Thursday, August 7, 2014

Preparing Artwork for Newsletters (Or Blogs)

How do you put together an award-winning newsletter?  Well, you could use Word and just write a lot, but that would be kind of boring.  What sets one newsletter apart from another is the use of artwork.  There are a lot of different programs out there that enable you to edit artwork.  I like IrfanView.  It’s free, and I find it easier than the Microsoft or Adobe programs.  Microsoft wants to store everything in the Cloud and I don’t necessarily want to store other people’s book covers in my Picasa account.  As for Adobe, I seem to have a mind-block when it comes to that program.  Don’t know why.

So, when I receive a photo, I save it to a folder I keep for my newsletter artwork.  If the author doesn’t send artwork, I go to her/his publisher’s website or to Amazon and copy it from there.  If I get it from Amazon, I’ll need to crop the Amazon info from the artwork.  To do that, I open the file in IrfanView.  I then click on the magnifying glass icon with the + sign until the image is large enough to work with.  Place the cursor at your favorite corner of the book, and outline the book.  Then go to edit and scroll down to “Crop selection,” and click.  If you’ve done it right, you should have just the artwork without the Amazon logo.

I like to keep all of my artwork at a uniform size.  I think 1.5 inches wide works best.  Book covers are usually about 1.5” wide by about 2.25” long.  Author photos tend to be more square.  And I think 150 dots per inch works fairly well.  So, go to Image, which is the drop-down menu right next to Edit.  Click on Resize/Resample.  You’ll see the boxes where you can set the sizes for width and height.  Make sure you click on inches or pixels—whichever you’re most comfortable with.  I usually make sure the “Preserve Aspect Ratio” and “Apply Sharpen After Resample” boxes are also checked.  Finally, I set the DPI (Dots per Inch) box at 150 or 300, depending on how dense you want your artwork to be, and how large you want your file to be.  The MFRW Newsletter is up to almost eight pages and will soon be over a hundred, so 150 DPI are plenty for us.

Save your artwork in its folder, and you’re good to go!

Now I’d like to introduce you to Emerald.  When our staff splits and we have an editorial section and an Advertising Section, Em will head the editorial side.

Emerald is an erotic fiction author and general advocate for human sexuality as informed by her deep appreciation of the beauty, value, and intrinsic nature of sexuality and its holistic relation to life. Her work has been featured in anthologies published by Cleis Press, Mischief, and Logical-Lust, and she serves as an assistant newsletter editor and Facebook group moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW). Read more about her at her website, The Green Light District.

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