Book COVER: Managing Images

General Cover Image Design Information

  • Design separate art files for the front cover and back cover (TWO JPG or PNG files).
  • FastPencil generates the SPINE according to your book page count. You’ll select a solid color that fits your design scheme. Text, if your book is thick enough, can be added.
  • Do NOT include Crop Marks.
  • Color profile: Save as RGB (our system converts to CMYK).
  • Keep text at least 0.5 inches from TRIM edge.
  • All pixel dimensions based on 300 PPI (pixels per inch)

Everything you need to know about Cover Design according to your chosen book format is located within the Setup Publication button – our publishing wizard – that can be accessed through your Project Dashboard.

When you reach the Book Cover step within the publishing wizard, you will be able to Upload Images, add your Title and Author Name, select background colors, and edit your spine. For this article, let’s use a 5x8 paperback book for the example screenshots.

The yellow highlight box will provide exact image specs according to your chosen book format.


WITH BLEEDS:
Designing Covers with Bleeds
(“Enable a border” box IS NOT checked):

When designing and centering your cover artwork and text, DO NOT factor in the page bleed areas, as the printer will cut the printed cover spread at the trim size, removing the bleed sections. If you do not follow this guidance, your cover artwork will not be centered, and cover text could be truncated.

Our dimensions assume a .625" bleed area on all sides of the cover spread. Your design should extend at least .25" into the bleed area, and the additional space should be padded in your file so your image matches the dimensions shown below (trimming your image could cause distortion during printing).

  • Front cover: Include .25" of bleed on the top, RIGHT, and bottom edges, but not on the LEFT edge.
  • Back cover: Include .25" of bleed on the top, LEFT, and bottom edges, but not on the RIGHT edge.

NO BLEEDS:
Designing a cover without extending images into bleeds (WITH “Enable a border” box checked):

Cover images not extended into bleeds will have a horizontal and vertical background color border around the front and back cover images, on soft covers this will be .25 inch vertical and .375 inch horizontal, hard covers will have .5 inch vertical on gutter side and .25 inch face side, and .50 inch horizontal border.

Note in the screenshot, the recommended size for the Upload Image is smaller to allow for the border.

 


A NOTE ABOUT THE BACK COVER

Our software automatically generates a bookstore-ready, retail-friendly back cover, within a reserved white bar in the bottom section of your back cover image. This is why your front and back cover recommended upload image dimensions are different. Printed in this approximately 1” tall space:

  • FastPencil imprint
  • barcode(s)
  • pricing
  • categories

Book Cover PROOF SAMPLE PDF, downloaded from the Setup Publication publishing wizard. Orange spine shown to highlight break in front and back cover files and show retail-friendly back cover white bar reserved for auto-printed book metadata.

 

 

General Guide to Cover Image Design Dimensions, but check your project’s Setup Publication publishing wizard for exact information.

Book Dimensions (width x height) 

Binding

Cover Image Dimensions (width x height) 
NO BORDER

Cover Image Dimensions (width x height) 
WITH BORDER

6" x 4"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

6.625" x 5.25"

5.5" x 3.5"

6" x 4"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

6.875" x 5.5"

5.75" x 3.75"

5.25" x 5"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

5.875" x 6.25"

4.75" x 4.5"

5.25" x 5"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

6.125" x 6.5"

5.0" x 4.75"

5" x 8"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

5.5" x 9.5"

5.5" x 7.75"

5" x 8"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

5.625" x 9.25"

4.5" x 7.5"

5" x 8"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

5.875" x 9.5"

4.75" x 7.75"

8" x 5"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

8.625" x 6.25"

7.5" x 4.5"

8" x 5"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

8.875" x 6.5"

7.75" x 4.75”

8" x 5"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

8.5" x 6.5"

8.5" x 4.75"

5.5" x 8.5"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

6.125" x 9.75"

5.0" x 8.0"

5.5" x 8.5"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

6.0" x 10.0"

6.0" x 8.25"

5.5" x 8.5"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

6.375" x 10.0"

5.25" x 8.25"

8.5" x 5.5"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

9.125" x 6.75"

8.0" x 5.0"

8.5" x 5.5"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

9.375" x 7.0"

8.25" x 5.25"

8.5" x 5.5"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

9.0" x 7.0"

9.0" x 5.25"

6" x 9"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

6.5" x 10.5"

6.5" x 8.75"

6" x 9"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

6.625" x 10.25"

5.5" x 8.5"

6" x 9"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

6.875" x 10.5"

5.75" x 8.75"

9" x 6"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

9.625" x 7.25"

8.5" x 5.5"

9" x 6"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

9.5" x 7.5"

9.5" x 5.75"

9" x 6"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

9.875" x 7.5"

8.75" x 5.75"

7" x 10"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

7.625" x 11.25"

6.5" x 9.5"

7" x 10"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

7.5" x 11.5"

7.5" x 9.75"

7" x 10"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

7.875" x 11.5"

6.75" x 9.75"

10" x 7"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

10.5" x 8.5"

10.5" x 6.75"

10" x 7"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

10.875" x 8.5"

9.75" x 6.75"

8.5" x 8.5"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

9.125" x 9.75"

8.0" x 8.0"

8.5" x 8.5"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

9.375" x 10.0"

8.25" x 8.25"

8.5" x 8.5"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

9.0" x 10.0"

9.0" x 8.25"

8" x 10"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

8.875" x 11.5"

7.75" x 9.75"

8" x 10"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

8.625" x 11.25"

7.5" x 9.5"

8" x 10"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

8.5" x 11.5"

8.5" x 9.75"

10" x 8"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

10.5" x 9.5"

10.5" x 7.75"

10" x 8"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

10.875" x 9.5"

9.75" x 7.75"

8.5" x 11"

Cloth w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover)

9.0" x 12.5"

9.0" x 10.75"

8.5" x 11"

Perfect Bound (paperback)

9.125" x 12.25"

8.0" x 10.5"

8.5" x 11"

Case Laminate (hardcover)

9.375" x 12.5"

8.25" x 10.75"

 

Need more help? Check out this VIDEO about Creating a Book Cover with picture and colored border: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxlC0759T_Q

 

Related articles:

Use your cover art to Create a Marketing Sell Sheet

 

Tip: Start a new, test project now. It's free and easy: fastpencil.com/writenow.

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