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Templates for Paint.net?


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Does anyone know if there are any book cover templates for Paint.net? I'm going to look around but my internet connection isn't playing nice today, so I'm not sure if I'll have any luck. By templates I mean something that I can tell it will be, for example, a 7 by 9 trimmed book, with a spine of 1.5 inches, so it will outline the 7 by 9 front and back, as well as the spine edge. Thanks for any help you could give me.

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There are not. However, making your own should be relatively simple. When you create a new image, set the image size to what you need, keeping dpi in mind (see this article for details)

Then, use the rulers along the top and left edges and the info bar at the bottom to measure the placement of your outlines with the line tool. If you hold shift while creating your lines, you can constrain it to a horizontal or vertical angle.

Before you get too busy making your own templates, there's one thing I'd like to point out. Unless you want everything on separate layers, a template is merely an image with lines drawn for ease of use. A quick google image search will probably get you what you're looking for in a moment.

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Here is how I'm handling this.

 

- Created a 'Templates' folder in the 'paint.net User Files' folder in the 'My Documents' folder.

- For each type of template you need do the following:

  - Create a new image in paint.net with the required presets like size and dpi

  - Save the image in the 'Templates' folder using a self-explanatory name like DinA4-300dpi-template.pdn.

  - Open the properties dialog of the image in windows file explorer and set the 'read-only' attribute.

   

Setting the 'read-only' attribute has the effect that if you open the file and try to save it later then you will get an 'Access denied' error and paint.net proposes you to use 'save as' to save the file at a different location. So you will not destroy your template by mistake.

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I've been making book covers for myself and others for over four years so for once I feel comfortable answering a question! :)

Actually, THERE ARE templates out there if you're talking about creating a physical book cover (like a paperback through CreateSpace). Once you have your finished manuscript and you know how many pages there are (this is important because the spine width is the trickiest part), go to this CreateSpace page.

Input your page count and type of paper (I prefer cream myself, it has a nicer finish and the paper is thicker, giving you a bigger book). It will spit out a zip file containing a PNG and PDF template with exact dimensions for you to arrange your images.

Personally, I like to put the PNG template as the top layer, with opacity around 100 so you can see through it. Add your items as different layers and save often! I also like to delete the big white space because it's superfluous. How? Magic wand on the big white space, invert selection, crop to selection.

If you want to do an e-book cover, it's much simpler since you only have the front cover to worry about. I make mine with a canvas of 2500 x 1667 which is a nice enough size to be accepted at every retailer.

Good luck!

Edited by AgentGoodspeed
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Thanks for all of the wonderful answers! I actually did find that Createspace, who I use for printing my physical books, does have their own downloadable templates, as AgentGoodSpeed said. I've gotten one that's a 7 by 10 trim size (that's the same as the first book in the series, so I will stick with it for continuity with the rest of the series), and at about 200 pages (close to the # of pages in the first one). But thanks for the info on creating your own template, as I never know when I might need one.

 

It's taken almost two days of work, but here's what I've come up with so far. Done in paint.net, using stock or creative commons photos, and the moon in this cover is actually I shot I took myself with my new camera. Whoops, I had to edit it. I used some other images to practice on, but unfortunately the skull I used is not able to be used commercially, so I had to find another. This is that one, the one I can actually use.

 

post-142395-0-85285800-1439675269_thumb.

Edited by Markie Madden
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Ooo.... Nice! I really like that Markie.

A few things to try - just to see how they look:

1. Fade out the person/skull layer(s) by lowering the Opacity (press F4 with the layer active). This will make it look more spectral.

2. Shift the person/skull layers behind the buildings. At the moment there is a definite overlay the other way.

 

3. Lift the moon higher - to make it look more illuminating of the cityscape.

 

Something like this: yhsjjie_82.png

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Thanks for the comments! I've been tweaking this all day, fixing a bit of this, changing up a bit of that. I've already brought the character of the Reaper behind the buildings, and put some of the clouds in front of him as well, to make it appear that he's in the clouds. I also thinned out his opacity a bit and decided that I didn't need the half copy of his face to put over the skull, either.

 

My first attempt with Createspace's template was just a tad too big when I uploaded it as a test, but by then I was getting pretty quick at putting the layers together. So my second attempt fit no problem.

 

About the moon: I was worried that if I put it too high it would look unrealistic. After all, we all know it looks bigger when it's rising or setting. Thoughts Ego?

 

Eli, this one should be at a higher resolution than the other image, I don't know if that makes any difference at all. But you're the first person to mention having trouble with the font. Myself, I'm looking at it using either a tablet or a phone, so I may be missing something. Is this version any easier to read, or the same? Or worse?

 

Also, I'm just uploading the front cover this time, as I've not yet decided what text I'm putting into the back cover.

post-142395-0-82647700-1439703820_thumb.

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The text is sharp. It is the type of font that makes it difficult to read. For example, the letter "U" is difficult to recognize.

 

This font (from dafont.com) for example is easier to read and it is also gothic:

template-font-4c623f3.png

Edited by Eli
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It's nearly impossible to write english text using letters from a language of a different alphabet. Gothic is mostly Greek.

All these mappings are horrible if you are used to the native language.

But the world always develops and globalization leads to a big melting pot.

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About the moon: I was worried that if I put it too high it would look unrealistic. After all, we all know it looks bigger when it's rising or setting. Thoughts Ego?

:lol: You've got the Grim Reaper in there and you're worried about realism? :mrgreen: Big moon = spooky/macabre/primal. The sort of thing you're not-so-subtly hinting at with the title and Reaper image ;)

Like your changes & agree that the font is a little too ornate for great clarity. I can't read the title on your thumbnail image for e.g. I can read Steve's titles in his similarly sized thumbnails.

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I like the Old English font in the title. I'm not sure I'd select that particular font, only because I think it's slightly generic. Perhaps a similar font with a bit more personality would be better. Or the same font with something more than just a flat color.  I also think the other text should use a different font.

 

I'm reluctant to criticize artwork, but I think the reapers forehead is too short relative to the rest of his face. That's a common error. The rule of thumb is that the center of the eye is approximately halfway between the bottom of the chin and the top of the head. Googling "skull proportions" will locate lots of images that can be used as guides for the reaper side and the other side.

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Well, it's a work in progress and I've got plenty of time since I only have 14,000 words written, out of a goal of 80,000. I have a few months, at least. But I mainly wanted to practice to see if I really could do it, or if I needed to budget in the cost of a cover.

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I think the cover is a crucial part of a book's marketing because contrary to the popular saying, people DO judge a book by its cover.

The best advice I ever heard on the subject is to study the best-selling books in your genre and try to emulate their covers. You don't want to copy them, of course, but determine what the common elements are and use them on your cover.

Is it a wolf? A sword? Script fonts? A bold title taking up most of the page? What is telling the readers that your book is romance or fantasy or a thriller? This gives readers a sense of comfort and they are much more likely to purchase your books if they know in advance what they're getting.

For a long time I didn't follow that advice. I was like "Noooo, my cover needs to be different, to stand out!" However, the cover needs to stand out while still conforming to the genre conventions.

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  • 5 years later...
On 8/15/2015 at 11:51 AM, AgentGoodspeed said:

put the PNG template as the top layer, with opacity around 100 so you can see through it. Add your items as different layers and save often! I also like to delete the big white space because it's superfluous. How? Magic wand on the big white space, invert selection, crop to selection.

Thank you so much for this!  I appreciate when someone is able to put something in a context I can wrap my head around!

 

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