Saturday, November 15, 2008

A little help? Please?

EDIT--I think my question is answered--my problem solved--my goose cooked, my pie baked, my stuffing stuffed, my cliche cliched.  I think (*THINK*) all is ok.

But if you want to have fun with it, please feel free; it is entirely possible that I am still speaking out of ignorance, and that I am not done at all, and that I need your help more than ever.  But I hope not.  Nothing personal, you understand.

Ok, this is kind of embarrassing.

Is there anyone reading who is reasonably well-versed in the ways of digital images, and willing to help me?

I am in the final death throes of putting together the dead-trees version of "the digital cuttlefish--vol. 1", and I am out of my depth. All I want is to put a book cover together, using my beautiful cuttlefish picture (Michael McRae, artiste) and the words "The Digital Cuttlefish" in a fairly mundane font (currently, Times CE). And everything I try gets rejected, because I don't have a clue about what I am doing.

In the words of lulu:

Images should be in PNG, JPG, or GIF format
Back Cover image should be a minimum of 300 dpi
Your picture should be about 1838 pixels wide and 2775 pixels tall
To allow for cropping, folding, and variance keep important details 3/8th inch from the edge of the image

I am open to any number of different looks, as long as it loads.  If you need me to send you the full-sized jpeg of my cuttlefish pic, let me know in the comments.

This may be the last step--the one thing between me and publication.  (Full disclosure--it may be that I am an idiot about other things as well.)

As soon as I get one that works and looks good, I'll announce it here so that there is minimal wasting of time.  But...  HELP!!!


eliza ann said...

Cuttlefish, I could use the break from editing. Send me the original?

Paul Mohr said...

If Eliza ann cannot, I can easily do that. My email contact is on the blog, or you can ask PodBlack, she knows.

Paul Mohr said...

I couldn't help myself so I snapped the image from your site, rotated 90 CW then took the signature and rotated 90 CCW to realign it. I scaled it to the specs you suggest and then realized that 3/8 inch has no context without an overall cover size. Does it have to be horizontal and it can be done in SVG or even as a blender image. If you have more suggestions it would be nice. Also how is it to be delivered? It can get very messy in email to have an open invitation to huge files. It can be linked at paste-bin or similar and a link provided and it can even be encrypted and the address and key sent by email. It looks very much like a drawing filled in with water color. It is possible to put digital watermarks in it also, and also stegnographic info. I am having fun with graphics formats lately and this is great entertainment. Also 300 DPI is "Dots Per Inch" and if you don't give the cover size that figure is meaningless out of context.

Cuttlefish said...


wow--I am even more ignorant than I suspected! Thanks! I think (*think*) that I have it solved now, but I am not certain at all.

Just in case... The book is 6 X 9 inches. I think I like it non-rotated (If that is meaningful), even though that is definitely a smaller picture. I honestly don't know what you mean by SVG or blender image, or I would be happy to answer you!

If you like, you could probably go to and (just for fun) try fooling around with a file or two--they give the option of creating a private document, so no one has to see all your (read: my) mistakes along the way.

As for delivery... I am still ignorant, other than to know that there will be the option of paperback book and of e-book. I know that does not tell you format, but that is the boundary of my knowledge.

Blake Stacey said...

OK, from the dimensions you'd given, I figured it was a 6x9 book (division is your friend!!), so I took this example and made this PNG.

If you get it to work, tell the rest of us how it's done — other people are contemplating books this holiday season, too. ;-)

Paul Mohr said...

So to do the math - 1 inch == 300 dots, therefore 6 x 9 = 6*300 x 9*300 = 1800x2700. They state 1838 x 2775 which is +38 and +75 borders which works out to 38/300 and 75/300 or in inches (0.126) x (0.25) or 1/8 x 1/4 inch borders. Which is a bit strange if they want 3/8 free borders they should have requested an overall image of 1800+225 and 2700+225 which is 2025x2925 with 112.5 dots on each edge that could be lost to editing or cover folding in the case of a jacket I suppose. gimp ( Graphic Information Meta Processor ) (which is a free program) will scale an image with imperceptible loss usually. I will look into lulu and I admit being clueless there as I don't know what you mean but I will try to figure that out through the site. BTW I really enjoy your poems.

Paul Mohr said...

I think blake stacey is the winner , I looked at the image and it conforms to the spec you gave. I will retire from the contest on that note.

Blake Stacey said...

Yay, I'm the winner! Life is good, forever!

#1 Dinosaur said...

I've done several books through Lulu, and I've had a blast designing my own covers. Happy to help (if you still need it) but the other piece of information needed is the width of the spine, which is a function of page count. Lulu will give you the info you need for overall size, too. Email me if you want: notdeaddinosaur - at - msn - dot - com

Podblack said...

YAYY!!!! :D