Book Cover Specifications

Creating your cover with is a piece of cake. During Step 2 of the Product Maker, simply upload a front and back image, enter your text, and you're done! For many customers this is all they need, and they're off to checkout.

Gaining Knowledge, Losing Bliss

Professionals and designers need more information and details about how design their cover. First, we cannot emphasize this enough:

Three #1 Rules of Cover Design
  • Do not try to be precise about placements of items on your cover.
  • Do not try to place anything on the spine
  • Leave lots of bleed. You cannot be too conservative moving elements away from the edge.

All about Covers

  • We highly recommend your covers be created as RGB .jpg files
  • We highly recommend you leave plenty of room around your cover edges so important items (heads, text) are not trimmed.
These recommendations are in place because our covers are printed as a single image file. Thus, we must flatten everything in order to make a uniform print. To avoid font and color space issues all cover manipulation is processed with RGB .jpg images. Images that are not RGB .jpgs are converted in the background and this may lead to some format and color space miscalculation. Thus, we recommend you perform the conversion prior to uploading your cover file. See these screen captures for information on saving a PDF as a JPG.

Living on the edge is bad

Your mother probably told you this and hopefully you listened. If you set up your image to run to the very edge of the fold or crop guides, you will be disappointed. Binding equipment can easily have 1/4" fluctuation between cycles. Please compensate for this fluctuation.

Cover Dimensions

Perfect Bound Softcover

All softcover books have 1/8" (3mm) bleed on all edges, so the cover should be .25" (6mm) larger than the final book size.

Spine width for softcover books is 300 pages (150 sheets) per inch, or 118 pages (59 sheets) per cm.

Imagewrap Hardcover

Safety Margin for Turn-in (Bleed) for all book sizes: 1.0"
Spine Widths for all book sizes: 24-72 pages: .22"; 73-146 pages: .37"; 147-220 pages: .52"; 221-294 pages: .67"; 295-368: .82"; 367-400: .96"

Book Size Fullwrap Guide Front Cover Guide Back Cover Guide
11"x8.5" Unknown Image Unknown Image Unknown Image
12"x12" Unknown Image Unknown Image Unknown Image
8.5"x8.5" Unknown Image Unknown Image Unknown Image
8.5"x11" Unknown Image Unknown Image Unknown Image

All files are shown in the Cover Guides Gallery

Getting all wrapped up

The full wrap cover is another great feature that many individuals use to make breathtaking books. This option is easily selected under the "Advanced" tab during Step 2. of the Product Maker. This option will auto-stretch the front cover image to exactly fit the entire book.

Cover FAQ

I created my book and I want to change the cover image. How do I do that?

Click the on the pink shop tab
click the title of your book
click the edit product link
click the cover options link
click the colors and images tab
click the browse button to the right of Upload new front cover image:
get a new front cover image

click the update cover button
click the save button

Your cover should be updated.

Can I create my own spine?

Yes, you can. You will need to do this by creating a full wrap cover and replacing the original front cover with the new full wrap cover. Here are the steps.

1. Capture your cover image:
After you upload your images, go through the bookmaking process using different images for your front and back covers (this is so you can clearly identify the front and back cover, as well as the spine). During step 3 of the book making process you have the option to " Preview Hi Resolution Cover". Select that link and download that image to your PC. Use that image as a template to create your full wrap cover as it will show the placement of the text on the spine.

2. Replace the old cover image with your new cover image:
When you are ready to upload your full wrap cover go back to Step 3 of the bookmaking process and choose the "colors and images" tab. Select the link for your "Front Image". Click the "edit image" button. Select browse for the "Upload Replacement Image" field and pull the full wrap cover from your pc. Back in the bookmaking on step 3 choose the Advanced tab and select the check box to the right of Full Wrap Cover. Click the update cover button.

What will print on the spine of the photo book?

If your book is 40 pages or greater then your gallery title and creator name will print on the spine. If your book is less than 40 pages, the spine will be blank. You also have the option to type the text you prefer on the spine for books of 40 pages or more. Simply key what you prefer during the cover creation stage and Save.

Can I create my own spine design using the full wrap cover option?

Yes, using the full wrap option for cover creation will include the spine. Spine dimensions are variable based on the number of pages in each book. The calculation to specifically place text on the spine is a fraction of an inch calculation.

You can upload a .jpeg to your front cover field and select the "stretch across entire cover" option, which you will find under the advanced tab during the bookmaking process. You can add your custom text on the spine during that process.

You can view the preview of the "hi resolution cover" and use that as a template to see the approximate spine text placement.

Note: Your book needs to be 40 pages or more in order for text to print on the spine.

Do you offer different text types for the cover text?

Yes, we offer a variety of fonts to use for your cover or spine text.