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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ebook Cover Design: Create Layers in Powerpoint


Tips for Indie Authors on creating your own book cover!

Create Layers

 Under "Self-Publishing on Kindle," I recommend fellow author William King's method for creating an ebook cover in Powerpoint. Now here's some tips for creating layers in Powerpoint, if you have two or more images you'd like to combine.

1. Assemble the Pieces

Let's create a basic romance cover as an example. Here is a screenshot of my cover components laid out in Powerpoint. I have the title, genre, and author name laid out on the left. I have my background image of a romantic beach laid out in the middle. I have my overlaying image of a lovey-dovey couple on the right. 

The Page Width and the images should be set to 6x8 width by height. Click on the "Design" tab on the top and then click on "Page Setup" on the ribbon to set the dimensions for Page Width. Right click on the picture and click "Size and Position" to set dimensions for images.



2. Set the Top Layer as Translucent

 Now here's the fun part, where you can play around with your top image and how it looks. First, move the top image (lovey-dovey couple) over the background image (beach). Next, select the top image. Right-click on the top image. Scroll down the pop-up menu and select "Format Picture." In the Format Picture menu, select "3-D Format" from the column bar options.  That will bring you to the screen shot shown below.


Here you notice the section called "Surface" under 3-D Format. Click on the "Material" drop-down arrow. You can now change the material to be "Translucent" so the the background beach image shows up underneath. Try it out! I selected the middle "Translucent" option under "Material." It's the middle of the three Translucent options. After the image turns translucent, notice that you can play around with the color/other image effects on the 3-D Format menu. For example, I clicked on "Lighting" and then selected the middle coloring option under "Warm." This makes the cover colors seem warmer and cozy. Play around with the different options under "Lighting."  Notice how many different ways you can alter the image under "Angle," "Contour," and "Bevel," under the 3-D Format menu, in addition to all the other ways you can change image brightness/coloring/contrast/artistic effects on the regular Format ribbon!


3. Add Text


Now that your top image is translucent, add the text to the cover. Make sure you've right-clicked on each text box and chosen "Bring to Front." That way the text will be the top layer and won't get hidden behind the images. Drag all of your text boxes over and position them--and presto, you have a basically layered cover that screams, "I'm a romance!"

Photo Credit:
Lovely Couple © Fredgoldstein | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
http://www.stockfreeimages.com/

Text Font Websites:  

Obviously the color choice for the title may not be the best choice--yellow doesn't stand out well--but to amp up your creative font style to match the genre of your book, check out some of these websites for exciting font downloads (majority should be free):

1. http://www.dafont.com/

2. http://www.urbanfonts.com/free-fonts.htm 

3. http://www.fontspace.com/

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