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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently parted ways with my book cover designer (amicably), and he was gracious enough to give me a free ebook cover that he'd already produced last year but hadn't sent to me.  However, it was only in ebook format, and my books are both ebook and paperback. 

In case you've never heard of myecovermaker.com it's a site that offers both free and paid ecover design options. 

Simply select your ebook cover to upload using the full paperback template (it will be watermarked until you pay the $4.95USD at the end-just fyi...it is free only for ebook covers, but it sure beats having to pay full pop for a whole new cover)

After you have uploaded your image, simply drag it so it fits inside the front matter parameters.  Then add in your back cover matter and spine.

Tip:  make sure there is a full finger-width of space between the outer edges on all four sides of your cover so you don't have any bleeding over.

Once you are happy with the look of it, it will prompt you to pay the $4.95USD and then the watermark is removed and you can upload your design on to either Createspace or whatever paperback publisher you are using. 

Hint:  You will need to convert the cover to pdf format (it is downloaded to you in jpeg from myecovermaker.com) before uploading to Createspace.com.

I did this with my latest book cover and it looks great.  Updating your book cover and blurb periodically (especially if you notice a dip in sales) is a great way to bring new interest to your work  ;)
 

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Dragging (stretching) to fit a larger size will mess up the resolution. Print requires 300 ppi and ebooks only 72. Your ebook cover designer may have already used 300 ppi (some do; some don't). If, so are probably okay. If not, then CreateSpace will warn you when you upload.
 

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Maggie Dana said:
Dragging (stretching) to fit a larger size will mess up the resolution. Print requires 300 ppi and ebooks only 72. Your ebook cover designer may have already used 300 ppi (some do; some don't). If, so are probably okay. If not, then CreateSpace will warn you when you upload.
Digital images don't use ppi. They just use resolution (ie. pixels). Your monitor is what determines how many pixels are displayed per inch.

What's important is that the image is large enough when set to 300 ppi for printing.
 

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In the Cover section of your CreateSpace dashboard CreateSpace has its own cover creator where you can upload a front cover JPEG image from your ebook and then add a back and spine online.  It is one of their 3 options to get your paperback cover, the other two being to hire their designers or to upload a double-page print-ready cover from your own designer.  The cover creator option is not ideal but it does work if you only have the front part.  It will limit your design options a bit.  Also, if your text is too close to the bleed space around the edges you might have a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Melody, I had trouble using the cover designer module in Createspace, which is why I sought an alternative.  The trouble was in the uploading, and I never really investigated why, but perhaps others have encountered the same problem.  Also, I found working with the Createspace module created more problems afterward with autovetter errors like pixelation.  It was better to use the other program (myecovermaker.com) and navigate using that. 
 

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Sandy Appleyard said:
Melody, I had trouble using the cover designer module in Createspace, which is why I sought an alternative. The trouble was in the uploading, and I never really investigated why, but perhaps others have encountered the same problem. Also, I found working with the Createspace module created more problems afterward with autovetter errors like pixelation. It was better to use the other program (myecovermaker.com) and navigate using that.
Oh, I see. It could be the cover size. I make my original ebook covers really huge so that they are available for Createspace and I have authors who have managed to use the Cover Creator successfully with my covers because my covers are huge plus I move the text out of the bleedway for them for this purpose. But my guess is most ebook cover designers will supply you with a much smaller size cover (the standard 1600 x 2400 really is not big enough) so unless you request for a larger size (which they might not even have) it will not work well.
 

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Edward M. Grant said:
I get complaints from Createspace about pixelation, on perfectly un-pixelated covers. I'm guessing the QR codes are triggering it.

I think I have to scale them about 2-3% to go from ebook cover to print cover, but I forget whether it's larger or smaller.
Pixelation is often caused when someone tried to increase the size of a cover or change from 72 dpi to 300. It will not be visible on screen but it will show after the book is printed. Make sure that you use a large high-resolution image from the start. Purchase only Large or Extra Large stock images to start off with and make you cover size double what you normally would. Also the PDF export settings need to be correct.
 

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Domino Finn said:
Digital images don't use ppi. They just use resolution (ie. pixels). Your monitor is what determines how many pixels are displayed per inch.

What's important is that the image is large enough when set to 300 ppi for printing.
PPI actually means pixels per inch.

For the purposes of discussing the digital creation of print covers, ppi and dpi (dots per inch, used for print) are interchangeable.

If you need a print resolution of 300 dpi, then you'll need to set your graphics' software at a resolution of 300 ppi or pixels, with the desired height and width dimensions. So, if set it at a width of 6 inches by a height of 9 inches, your overall ppi in pixels would be 1800 by 2700. This however will translate perfectly into what you need for print, so for formatting covers there's really no need to differentiate for the way you're creating covers for a digital press.
 

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This is why I make my covers big, and at 300 ppi/dpi to begin with. If I need to make a paperback cover later, I can use my ebook cover for the front with no problem (but I usually will design a POD cover from the get-go, if I know the book will be made available in that format, and then crop the front for the ebook).

But, I think for folks with no other options, the linked site could be helpful.
 

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Melody Simmons said:
Pixelation is often caused when someone tried to increase the size of a cover or change from 72 dpi to 300.
This is not true. Changing dpi does not pixelate the image. Resizing the image is what pixelates it. Essentially, starting with an image that is too small will result in pixelation, whether it is 72 or 300 dpi/ppi.

What people should do is just have all of their covers always set to 300 dpi. This way there won't be confusion. For a digital file, the dpi/ppi is meaningless, and the image size/resolution is determined by x pixels by y pixels.

Catchy is correct about how to make sure your 300 dpi/ppi image is large enough for your print cover. Graphics programs like photoshop will tell you what the picture size is in inches, similar to photograph measurements.

Patty Jansen said:
The best option is to ignore the dpi altogether and always work in the absolute number of pixels. Something like 1800 x 2700 pixels will do the job. The dpi setting matters squat.
Dpi/ppi DOES matter, but only for print. That is data for the printer to know how large your image is formatted to be. Think about printing an image the size of a nickel and printing it to fit the entire page. The difference there is dpi/ppi. Obviously, if the image is really only meant to be the size of a nickel, then the full-page version will be hella pixelated.

Sorry if these clarifications derail things a bit.
 
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