The following tutorial applies to PSE 2.0 for WinCraXP. It almost certainly applies exactly for both later and earlier versions, and for Windows versions of Photoshop proper. It absolutely applies to Macintosh versions of Photoshop--although the keyboard shortcuts are different.
PSE works exactly like Photoshop proper in terms of what you need to successfully upload covers to this site.
First, what you'll do is grab a cover image from somewhere. Then you'll open that image in PSE. If you're trying to make a thumbnail of that image, go under the IMAGE menu, and pull down to RESIZE, then over to IMAGE SIZE (or, if you're using the keyboard, press ALT-I, then R, then I). You'll then get a dialogue box. Change the width to 100 pixels. (You may need to use the drop-down menu to the right of the numeric value for width in order to set it up for pixels). Then, press OKAY.
You now have your image in the appropriate DIMENSIONS for the site, but it still may not be the appropriate SIZE. The easiest way to adjust this is to go under FILE | SAVE FOR WEB (or alt-F, and then press S three times. Or, press alt, shift and ctrl at the same time, while also pressing the S).
You will then see your image twice on the screen, along with some information to the right. It's the column on the right we want to look at now. You can take two approaches here. Either change the drop-down immediately to the right of the word "settings" to JPEG High, or change the drop-down immediately underneath the word "settings" to JPEG. In its out of the box state, this will achieve exactly the same thing in PSE. You are now set to convert your image to HIGH QUALITY jpeg.
In most cases this is all you need do. You'd press OK and be presented with a conventional "save" dialogue box.
However, you need to look at the two images on your screen to determine whether you need do anything more. The image on the RIGHT is the new image you're about to create. If you look in the BOTTOM LEFT corner of that pane, you'll see what the new size is going to be. For a THUMBNAIL, it must be 10K or less. If it is 10K or less, you're golden. Go ahead and save. If it's more than 10K, you're going to have to fiddle with the quality of the image to get it to an acceptable size.
Turning your attention again to the Settings area in the right-most column of the window, you have two options. Either you can go quick and dirty, or you can be more precise. The quick and dirty method is to pull down the drop-down currently reading "High". Make it "Medium", instead. This will almost always get you a size that's acceptable. Many times, it will not degrade the visual image quality to an appreciable degree, so you're fine to just make that one simple change and save. However, sometimes it really starts to pixellate the image. So you may want to go somewhere BETWEEN high and medium. This can be done by manually typing in a number in the box marked "quality". "60" is "High" and "30" is "Medium", so maybe try "50". Then "40".
As a general rule, 10k is the max for a thumbnail, but you don't want it to be too much below 8k for optimum viewing pleasure.
When you've struck the best balance between size and quality, press OK and you'll be able to save an image you can then upload.
For full-size cover images, the upper limit is 100K. This process is much the same. Chris hasn't set a width standard for large images, so you can kinda go with what you want. However, a size that seems to work very well is 400 pixels wide. If you set your larger images to this, and you've scanned the image in at 72 dpi, you'll merely have to save for web at JPEG HIGH. You shouldn't even have to look at changing any other settings.
When you're done using PSE and you've been crankin' out thumbnails, you'll probably have a lot of little windows open on your screen. Before quitting, PSE will ask you if you want to save your changes to these images. BE VERY CAREFUL HERE.
Because changing the size of the image didn't change its NAME, just pressing "okay" on the dialogue box that pops up will OVERWRITE your large image with your small one. As you're unlikely to EVER need the small one again (remember, you've already saved a copy of the small one by following the instructions above), you probably don't want to say "okay" to that dialogue box. You'll almost certainly wanna say "no".
Note that I've put instructions for the thumbnails first and the large size last. This is because I think the thumbnails are harder to do and deserve special mention first. In practice, though, once you get comfortable with the method, you'll probably learn to do the large size first and then do the thumbnails. It saves a little bit of time to do large first, then small--only because once you've made something small you'll probably have to think a second on how to get the large size back.
You do it by pressing CTRL-Z, or going under the EDIT menu and finding UNDO. If pressing CTRL-Z fails, however, you may have to STEP BACKWARD instead of simply UNDOING. I believe the shortcut for that is SHIFT-CTRL-Z. Mac Users
: "Undo" doesn't appear to exist on the drop down menu. But it does exist as a shortcut: COMMAND (or what long-time Mac Users would call OPEN APPLE)-Z. Whichever platform you use, the point is that UNDO works a little differently in all versions of PS or PSE than it does elsewhere. In Word, for example, you're used to CTRL-Z taking you progressively back through the many changes you might have made in a document. In PS or PSE, though, it only takes away the very LAST change you made. If you want to go further back you need to STEP BACKWARD in PS and PSE. For this reason, the Mac version, at least, completely ignores UNDO in its drop down menus, preferencing STEP BACKWARD, instead.
A special note for those hand-scanning their covers:
Do not scan at a resolution higher than 96dpi, and I wouldn't say you really need anything greater than 72dpi. Remember, the point here isn't to make something that you can print out perfectly later. Rather, it's merely to give something that looks good on a computer monitor. Scanning with a higher resolution than a monitor requires for the proper display of an image will make it harder to get an image to fit within our size requirements. It can be done, of course, but you have to work a little harder to do it, and for no visually appreciable "gain".
Hope that was helpful...let us know if you need anything else