Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More on Formatting Covers for CreateSpace

       First a progress report on the text of v.1 of the series ("The War of the Stolen Mother"), which I've now begun to prepare for publication.  The editing hasn't amounted to much so far -- some rephrasing to smooth things out and a few changes to the Foreword to account for the fact that there will be six volumes in the series instead of three.  I haven't shortened anything, but I didn't really expect to.  I think this story is practically perfect as it is.  (Self-praise, etc., but I can't help it.  I really like my premises in this series, and if the Shshi can at time be wordy little beasties, that's part of their nature.)
       I'm working on the cover.  I've resized the picture that you can see in an earlier post, which means that it comes out narrower and taller.  I figured out the best way to do this.  Group your picture into one entity, then open Format Autoshape and then Size.  In Size, use Scale, marking Lock Aspect Ratio.  Then gradually reduce the width until the Absolute Width shows as close as possible to what you want (in my case that is 5.75'').  (If you increase the heighth, you end up with something really wide and you have to redraw everything.  If you don't lock aspect ratio, then you'll stretch or narrow the figures instead of merely reducing them in size.) 
       Then make a square on your document that is the size of the cover allowing for bleed (in my case 5.75 " by 9").  Move your adjusted drawing onto the square, fitting it against the left margin of the square.  It will be a perfect fit in width, with lots of empty room at the top.  Then draw another square the size of the actual cover (in my case 5.5" by 8.5")  Position this square on top of the drawing, aligned against the left margin and allowing .25" at the right and .25" at the top and bottom (this is the bleed, the area that will be trimmed in the finished book). 
       Now you have saved all the items in the picture -- you won't have to cut anything off -- and the proportions will be correct.  All you have to do is adjust the positioning of the objects in the drawing to fill the space at the top and to fit in the title.  That will still require some work, but you won't have a huge redrawing job.  And be sure not to let anything important lap into the bleed, but also be sure that the bleed area is filled in with something because you don't know exactly where it will be cut.

This is not what I was planning to write about this morning, but since my posts on Ruminations of a
Remembrancer on formating text and covers for CreateSpace have attracted a lot of hits, I decided to elaborate a little on the cover aspect.  I mean to write another post in the next couple of days; I want to talk about the characters that occur in epics, mythology, and folklore.

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