How to Make Your First Kindle Book Cover


Now it’s time to create your first eBook cover with Box Shot King.  Before deciding on a template, consider the venue where this book cover is going to be displayed.  For example, if you want to upload a Kindle eBook, go to and take a look at how similar books in your genre appear. You won’t have any control over this in Amazon:  You’ll merely upload your cover photo as a placeholder, which will appear without any 3D effects.  (Don’t worry:  Box Shot King will allow you to create a “Flat Cover” version of your 3D graphics.)

On your website, however, you’ll want to spice things up a little more.  You want your book to read as a “real” book, so choose one of Box Shot King’s 3D templates.

Step 1.  Choose your Template


Step 2.  Choose your Background

The moment you choose your eBook cover template, Box Shot King will present you with a selection of backgrounds.


Choose one, upload your own, check out web resources for further backgrounds or customize the default style with your own colors.

When you select one, it will populate in your canvas area, and you can resize to the area you want to select, as well as move your borders around to capture just the right area.


Once you like what you see in the selection area, press the orange “Select and continue” button.


Step 3.  Create Your Title

When creating your title, make sure the font supports the feel and tone of your book.  For example, if you are producing a Hallowe’en collection of spooky recipes, you might choose a “creepy” font – one that people traditionally and automatically associate with horror movies — such as “Zombie Zone” or “Nightmare”.


(Remember, you add text by pressing the “Insert Text” button, once your background has loaded in.  Type your text into the textarea box; then apply your desired font and effects.)


You will also now be able to drag-to-resize your title, so it will fit anywhere you want on your cover. Press the “Submit” button, once you have typed in your Title and applied your selected effects. Your title will now render over your background.  You can then drag-and-resize it by the corner of your bounding box, as well as reposition it on your “page”.


Note that you can customize your Title text even further, using the options available in the editing bar:


Step 4.  Add an Image

Click on the “Insert Images” tab in your top, horizontal menu, and select a tab; then select a graphic; much as you selected your background.


You can select from galleries, stock photos or upload your own from this location.  (You can also use the “Upload Images” tab instead of the “Insert Images” tab.). Your graphic will render (i.e. load slowly within the canvas) and be added to your cover.


You can:

  • Resize it by dragging
  • Move it around
  • Send it behind your text.  (You are working here in layers.)

Step 5. Edit Your Image and Working with Layers

By default, since you created your graphic after your text, it automatically populates as the front [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][top] layer.  You may not want the title underneath your graphic, so:

a. Click on the element you want at the front (i.e. your title text).  You will know if you have selected your graphic or your title, because the element you click on will be outlined in white.  (Use the double arrow as your click point for drag-resizing or moving.) 


b. Once you have the element you want to position on top selected, click on the “Bring to Front” button


Previously, your graphic was right over top of your title, coloring the letters.


Move your text to the front by selecting the title and pressing the “Bring to Front” button puts your graphic behind the text letters, which usually looks more finished and professional.


Remember; if you don’t like the graphic behind the text after moving it, you can send it “back” again by:

  • Selecting the graphic
  • Pressing “Bring to front”

You can add as many graphics and text elements as you want.

But what if you find part of the image is obscuring your text, yet you still want it on front?

You can simply cut out the offending portion by pressing the “Cut Selected Area” button and moving your editing window until the area you want deleted is greyed-out.


Then press “Cut”.



Step 6.  Save Your Cover

When you are completely happy with the finished look of your eCover, press the black and red “Finalize” button.


Your final eCover graphic will display, along with a menu bar on top giving details about its contents, including:

  • Background color
  • Width (in pixels)
  • Height (in pixels)

This is what your finished 3D cover will look like, displayed on your Sales page or anywhere else on your website:


You can now choose to:

  • Edit your cover
  • Download your cover

If you are happy with the look of your graphic, click “Download”.

If you are not happy with any of the elements, just click on the “Edit” button and you will be able to go back and tweak that element.

Step 7.  Creating a Transparent Background

For seamless integration into your website, create a transparent background to your actual, finished eCover graphic by simply checking the “Transparent” radio button.


You will know you were successful because the white page background to your finished cover will instantly change to a checkered background, which in the graphic design world signifies transparency.  And the “Background Color” tab will display the word “transparent” inside its textarea box, instead of displaying a color code.

You will not see these checkers on your website.  Instead, your actual website background color will show through behind your book cover.  (White is the best color for displaying elements such as eBook covers, especially if they contain effects such as drop shadows.)

Any final graphic file with a transparent background will download as a .PNG file.  Note that if you change that to a .JPG file, you will lose the transparency.

Step 8.  Creating your “flat” Book Cover

But wait – we’re not quite finished yet.  Remember how we looked at earlier?  We realized that Amazon does not display book covers in 3D.  Instead, they want a perfectly flat graphic.

When you are ready to “Download”, you can create that Amazon-style flat rendition of your eBook cover very easily – simply by pressing the “Download 2D” button.


You can do this before or after you press the “Download” button for your main 3D eCover…


You will instantly be rendered an Amazon “placeholder” version of your eCover that looks like this:


Make sure your size is consistent with Amazon’s 1/6 ratio (height and width ratio).

Amazon’s ideal recommended size is 1,563 X 2,500 pixels, but you can downsize all the way to the Amazon minimum of 625 X 1,000 pixels.

You can adjust the size right on your 2D screen:


Once you’ve downloaded your flat file to your desktop, you can then upload this graphic to Amazon to act as your placeholder.

Step 9.  Retrieving your Covers

Your created eCovers are not lost, once downloaded – it’s not a one-shot deal, when it comes to creation.  They are stored in the cloud, in your Box Shot King files, and you can access them again at any time.

To do so:

1.     Open the Box Shot King home page and click on the “Members” tab

2.     Log in

3.     Click on the anchor text “Click here” under the “Welcome [Your Name]” heading

26-retrieving-your-ecovers4.     Click on the “My ECovers” tab.


 5.     Click on the “Edit” button within the thumbnail of the version you want to edit.


And that’s how easy it is to create, customize and retrieve your first eBook cover with Box Shot King.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Top 10 Ways for Creating an Effective Online Brand


If you’re not actively branding your business, you are wasting golden opportunities to strengthen your online position in your niche.

Creating a uniform goal and plan can help you  make sure all your branding efforts are on target.  Then incorporate the following top ten ways for create an effective online brand.

1.  Identify Your Brand Clearly

Make it easy for people to see at a glance what you and your business are all about the moment they arrive at your web page, read your email or newsletter, pick up your business card or check out your social media pages and posts.

Show (don’t just tell) people:

  • What you do
  • Who you are
  • How you can help or even just entertain them

Letting people know what they can expect from you and your business and what they can trust you to deliver, as celebrity Jackie Chan demonstrates here,  is what branding is all about.



2.  Pay Attention to Voice

2-voiceOne other aspect of your business needs to be clear and distinctive: Your voice.

“Voice” is the personality you project across all your websites, social media and other forms of contact.

Your voice can be any type you want it to be…  But it should fit your mission and your target market consistently, like a favorite pair of slippers.  It should be reflected in everything from website colors to the music clips you use with your videos.

Individuality is another important part of creating a consistent voice.  You want to show that you can take a secure place among your competitors – but also stand out.

People should feel they know you, when they see your communications and materials.


3.  Know When to Use Professionals

Using the right help at the right time will actually increase your branding.

Trying to do it all yourself leads to overload and overwhelm; and that leads to losing track of your business as an entity and brand because you’re too close and too busy being reactive.

Become a true CEO, instead of your own eternal employee.  Plan for support that will leave you free to focus on customers, clients – and your branding.  Then decide:

  • What type of help you need
  • Who you are going to choose to provide that help

Check into potential candidates. See if they have package rates (many contractors do).


 This will leave you free to focus on only the essentials of growing your business, allowing you to maintain a focused overview, as well as network and serve your customers and clients to the best of your ability.

And focus is what strong, successful branding is all about.


4.  Manage your Online Reputation

One negative comment – deserved or not – can really affect your online reputation.  Check comments and feedback regularly to see what people are saying about you.

One easy way to do this: Set up a Google Alert for your name and your business name (if the two are different).

You can set your Google alerts up so that they are highly reactive, if there’s a particular situation you want to monitor, or barely intrusive – simply by setting the frequency at which the results are delivered to your email address (text or HTML).


You can choose to receive alerts:

  • As it happens
  • Once a day
  • Once a week

You can also export your alerts to your hard drive.

But managing your online reputation doesn’t just mean monitoring what’s said:  It’s really all about giving people no reason to badmouth you in the first place!

  • Keep in touch with clients and update them if there are hitches or problems.
  • Process payments and refunds promptly and cheerfully.
  • Thank people who do you favors or submit work.

Reputation management is all about giving people reason to praise you and your business.

(And don’t do anything on your social networks that’s at odds with your branding and voice!)


5.  Tell Your Brand’s Story

Use your online footprints to tell your brand’s story.  Doing this well means knowing:

  • Where you’ve been
  • Your mission
  • Where you are heading

Your “About” Page is a good place to provide a brief history of your business:  What inspired it, how old it is, what it looked like at inception and how it has been serving its clientele.

Sending out regular newsletters and press releases, posting articles to your blog and sharing photos with social networks continues your story.  But even as you do share your history and story, make sure it’s really all about your customer or client (as Eugene Saturday Market expertly does here on its Facebook Page)


Even though everything you present should be geared towards your end client or customer, they will connect better if they can also relate – and see that you do too.


6.  Be Consistently Active and Actively Consistent

The word “consistent” is the real key to branding.

Interact regularly and consistently:

  • Across all your social platforms
  • In the type of material you share
  • With your unique voice
  • In all your content
    • business pages
    • buttons
    • flyers
    • prizes
    • surveys
    • emails
    • newsletters

And  every piece of content you put out (e.g. Burt’s Bees).


7.  Use Templates

This simple tip is one that, when put to work, can help you easily create a cohesive feel to all your marketing venues.  You can create:

  • Email templates featuring your colors, logo, headshot and signature
  • Flyer templates
  • HTML templates for your newsletter
  • HTML templates for your landing and sales pages
  • MS Word templates for business correspondence

And for anything else you re-use frequently.

With a template, you don’t have go through your content, second-guessing things like what your exact shade of sub-head red was.  Templates saves time as well as helping you instantly brand your business without effort.



8. Go Visual

What were two of the hottest trends in 2012?

Pinterest and Instagram.

If your business doesn’t have a Profile created with each of these two graphic-based social networks, you’re missing a great opportunity to connect with your market.

Once you’ve created a Pinterest for Business account (it’s free), be sure to create more than one Pinboard.  (Read site instructions – which are simple – and look at examples; especially your competitors’, if they’ve been more socially-savvy than you.)

Make sure you create an overall plan for your Pinboards.  And that each one:

  • Is interesting and visually dramatic
  • Triggers emotion, whenever possible
  • Reflects your brand consistently

Put a “Pin it” button on your site, and activelyask customers to pin your photos.  (The Pin it button such as Split Coast Stampers displays makes it as easy as one click for them to do so.)


Make sure you have yummy visual content for them to pin. But don’t stop there, however:  Re-pin customer content that fits your brand onto your boards.

Use Instagram to capture photo opportunities and share them.

Finally carry this through to YouTube videos.  Create your own channel and brand it with:

  • Your logo
  • Your colors
  • Your graphics

Then create lively videos to regularly share with customers.


9.  Go Mobile

What was the hottest trend in 2011?

Mobile marketing.

2011 saw the introduction of QR codes to the Western world.  Now you see them everywhere – even on sandwich boards outside your local grocery store, making it easy for you to use the QR code to enter their survey.

When customers use your QR code, reward them with coupons, discounts, or even just great photographs they can share.

Go one step further in using your QR codes to help brand your business:  Don’t just use a plain, generated QR code:  Have a custom QR code designed containing or incorporating graphics such as your logo – one that makes people instantly think of your business.

(If you can’t yet afford a designer who specializes in QR codes, do it yourself with generators such as Unitag that allow you to incorporate your own graphics into your QR code in a variety of styles.)


 10.  Optimize Your Signature

Don’t miss the opportunity to make the most of your signature.  Include anchor text to your blog or website, as well as your tagline.


Make sure your signature is as consistent as possible, everywhere you use it – forums, flyers, membership sites and in your emails and colors.

Think of your signature as yet another handy branding tool.


Although these pointers include the most basic elements of branding, you’ll find they are still the top ten ways to create your most effective online brand. Get into the habit putting them to work – and watch your branding results soar.