Book Formatting: Inserting Pictures

Oooh, this is a record! Another reader request! (Actually, I don’t know if she’s a reader, or just someone who saw me blabbing on Facebook. But I’m still going to pretend I have more than one reader. LOVE YOU, ERIN!!)

Question (a little edited, cuz spoilers): “Hi Lacey. I want to but a page in the back (e-book, Amazon exclusive for now) that says: If you liked Dream Stalker, the author recommends [Pic of other book], [blurb]. Get it now on Amazon [link]. I’ve never formatted images or centered text like that though. Is it hard, or something you could make for me?”

Answer: It IS something I could make for you, and maybe possibly pretend I actually have a business… you know, as a Publisher. But since it’s NOT hard, I’m just going to show you 🙂

And here we go. I’ll be showing you how to do it in Word, because that’s how Amazon likes to get it.

I made an example acknowledgement page at the end of my book. The first step is to set the text and make the Style you want to format it.

AboutTheAuthor1

Next, you insert the picture – image size 300 dpi or greater, for best quality:

InsertImage

…. and, in my case, it inserted like this:

AboutTheAuthor2

AH, Word. You crazy *bleep*. OK, so the next thing is to force it to SHOW YOUR PICTURE. The way to do this is in Positions and Layout. In the Picture toolbar (click on the picture, then the pinkish “Picture Tools” that is hovering above Format. This is where we’ll be making all of our changes to the picture.

In there, select “Wrap Text”, then “Top and Bottom”.

ImagePosition

You might have to do adjust the text spacing around the image. Go back to “Wrap Text” and select “More Options”:

ImagePosition2 - More Options

And change the “Distance from text” until you’re happy.

After manually moving the picture around a little (it wanted to show up ABOVE Acknowledgements, but I just dragged it down until it was where I wanted), that gave me this:

AboutTheAuthor3

Um, no. Picture’s too big! I have to start over!! … *cough* just kidding. You can resize it and crop it in Word.

To resize, just click on the image, and white circles will appear at the corners, and midway along the sides. To make something smaller, left click on a circle, and while holding the left button down, drag it to be the size you want. Having the “Aspect Ratio Locked” is the default, so the image won’t be deformed if you resize it.

ImageResize

Now it looks like this:

AboutTheAuthor3b

Better! To align it to the center, go to Align (looks like boxes next to a line, next to “Bring Forward”):

ImageAlign

Then select how you want it aligned. In our case, we want “Align Center”

ImageAlign2

Et voila!

AboutTheAuthor4

But… we don’t need all the empty space around the book in the photo. So we’re going to crop that out. Like so:

Select Crop from the Picture Toolbar

AboutTheAuthor4b

That makes these black corners appear

AboutTheAuthor4c

Drag those to where you want them.

AboutTheAuthor4d

The wonderful thing is that even “cropped”, your whole picture is STILL THERE, under the crop. If you crop too much, just go back in and readjust the crop.

And yah! We got it!

AboutTheAuthor5

Now…. there is very little way to control the exact way it will look in an eBook, but services like Smashwords will let you preview it in different formats. I suggest keeping the picture relatively small in size and the text minimal, if you NEED it all to appear on one page consistently. And remember to let Styles insert page breaks for you, and don’t do it manually if you want to make sure everything stays perfect.

OK – on Saturday I’ll be posting the next section – on page sizes and margins for Createspace (and presumably most paper) books 🙂

Until then!

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