Showing posts with label The Proposal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Proposal. Show all posts

Creating 3D covers in Microsoft Publisher

Over the last week or so, I've been exploring my Microsoft Publisher program (it's part of the Microsoft Office group) to try to get some covers made up for my compilation and one other cover that I needed made up.  For a boxed set, a 3D cover makes sense.  It feels you are getting a box with four to six to even ten books, which you are, even if the stories are short stories. 

I've created two separate covers for my boxed set since iBooks doesn't accept 3D covers.  I don't like the flat cover for a boxed set because the titles just have to be placed randomly on the front and it doesn't look like you have several stories in there. 

So how do you go about creating covers?  It took several hours for me to figure out what I was doing but I've got it down to a small science now. 

First, open your publisher program (this is only for Microsoft Publisher as I don't know much about the other cover designer programs); open a new blank document.  It almost looks like a Word document but it's not.  Publisher was designed to be a picture tool.  If you have a picture you already are wanting to use for your cover, open it.  Once opened, you can stretch it to fit the page or make it whatever size you want it to be.  Add your text boxes (there is a tool on the home page that says "draw text box"; play around with your fonts, sizes, colors, until you get the look you want.  After you are satisfied with your text boxes, click off to the side of the page so no one particular item is highlighted.  Go to you home page and click on select (the drop down will ask if you want to select all objects or another choice); click on select all objects and then the box to the left of where the select button has a group, ungroup selection.  Click on group.  What this does is fuse all the items to make it one picture.  Right click on your picture and click on the line that says "save as picture".  Name your picture and go to the drop down menu below and save it as a JPEG file or whatever type is accepted where you are publishing your books.  Usually JPEG files are the most accepted, so it's pretty safe to save them all as JPEG files.

Now, open a new blank document.  Insert a template for a 3D book.  These are the two I've used for the covers I've created:

The boxed set obviously because I had four stories I combined into one.  The other because I was just playing around with single story covers.

After you pull up your template, then go back to insert and recall the picture you created of the cover.  Stretch it so that it matches the bottom and one or two of the "page" side corners.  Go to picture effects and scroll to the 3D section, play around to see which fits the angle of the book.  For the single story book, the perspective left works well.  Once it slants to the 3D look, adjust your picture until all the edges and corners line up.  Again, go to the select all objects and group them together and then save that file as your 3D cover.

Once you play around with your Publisher program and have the templates, you can do any cover you already have on file as a 3D cover. 

The boxed set is a bit different in that you have to do text boxes and turn them so they are like the spine and this was my first attempt at the 3D covers and it took me a few hours to get what I wanted.

My final 3D cover for the boxed set: 

But because iBooks doesn't like 3D Covers, I had to go with this:

For my Zombies story, again - no 3D for iBooks so everyone but kindle has a flat cover and kindle gets the 3D cover.

Same picture just added to the book template to give it that 3D look.

After I created these two covers, I then decided to take my previously created covers and came up with the following: 

That is how to use publisher to create your own 3D Covers.  Hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions, please leave a comment and I'll try to answer them as best as I can.

Elysabeth Eldering
Elysabeth's Blog
Elysabeth's email

Square credit card reader

Do you do a lot of in-person events? If you do any events where you sell your own books (not like a book signing where you sell on consignment or the bookstore actually does the selling of the books) and you aren't taking credit cards at said events, why not?

Did you know you could get a free device that reads credit cards and is connected to your checking account? It's called Square. You can sign up for a free account and receive a free card reader here. What does it cost to use? Just 2.75% of the charge when you swipe a card, which basically comes out to 3 cents on the dollar being taken out before you receive your money. You can also manually key in a credit card number but the percentage is higher - 3.75% plus 25 cents for each transaction. The pay out is the next day. The other device you will need to use the card reader is an iphone, ipod touch, ipad, smartphone or any android based type device that the Square app can be downloaded to and need to be in an wifi area.

This was a big issue for me when I was at the Savannah Children's Book Festival in November; a lot of people asked if I took credit cards or stated they didn't have any cash on them. I've had my Square since last summer but haven't had a device to use the card reader on until last month. My daughter got a new Pantech Crossover phone through AT&T and it has an Android 2.3 OS and she was able to load the Square app and we tested my Square out and I now have the capability of taking credit cards at my events. So now, until I can afford a device of my own, when I have an event, I will have to borrow her phone for the purpose of taking credit cards (not into using her phone for phone purposes). Each Square is programmed to your account only. Do I feel safe using it? Yes. Am I worried someone might keep swiping cards and trying to take my money? Not really. I get notices when the card reader has been used and if there is a dispute on a charge from a customer and I can refund the charges, I don't feel fraud or identity theft is a problem. I can't wait to put my sign up for display at my first event of 2012, Geofest, February 18.

For more information, check out the Square here. May you have lots of sales at your in-person events. - See you all in the postings - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a YA paranormal mystery
"The Proposal" (an April Fools Day story), a humorous romance ebook
"The Tulip Kiss", a paranormal romance ebook
"Bride-and-Seek", a paranormal romance ebook
"Butterfly Halves", a YA fantasy ebook

Ma America, The Travelin' Maven
Author of the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series and "Train of Clues" (a mystery destination story and predecessor to the JGDS series)
Where will the adventure take you next?

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