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Writing and Publishing a Book – Step # 5

Step #  5 – Design Your Cover and Back-Cover Synopsis

OK…  So by now you have a fully formatted manuscript – WELL DONE!

Now, we have two MAJOR steps…

Writing your back page synopsis and designing your cover.

Back Cover Synopsis

As for the synopsis, this is CRUCIAL as many people will buy (or not buy) based one what you write here…

Here is a basic formula:

  • Who is the protagonist?
  • What’s the problem?
  • What is the protagonist’s goal?
  • How are they going to achieve that goal?
  • What’s in the way?
While this may take you a while, and you will need to fine tune this many, many, many, times until it is succinct and grabs a potential reader’s attention, this step is a MUST to get right!

Cover Artwork

Now (unless you are a graphics whizz) we need to enlist the services of an expert to design your cover – and to publish your book on Amazon.com, we use createspace.com.

If you would like to use our ‘Graphics Whizz’, go to http://writingandpublishingmybook.com/let-us-do-it-for-you/ for more information.

Here is the next step to Create a Cover PDF for your Book

Calculate the spine width of your book

The spine width is based on the number of pages in your book:

For black and white-interior books:
White paper: multiply page count by 0.002252
Cream paper: multiply page count by 0.0025

Example of spine width calculation for a 60-page black and white book printed on white paper: 60 x 0.002252 = 0.135″
For color-interior books:
Multiply page count by 0.002347

Example of spine width calculation for a 60-page color book: 60 x 0.002347 = 0.141″
Set up your document

Your cover must be a single PDF that includes the back cover, spine, and front cover as one image.

You can submit your cover on any size page as long as the printable area is:

Measured exactly to your book’s trim size, spine width, and at least .125″ bleed
Centered horizontally and vertically
Minimum Cover Width: Bleed + Back Cover Trim Size + Spine Width + Front Cover Trim Size + Bleed

Example calculation at 6″ x 9″ cover with 60 B&W pages on white paper: 0.125″ + 6″ + 0.141″ + 6″ + .125″ = 12.391″
Minimum Cover Height: Bleed + Book Height Trim Size + Bleed

Example calculation: 6″ x 9″: 0.125″ + 9″ + .125″ = 9.25″
Get a head start with one of our cover templates:
Our templates make it easier for you to quickly create print-ready files in Adobe Photoshop®, Adobe InDesign®, or any software that will allow you to open a .png or PDF file and save a PDF file. These templates contain the proper dimensions, layout, and bleed for the trim size and page count you select.

Safe Zone

Text and images must be at least .125″ inside the trim lines to ensure that no live elements are cut during the bookmaking process.

Title and Author Name
Your book’s title and the author’s name must appear on the cover exactly as it was entered during the title setup process.

Images
Images may be CMYK or RGB color. All images should be sized at 100%, flattened to one layer and placed in your document at a minimum resolution of 300 DPI.

The spine of your book
Every book will vary slightly when bound. Allow for 0.0625″ variance on either side of the fold lines for your cover. For example, if your spine width is 1″, your text should be no wider than 0.875″. Because of this variance, avoid hard edges or lines that end on the fold line.

For books with a page count of less than 130 pages, we strongly recommend a blank spine. Blank spines are required for books with a page count of fewer than 100 pages.

Barcode
When your files go through the review process, the system will place your ISBN barcode in a 2″ by 1.2″ white box in the lower right-hand corner of your book’s back cover. The standard trim size templates will show you exact barcode placement.

Images or text in the barcode location will be covered when the book is printed. Make sure no important elements appear where the barcode will be placed.

If you choose to provide and place your own barcode, be sure it is a high-resolution image.

Prepare for Printing

The printable area of your document must be the right size, including bleed.
Make sure the printable area is centered within your document.
Make sure all live elements are inside the safe zone.
Export your file as a print-ready PDF. Be sure fonts are embedded.
The maximum accepted file size for your book cover is 40 MB.

Action Items:

BACK-COVER SYNOPSIS:  Write – and rewrite – and rewrite – your back cover synopsis to the point where you are proud of it!

COVER ARTWORK:  This is going to be the thing people see (or don’t see) so it needs to effectively represent you and your work…  Don’t stop until it is just what you want it to be…

Contact me…

If you need more information or would like personal coaching, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation.