Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
That may be the saying, but when it comes to buying e-books, most people do just that. Depending on where they are buying their e-books, and what their settings are, some readers may only see your cover, so it needs to sell your book all on it’s own.
Sounds scary and intimidating? I’ll tell you a secret. If you create Pinterest optimized images, then you already have 90% of your e-book cover done! Tweet This!
Don’t believe me? Let’s go through e-book cover requirements:
- Must be vertical [upright] rectangle. A good guideline is to make the height between 1.3 and 1.6 times greater than the width.
- Image must be at least 1,400 pixels wide. A good size is 1,600 pixels wide by 2,400 pixels tall.
- Cannot contain nudity, a price, or a web address.
- Must include the book title and author name, and match what is inside the e-book.
- Cannot be grainy, blurry or pixelated.
- Image must be in RGB color, not CMYK (a format for printing ink on paper). Most image processing applications will give you RGB automatically.
See? Doesn’t that sounds like your Pinterest image? The main differences are that you probably didn’t create it big enough, and that you have your website on your image instead of your name. Beyond that, you already have a clear look, style, and title.
Still feeling a bit skeptical? Let’s take a look at an example.
Here’s one of my Pinterest images for this post. How does it fit and not fit the requirements of an e-book cover?
- it’s a vertical rectangle with height 1.5 times greater than width
- no nudity or price or website address
- has a title and subtitle
- clear and legible
- RGB colour
- it’s only 800 x 1200
- has my website name instead of my author name
So close! The main thing I need to change is the size, which doesn’t mean a simple file -> resize. That may cause it to become pixelated since I need to go from smaller to bigger. Instead, I need to open my source file in the graphics program I used to create it, and change the size of each piece, making sure they remain crisp and clean. A better idea is to create your graphics that big in the first place, and resize down before using on your site. Easier to remember after you’ve created your first cover though!
I haven’t discussed any design elements here, but will cover one item. Something to consider when designing your e-book cover is that when e-book retailers display your cover, it’ll be shrunk super small. I’ve seen 93 width and smaller! So when you create your graphic, do a test and see what your image looks like at this size. If you make your title or author name too small on the cover, it’ll be invisible in the thumbnail.
At a width of 93 pixels (the standard size on Amazon’s website), my title is still clear, although it could be a touch bigger. My graphics are still okay, and my styling is clear and consistent with what readers will find if they search for me in other places (like my website). My subtitle is also a little small, but the biggest problem is that my name in script text is really not legible. It needs to be bigger, or maybe not in script. Overall, this is a cover that will work, with a bit of tweaking.
And that’s what most of your Pinterest optimized graphics will be like. Almost ready to be an e-book cover, they just need a bit of tweaking. Tweet This!
Isn’t it great to know that the work you’ve already put into your graphics will pay off in an unexpected way by making the creation of your e-book easier? So take a look at your graphics today. Which are ready to be your next e-book cover, and which need a little work?