Tips for working with book covers in ebooks

Usually, you don’t. Even in InDesign covers are created separately from the book’s content. They are submitted to printers separately as well.

For the sake of Advanced Readers Copies, or Prints for proofreaders, you might print a cover separately and attach that page to the printed pages.

If you really want a cover in Scrivener, link the image file, rather than embedding it by dragging it on the first page of your manuscript. Scrivener will use the file on your harddisk to print that image.

Hope this Helps

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Front cover yes, especially for eBooks, but back or wraparound no.

This seemed not quite the right thing, after I tried it, thinking towards actually using ebooks before long.

You can do it, but:

  • getting it to format as you expect is tricky, needing odd settings for a Section Type in compile, and,

  • I don’t think there’s any way to get this to work like a cover, showing first before the table of contents and the dedication or other Front Matter pages.

Along the path, I discovered the dummy for a cover page in the Front Matter of the Novel template, and then looked in the Scrivener Manual (!)

There (23.4.5) you will find a good explanation, leading you to the fifth micro-icon tab of the Compile settings, where you can choose to have an HTML title page, which will contain the jpg you specify in the Front Matter folder.

Voilá – a real cover page that works as expected.

You can note the explanation of Cover page title in that documentation, for best understood results…so it looks that if it’s to mock the real cover, your image shouid have all the intended words included on it.

Here, on EbookFlightDeck are some succinct, and then if needed, detailed notes on cover pages, as apparently this HTML page way is common. I might read this to say that it’s expected that they will be sent with the EPUB file by inclusion, and Scrivener does this with an Images folder inside the EPUB, according to a look with Calibre or Sigil.

That internal file is renamed to cover.jpg|png whatevername it started out as, so you might have to provide an outside copy if one named by an ISBN is required, fulfilling what Antoni suggests about this, as suggested by the EboikFlightDeck link.

[@AmberV, might you think worth it that this portion of the discussion get separated out into a separate title, if it will help others to find it?]

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Ah, this was about a cover for an e-book, not a paperback. Glad you found out how that works. :slightly_smiling_face:

Well, I’m happy for you too, Antoni.

Context is always important, and reading carefully the request, you may be right in your assumption the original question was about including a cover illustration at head of a printed or pdf’d early reader manuscript.

In that case, I found the extra page suggested will work this way, if:

  • it’s placed fully at the first, in the Manuscript/Draft folder, before the first chapter folder

  • care is taken to uncheck any Front Matter items, such as a title page, which appear in the Compile dialog.

If you wanted to have this title page, in the right place for this arrangement, then I guess duplicating it to put a copy just after the cover page would work, this one checked to compile.

This extra could be turned off in the compile dialog for an ebook, for example, where the original in Front Matter would be turned back on to show properly if that was a choice later on.

p.s. interesting website under your bio here, for your Scrivener Tips book, and some Dutch science fiction it would probably be quite interesting to read :slight_smile:

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The cover document needs nothing special at all. Here’s a simple setup:

Thx! I plan to translate the novels to English some day. When I can find the time. Got another book translated that comes out earlier, but no release date yet. :wink:

Well, I’m sorry to say, after such a flat statement (is there something about the forum which attracts these??) that this idea doesn’t work. Unless, of course, I’m missing a magic cookie…

I notice you’re on a Mac. This is one of those places where Windows Scrivener looks to be different, as it always has been stated to be in some small areas.

After wasting more time trying details, I once again read the manual, which I would nod that, yes, it takes a bit of patience and care to succeed.

The Scrivener app agrees with what it says. You only have the ability to work the way you illustrate for ebooks, some kinds of those.

For other output choices, you won’t even be shown the mini-icon for the compile tab which would let you set this up, as has been described.

I suspect we have to stay with the method of inserting a cover page, along with some settings , as far as getting a cover image properly into a printout, pdf, etc…

It’s easy to extend this, if you need a table of contents, or to have copies of more of your Front Matter to show.

I just tried it further, and as would be expected, found this works for RTF, MS formats, and probably etc., as well as it does for PDFs.

When I compile with the setup I showed you, this is the PDF:

That didn’t work for a docx, but this does (it also works for pdf and ePub3):

If you want to figure out what works for you on Windows, I’m glad to help.

My 2nd method, with the $img tag, works on Windows for all 3 export formats. The first does not, but it’s not a formatting issue; it’s just that image documents don’t get included in compile.

Maybe that’s because image documents are not allowed in the Draft/Manuscript folder, but it shouldn’t matter. Front Matter usually isn’t included in Draft/Manuscript, so it shouldn’t be an issue, but on Windows it is (and on the Mac as well, but not for pdf).

Ok, great, @drmajorbob, clever return to first principles.

This does work, again probably with some adjustments to fine tune the available appearance, and lets you use the same image you’ve put in the front matter for Ebooks, by naming it in the tag. of an extra Cover Page (name it as you like), put at the front of the appropriate Front Matter folder, and checked to be used for non-Ebook compiles.

  • you can use the sizing available with that <$img> tag, as in <$Img:SDIM3467;w=700;h=1050>. This will let you set apropos dimensions for an RTF or Word file, for example. It may still be needed to final tune positioning to suit margins in Word to get the best look, as ever and if this is for presentation.

  • you can alternatively use Insert | Image Linked to Document, choosing the image you’ve put in the appropriate Front Matter folder. This lets you use Scriveners image scaling dialog if you prefer that method.

  • Both of these let you get a decent presentation of a cover – it’s not going to look as it does in an ebook, covering the first page, due to margins in printers or pdf display.

  • Pdf is kind of a special case. Scrivener’s PDF compile setting appears to have a fixed, non-adjustable idea about image sizing, so that they’re at maybe 60% of margin width, unaffected by image size settings in the document.

    You can do better if you want to, by compiling to Rtf as probably the most solid choice, and then making those final adjustments in Word or equivalent.

    There might be a way to automate Pdf image sizes using Pandoc, or other tools mentioned in the manual., but I’m not going there, if in truth Pandoc can be a very useful tool :slight_smile: . But we are trying to do our writing here, no??

  • last, to do an Ebook with this setup, you’d just unclick your added cover page in the Front Matter for that job, while the properly set up image alone will get all its placements automatically in that case.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with, Bob @drmajorbob . We’ve gotten a very usable solution for any cover demonstration needs.

And along the way, I picked up reasons for what Antoni says about printers preferring that you include a separate clean image to print with a book’s job. In tune with its design intentions, Scrivener’s manual states that it doesn’t get into the business of color management, which is critical to actual printing, and is its own highly complexified topic due to many standards and manufacturers influences.

If an image is big enough, I think it fills the print area in a pdf (staying within the margins).

Otherwise, agreed!

Oh, and here’s a useful notion:

Image Management

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Well, I wish. That’s again quite possibly a Mac thing – doesn’t seem to happen on Wins. I tried a lot of variations…huge size being one of them…

Would note also for anyone following this by email, that I made a number of pretty useful after-first-post edits to the concluding (!) article just above.

Also once more, @AmberV who may be out of office, or @kewms, wouldn’t this became-rich second topic do well to be moved to its own post title? I’d do it for sure, if I could :slight_smile: - Done, thanks, @AmberV :herb:

Yes, that’s really quite good. Do I recognize the author? I think he’s been around the block on these things, at the least on Macs :slight_smile:

Indeed I have.

(padding applied)

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