Wonder if you can help.
I'm designing my book cover for my first book, and I'm confused as to what size it should be.
Looking around the Kindle store, there's many books of different sizes - some narrower, some more square looking,
I would like my book cover to be more square looking in shape.
However, I'm not sure of the exact dimensions I should setup my page in MS Publisher and Word to do so.
Is there a one size fits all approach to book covers, or can you choose your own dimensions?
How can I find more info about what size mine should be?
I've looked on google, but they talk about pixels - Word and Publisher don't use pixels for page setup - they use cm.
I'm referring to the main front cover - not the spine or back cover.
The last thing I want is to upload my cover, only to have the sides shopped off stretched or not showing at all.
For practicality purposes, I make most of my current covers 9.25inches by 6.25 inches for when they are turned into paperbacks. It's 9x6 plus bleed. You won't be making a cover with word will you? Because, don't.
Bleed refers to the part of the image that is cut off. Files that have images that extended to the edge of the page are typically printed on larger paper and trimmed down. If you are planning on turning your book into a paperback then I'd absolutely make it the right size the first time so you don't have to create another cover--or recreate the cover in different dimensions.
You'll have to learn about pixels at some point, I think, because that's how most photographs and cover art is measured for internet use. If you look through the Amazon product pages, you will see that the vast majority of book covers are rectangular, roughly a 2:3 ratio, or in pixels, about 1000 pixels wide by 1500 high. (Those are figures just chosen for easy calculation, but they're not too far off).
CreateSpace has templates in a variety of sizes you can use for the paperback, and a couple of them are designed so you can just upload your own design onto them. Or you can try a site like Canva for the e-book, which is free for the basic layout. You can upload your own photos onto it if you want and choose from a variety of fonts. Don't use Word; that's not what it's designed for and you probably won't be happy with the result.
My favorite dimensions are 1200x1800 pixels (it's an easy step up from 6x9). Your product image MUST be at least 1000 pixels on the short side.
Amazon recommends a ratio that is more like the mass-market paperback of old, and to my eye it looks too skinny on the Amazon store. (Many of the Jack Reacher ebooks have the same ratio, so it's obviously not a killer mistake.) You'll notice that most hardcover bestsellers are wider, and that's the look I want for my books. I don't care whether it exactly fills the "page" on my Fire tablet. The software encourages the reader to start at page one, chapter one, without bothering with any of that up-front stuff. Who cares who wrote the book? Who cares about the author's introduction, preface, epigram, dedication, copyright? What right has he got to bore us with that stuff?
The kindle store book covers you are looking at and mentioning are for e-reader books. The vertical has to be a minimum of 1000 pixels in Jpeg or TIFF (not sure what that means) form. For a Paperback cover, I just measured one at 18cms X 11cms, which is a standard size for a novel. Others do differ, though.
For book covers, I use a free version of 'Photoscape' (not the one you can download from the 'Store'). Again, it produces photos and lets you add text with a basic palette. To have colours similar to that of Word, simply choose a colour from the Word (office) palette, and then click the Custom tab. On that, you will find the numbers for the colours (Red, Green and Blue) that make up your preferred colour. All you then do is type in the same numbers in PhotoScape, to create the same colour.