Rainer M. Domingo

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How to prepare a CreateSpace cover for your novel

cover_v2If you’re going to self-publish a print copy of your book on CreateSpace, you’ll need a cover image. You can either do-it-yourself or find someone that can do it for you. If you’re not graphically inclined, finding someone to do it is your best route, but I encourage you to learn the tools of the trade because it will allow you to create promotional and website graphics yourself.

If you’re going to prepare the cover image yourself, you’re going to need Adobe Photoshop or Adobe InDesign. If you don’t own either of these products, I recommend getting Photoshop. It’s only $9.99/month and a lot more versatile for creating other graphics you’ll need as an author. InDesign is the right choice if you’re going to use it for your interior as well. I used Microsoft Word for my interior and it turned out just fine.

Step one: Before you commission artwork, search for a stock photo or start drawing the art yourself, head on over to CreateSpace and determine the dimensions of your book (width and length of the front cover) a.k.a. trim size and how many pages your book will contain.

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Three Quest Deal: Createspace Cover Version 2

The second book proof arrived today. The cover is a bit bright in certain spots, and you still can’t see the mage’s right hand, but the overall image brightness and level of detail is a lot better. I could fuss with this forever and still not be 100% satisfied… or could I? lol


The interior inside margin is better too. Final margin settings are .5″ top, 0.5″ bottom, 0.5″ outside, 1.0″ inside, and 0.0″ gutter.

The matte cover doesn’t stay flat once you start reading the book. The curl is pretty bad on the first proof – both the front and the back. So face up or down, it’s like.. ugh! I’ll try putting it under a stack of books and see what happens.


The Createspace do over

proof01I got my first print copy proof from Createspace in less than a week. I was pretty impressed with how fast it got here, but not with the book itself.

As expected, based on other author posts online, the cover image was much darker than the computer image. Since this is my first Createspace cover, I needed to see it printed before adjusting it. I upped the brightness by 60 ticks and I’m hoping it’s going to improve the image without washing it out and losing detail.

I placed the book’s title too close to the top edge, and my name too close to the bottom and side edges. I fixed the title by using Photoshop’s Edit->Transform->Scale, and my name by changing the font size and repositioning the text higher up from the bottom.

Inside the book, I thought that setting the inside margin to .75” was going to be sufficient, but it looks like I need a bit more room. If I leave it as is, the text closest to the seam on the curved page curves more inward than I would like. I think adding .25” is going to fix it.

Once I get the revised proof, I’ll provide an update.


Update: The new proof looks good! I’m happy with it.