Whilst working on my latest collection of short stories I decided I’d ask my talented niece (Sam Davy) to design the ebook cover for me and then I’d also use her design for the print version. When I came to create the cover for the print version I rashly decided to create a cover from scratch rather than use one of the many CreateSpace templates. It was then I discovered I’d forgotten to ask my niece to take into account three important elements. These being:
- Leave excess for bleed (0.125”/3mm)
- Allow for trim (0.135”/3.5mm)
- Ensure important elements such as text and coyote bottoms were in the ‘safe’ zone (at least 0.125″/3mm inside the trim lines)
Thankfully I’m able to stumble around PhotoShop and my niece was forward thinking enough to supply her cover design as a PhotoShop file. This allowed me to move Anansi, Brer Rabbit and Coyote slightly and increase the length of the grass so I could also move my name into the safe zone. Having completed this task it dawned on me I also needed to think about the spine and the back cover (again something you don’t have to think about when designing an ebook cover).
So the next step was to upload the contents of the book and calculate the width of the spine. Thankfully CreateSpace came to my rescue with the information I needed – if you plan to create your own cover click here for assistance. Armed with this measurement it then became apparent that reusing the front cover design as it was wouldn’t work. I needed space for the bar code and the ISBN number (again something I hadn’t even considered). So again my nieces forward thinking allowed me to adapt her design.
I’ll admit I would have liked to have been a little clever and flipped the moon on the back cover so I could render the top half of the spine yellow. Perhaps when my skills in PhotoShop are a little more honed I’ll be able to. But at least now I know I can create a cover from scratch (well not totally from scratch I did have a fab front cover designed for me to start with) and next time I’ll know to allow for bleed, trim and keep everything in the ‘safe’ zone.