Create A Basic Facebook Cover From A Book
Create A Basic Facebook Cover From A Book.
Authors are artists of the written word and most will admit they need help when it comes to designing book covers, author fan pages and everything else that demands they open up a paint program.
I am not artist, website design specialist or anything close to being one but I do know my way around basic paint programs, so here is my little guide to help those in need.
This tutorial will not show you much about what can be achieved with Paint.Net it will just show you what is required to make one version of a Facebook cover.
For this rough tutorial I have used Paint.Net it is free and available from Download Paint.Net but you might be able to do the same using any paint package.
Basic Author Page Cover.
As you can see this really is a basic Author Page cover, the dimensions for the Facebook cover need to be 851px wide and 315px high, the book cover I am using is just 500px wide which means if I enlarge it to fill the Facebook cover width, I will lose the sharpness of the original cover. Hopefully if you had proper book covers made they will be a lot larger and higher quality.
Also 150px on the lefthand side and 145px on the righthand side will not be visible on mobiles so don't have important stuff in these areas.
Paint.Net Basic Layout.
Paint.Net has been around a long time now, if you go onto Google search you will find loads of guides on how to use it properly.
Main tools and files at (position 1)
Tools Bar (position 2)
Layers (position 3)
Colors (position 4)
History (position 5)
Don't worry we wont be using much of anything this is real basic.
We will only be using a very few of these.
Paint.Net is just like the basic paint program that came with your computer but is capable of doing so much more, you can add extras to enhance the program but we wont need them for this tutorial. We are going to keep it very basic and hopefully you will be able to produce an Authors Page cover at the end of it.
There is a Wiki site set up that has a basic guide to all tools, effect and layers Wiki Guide
I downloaded Paint.Net and ran the program and set up the file associations to make it easier to work with.
1. I opened FILE->open and found the book cover I am going to use.
2. I open FILE->new and created a new image the size of the Authors Cover
As you can see from the box the width and height match what Facebook wants.
The resolution for my book cover image is 96 so I didnt change that but if it had been higher then all the better, I could have adjusted the new image to match the book cover, the final image quality would be vastly improved but only if the book cover image is really better quality.
3. At the top of the page, you will see two thumbnails, your book cover and Untitled, click untitled then click FILE->save as... you can name your image, pick a location to save to and change its type, in Paint.Net I usually work with png images since they allow layers and opacity levels when I need them.
4. Since the book cover is 500px wide and I need 851px to fill my facebook cover, I did the following.
a. I selected the book cover by clicking its thumbnail at the top.
b. I clicked EDIT->SELECT ALL then clicked EDIT->COPY.
c. I re-selected the Facebook cover by clicking the thumbnail at the top, this brought up the image in Paint.Net, since I will be stretching a thinner image which is a lot taller I clicked the slider at the bottom right of the program and slid it down to roughly 50%, the image became that size visually.
d. I clicked EDIT->Paste and Paint.Net told me the image was to large did I want to Expand canvas or keep canvas size, we want to keep the canvas size so that is what I pressed.
e. By clicking the little circles and pulling the mouse across the screen the image stretches, you can also click the image and move it about. I stretched the image both ways until I was happy it fitted my Facebook cover.
This image looks ok but the lettering either side with get cut in a mobile view and the quality of the stretched image doesn't look perfect. It is hard to tell from the above image since it is highlighted due to still being stretched. To stop this just click a blank part of the screen and it comes out of being highlighted, we can now click the slider at the bottom of the screen to go back to 100% view.
To get rid of the lettering we could do one of many things, we could use a magic wand and highlight the text and then change its color, we could select the rectangle select at the top left in the tool bar, with that we could select a piece of the image just below and copy and paste it over the text or we could use the clone stamp. Check the Wiki guide on how to use these.
I decided it will look better using rectangle select then blurred out, infact I will blur the whole image due to its image quality.
5. I clicked the Rectangle Select the top left image in the tool bar and selected a part of the cover to use, I clicked the cover then moved the mouse holding down the left button until my rectanges shape was big enough to hide the text.
6. I clicked EDIT->copy and then EDIT->paste and moved the new little image over the text until it was blocked out.
7. On the tools bar the top right icon MOVE SELECTED PIXELS is now selected, to clear it, click the top left icon again and then click anywhere blank on the page.
8. I Repeated the process for the other bit of text.
9. Making sure I did not have any rectangles highlighted in the cover, I clicked Effects->Blurs->Unfocus a box appeared and I slid the slider until I was happy everything was blurred out, I didn't want any detail in the image all I wanted was the color tones.
10. I now have a blurred background, the same color as the book, so I clicked the thumbnail of the bookcover which is 500px high, far too big so I clicked IMAGE->resize and a new box appeared. I clicked the height box and made it 300px then clicked ok.
11. I clicked EDIT->Select all, then EDIT->copy and then clicked the thumbnail of the Facebook cover and then clicked EDIT-paste and moved the smaller image to roughly halfway into the Facebook cover, so it was in the middle.
12. To get the text MICHAEL CRICHTON I clicked the little T in the menu bar and then clicked the image.
I could have typed the name in but pasted it by clicking EDIT->Paste after copying it from a text file.
13. At the top in the main menu, it shows which font is being used and its size and other properties, I messed with these until I found a font that suited the image and resized it.
I used center-align and made some spaces and kept moving the text around until I was happy with it and changed its color by clicking brownish red in the color box.
14. Happy with my efforts I clicked File and save before closing the program down, it asked if I wanted to save the changes to my book cover which I declined, I want the book cover to stay its original 500px.
I am pretty sure this is not what you want for your Authors page, but this mini tutorial does show a few of the things you can do with a paint program and I hope it does help the odd author who does get stuck.
Example 2 Using Clouds
This example is very similar the first but instead of using your book cover as a background we used clouds.
I created the new image just like for the cover above but then went and changed the colors in the color box, either by clicking pre-made ones in the little boxes or clicking the color wheel, left click to change the top color and right click to change the bottom color, I then went to EFFECTS->RENDER->CLOUDS and a box came up, I clicked ok as I was happy with the default effect but you can play about with it until you are happy.
When I copy and pasted the small book image like I did in the first example this time after moving it, I hovered the mouse pointer just below bottom right of the image and two curved arrors appeared allowing me to rotate the image.
Again I played about with the text, each line I did separate by clicking the mouse pointer at a completely different part of the image to finish one line and then by clicking underneath the last text to start again.
Images used for this article include Readers Gazette Images.
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