How to Make a Kindle Book Cover with Canva, Google Hangout Show

In this weeks How to Publish Your Book Show with Bruce The Book Guy I will be showing you how to make a Kindle Book Cover using the website Canva.com. This is a great site for building web graphics and makes building a cover pretty easy.

Do you want to publish your own book? It is one of the coolest things you can do and isn’t that hard. You most likely have everything you need right on your computer or that matter right on your phone.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE 7 Steps to Publishing Your Book

#canva  #kindle #bookcover

Make a Book Your Business Calling Card

make a book your business calling cardBooks are powerful tools for spreading your message. Why not make a book your business calling card, here are the 10 steps to making this happen. Create a book about the lessons you have learned in your career. Your book can be a great leave behind or an introduction to what you do and who your are. Simple to make, easy to produce. Here are the steps.

1. Write down the 10 best tips on your business, or your expertise or what you consult on. Keep these to one or two sentences each.

2. Write out one paragraph for each tip, just one paragraph.

3. For each tip expand that 1 paragraph to 3-4 paragraphs, flush out the concept.

4. Add an author bio along with a photo and contact info at the back of the book.

5. Add a resource list at the back of the book, an intro for the front, a table of contents and any additional info that might apply to your book. If you offer programs or consulting, drop that in also, give readers a call to action. We are talking 28-36 pages when done. This isn’t a manifesto.

6. Format your book in MS Word or some similar word processing application such as Google Doc, Pages, or Scrivner. If you are going to print, create a document that is the page size of your book in a page layout program. 51/2 x 81/2 is a great size and is easy to get printed at a quickie print shop for those first copies.

7. Create a separate file for the cover, for Kindle, front cover only and save it as a jpg. For a printed book, set up a full cover spread, back, spine and front, save as a high-res pdf. Both Kindle and CreateSpace/Amazon have online tools you can use to make a cover.

8. If sending your book to Kindle then save it as an html file for the web. If you are going to print, export or save as a pdf file.

9. Upload your book files to Kindle, or CreateSpace.com, CreateSpace is the print-on-demand, self-publishing side of Amazon.com, or take the two pdf files to a local quick print shop. On-line, add descriptions, author bio, categories and keywords.

10. Market your book though the popular social media channels; FaceBook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, your website, YouTube; these lessons make great videos. Always carry several with you to give away, people love getting a book, they don’t throw them away.

Check out the podcast

 

MGH Childhood Cancer Marathon Wall Project on WBUR.org

My MGH Childhood Cancer Marathon Wall project directed by Dr. Weinstein and team from last summer, became the subject of a nice article on the WBUR.org site April 17. The article focused on the program and its relationship with the Boston Marathon. It was also the subject of a radio story. It was great to be part of this project and to see now how it is being used to highlight and showcase the Cancer Program. Dr. Weinstein is often shown or interviewed in front of one of the walls. It gives them a powerful background to work off of.

The wall has also given the program a place to center around and as Dr. Weinstein says “It was really to also bring to life on a daily basis how important the Marathon program is to our childhood cancer program,” and “also I think to be an inspiration to our patients who will be participating in future years.” © WBUR.org

The radio story was called Marathon Inspires at MGH Childhood Cancer Program and can be heard here

To read the full article please visit http://www.wbur.org/2014/04/17/marathon-mgh-childhood-cancer-program

Marathon Inspires at MGH Childhood Cancer Program on WBUR.org

Marathon Inspires at MGH Childhood Cancer Program on WBUR.org

How to Use Kindle Comic Creator to Convert your Graphic Book into a Kindle Book

By Bruce Jones

I am really excited about this new application from Amazon called Kindle Comic Creator. This free application allows you to produce Kindle books from your pdfs, PowerPoint presentations, jpg, really any kind of file you have that can generate a graphic file.

It was one of my goals for 2013 to move my books over to the Amazon/Kindle platform. The problem is that my books are graphic books with lots of images, charts or maps. These work great as print-on-demand books using CreateSpace but don’t work very well on the Kindle. Making a book that is all text and using MS Word, such as a fiction story, isn’t such a big deal, fairly easy to convert. But with pictures you need to re-make all the graphics, make them certain sizes, specific resolution etc. Then put the graphics into Word and upload. Sometime they work often they don’t. Trying to find this information is crazy hard. Earlier this year I spent months testing different graphic sizes, layouts, Word files all kinds of things. I read blog posts, watched videos, contacted people on Facebook, so confusing. I was downloading at some Kindle books looking great and others looking crappy. Mine were on the crappy side.

Watch the video and see me build a coloring book using the Kindle Comic Creator.

Then I found the Kindle Comic Creator from Amazon and OMG, this is amazing. Kindle Comic Creator is a free program from Amazon that will convert a wide range of graphic files into Kindle Mobi files. Originally designed for converting comic books and graphic novels to the Kindle, it is also amazingly good at really any kind of graphic book like mayb a children’s book, or an atlas. The tool supports .pdf, .jpg, .tif, .ppm and .png files. You can upload a full pdf file of your book that you might have made using InDesign or individual graphics that you exported from PowerPoint or Google Presentation.

You can’t believe how easy it is to use this free program. And the quality of the pages is amazing. You can literally have a book done in 20 minutes. The program is available for both Mac and PC and can be downloaded at http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1001103761 When you download Comic Creator you will also download Kindle Previewer for reviewing your book. I think this happens automatically.

Some of the features of it are:
• Create guided navigation experience with Kindle Panel View, great for graphic novels
• Create books with double page spreads or facing pages. I tend to pick unlocked orientation, so the page can be turned portrait or landscape.
• Import artwork from jpg, pdf, tiff, png and ppm formats
• Preview content across a number of Kindle devices before publishing

Steps to set up a graphic book for Kindle Comic Creator
1. You need an interior book file and a cover file. The interior file can be a series of jpg images that you upload or a full pdf book. For page size the Comic Creator basically works around the Kindle Fire page size but I have found really anything works. Books look great on any device

2. Start the application, select “Create a New Book” you will be asked a few questions about it, such as the orientation, if the book is a graphic novel, etc. For the canvas size put in the pixel size of your page, for an 8.5 x 11 book it is 612 pixels x 792 pixels. 8.5 x 72 equals 612 pixels per inch.

3. Then drop in some metadata, author, title, etc., the cover image (a jpg file) and where you want the book stored on your hard drive while processing.

4. They ask if you have an html Table of Contents. This is one of the areas that doesn’t quite comply with a standard Kindle book, having a clickable table of Contents. Kindle really wants a TOC and Comic Creator isn’t quite there yet with that. You can drop in an html one but I don’t know how to do that. Also if you look at children’s books, or graphic novels, they very often don’t have TOCs. At this point I am not worrying about it. They will get there. A lot of Kindle books don’t have TOCs. Graphic books aren’t usually 300 page books, mostly we are looking at 24-70 page books, easy enough to get around.

5. Then upload your pdf book file or a series of images into Comic Creator. You also have the ability to shuffle the images around, delete, and add more. If your book is a graphic novel then you can set up the individual panels to view in order. If not you are basically done. You also have some text editing ability. They also have a pretty good user guide on the same page as the Comic Creator.

6. Next you choose Build and Preview from the tool bar. Comic Creator processes a little and when done it opens your book in the Kindle Previewer for review. Make sure it all looks good and then Export as KF8. This creates a mobi/Kindle file ready for uploading.

7. Upload your book on the Kindle Direct Publishing site. Make sure you fill in all the necessary boxes and you are publishing on Amazon.

In the upload process you will need to select your royalty amount, 35% or 70%, and enter a book cost. Kindle actually charges authors for the downloading of books on Kindle. Books that are all text have very small file sizes and you don’t really notice the charges. But graphic books have pretty large file sizes and Amazon charges you for their download. Except if you select the 35% royalty figure there is no charge. I figure any royalty is just fine by me and 35% is ok. We tend to forget that we are selling and delivering books pretty much world wide for almost no costs.

In my rush to get all my books up for the holidays I didn’t pay a lot of attention to my file sizes. I am sure I could back and build some smaller files. Another cool thing about Kindle and print-on-demand you can update your file.

Final Comment on the Kindle Comic Creator
What is really amazing is the quality of the images on the Kindle screen. They are fantastic. Depending what device you are on you can finger pinch and enlarge them also. For the amount of effort it takes to get your book on the Kindle this program is so easy. There are a few things is doesn’t do, like a clickable Table of Content or the flowing text that a regular Kindle has. But for getting complicated graphic pages up on the Kindle platform for almost no effort it is just fantastic. That you can take a standard pdf file or a bunch of jpg images and make a book in about 20 minutes, how can you beat that.

 

How to Make a Hospital Room More Inviting

Boston Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the country for emergency room and trauma. It ranks right up there with the best. If you get shot, or stabbed or in a bad accident, this is where you want to go. BMC was ground zero for the Boston Marathon Bombing, taking care of many, many patients. It has been pretty cool getting to work on helping them make their facilities a little more friendly when you are freaking out.

One of the areas that I have been involved with has been the Ultrasound Scanning rooms. These are the rooms that pregnant women go to for their ultrasounds. I have worked on quite a few rooms now. What we did was very simple but has been very effective. We dropped in an around the ceiling banner of ocean, water and beach related images in each room. We use about 18-24 images per room out of a library of about 40, and mix them up room to room. The reaction from the staff and patients has been very positive. This just gives you something to look at and calms down the room.

DGI-Invisuals prints and does the application, image came from Shutterstock.com. We are currently working on IV rooms and a pediatric/adult room.

Water related image banner running around the top of room.

Water related image banner running around the top of room. We used shells, rocks, beach, boats, water, waves, all ocean related images

    Ocean and water related graphics running around the tops of the Ultrasound scanning rooms.

Ocean and water related graphics running around the tops of the Ultrasound scanning rooms.

Wrapping Portable X-Ray Machines for Kids and Adults

Boston Medical Center has a lot of scanners at their disposal for all kinds of emergencies and medical conditions. Sometimes you can’t move the patient to the machine so you bring the machine to the patient. To ease the process and make it a little less scary BMC brought me in to wrap two of their portable X-Ray scanning machines with some fun graphics. Once machine for kids and the other for adults. It was a tricky project, lots of surfaces to think about.

For the kids machine we used a jungle theme. I took some vector based graphics from Shutterstock.com that had jungles, animals, birds, spiders and plants in it and built the art for this machine.

Kid theme portable X-Ray scanning machine. Jungle theme on the body and tower.

Kid theme portable X-Ray scanning machine. Jungle theme on the body and tower.

For the adult machine I used a more grown up flower theme. For this machine I worked with a raster based collection of flowers and backgrounds and built the art. We also mixed it up a little using a different color scheme for the back. It came out pretty cool.

Portable X-Ray scanning machine with adult flower theme,

Portable X-Ray scanning machine with adult flower theme,

 

Car and Truck Graphics for a Local Service Company

I have been in the wrapping business lately, I feel like a mini Christo, the famous Bulgarian born artist known for wrapping buildings, beaches, canyons, all kinds of things. I actually saw his Newport Beach project when I was a kid. I have been wrapping walls, CT machines, X-Ray machines, stairwells, and cars and trucks. It has been a fun year of adhesive vinyl. For this project I worked wit EHS Pest Solutions of Norwood and have been working with cars and trucks. Adding the company logos, phone numbers, tag lines, the whole bit. If you have any problem with pests, or bugs in your buildings, EHS are the guys to call. You will probably see one of my trucks or cars pull up.

Vehicle graphics are one of the most economical ways to advertise your business. The material stays on for years, it not forever. Your truck drives around all over the place and everyone gets to see it. DGI-Invisuals of North Billerica printed and installed the graphics.

EHS Cars and a Thermal Truck with their logos, contact info, and tag lines.

EHS Cars and a Thermal Truck with their logos, contact info, and tag lines.

If you want to check out Christo (1935-2009) and his work they have a cool website, at christojeanneclaude.net/artworks/realized-projects and this article on Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christo_and_Jeanne-Claude

CT Scanners Wrapped at Boston Medical Center

I have wrapped several interesting medical machines lately. One of the most interesting was 4 CT scanners at Boston Medical Center. The big doughnut looking devices can be scary if you are coming in an injury. BMC decided to dress them up and see if they could make them a little more friendly. I worked on a total of 4 different scanners in the Menino  and the East Newton Buildings. The scanners themselves are assigned to emergency, kids, and elders, so we are addressing a lot of different audiences. It was really cool. DGI-Invisuals did the wrapping and needed to bring in an installer who normally works on vehicles, lots of curves. Images from Shutterstock.com

CT Scanner with a beach theme

CT Scanner with a beach theme

CT Scanner with an under the sea, fish theme

CT Scanner with an under the sea, fish theme

CT scanner with a Boston skyline theme, looking across the Charles River side

CT scanner with a Boston skyline theme, looking across the Charles River side

CT Scanner before and after the application of the graphics

CT Scanner before and after the application of the graphics

 

 

Updated Stairwell in Boston Bank Building

I get called in for all kinds of environmental wall projects lately and one of the more challenging ones was wrapping a stairwell between two floors. The employees travel between these floors all the time and the client want to add some life to the walls. This client has offices in many cities and wanted to show some of the locations on the walls. What was tricky were all the angles, the stairs, having a fixed height that sloped down. It took quite a while to figure everything out.

Looking up at the first landing of the stairwell. Fitting the stair rail in was quite a challenge for the installers

Looking up at the first landing of the stairwell. Fitting the stair rail in was quite a challenge for the installers

Looking down the stairs to the second landing

Looking down the stairs to the second landing

Installation was done by DGI-Invisuals of North Billerica, Mass. Images from a variety of stock and house sites.

Wall Mural in New MRI Room at Boston Medical Center

One way to give life to a room is to add graphics to the walls. We were brought in to the new MRI scanning room at Boston Medical Center, Shapiro Building to design a graphic for the wall. The theme was Boston and we dropped in 4 images to show the seasons.  The environmental wall graphic went into a pre-designed space. I love that there are lights on it to highlight it.

Boston focused wall graphic in the new MRI scanning room at Boston Medical Center

Boston focused wall graphic in the new MRI scanning room at Boston Medical Center

Printing and Installation was by DGI-Invisuals of North Billerica, Mass and the images are from ShutterStock.com.