Easy Kindle eBook Cover Design in Two Steps

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One of the more challenging steps in the self-publishing process for me was creating Kindle eBook cover designs. Second most challenging I’d have to say was the formatting, but I did end up finding a solution to that. We’ll save that story for another day.

Being a writer and not a graphic designer, I had no clue how to approach book cover designs and was next to useless in Photoshop.

However, I had literally no publishing budget so I was prepared to spend some time learning new things in order to take on the entire project with little or no paid help.

My GIMP Disappointment

Since Photoshop is still expensive as hell, I downloaded an open source alternative called GIMP. I then headed to Youtube to see if I could find some useful tutorials on creating book covers specifically. I wasn’t too impressed with the results.

None of the stuff these people were providing instructions for was what I would call professional looking. And as it turned out, GIMP wasn’t the easiest program in the world to learn. It overwhelmed me a little, and I consider myself fairly versatile when it comes to technology.

So after many failed attempts, I threw in the towel on that option for the time being.

Fabulous Fiverr

It happened to be around the same time that I stumbled upon a brand new site called Fiverr. It was there that I found seemingly endless listings of people who were willing to make an ebook cover design for only five bucks, and they had impressive samples too!

Immediately I jumped on this opportunity and since buying the cover for my first Kindle eBook back in 2010, I have bought similar services from dozens of other Fiverr sellers and been overjoyed with the results 9 out of 10 times.

Of course, not all the good designers are limited to charging five bucks anymore. Fiverr has changed a lot since it started and now the prices may indeed be a bit higher for good work, but you can bet that it’s still cheaper than hiring a professional elsewhere.

Generators or Templates, Anyone?

So the one down side to Fiverr was the turnaround time. There were a few sellers who would guarantee within 24 hours for delivery, but that was rare. The really good designers on there were so flooded with orders that they oftentimes had to pause their gigs in order to catch up on orders which had already been placed.

Those same sellers would sometimes have original delivery times of nearly a month long to begin with!

But on average, it would usually take a few days or up to a week. Not too big of a deal for most authors who are putting together a Kindle eBook. After all, who can’t wait a few days?

Well the other thing about Fiverr book covers is that you typically get what the designer creates for you and you are stuck with it. Some offered revisions, but not all. Some didn’t listen well when you gave instructions and you ended up with something you would never put your name on.

I then went on a mission to hunt down any high-quality book cover generators or templates that were somewhat easy to customize. I was again disappointed by the lack of results.

Easy, Editable and Cheap

Those are my three requirements. I finally found a combination of tools that can be used together to make professional looking Kindle eBook cover designs and it will cost you less than $20 total and will only require about 15 minutes of your time.

And in case you’re wondering, here is the cover I just created with this method.

I was reading a product from the Warrior Forum recently and noticed a little tip offered about finding stock images for your book covers. I had a hard time believing it would be this simple, but when used with another site I had previously discovered, it turned out to work quite well.

Pick a Stock Photo

The stock photo site used in the example was Fotolia.com, which is the one I used. I imagine it would work similarly with most similar sites, assuming they have a robust search feature with several filters.

Okay, so head on over to Fotolia and buy a few credits. I just went with the fewest possible, which was ten credits for $14. This is plenty, so don’t spend more than that.

Next, type in a keyword for the type of image you need for your cover design. After hitting enter, scroll down and look in the left sidebar for an option that says “Orientation,” and select vertical, then hit the refine search button.

These photos will work exceptionally well for creating Kindle covers. Find one you like and buy the medium sized download, which is large enough to meet the requirements for Kindle covers.

Add Your Title and Text

Once you’ve downloaded your photo, head on over to MyeCoverCreator.com. Upload your new photo as the background for your book cover. Once it loads, click on add text and choose the font and color settings for your title. Play around with this a little to figure out what looks best and don’t be afraid to use the effects as well.

Type your title in and easily move it around the photo until you’re happy with the placement. If you want your name on the cover as the author, click on the add text option again and repeat the process until you’re satisfied.

Don’t worry about the template selection at the beginning of the process. I know they are all 3-D models. It won’t matter. Once you’re ready to download your completed cover, you’ll see an option to download the 2-D version that is usable for Kindle eBooks.

The cost for downloading the finished book cover from this site is less than five bucks, and as you can see from my example, it’s well worth the few dollars you’ll spend.

SPR also offers a book cover design service for those of you who need a hands-off approach! To learn more, contact us here

 

Original Article:

http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2013/06/easy-kindle-ebook-cover-design-in-two-steps/

 

Mentioned Resources:

* MyEcoverCreator.com – Design a Kindle Book Cover

* Fotolia.com – Stock Photos

* Fiverr.com – Gigs for $5 and Up

Mayday Button – Review of New Amazon Tech Support Product for Kindle Fire HDX

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The ever growing behemoth Amazon has recently just upped the ante for the tablet industry by releasing the Mayday button functionality to their new line of Kindle Fire HDX tablets.

This new method of tech support for struggling tablet users should have an increase in sales for Amazon, who currently has about 1/10th of the tablet shares as Apple and their iPad tablets.

What is the Mayday Button?

It happens everyday. We get a new device, rip open the box, turn it on, and we realize that there is a limited instruction manual. In the case of Apple, there really is no instruction manual. So what happens when we have a problem?

Amazon has answered the consumers’ response by creating a free, live one-on-one tech support for users who need to learn how to use the Kindle tablet. Right from the homescreen, the user can tap the Mayday Button icon and in a short period of time, be connected to a live video chat with a tech support specialist. The user will see the tech support agent right on their screen.

After touching the Mayday help button, I found that I only had to wait about 30 seconds before being connected to a tech support agent. I first had to ask, “Can you see me like I see you?”

The agent let me know that with this new support function, the customer can only see the help staff, but they cannot see the consumer. This should put to rest all of the questions potential customers have regarding an uncomfortable face-to-face communication as well as keep pranksters at bay.

I then was instructed how to use the tablet in a quick, step-by-step fashion, and the support tech was able to even draw on my screen and help me click through the buttons. As part of Amazon’s attempt to continue to grow, the tech staff showed me how to purchase books from the Kindle store right from the tablet.

I was impressed with the ease of use for the Mayday button and with how helpful the tech advisor staff person was. I am not sure, but I can predict that this new and free technology will make the Kindle Fire HDX tablet a top seller this year. Since many tablet users, especially those with little tech experience continue to want tablets for daily use, the Mayday button will allow for their peace of mind and offer a potential better alternative than opting for the more popular Apple iPad.

Nate Rio is an experienced techie and tablet user. To learn more about the Mayday Button and the new Kindle Tablet, visit the Mayday Button blog.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8110018

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Tablet Review With Mayday Button

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Mayday Button Overview for the New Kindle Fire HDX

It is no doubt that the new Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Tablet is flying off the shelves now due to the introduction to the all new “Mayday Button.”

Amazon and their CEO Jeff Bezos introduced the all-new Kindle Fire in 2013 with the new tablet that will give Apple a run for its money in the handheld tablet industry. The main reason people are switching over to a new tablet is the fact that Apple, though being relatively easy to use, does not come with an iPad instruction manual.

The Kindle Fire HDX 7″ on the other hand, along with its other screen size versions, now include a handy, built-in tech support to aid in the user’s experience.

On the top of the screen interface, there is a little mayday button icon, when clicked will give you a live, one-on-one tech support agent to help you out in the user experience process.

mayday-button-amazon-kindle-fire-hdx

Let’s say that you need help getting new content on your Kindle; an example might be a new book or movie from the Kindle store. You can click the icon, and an agent will log into your tablet (considering you are connected to the internet with its Wi-fi) and guide you through the steps.

Average wait times last I checked were about 30-45 seconds. Sometimes sooner, sometimes a little longer depending on the time of day.

Note however, for those thinking that this is a fun game you can play at parties to entertain your friends, the agent is visible by the tablet user, but the tech support agent can NOT see you! So keep your pants on guys!

The gal infamously known as “Amy” by the kindle commercials on tv, is a paid actor and is not one of the actual agents that will be helping utilize your new tablet.

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Tablet Review

The Fire HDX comes 7″ with the all-new HDX Display, included Wi-Fi, as well as the Optional 4G LTE Wireless connection for internet on the go. You can choose your LTE wireless through Verizon and At&t currently.

The sizes come in 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB, which are pretty standard for most tablets nowadays.

I use the Kindle tablet a lot for work and play, so I appreciated the fact that it comes standard with OfficeSuite and Outlook for work, and Gmail and the Google Calendars function for my personal events.

I have used the Mayday button support at various hours of the day, and per Amazon, they offer live tech support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (366 days on leap years folks!)

**AWESOME Alert: the Amazon App store not only offers 100,000 apps available for free and for purchase, but they offer a FREE app download from their paid selections once per month!

Read more Reviews on Amazon Here…