Welcome to my blog. I am not a very regular blogger, but I try to keep this site updated with news and information. If there's none of the above I may just share my random ruminations.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I am halfway through preparing my book, TORN, for publication as a paperback, with Create Space. As you may or may not know, I enjoy art and design. I created my last two covers (LIFE CLASS with the aid of my son, TOM) and so felt I would like to have a go at it again.

In creating a cover for the paperback version of TORN, I have gone back to first principles and re-thought the whole thing. Create Space offer various templates, but these are limiting. If, like me, you want to do your own thing, creating a cover from scratch is a complicated process. It is not enough to come up with an image - as I did for e-publishing TORN and LIFE CLASS. Using the art programme on the computer you have to precisely calculate your sizes - front as well as back cover - incorporating a margin for trim and an extra margin for bleed. You also have to incorporate the spine width, which is a variable size according the number of pages. All this was a fairly tall order for someone like me, who is desperately untechie and wasn't even allowed to sit her Maths GCE. Add all that to the fact I was running in and out of the sitting room to keep tabs on team GB's progress in the Olympics!

However, by Friday night I though I'd cracked it. I'd produced a draft piece of artwork with front and back cover joined together. All I needed to do was finesse the final images (see above) and repeat the process.

Since then I've suffered failure after failure. I have my front cover. I have my back cover and spine. But I cannot stitch the two together. I create a template. I import my image and the template immediately shrinks, leaving not enough space to fit the second part of the puzzle - the front cover. I guess this is a sizing issue, and somewhere along the line I have got a calculation badly wrong. But I have checked and re-checked over and over again.

There is absolutely no guarantee that once I have succeeded in creating a single piece of art work, that Create Space will accept it, but until I have something to upload I can't check.

I've posted the covers images I've created for any comments. At the moment I'm in need of a bit of good cheer. I feel like I've been wasting my time - even more so than usual, as I have actually been working hard and actually trying to achieve something.

14 comments:

Mary Nichols said...

I am full of admiration for your cover work, Gilli, and no doubt you will get it right because you are a sticker. I've been toying with the idea of doing the same myself but have been put off by the complications of doing front and back covers as well as the spine. Maybe one day...

LizB said...

Gosh, how absolutely frustrating, Gilli. I'm disappointed to hear this as it's so easy to create a cover on Lulu that I was hoping Create Space would have a similar sort of cover designer software. I'd give up if I had to do it from scratch. If their templates don't allow you to create it on the spot, I'm afraid I'll have to stick with Lulu.

Sandy Nachlinger said...

I used Photoshop to create the cover for the CreateSpace version of my book, and it took quite a bit of tinkering to get it done. Until I had the actual copy in my hands, I still wasn't sure it worked! One thing I'd advise: leave plenty of margin all the way around.

Sheryl said...

I'm afraid I'm no help at all, Gilli, having never used it. I do love your images though. So very frustrating for you. Hope you get it sorted soon. Hopefully some kind soul will spot this and offer some sensible advice! :) xx

Sue Fortin said...

Sorry Gilli, I really have no advice on the technicalities however, I think the new cover is fab. I really really like it - much more edgy.

Sue

Paula Martin said...

Love the cover Gilli, and I really admire your perseverance. Think I would have thrown the computer out of the window in total frustration! It's one of the reasons why I'm too scared to self-publish!

Carol Hedges said...

Gosh well done you for having a go. I used Designer Dave, husband of best mate for mine. I love the barbed wire one - very arresting. I really hope you get this sorted. Vovers are so important. Do not lose hope. You will crack it, and it will be a great cover. (Oh, and you now have a new follower!!!!)

Amy Manemann said...

I love what you've done with the cover and truly hope you can get it pieced together! Try using Adobe Photoshop, you can download a free 30 day trial version and it is an awesome program for cover creating. Perserverance, my friend, and you shall overcome!!

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi,

What widths/height are you using for Createspace? I ditched the one they recommend and went for 8"x5" = it's easier to work with on a standard laptop. I also made and uploaded the front and back covers as separate items to fit frames.

best
F

Gilli Allan said...

Thank you one and all. How lovely to receive so many cheering and positive comments. Liz, don't let my experience put you off. To be absolutely honest I am sure the Create Space template is fine and probably easy to use. But when I first looked at it I got the impression you'd have to sit and do the whole thing in one go (though I'm quite probably wrong and was being typically dyslexic). I wanted to take my time.
I've had a day off today but will be starting again on it tomorrow. Wish me luck! Gilli x

Eileen Schuh: said...

You are much braver than I am,and obviously more artistic as well. I never even considered doing my own cover. In fact, I didn't even consider formatting the ms by myself! Like you, I'm mathematically illerate, so I know all about the troubles that creates. It's often a simple adding error that gets me. Like no, Eileen, 7 + 5 is NOT 11.

Gilli Allan said...

Thank you, Eileen. I even get maths wrong when I use a calculator! I forget where I am in calculation, or simply input the wrong numbers! But I went over and over the problem and couldn't see where I was going wrong. Son - who is more computer literate than me - suggests it IS a sizing problem, but not inches or centimetres. It's all down to pixels! Anyway, I've now thrown the ball into his court. gx

Cathy Helms said...

Gilli, I'd be happy to assist you - do you want to email me [cathelms@charter(DOT)net] the details of your book and I can help sort out what you need? It is in the pixels...and the bleed (extra on all sides) has to be a very specific amount too or CreateSpace will warp your image. I am horrid at math, believe me, so I was scared to death when I learned that I'd have to master math (of all bloody things) when I chose to go into graphic design for a living! So us math-impaired can do this! YOU can do it!

Gilli Allan said...

Thanks Cathy. Didn't see your message here. Haven't checked for a couple of days. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. gx