Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Create a cover image, part of InDesign CC 2018: EPUB.
- [David Blatner] Even if your book has no images whatsoever, it has to have at least one, and that is the cover image. Usually, the cover image appears twice, once as part of the ebook itself, and again uploaded separately to an e-reseller, like to Kindle or Apple iBooks Store or to Kobo, and we're going to look at both of these methods in this video. First let's talk about the interior cover image. This is the Guide to English Cottage Gardens document that we've been working with and I added a couple pages in the beginning, and we haven't seen this recently.
And this is the cover, and we're going to assume that you've designed this right in InDesign. It is the first page of the document and as you've seen as we've been exporting to epub, come here to Desktop, and we'll export this to epub, but there's an option here that we've just kind of glanced over. What do we want to do with the cover, and it's referring to the interior cover image. The default is that it's going to rasterize the first page, so whatever is the first page in your document it's going to turn it into one big jpeg, and that will be the cover.
And if the first page is the cover, that makes a lot of sense. So let's go ahead and export it, and see what that looks like, and there's the cover, you saw it in the library. So this is with that rasterized and exported. But when I open it up, look what happened to the interior cover inside here. It got split up. So if you have constructed a design inside InDesign for the cover, it will rasterize it as one graphic, and put it inside the epub, and that will be read as the cover image, but inside the book that looks horrible.
So we have to fix this, and the way to fix it is to come back here, select all the items on your cover, group them from the object menu, and then with that group selected, we're going to visit a dialogue box that we'll be seeing a lot in this chapter called Object Export Options. This lets you make InDesign do something to the elements in your document only when it's exported. While it's still in InDesign, it's completely editable. And what we want to do with this group is we want to rasterize the container.
So we're not only going to have InDesign rasterize the book cover image that gets plinked inside the ebook, but also the actual internal html file when somebody's flipping through, that's also going to be rasterized. I recommend that you always rasterize at 300 PPI, and we'll be talking more about image sizes in another video in this chapter, but these days with high DPI tablets, people are looking for high-res, so we're going to keep this at 300 for now. That's all you need to do, click Done, and now let's export this again.
We'll overwrite the existing one. And now it opens up and let's flip back, and there, it's been rasterized. It looks a lot better, doesn't it? So we have a nice cover. Now, let's look at some of the other choices. If I export to epub, and we'll replace, you don't have to rasterize the first page, perhaps the first page is the title page. You don't have the cover. You could choose an image or you could choose None. And we didn't actually explicitly choose None on purpose during these lessons, but you have seen it already.
If I choose None, this is what InDesign does, watch. See, it just gets a plain Jane cover, that's all. So you've seen this and sometimes the color is brown and sometimes gray, I'm not quite sure why it changes, but when you see that, that just means that you did not specify a cover image and that's a substitution that InDesign put in there. Now say that somebody did give you a cover image. Want this time I'm going to export to epub, and here under Cover, I'm going to choose an image.
It's in my exercise files, and I have covers here. Now here is like a temporary one that I might have used just as a placeholder, maybe here's a full one. Let's do the temporary one just to see what that looks like. So it's going to use that, and then I'll click Okay, and there's the weirdo cover. It still exported the first page of my document because that's in my document, but normally you're not going to attach a cover if you already have a cover inside the document. Now what about the file formats and size limitations for cover images.
I've actually queued up three screenshots from three different publisher guidelines about cover images, and later on in this course I'll be talking about where to download these guidelines, but what we have here is a screenshot from Apple's guidelines, Kindle's guidelines, and Kobo's guidelines, and if you're not familiar with Kobo, that's one of the most popular epub readers and formats outside of the US. So Apple says that the book cover art that appears in the iBooks Store is a separate image delivered alongside the book asset, and it has instructions for how to build it.
Most of these have to do with it being in RGB and what is the minimum size, and they always talk about a certain number of pixels along the shorter access, and what they're talking about is something like here in Photoshop, I have opened up an image and gone to Image, Image Size, and they're looking at this. They wanna make sure that the pixels are at least a minimum number along the shortest side. So you can open up your image, even in Illustrator and Photoshop, and when you export to save for web or something, you can get an idea of what the shortest side will be.
They almost always want a jpeg or png. Under Kindle, a marketing cover image is mandatory, again that's a separately uploaded cover image, and it gives you sizes and dimensions, and same thing for Kobo, very simple, it said for best results, your image should be 300 PPI, no larger than five megabytes. And I think one of the last things I want to mention as far as book cover art is concerned, is to make it readable at small sizes. You don't want to have a lot of small type, with this one I would probably change this light gray to black, and I'd probably bump up the size of this title.
If you have any, like, testimonials or URL's or that kind of thing on the cover, you should delete those. Just keep it as simple as possible so that people can read it when it's in their library at a very small size.
- Fixed-layout vs. reflowable EPUB
- EPUB workflow, from manuscript to final upload
- Preparing the InDesign file for EPUB conversion
- Using styles for text formatting
- Mapping styles to HTML and CSS tags
- Adding a TOC
- Embedding fonts
- Optimizing images
- EPUB export options
- Previewing and testing EPUB files
- Converting EPUBs to Kindle format