If just using the front cover of your paper book for the ebook, this isn’t a issue. Simply create a copy of your paper book’s cover and crop it so only the front cover shows.
If creating only an ebook, however, you’ll have to decide what size your ebook cover should be. Usually a good ratio is 1.6 pixels of height for every 1 pixel of width. So, you could make the ebook cover 2,560 pixels in height x 1,600 pixels in width. This gives you a rectangular shape common to ebooks and what typically fits on websites that use thumbnails of ebook covers. Of course, your cover doesn’t have to be those exact dimensions, and if you’re simply using the paper book’s cover, it may not be. But if you’re only making an ebook cover, that’s the dimension Kindle Direct Publishing recommends.
As a first step, on your software or app, create a shape that matches those dimensions. If you’re able to select the dpi, go for 300. Your cover then will be plenty large enough to look good when shrunk down.
As part of the shape creation, you’ll probably have to choose what background color you’ll use. This is where having an idea of what your cover will look like before designing it is useful. If a photo will fill the entire page, any color for your background is fine, since it’s going to be covered. If the photo is going to sit on a background, you then have to choose a background color. More on that in a later chapter.
Once you’ve created the box, save it, including the words “EBOOK COVER” in its name. That’ll make it easier to find when searching through your files. Ideally, you’ll use a software or an online app that will allow you to save the document in a format so you can go back and work on it and change what you’ve created. For example, in Photoshop, save it as a .psd rather than a .jpeg or a .pdf.
With the document created, you now can start setting your cover’s basic elements on it. In future articles, we’ll examine what those elements are.
My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.