link. Then you have 24-hours to order the Proofs!

I got my e-mail in about 2 hours.

Your order through Amazon BUT it does NOT recognize PRIME! So, you have to pay for shipping.

Even though I ordered yesterday (i.e., June 30, 2018), I might not get the Proofs until July 10. That is crazy and unacceptable.

Anywho …. this is a heads up.

So, now the mystery is solved and the cat is out of the bag. My latest book is now at the galley proof stage.

Kind of funny, just in the last 2 weeks my wife and a friend both asked me whether I had stopped writing books! That was rather strange coming from folks who know me. If I am up and about, I am writing a book! That is how it goes. Yes, this book has taken me 9-months to write, but it is 475 pages in length and required extensive research. Just because I typically publish two books a year does NOT mean I have to always do so. {Smile}

So ….

More to come.


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by Anura Guruge


James Michener’s “Miracle In Seville” — A Marian Miracle, A Treatise On Bullfighting & Probably Autobiographical.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.



Click to access the Amazon listing for this book.


An intriguing book. Unlike anything else I have read from the great and incomparable James A. Michener. For a start it is absurdly short for a Michener book. My version, with lots of full-page illustrations, and somewhat large print, only runs to 122-pages. But, one heck of a yarn — though those that are extremely averse to Marian worship and/or bullfighting probably will not get very far with it.

I pick up any and all Michener books I see being given away — the incredible, free ‘Swap Shop‘ at our local dump (a.k.a. recycling center) a favorite and lucrative source. If it is a duplicate, and most of them are, as I now have nearly all of his important works, I give them away. I must have picked this up at the ‘Swap Shop’. It has been in my ‘Michener Corner’ for a fairly long time. (See Below) Earlier this week I wanted a quick read while awaiting a paperback copy of Michener’s “The Covenant“. I have multiple copies of it in hardback, but those are too heavy and unwieldy to read, especially in bed.

I have never attended a bullfight and don’t know much about it other than the obvious basic. This book was encyclopedic in it treatment of that subject — which is the backdrop for the story.

It is about an improbable Marian miracle, As such it does get tedious in parts …

I think it is autobiographical. I know he spent much time in Spain researching for his blockbuster “Iberia“. The level of detail re. bullfighting is quite amazing — and with all the Spanish lingo.

The illustrations, by John Fulton, an American bullfighter, who was living in Spain, are quite impressive — though a tad short on great.

If you get a chance you should have a look at this book.


The ‘Michener Corner’ in my study.
Separate from all the other books.


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by Anura Guruge


Quick & Easy Meditation (From The Book) — Conventional-Style & Background-Mode.

by Anura Guruge



Click to ENLARGE and study.


E-book version of “Quick & Easy Meditation” is just $0.99 on Amazon. The paperback is $6.00.


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by Anura Guruge


Quick & Easy Meditation — Principle #5.

by Anura Guruge



Click to ENLARGE and ponder.


E-book version of “Quick & Easy Meditation” is currently FREE, on Amazon, till 3am, Thursday, October 12, 2017 (Eastern time).


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by Anura Guruge


“Quick & Easy Meditation” eBook (For ANY Device/Phone) FREE Right Now.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to get to the FREE download.


Can be read on ANY device. You do NOT need a damn Kindle. Read it on an iPhone. Just need the Kindle App. that runs on iPhones, iPads, PCs, Web browsers (e.g., Chrome), Android phones etc. etc.

ANY DEVICE … ANY PHONE … ANY TABLET … ANY PC … ANY APPLE … ANY BROWSER.


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by Anura Guruge


I Manage To Get An Insertion In “Serious Reading” For “Quick & Easy Meditation”.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the ‘Serious Reading’ entry.


E-book version of “Quick & Easy Meditation” will be FREE, on Amazon, all day, TOMORROW, October 11, 2017 (US Pacific Time (because that is where Amazon is headquartered)).


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by Anura Guruge


Quick & Easy Meditation — Principle #4.

by Anura Guruge



Click to ENLARGE and ponder.


E-book version of “Quick & Easy Meditation” will be FREE, on Amazon, all day, TOMORROW, October 11, 2017 (US Pacific Time (because that is where Amazon is headquartered)).


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by Anura Guruge