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Ebook Cover - Text Troubles


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I've recently gotten into the craze of writing an ebook for the Amazon Kindle and decided to design my own ebook cover. The biggest problem I've come upon is the shrinkage of the image for preview purposes when people are browsing the Kindle selection.

The original size of my image is 2000 x 1200 (the recommended 1 to .6 ratio for Kindle covers). The book looks great in the original size, but when shrunk down to about 100 x 60, the text becomes pixelated. I've tried the various suggested font styles (mostly sticking to the sans-serif), but all have the pixelated look. I use the built-in text tool for paint.net. I tried making the text as larger as possible across the book cover, but the text still looks pixelated.

Has anyone else come upon this trouble? Was there a solution? Is there a plugin for text that is used for ebook covers to 'merge' them into the cover images to help them blend in morre and not look so sharp?

Here are two versions of my ebook cover. The Original Size can be found here.

Shrunken Size:

chimes_small.jpg

Thanks in advance for any help

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Does it have to be 100x60? If not, try shrinking it to 125x75 pixels

EDIT: If it needs to be 100x60, resize the large version to 1600x960 or to 3200x1920 before your shrink it all the way down to 100x60

Things tend to look nicer when you resize them by factors of two (resize by 50%, 25%, 12.5% etc. or 200%, 400%, 800% etc.)

EDIT 2: actually, I just tried it and it didn't work at all lol. Try waiting till after you resize to add the text. The image size is simply too small to cram all that image data in any nice-looking way.

Edited by pdnnoob

 

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That is a very nice image.

However, when working on such a large image it does get very scrappy when you resize it down. Workably, 4 times the original is optimal. 20 x is going to be hard to shrink down, maintaining the quality as you found out.

Can you redo the image in just 4 x?

If not then the text layer might need to be redone after you shrink it down to just 4x.

Also it depends on what you are saving the image as. PNG is always going to look smoother than JPGs. I do not know what you need to save it as for an ebook.

No magic cure, I'm sorry.

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Knowledge is no burden to carry.

 

April Jones, 2012

 
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When you're shrinking images to 5% of their original something has got to give. Fact of life :( I just resized my cover to the same dimensions and got much the same problem.

Tips that might help:

1. Try using a font designed for the screen. Droid Sans is one such example ( http://www.google.co...imen/Droid+Sans ). These fonts are designed to retain their legibility on screen at a range of sizes.

2. Ensure there is high contrast between the text and background. A black vignette behind the text would help achieve this and would be almost imperceptible.

3. As has been mentioned, your text is a little pixelated. Smooth it off with AA's Assistant or Feather.

Here's a quick comparison using all three suggestions:

yhsjjie-72.png

Also note the use of lowercase letters - IMHO this makes the word more recognizable.

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@Ego, scientifically it as more readable, you recognise the word better because you learn most of your words in lowercase, another reason why most road signs (In the UK at least) have place names written in lowercase :)

BTW EternalSorrow - Not sure how this works or anything but resizing through the web may help? I scaled down the logo of my site from a stupendously large image and somehow the magic code made it look great!

I have next to no knowledge of coding so i cant really help anymore than that in that field :(

eOdUjVm.jpg

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Really nice job EternalSorrow!

The "Midnight" text is very readable even in that small image and I can make out the author name too.

"Chimes of" is a bit too small to read easily (I guessed). Personally I'd make it a bit larger.

What font did you settle on?

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just to clarify something:

Paint.NET has four ways of Resampling images when resizing .

PDNhelp.png

I assume that you've used the 'Nearest neighbor' option , that option does no smoothing at all , it's used to have the image with all the pixels almost in their places.

if you want the result to be similar to the original , with the most smoothing , 'Best Quality' is your cup of tea :

resizedIMG.png

Here is how the result would look if you use the 'Best Quality' option:

Hope that was helpful..

ps: i prefer your new one xD

Ahmed

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Not quite. Our original poster is creating an ebook for sale (probably on Amazon). The thumbnail reduction is done by the book seller in order to display the cover on their website. The reduction process is therefore entirely out of the author's hands (the author supplies the full sized cover image, the seller does the rest).

Regardless of the process used to reduce the full sized cover, our poster wishes to make the text on their cover as clear as possible.

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