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Help withfinishing ebook cover please

Jun 21, 2012, 12:10
Post: #1
Help withfinishing ebook cover please
After reading GIMP for Absolute Beginners I was able to make a good start on a new cover for one of my ebooks, but would like some advice to help me finish.

The basis for the cover is a jpg from Google images, which was 530px high. The cover needs to be 800px high, and I have been able to scale it up to that, and to adjust the colours.

But scaling up from 530px to 800px made the title text less crisp than I would like, and made the image (of The Woman in White) a bit fuzzy. How do I get the title text to look more crisp, and the image less fuzzy?

I did all my fiddling on a version of the original jpg saved in the GIMP format (?fcx) and then exported it as a jpg. How can I reduce the file size of the jpg? It's much bigger than the original.

I understand that there is a program or plug-in called PNGCrush with which one can reduce the file size of png files. How can I find out whether this and other plug-ins are already in the 2.8 version of GIMP? If it is not now part of GIMP how can I get it and and install it?

I am running Windows 7 32 bit.

Regards, Alex
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Jun 22, 2012, 00:32
Post: #2
RE: Help withfinishing ebook cover please
(Jun 21, 2012 13:48)ofnuts Wrote:  The book you praise should have taught you that rescaling images always makes them blurry, and this is more visible when you scale them up (when you scale down, you can recover some perceptual sharpness), and even more visible on sharp edges such as text. This is also true of some of the other transforms such as rotation, shear, and perspective. These should be applied as few times as possible. It's best to plan early, and start with an image which is already at the final size, or significantly bigger. Text is best applied on final size.

A 800px image should normally give a JPG under 200K, which is a trivially small file size nowadays. What kind of size have you got and what are you expecting? How big was the original?

Thanks for your response
The book did indeed state quite clearly that rescaling images up reduces the quality of an image - I already knew that anyway from other ebook covers I have worked on. The problem is that nearly all ebook screens are 600px by 800px, and very few images available to me are that size - many of them are around 200px high. I think I was very fortunate to find one that was 530px high. I have no artistic talents at all, so producing a cover de novo is not an option for me.

The cover image is now 95kb, while the original was 26kb. I know that 95kb is not big compared to images one might use in print, but I would still like to know to reduce the size as much as possible. The 'average' size of an ePub ebook is 800kb or so. I have done another ebook with many illustrations which has a file size of 12Mb.

So it is important for me to know how reduce image file sizes as much as I can, and I'd like to know how to get the best looking cover.

Regards, Alex
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