E-Book covers are images containing a 3D perspective representation of a book, binder or folder. These types of graphic are popular with authors and publishers as well as marketers of E-Books and other non-physical (intangible) products. They can be used in web site designs, in advertising materials such as banner graphics, as well within the product itself (for example on the first page of the E-Book).
The most common formats for E-Book cover graphics are JPEG and PNG. These two formats both support 24-bit color (allowing display of over 16 million shades of color), while also offering effective compression – and so that allows very high quality images to be produced. The best E-Book covers can be stunningly beautiful, and in some cases can almost look like photographs.
There are at least four different ways that E-Book cover images can be prepared. These are:
1. You can draw the image by hand in a regular graphics program. However, unless you are incredibly talented, the production of good quality covers by this method can prove very difficult, to put it mildly.
2. You can get templates, even some free ones, for creating E-Book covers. The templates are generally images of empty E-Book covers without any text or picture on the face of the cover – you are expected to add these elements yourself. The problem of course arises when you try to add these elements – as it's very tough to make them match the same skew and perspective as the template. Some templates designs avoid this issue, by offer pseudo-3D images, where the front face of the cover is flat – but usually these do not look at all realistic.
3. You can get a script for Adobe Photoshop. These scripts generally take a 2D image of the front face of the cover (which you are expected to draw yourself) and automatically generate a 3D image from that. Good results can be achieved this way, but as well as buying the script (which probably is not free), you also need to buy a copy of Adobe Photoshop, which costs several hundred dollars. The other issue to consider is that some of these scripts can be quite inflexible – you may be stuck with the script designer's choices for cover orientation, etc.
4. You can get a standard program for creating E-Book covers. The big advantages of this approach, are you do not need Adobe Photoshop, and the best programs are quite flexible for creating projects of different typs, orientations, etc.