PDA

View Full Version : Help! Cover Looks Terrible



Ann Joyce
12-19-2012, 12:32 AM
Got my cover uploaded for the ebook and it is pretty bad. The letters in the title and my name look broken. Is there any solution besides having the designer redo it? The lettering is rather scrolly, but fits the book so well. Anyone else have trouble with this? It is hard to see what it would look like up close and personal.

I'm normally an upbeat person, but this stuff is really getting to me. Hate to be a whiner. Just feeling so very dumb right now.

merrihiatt
12-19-2012, 12:47 AM
Where are you looking at it, Ann? On the Amazon KDP page, it will look horrid. Did you upload an image that was the required size and DPI? These are spelled out in Amazons instructions. Sorry you're experiencing frustrations.

veinglory
12-19-2012, 12:52 AM
If it looks good on your computer screen at that size, the issue is resizing it properly before uploading it.

Katie Elle
12-19-2012, 01:57 AM
The preview on the KDP control panel is not at all representative of what it will look like on the main Amazon page. In particular, the fonts always look messed up.

kingsley
12-19-2012, 02:16 AM
Yeah, i had the same concern when i published our first title through KDP, but i threw caution into the wind and hit 'publish' anyway. And the cover looked fine in the store thumbnail. Give it a go! :)

Ann Joyce
12-19-2012, 03:44 AM
Thank you, Merri, veinglory, Katie & Kingsley. It looks very pixelated, but you're making me feel better by saying its normal for it to look horrid on that page. I couldn't get Calibre to work, so uploaded my .doc directly to KDP. I've been reviewing it now, and while most things converted pretty well, I'm amazed at how many sentences didn't properly indent. Now I'm trying to figure out how to remedy that. You guys rock!

Ann Joyce
12-19-2012, 04:28 AM
Also, rights and pricing have been hung up 'in progress' for a good 20 minutes. :(

J. Tanner
12-19-2012, 05:38 AM
I've been reviewing it now, and while most things converted pretty well, I'm amazed at how many sentences didn't properly indent. Now I'm trying to figure out how to remedy that.

That typically indicates that the indent was created with a Tab character or multiple Space characters. The proper method is creating a Style in Word that includes indenting x spaces and applying it to all the body text paragraphs in the book. That Style will be carried over into the formatted version.

Ann Joyce
12-19-2012, 05:54 AM
That typically indicates that the indent was created with a Tab character or multiple Space characters. The proper method is creating a Style in Word that includes indenting x spaces and applying it to all the body text paragraphs in the book. That Style will be carried over into the formatted version.

Hi J. Tanner - I thought I removed all of the multiple space characters (I did have some). Is there an easy fix that even a person that has a tough time digesting these things can understand?

sarahdalton
12-19-2012, 02:43 PM
That typically indicates that the indent was created with a Tab character or multiple Space characters. The proper method is creating a Style in Word that includes indenting x spaces and applying it to all the body text paragraphs in the book. That Style will be carried over into the formatted version.

I always sort my indents with the line spacing option in Word and never use tabs. Yet for some reason, even though I go through the manuscript and use the line spacing section on Word to remove indents after every scene or chapter break it still indents them in the ebook conversion. Any ideas?

(sorry to hijack your thread, Ann!)

Katie Elle
12-19-2012, 04:10 PM
I always sort my indents with the line spacing option in Word and never use tabs. Yet for some reason, even though I go through the manuscript and use the line spacing section on Word to remove indents after every scene or chapter break it still indents them in the ebook conversion. Any ideas?

My guess right off the top of my head would be that the style is indented and it's overriding the manual formatting.

Also, what type of document are you uploading. In the past few months, there seems to be a widening set of results between html and doc/docx uploads, mostly it seems to make doc/docx a little more bulletproof at the cost of removing a lot of manual formatting.

sarahdalton
12-19-2012, 07:22 PM
My guess right off the top of my head would be that the style is indented and it's overriding the manual formatting.

Also, what type of document are you uploading. In the past few months, there seems to be a widening set of results between html and doc/docx uploads, mostly it seems to make doc/docx a little more bulletproof at the cost of removing a lot of manual formatting.

Usually either a .doc or .docx. For Calibre I sometimes use html or rtf. It's only a small thing but it's something that I know professionals would notice and looks a little bit amateur.

J. Tanner
12-19-2012, 09:27 PM
Hi J. Tanner - I thought I removed all of the multiple space characters (I did have some). Is there an easy fix that even a person that has a tough time digesting these things can understand?

Hm. I found DOC format to be something of a black box. You just never know what's in there, and all sorts of stuff can mess up your formatting. If you've read the Smashwords guide, this is the whole reason behind what they call the "Nuclear Option". For BN and Amazon I avoided DOC and made my own HTML. While it's a bit nerdy to learn, it's at least transparent. For Smashwords I was forced to use DOC, and I started with the Nuclear option and had no problems. In short, I've got no firsthand experience.

If I were in that position, first I'd make sure I have Word in edit mode. There's a toolbar button that looks like a reverse PP and when it's enabled, you'll see the same symbol at the end of every paragraph, dots for spaces, etc. This will visually show you if you have tabs or spaces at the beginning of paragraphs.

If that didn't help, I'd break a longer book down into smaller chunks to troubleshoot. if you know the 3rd chapter has some format issues, copy it into a seperate DOC from the rest of the book and experiment on that using whatever formatting tool you're using and the appropriate previewer. If you can't figure it out, try the Nuclear Option on this small chunk to see if that's a last resort solution. You'll get an idea of how long it might take to do that for the whole book if it becomes necessary. (Ultimately, to me, it's always worth it to not cave and let formatting errors slide even if they're minor, and even if they take a long time to resolve.)

J. Tanner
12-19-2012, 09:32 PM
I always sort my indents with the line spacing option in Word and never use tabs. Yet for some reason, even though I go through the manuscript and use the line spacing section on Word to remove indents after every scene or chapter break it still indents them in the ebook conversion. Any ideas?

That rings a bell from my initial research into formatting last year, but I can't remember the details as my template/process is pretty bulletproof now (as far as I know. :P ) I'm out of time this morning to check into it. I'll make a note and see if I can turn it up tomorrow morning.

merrihiatt
12-20-2012, 12:22 AM
Listen to J. Tanner. Very wise.

sarahdalton
12-20-2012, 12:32 PM
That rings a bell from my initial research into formatting last year, but I can't remember the details as my template/process is pretty bulletproof now (as far as I know. :P ) I'm out of time this morning to check into it. I'll make a note and see if I can turn it up tomorrow morning.

Thank you! That's very kind. I think I'm going to look into the styles you were talking about. I'm just editing my second book so it's a great time to get the hang of it once and for all.

J. Tanner
12-20-2012, 09:03 PM
I found this fairly recent link on the subject that makes it seem as if automatic indent issues are public knowledge when using Word DOCs:

"Anyone who has uploaded an ebook to Amazon’s KDP program (in Microsoft Word .doc format) knows what I am talking about. Indents are added to every single paragraph in the entire book!"

http://www.formatabook.com/format-ebooks/how-to-remove-delete-indents-in-kindle-ebooks/

I prefer block on the first paragraph of a chapter/scene, so that may have played into my decision to switch from DOC to HTML at the time but I definitely did not see this particular link nor purchase the book the post is pimping. I started from Guido Henkel's formatting guide and adjusted my process/template to my personal preferences from there.

So short answer... moving from DOC to HTML should resolve it. (And it's now doubly-odd that Ann is having the exact opposite problem described.)

Katie Elle
12-21-2012, 12:05 AM
So short answer... moving from DOC to HTML should resolve it. (And it's now doubly-odd that Ann is having the exact opposite problem described.)

If you upload html straight from Word (probably "filtered html") this includes font-face declarations and font-size declarations in points. These both cause problems with the PaperWhite. The font-face will lock it into Helvetica if the font you define isnt' available on the PW and the size in points will make the default size tiny.

I just uploaded a Word document to Amazon in both docx and doc format without indents then downloaded the sample file to look at the results in the Kindle Previewer. If you don't define an indent, the $69 basic kindle and older models indent the text automatically, the PaperWhite, Fire, and Kindle applications do not.

J. Tanner
12-21-2012, 03:57 AM
Nutty. All the more reason to stay away from the DOC source if you can. (Note too I've seen differences in what the previewer has shown vs how my Kindle KB works so even there you have to be careful. Luckily for me the problems on the previewer did not occur on the actual device.)

sarahdalton
12-21-2012, 12:51 PM
Thanks for the advice guys. It feels like once you get one problem sorted another one arises! Ha!

I think I'll leave the indents for now, I don't want to mess up the book in paperwhite. I guess you have to pick your battles wisely!

Ann Joyce
12-27-2012, 09:14 PM
Just wanted to let those of you that said the cover always looks horrible on the KDP page, but would most likely look fine after I published, you're right on. I think the cover looks great. Thank you!

merrihiatt
12-27-2012, 10:57 PM
Great news, Ann!

Spell-it-out
12-30-2012, 08:37 AM
The cover looks great.