View Full Version : Need advice about cover software, etc.

05-04-2011, 09:46 AM
I have written my book and plan on using Lightning Source as my printer. The manuscript is in a Word document. I'm ready to move on to laying out the cover. I have a strong art background and know exactly what I want.

I have a few questions.

Does Lightning Source give guidelines as far as acceptable book cover software?

Do they advise on formatting the manuscript? I believe my next step with the manuscript is to use InDesign or QuarkXPress. I feel as if I'm getting a little overwhelmed.

Can anyone suggest a simple software program for cover design?

Forgive me if there is a posting of step-by-step instructions for working with Lightning Source or other printers. I am new to this and searched all over the posts and could not find anything like that.

Thank you

05-05-2011, 06:59 PM
Just Google "pdf lightning source" and there's information about it.

They provide specific instructions regarding InDesign, but there is information on Google on how to use InDesign for Lighting Source.

For the Book Cover, you need to go to their website to download the template for the Cover. You'll need to know the number of pages your book has in the pdf format. Then you need to download their esp and/or pdf templates.

You use the templates to size the Book Cover for your book by placing your image on top of their template (layer it).

It's a lot of work, but if you already know how to work all that, it won't take you long at all. It took me forever. In the end, I just had my Cover Designer do it for me.

05-07-2011, 07:28 AM
You really don't need to use InDesign or Quark for a cover. I use Photoshop Elements for my covers and it only costs $100. Usually I request an.eps (encapsulated postscript) template from Lightning Source and it works perfectly with Photoshop Elements.

If you have Acrobat Distiller it'll generate a workable .pdf cover from the .eps template. (just remember to delete the layer with the red and blue dots before submitting for print.

The only snag I've run into is on covers with Photoshop Elements is black backgrounds. LS wants black backgrounds with 240% density and I'm still trying to crack the color code for it.

I've done page layouts in Word with no problems for my books and the books of others. Usually I use the following margins when I'm framing a page and my books all printed beautifully.

Right: 0.8"
Left: 0.8"
Top: 0.8"
Bottom: 0.8"
Gutter 0"

These margins can be used for 5x8", 5.5x8" and 6x9" with no problems.