Creating a Lulu Book Cover with Pixel
When complete, go to File→Save As. Name your cover, and use the drop-down file-type list to choose .jpg. Pixel will prompt for further characteristics of the JPEG file. The default settings are acceptable for the tutorial.
My test book cover is shown in Figure 14. Log in to your Lulu.com account and upload your completed book cover into the system. This completes the design for your front cover.
For the back cover, I decided to use a solid black background. Lulu provides a sample black background for you to use. Simply use the on-line tools to “Choose Gallery Image”. Lulu adds the cover into your publishing project. Select Save and Continue.
Lulu provides a snapshot of your final book cover in your Publishing section of the Web site. My final cover is shown in Figure 15. Watch the trim marks. Be careful that no important graphic or text is beyond the cutting line. Once you accept the cover design, it's easy to price your final publication and order a proofreading copy.
My first article described the benefits of quality text formats by using LyX to get typesetting output for your publication. Now we have completed the project by making a book cover and getting to the final proofreading stage with Lulu.com.
Using Pixel as a graphical editing package may cause some frustrations if you are a longtime GIMP user—not that Pixel can't match up to GIMP. Quite the contrary, Pixel targets a high-end graphical artist environment; however, it takes some time to become familiar with how to use the software.
Using Lulu.com, nearly anyone with the itch to write a book or magazine can create professional printed media. Using LyX and Pixel as tools for high-quality output may be the ideal combination for report and book formats. Scribus may better fit publications, such as magazines and newsletters. Lulu can print many types of documents—even calendars.
LyX is open source, and it appears to have support for further development as a GUI LaTeX editing package. On the other hand, Pixel is proprietary, and it seems its maintenance and development credit a small cadre of programmers, with Pavel Kanzelsberger as the leader. Other research on the Internet describes Mr Kanzelsberger as the only developer, yet the information screen of Pixel gives kudos to others. So, it might be a little risky to become too involved in Pixel until it matures a little more. I don't think you will need to wait long; the final release is expected soon.
Pixel is sharp. The likeness to Adobe Photoshop is sure to win the attention of graphic artists. I think it's safe to spend $32 US for the current version and look toward a final product in the next few months.
Donald Emmack is Managing Partner of The IntelliGents & Co. He works extensively as a writer and business consultant in North America. You can reach him at email@example.com or by cruising the 2 meter amateur RF bands in the Midwest.
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