This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 Days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –
When I talked about my preproduction schedule on February 12th in the Publishing 101: Production Schedule post, I noted the dimensions I’d chosen for Fowl Summer Nights were 5.5 inches wide x 8.5 inches tall. When I discussed designing a cover in Publishing 101: Cover Design I mentioned the sample covers were exactly 11 x 8.5 but would not remain that size. They were destined to be resized to accommodate pages.
Here are the steps I took to resize the cover.
Step One: Page Count
The page count used to calculate the width and height of a cover is the actual page count. In MS Word this number appears in the bottom left-hand corner of the document screen. Fowl Summer Nights contained 113 pages.
The page count I did NOT use is the page numbers inserted into the manuscript. For Fowl Summer Nights the page count was 104, which meant title page, copyright information, dedication, table of contents and other material took up 9 pages.
Step Two: Thickness of Paper
The cream coloured paper at CreateSpace is thicker than the white paper. If you choose white paper, the thickness is 0.002252 inches.
Fowl Summer Nights was printed on cream coloured paper. The thickness I inserted into the equation was 0.0025 inches.
These measurements are for black and white interior only. Full-colour interior books contain pages that are 0.002347 inches thick.
Step Three: Bleed
Bleed is that extra space around the outer edges of the cover, the area that keeps your illustrations and text safe from being cut off.
The measurement for bleed is 0.125 inches on all sides: top, bottom, left and right side. In other words, 0.25 inches are added to the height and 0.25 inches are added to the width.
Step Four: Equation
The equation is basic. It’s simply a matter of dropping the numbers in the right place and grabbing a calculator. Since I took several years of physics, astronomy and scientific math, equations are a treat for me. Here’s how I’d layout this one:
- a is Page Count: 113
- b is Paper thickness: 0.0025
- c is Bleed: 0.125
- x is the actual measurement needed to create the cover
c + height dimension + c = x
0.125 + 8.5 + 0.125 = 8.75 inches
c + width dimension + (a x b) + width dimension + c = x
0.125 + 5.5 + (113 x 0.0025) + 5.5 + 0.125 = x
5.525 + (0.2825) + 5.525 = 11.5325 inches
I broke the width equation into two steps because that measurement in the brackets is important. This is the spine width. For Fowl Summer Nights the spine was 0.2825 inches, not wide enough to insert text.
Step Five: Spine
CreateSpace does not allow text on spines for books with less than 100 pages, and they strongly recommend books with less than 130 pages are also left blank.
The spine measurement helped me arrange the text and images on the cover. I created a temporary bar the exact width of the spine and placed it in the centre of the page for guidance. I also went to the View section of PowerPoint and turned on the Ruler, Gridlines and Guides to help me align the cover material properly.
Step Six: Putting it all together in PowerPoint
After opening the design I had created for the paperback version of Fowl Summer Nights, I went into the Design section (on the ribbon menu at the top) and chose Page Setup. In the pop-up window that appeared, I adjusted the width and height measure to my calculations.
PowerPoint allows for only two positions after the decimal point, so the width was entered as 11.53 inches and the height was entered as 8.75 inches. A minimal amount of adjusting was required with the change because the increase in size was small. The original measurements used for the sample cover was 11 inches by 8.5.
Using the temporary blue bar to act as the spine, I easily adjusted the text and illustrations. The text on the front cover and the book blurb on the back cover were centred, I simply made the text boxes 5.5 inches wide and adjusted them against the spine.
After tweaking and rechecking to ensure measurements of text boxes didn’t change, I enlarged the cover image to better see the placement. The bottom right-hand side of the back cover was left blank. CreateSpace automatically places a bar code with the ISBN there.
Step Seven: Saving it in a CreateSpace-friendly Format
The best format to submit your cover to CreateSpace in is PDF. In PowerPoint, this is simple to create. After saving the PowerPoint file (in case changes are needed later), I clicked Save As, gave the file an appropriate name (DLMcGyver-Fowl_Summer_Nights) and chose PDF.
Before hitting save, I completed the information below the PDF window.
- Authors: Diane Lynn McGyver
- Tags: Fowl Summer Nights, McGyver, novella, book, chickens, humourous, story, Canada
- Title: Fowl Summer Nights
Now I hit Save.
This is the file I uploaded to CreateSpace for my paperback.
The Official Fowl Summer Nights Paperback Cover
This completes this step in the Draft to Book in 30 Days challenge.
Next Post Publishing 101: Formatting Interior Design