If you’re an author who is about to embark upon the creation of a book cover design, you’ll have started to research designers, the process and maybe even the thought of creating a cover yourself, and the more you look into it the more confusing it can seem.
So, what are the basics that you should be aware of as you get a cover made (or try to make one)?
The first thing to ask is as to where you’ll be selling the book, most authors will choose both eBook and print, as such you’ll need book cover designs for both mediums (and there is a difference between the two).
Because the two options for publication are different to each other we’ll look at them separately, starting with eBook design.
eBook cover design
So, what should you be aware of with regards to an eBook cover? Well, first of all the dimensions will vary depending upon who is publishing your eBook. For example, KDP publish their eBooks for Kindle as 1600 x 2561 pixels, whereas Lulu will size their eBook covers to 612 x 792 pixels (which is more square in its appearance when compared to KDP).
The second element to consider is the color profile, unlike the majority of print, eBooks use the RGB color profile. RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue and is known as an Additive color model, this is something specific to screens and provides a wider range of colors.
The third element will be the resolution of the image itself, now most screens operate at 72 dpi/ppi (dots per inch – a printing term or Pixels per inch – for digital) but you will find that this can lead to a more blocky image, so we tend to create our eBook covers for 300 dpi/ppi, you’ll also find that many eBook publishers will ask for it to be at 300 dpi/ppi anyway.
Finally is the file itself, the overwhelming majority of eBook covers are created as JPEGs and normally between 2MB – 10MB in size.
Printed Book Cover Designs
Printed book cover designs are very different to the way they are set up in comparison to eBooks, the first thing you’ll find is that the color profile will normally be with CMYK, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. CMYK is a subtractive color profile, when your book cover design is printed it will be done using four plates (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) together making the colors of the design.
Unlike RGB It’s subtractive in that the less of each individual color plate you add the lighter the overall color becomes, the downside to CMYK is that the color range itself is smaller than RGB, so you will find some limitations as to the vibrance of colors.
Sticking with CMYK for a moment, you will also find that some printers (such as Ingram Spark) will also place restrictions upon the amount of ink that can be used within your design, for example, if you wanted a rich black color you would print 100% on all four plates (C=100%, M=100%, Y=100% & K=100%), however, when you try to print like this is can cause smears and issues within the printing process. So, to ensure a clean print there may be restrictions of having a maximum of 240% ink across all four plates (so your rich black now becomes C=0%, M=0%, Y=0% & K=100%), this isn’t as deep a black as before but will ensure a clean print.
Next is the size of your book, this is compiled of several elements, the front and back page, the spine and the bleed areas. Now most people will understand the back page, front page and spine, but the bleed areas (unless you’ve published before) may be new to you. The bleed area is a strip 0.125in wide which runs around the four outer edges of the book cover, when the book cover is trimmed these outer edges get cut off, now because the image upon the cover extends into these bleed areas when the design is trimmed to size you will not have any white lines running on the outer edges of your book.
You can see the trim line and bleed area on the outer edges of all four sides of the design below, it's along this dotted line that the book cover will be cut and those outer edges removed, this ensures a clean and professional finish.
The size you choose to print your book as will depend upon your genre, page count, audience and preference, you can find more details on trim sizing from our article ‘Understanding Trim Sizes’
The fonts you use within your design will also need to be embedded when you export (or save) your design, basically when you send your cover to a printer and they don’t have the fonts used upon it within their system then it will have issues trying to print. So, the PDF should be created with the fonts you want upon the cover actually embedded into it, when the printer goes to use the design, the fonts are with it and everything prints as it should.
Most Adobe software will allow you to export with the fonts used embedded, and this is pretty much as standard (so it is easier to do than you may at first think).
The resolution for printed book covers will always be at a minimum of 300 dpi, this keeps everything clean and sharp for the cover.
When you come to save/export your book cover you’ll do so as a PDF, again, this will ensure that the fonts are embedded and that the profiles are set for printing, most printers will require you to export as PDF/X-1a:2001 (this you’ll find as a setting within the export options when doing so) and to ensure that you export without any printers marks.
So, there is more to preparing your cover design for both digital and print than you may have at first realized, both options have some limitations but both also enable you to create great designs which will make your book look amazing too.
Creativity in writing, design, art, music and any form of expression will always be at the forefront of the discipline, it’s where new ideas, new paths, new ways of looking at the world and the leading edge of your chosen art form lie. But like ‘Writer’s Block’, struggling for creativity can happen (and has happened to many artists).
However, most blocks are just temporary, caused by trying to force something and a lack of patience, this leads on to panicking that you’ll never complete what you’re working on and the spiral continues.
But there is hope, as mentioned, it is just temporary and sometimes the best thing to do is to simply stop for the day. It’s so beneficial to rest and get back to it after a good night’s sleep (it’s surprising how much differently you look at what you’ve just created/worked on after 24hrs).
There are many ways to get back in to your creative flow, all of them are easy to do and maybe just a combination of a couple will get you back on track.
One – Get up and get out
A lot of creativity happens while in a stationary environment (writers, painters, designers etc.), you need to get up and get the blood flowing in your veins. Go out into the fresh air and go for a walk, run or bicycle ride, the change of environment, fresh air and exercise all help to stimulate your creativity (and it helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a true win-win).
Two – Rest
As mentioned at the beginning, creativity needs concentration and focus, nether of these can you bring if you’re completely tired. A good night’s sleep is vital to creativity, being alert and well rested is a must if you want to be productive. So, make sure you get 7 to 8 hours to quality sleep each night (ditch the cell phones while your lying in bed, they really don’t help).
Three – Get inspired
Whatever your chosen art form, seek inspiration from its giants, this maybe reading classic novels, going to an art gallery, watching a movie or visiting several websites. Observing what the best have done can breed inspiration.
Four – Push past your comfort zone
Doing something that initially scares you builds confidence and forces you to think creatively, it could be public speaking, joining a group, a new sport, trying a new art form, promoting your book to publishers or selling your art at a craft fair (the list is endless). Of course, make sure what you’re about to do is safe and appropriate, but pushing your boundaries is a great way to increase creative thinking.
Five – Clear your mind
Sometimes overthinking can be your worst enemy, if you’ve never tried it before consider meditation, this centuries old practice is used by millions of people around the world today and some of the most successful creatives swear by it. Give it a try, there are hundreds of instructional videos on YouTube to show you how, it’s so much easier than you think and you don’t have to be sat cross legged by a waterfall either!
Six – Free write
Free writing can be as simple as doodling and jotting down thoughts and daydreams, there’s no pressure, no agenda and no right or wrong outcome. Just grab a pad of paper, pencil or pen, relax and see where it takes you.
Seven – Have a routine
Knowing when you are at your most creative is something that many don’t give thought to, it may be that you work best at 5am or you could be fired up and ready to create at midnight (it’s different for everyone of us). But YOU will have an understanding of what works best for YOU, so try to plan your routine to exploit your strength, it may not always be possible to do this for every day, but you should be able to plan for at least two days of each week.
Eight – Practice
Regardless of how good you think you are, you still need to practice, the leaders in any field of art became leaders through thousands of hours of dedication and practice, if you want to be great you need to put the hours in.
Nine – Learn new skills
We live in an age where all the information you could ever want is just at your fingertips, but do you utilize this? Whatever your chosen artform is, there is always something new to be learnt, a new skill to be attained and an existing one to be polished and mastered. There are lots resources out there, but websites such as Udemy is brilliant for this, if you don’t want to spend any money then YouTube can also be a good resource too.
Ten – Work with others
Working with other people within your field can be scary (especially if you normally create alone), but it can also be inspirational. It gives you an opportunity to learn and forces you to raise your own game, working with others exposes you to different ways of creating and looking at the world.
As Dorian continues its path up the East coast of the USA we count our blessings in Florida, we watched it on the news updates and prepared, luckily we only caught the outer bands as it shifted further East, but our thoughts and prayers go out to the people affected by it. The Bahamas have taken the brunt of the hurricane with towns flattened, lives taken and the islands changed dramatically for many months and even years to come.
Now as it hits the Carolinas and continues further North we expect to see further disruption and damage, people prepare as best they can but the loss of power and damage to property leaves huge clean-ups and repairs ahead of them.
As it hits the mainland It’s still hard to take in what has happened to the Bahamas, Dorian lingered as a category 5 Hurricane over their islands for many hours, the latest report shows that over 30 people tragically lost their lives due to the storm, we pray that this figure doesn’t go up in the coming days, but there are still hundreds of people missing.
Right now they (and everyone else effected by the storm) need our support, they need food, water, shelter, help rebuilding and supplies, so what can we all do? The American Red Cross are collecting donations to aid those effected by Hurricane Dorian, please see their website https://www.redcross.org and donate whatever you can.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone effected by Dorian.
As any author will tell you, writing a book is a labor of love, it’s a long process which takes a great deal of passion, patience and perseverance. So, when you’ve written the final word upon the page, what next? The tempting first thing that you may want to do is go straight to publishing, setting up a KDP account, uploading your manuscript and then shouting about it on Facebook, but wait, just because you’ve finished writing, doesn’t mean that the manuscript is ready for launch.
Even if you don’t realize it, your manuscript will need to be edited and proofread prior to going anywhere near a Print-On-Demand service.
Speaking with an author a couple of years ago, she told me that she had written a book within the romance genre and couldn’t wait to publish it, she had invested into some great advertising and book cover design and then gone on to upload everything to KDP (Createspace as it was back then). Her book looked amazing and the sales started to come in, excellent she thought.
That is until her real reviews started to appear (and not the ones from friends and family), the first were just one star then a couple of twos and back to ones, she was devastated and pulled her book from the shelves. The real feedback this author was getting was painful, it pointed out plot holes, grammar issues and even some spelling errors, these reviews and star ratings were stopping sales, it was a tough call but she had to work further on the book.
To save yourself this headache you should always think about using an editor before you go anywhere near publishing your book, there are plenty of services available online and there are options to suit every budget. Now this sounds easy, so why doesn’t every author use an editor?
There are several reasons, it could be budget constraints, time constraints or the fear or feedback, people tend hate receiving feedback unless it’s all positive. Let’s face it, you’ve given your manuscript to someone you may not know that well and they’re telling you that areas need improving, how dare they!!
Well, that’s their job and there’s nothing personal about it either, so, as long as you are using a reputable editor, you should use this invaluable information to polish your manuscript into something amazing. A good editor will have the skill and insight to help and work with you in elevating your book, you should embrace their recommendations and keep in mind the bigger picture of publishing success.
Along with editing is proof-reading, many editors offer this service and it’s worth while considering it, this should catch any issues with the manuscript and ensure that the final publication is professional.
The editing and proofreading process can be long winded and will require re-writes, again, this is another reason that stops some authors from considering it, but it will lead to a better manuscript, better reviews and a far better chance with a larger publisher or agent.
Once completed you should consider a soft launch with your book, a soft launch enables you to get copies out to a select few readers, it becomes another step in the publication process that will help you, from your soft launch you should be able to gain quotes which you can then use either upon the cover and/or on your website/blog/social media pages. It can also give you some helpful feedback prior to a publicized launch.
There are many steps in publishing your book, in fairness self-publishing is still a great deal easier than it has ever been, but you should still take your time. Delaying your launch by a couple of weeks to tweak your book now is better than pulling it from the shelves to do later.
The quickest route to market is of course self-publishing, it’s easy and with some print on demand publishers (such as KDP) it’s even free to get started, this is great for every author who dreams of publishing but not so great when you consider the competition.
So you will need to do more than just upload your manuscript and hope it sells, having a plan and a goal for your book is incredibly important, but this isn’t something that should scare you, there are lots of things you can and should be doing to make your book sell more copies, here are our ten favorites.
ONE - Use social media
The majority of authors take more than a couple of weeks to write their books, so you will have time to build interest, so start early with social media. It’s up to you whether you use your own personal account or create new ones specifically for your ‘brand’ as and author, but it looks more professional if you keep the two separate.
The key with social media is to engage with others, post regularly and get involved with other people’s posts, you can run surveys, competitions and advertising across all of the worthwhile platforms.
TWO - Create your own website
Having an online presence for an author is easy and very cost effective, there are many services where you can build a beautiful website without any prior knowledge in web design, most services offer the use of pre-made templates that are easy to build upon and make very unique sites. Having your own website is a great way to sell yourself and promote books to an audience, it sets you out as a serious author and offers other avenues to promote from.
THREE - Build a Mailout List
Moving on from having your own website is building a mailing list, you will need to offer something for free (such as the first chapter of your next book or a complete eBook of an earlier one), in return the visitor to your website gives you their email address, over time you’ll be able to build an audience of people who you can advertise directly to when you have promotions or new book launches.
There are plenty of email list services you can use such as Mail Chimp or AWeber who make this easy and offer a host of packages to suit most author’s needs.
FOUR - Talk to others
Write a blog (again, start early and use your website), join writer’s and reader’s forums and help others, when people ask questions online join in the debate and try to answer, keep the link to your own website in your signature.
FIVE - Polish your book
There’s a temptation to start the publishing process the second you type the words ‘The End’ upon your manuscript, stop, once you have finished the manuscript you should begin the editing and proofing stage next, no exceptions. Experience shows that the majority of books that go straight to print without being edited or even proofread will experience low reviews and painful feedback from readers.
Take your time, get it edited, proof-read and fine-tuned for your audience.
SIX - Test your book prior to hard launch
Have a soft launch first, get your book out to a close circle of people to read, this could be 30 to 40 people who you either give the book to or discount down heavily. The soft launch is not about making money from book sales, it’s about feedback. This should give you the opportunity learn, revise where needed and hopefully get some quotes to use on your back page and/or website.
SEVEN - Don’t be afraid to edit
If you have taken your time with the manuscript you should have had it edited, proof-read and tested further at soft launch, once you have all of this feedback act upon it. Editing is not a dirty word and can elevate your book from good to great.
EIGHT - Publishing formats
Choice is great, offering your readers several formats to enjoy your book in is crucial, the two most important are eBook and Paperback, you should always publish in these formats as standard (the research shows us that traditional printed book sales has been rapidly going back up over the past few years, so ensure you have this option covered).
The other options are Hardback and Audio, Hardback is nice to offer but it will not make up a huge chunk of your sales, audio is rapidly growing and should seriously be considered, there are great services such as Amazon’s ACX which offer everything you’ll need to publish your book in audio (even the voice actors to read the book).
NINE - Advertising designs
Ensure that you have a great looking book cover which makes your novel stand out (and in a good way), DIY covers will save money in the short term but will do nothing for the credibility of your book. Use a professional book cover design and have tie in designs for your banners on social media and posts.
TEN - Keep moving forward
As with anything you want to become and remain successful, the key is to keep going, the marketplace is very full but you can make sales and a name for yourself as an author.
Book cover design is the advertising and face of your work and something that every author should take seriously, of course we’re bound to say this, but in all fairness the statement is still true regardless. If you want to be taken seriously from the get-go, your cover needs to look professional.
And this is ever more so the case within a heavily saturated market, with countless easy ways to purchase and read books you are up against a great deal of competition from day one, so why take any risks with your own book?
Luckily most focused authors understand this, if you have taken time to write, edit, format and then publish your book you won’t cut any corners with the book cover design either.
A great book cover sets the standard (at a glance) of the contents, if you ever see a book cover design which has been badly made and quickly thrown together you make the same assumption of the book’s interior. Remember, the cover is advertising, and all successful businesses, brands, products and books use well designed advertising…..because it works.
Self-publishing puts indie authors upon the same selling platform as the biggest names in literature, and these authors such as Stephen King, John Grisham, J.K Rowling and others have very slick well-polished books, they obviously have a name which helps to sell their work, but their cover designs and advertising all look great, you know immediately that these books should be taken seriously.
The big-name authors do have big publishing houses behind them, which most indie authors do not, however, these large publishers fully understand that professional advertising and branding works, it’s a necessity because they want their book to be successful.
And this is such a key point, they have invested a lot into the publication and as such they want their book to be a success.
You may not have the budget of a massive publisher, but you should still pay attention to the details, ensuring that the content is well edited, formatted and with an eye-catching cover is very achievable for every author, once you commit to producing the best publication you can, your chances of success increase dramatically.
Again, you don’t have to spend a fortune in one hit, if you’re committed to a great publication then break it down over several months, complete elements within the book in stages, get the book professionally edited then move on to the formatting, if it takes six months…it takes six months (your readers will definitely appreciate it, and it will show in your book’s online reviews).
You have taken many weeks, months (and in some cases) years to write your book, don’t rush the publication, make it look as great as it reads.
Creating a book cover design for any manuscript requires research and (most importantly) information from the actual author/publisher, this may sound a little obvious but sometimes this information can be a little slow in coming.
It’s not unusual to work upon a project where the only information you’re initially given is a short sentence telling you that the cover needs to have a man on it and should look kind of dark and have a forest in there somewhere…… and that’s it.
The first things you’ll ask yourself is, how old is the man, what does he look like, what’s his hair, eye and skin coloring? Does he have any unique features? What’s he wearing, what’s the time period, what’s the genre? Where is the location? Who is the book aimed at? And so on…
What happens is that the author is so close to the novel that they take some of these small details for granted, and this is totally understandable too, if you’ve been working on a book for the past six to twelve months then you’ve gone past the point where these details seem as new and important as they did when you first started.
When something occupies your mind as fully as your book and its characters for a long period of time, it becomes harder to view the overall concept from an external point of view, this is why having a professional editor work on your book is so important.
When it then comes to working with a book cover designer, you do need to step back and think about your book’s concept and finer details, a great way to do this is to explain your book to a friend and get them to tell you what they understand about it. Can they describe your main character? Have they understood the genre and location? If not, then you will need to give them more information.
One way around this is in the questionnaire that we use with every author and publisher, this asks questions about the book both technically and detailed around the concept and focal points. This helps to get the author to furnish as much information as possible and in a timeframe that allows for detailed reflection upon the book they’ve written.
And this is a great process, focusing in on what your book is actually about helps with regards to the blurb and promotional synopsis for the book, condensing a book down into 300 words is far easier said than done, but it is an important element to the promotion and sale of the book.
So being prepared for the book cover design stage of the publishing process is helpful in both the aesthetics and synopsis, having the details condensed will help the cover and the sales copy. If you’re about to start on your cover, then stop and think about your book, what’s important and what information do you need to pass on to your book cover designer, the more relevant detail you consider now, the smoother the process.
Creating a book cover design for Ingram Spark is a little more involved than some other publisher’s requirements, and this is where the use of Adobe products is helpful (and a necessity for the designer).
Here at JD&J we use both InDesign and Photoshop when creating a book cover, we tend to create the artwork for the book cover design within Photoshop and then compile the cover itself within InDesign, we do it this way as the two work well together and Photoshop gives more scope for the artwork element within the book cover design.
One great thing about Ingram is their use of templates, now you don’t have to use them, but we’ve found it better to do so and it can be a great way of checking the specifics of the layout before upload.
Getting a template for your book is very straightforward too, from their website simply select ‘Resources’ then ‘Tools’, on this page scroll down to ‘Self-Publishing Templates’ and hit the yellow button, this then takes you to a page asking for the details of the book (note: if you have already uploaded your manuscript, once you type in the ISBN this form will then automatically update itself with the relevant info for your book). If you haven’t yet uploaded your manuscript you’ll need to fill it out manually.
After the ISBN you should choose the trim size of your book, the trim size is the size that the book will be once completed, the actual size of the cover is normally bigger than this and then trimmed to the chosen dimensions, you have a choice of 30 trim sizes within Ingram, although most trade paperbacks stick to around three or four variations.
Next you’ll choose the interior paper color and the binding type (Paperback/Dust Jacket/Case Laminate) and finally the finish, either gloss or matte.
Enter in the details for your book’s page count (note: this is always in even numbers, so if your count is odd, go up by just one page). The next choice will be for the file type, you have the choice of two, InDesign or PDF, we tend to use both (so this does mean filling in the form twice), the InDesign file is ready to use with InDesign and the PDF we’ll use to make the artwork within Photoshop.
Next add your email address and then finally the price of your book, currency (USD, CAD, GBP) and if you want the price in the barcode (most publishers recommend against adding a price as this can make promotions art a later date awkward).
Next click on Submit and your template will be sent directly to your email address.
Once you have both templates (PDF & INDD) you can start designing your book cover, load the PDF into Photoshop and then size the page to the outer edges of the bleed lines, this keeps the page manageable, make sure you use your guidelines to mark out where the trim, margins and spine edges are first.
Next, load the INDD file into InDesign and create a new layer (above the Guides layer and under Layer 1, layer 1 has the barcode in). In this new layer (in our example it’s named layer 3) you’ll place the Photoshop file (the artwork for the book cover design).
From here you can then add the copy for the book, the title, subtitle, author name, spine matter and copy for the back page, if you’re using Creative Cloud then you should have access to Adobe fonts, just make sure whichever fonts you do use, you have the correct license and authorization for (the same goes for your artwork too).
Finally check your ink levels for the book cover design, go to separations preview, Ink Limit and set to 240%, any areas of your cover which are outside of this limit will show in red, if they do you will need to adjust the ink limit within Photoshop to under 240%.
Once you’re happy with the cover you should export it, Ingram themselves recommend simply selecting the preset of PDF/X-1a:2001 and keeping all of its defaults as they are.
Once exported the file should be ready to then upload to Ingram and for use as your book cover, however, Ingram do have a lot of very useful information from their website, so if you're still a little unsure, check out their book cover guidelines which have everything you'll ever need to know in one hand PDF.
Having a successful book isn’t just down to luck, when you look at most of the best-selling authors you realize that they have all made sacrifices and worked incredibly hard to get where they are today. So simply knocking out a book in a week and just uploading your manuscript to KDP isn’t much of a plan if you want your book to be successful and of value.
But then you have to ask yourself the very real question, why are YOU publishing your book?
Most authors work at their craft because they love writing, they have a need to communicate and tell something of value, it’s a passion which makes them stress over chapters, paragraphs, sentences and even individual words. All to tell a story, pass on information, help educate and speak to those who will listen, it can be beautiful, powerful and change lives.
But again, why are YOU publishing your book?
For some authors it is purely for the recognition and status of being ‘published’, for others it’s an income stream to which they’ll churn out quickly penned books month after month.
Now of course everyone wants to make a living from writing, and obviously you want others to read your book, so publishing is the fundamental path to doing so and being paid in return makes absolute sense.
But, there has to be something more, do you want to be remembered as someone who brought uninspiring books to the world? Or as someone who clearly loved their craft and created great works which were loved by their readers?
I know the question sounds like a bit of a ‘no-brainer’ but, if you are purely chasing a quick dollar you’re in the wrong game (and your readers will see this immediately).
Writing from a place of passion has to be the very foundation of your approach as an author, it will give you the motivation to continue when others give up, it will keep you focused when going through the editing and review stage it will also give determination when publishing.
It’s very simple, if you don’t believe in and love what you’re doing, it will be so much harder to make it a success.
So, one last time….. Why are YOU publishing your book?
If you’re getting a book ready for publication you will have definitely heard the term ‘Trim Size’, this comes from the process of printing and actually creating the book itself, your book being printed on large sheets of paper which are folded, bound and then trimmed to the appropriate size.
And this leads on to a very good (and often asked) question, what should the trim size of my book be?
Well, it depends, there are some rules as to what the industry expects certain genres and topics to be printed as, but in these days of self-publishing those rules aren’t followed as much as they once were.
Mass Market Books – 4” x 7”
These are books which were originally produced quite cheaply and sold in places like airports (their small size making them great for travel, you also see them in supermarkets too), the size is most commonly used for fiction. In self-publishing you’ll find that companies such as Ingram Spark print at this trim size but Amazon’s KDP do not print this small.
Trade Paperback – commonly 5”x8” to 6”x9”
The name Trade Paperback is a term used to indicate a book which is larger in size than that of the Mass Market book. Trade Paperbacks tend to be the most ‘common’ size and work well for both fiction and non-fiction. The main differential between fiction and non-fiction Trade Paperbacks being the paper color within the book itself, again, there is no set-in-stone rule, but you tend to find that most fiction is on cream paper and non-fiction upon white.
Workbooks & Manuals – 8.5”x11”
These are larger printed books and work well as they are the size of a standard letter sheet of paper, they give room for two columns of text with plenty of space for images and illustrations, they’re more likely to be printed in color and use white paper within (normally with a glossy finish).
Hardcovers – ranging from 5”x8” to 8.5”x11”
The smaller sizes tend to be more for fiction with the larger working better for non-fiction, workbooks and manuals, this goes for both Dust Jackets and Case Laminates.
Sizes currently on offer through KDP are:
5" x 8" (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
5.06" x 7.81" (12.85 x 19.84 cm)
5.5" x 8.5" (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
6.14" x 9.21" (15.6 x 23.39 cm)
6.69" x 9.61" (16.99 x 24.41 cm)
7" x 10" x (17.78 x 25.4 cm)
7.44" x 9.69" (18.9 x 24.61 cm)
7.5" x 9.25" (19.05 x 23.5 cm)
8" x 10" (20.32 x 25.4 cm)
8.25" x 6" (20.96 x 15.24 cm)
8.25" x 8.25" (20.96 x 20.96 cm)
8.5" x 8.5" (21.59 x 21.59 cm)
8.5" x 11" (21.59 x 27.94 cm)
8.27" x 11.69" (21 x 29.7 cm)
For Ingram Spark the trim sizes on offer are:
For Paperback Books:
4 x 6" (154 x 102mm)
4 x 7" (178 x 102mm)
4.25 x 7” (178 x 108mm)
4.37 x 7" (178 x 111mm) A
4.72 x 7.48" (190 x 120mm)
5 x 7" (178 x 127mm)
5 x 8" (203 x 127mm)
5.06 x 7.81" (198 x 129mm)
5.25 x 8" (203 x 133mm)
5.5 x 8.25" (210 x 140mm)
5.5 x 8.5" (216 x 140mm)
5.83 x 8.27" (210 x 148mm) A5
6 x 9" (229 x 152mm)
6.14 x 9.21" (234 x 156mm)
6.5 x 6.5" (165 x 165mm)
6.625 x 10.25" (260 x 168mm) (Graphic Novel)
6.69 x 9.61" (244 x 170mm) (Pinched Crown)
7 x 10" (254 x 178mm)
7.44 x 9.69" (246 x 189mm)
7.5 x 9.25" (235 x 191mm)
8 x 8" (203 x 203mm)
8 x 10" (254 x 203mm)
8 x 10.88" (276 x 203mm)
8.25 x 10.75" (273 x 210mm)
8.25 x 11" (279 x 210mm)
8.268 x 11.693" (297 x 210mm) A4
8.5 x 8.5" (216 x 216mm)
8.5 x 9" (229 x 216mm)
8.5 x 11" (280 x 216mm)
11 x 8.5" (216 x 280mm) Premium Color Only
And for Hardcovers:
5 x 8" (203 x 127mm) Case Lam/Cloth/Jacket
5.5 x 8.5" (216 x 140mm) Case Lam/Cloth/Jacket
5.83 x 8.27" (210 x 148mm) Case Lam
6 x 9" (229 x 152mm) Case Lam/Cloth/Jacket
6.14 x 9.21" (234 x 156mm) Case Lam/Cloth/Jacket
6.69 x 9.61" (244 x 170mm) Case Lam
7 x 10" (254 x 178mm) Case Lam
7.5 x 9.25" (235 x 191mm) Case Lam
8 x 8" (203 x 203mm) Case Lam
8 x 10" (254 x 203mm) Case Lam
8 x 10.88" (276 x 203mm) Case Lam
8.25 x 10.75" (273 x 210mm) Case Lam
8.5 x 8.5" (216 x 216mm) Case Lam
8.5 x 11" (280 X 216mm) Case Lam
11 x 8.5" (216 x 280mm) Case Lam, Premium Color Only
Again, there are no rules that you must stick to at all costs, the publishing world is constantly changing and standards that were fixed at one point are now more fluid than they have ever been.
However, the goal of your chosen trim size is to ensure that the reader understands what the book is, and that it makes the reading of the book a more pleasurable experience, so choose wisely.
Book cover designers.