Createspace Report Card: Part 3

Cover Design

Createspace can develop just about any kind of cover you want, but you will pay accordingly.  The package I signed up for included cover design, but that was only a graphic-type of cover, no drawings or photos.  I wanted some kind of picture.  After some back-and-forth with an artist friend and a photographer friend, which I will provide in more detail in a future post, we came up with the front cover layout you see now.

Needless to say, that saved Createspace the time and effort of developing their graphic cover, which was fine with me – I had the front cover I had imagined.

The Spine

It’s not like you’ll forget about the spine of the book because your creative team will remind you, but it is something to think about.  If you are fortunate to get your book on the shelf of a brick-and-mortar book store or a library, you need information on the spine so people can see it.  Keep it clean and simple: the title and author’s name and, if you want, the publisher’s imprint.

Not that I considered it, but have since read it elsewhere, do NOT stack the letters vertically.  As you look at the spine, the top of the letters should be to the right and the bottoms facing left.  When prospective buyers or book borrowers are going through the stacks with their head tilted at a slight angle, you want them to be able to read the spine of your book just like all the others.

The Createspace designers can’t develop the spine until you’ve okayed the interior of your book because they need to know how thick the book is going to be before they know how wide to make the spine.

Back Cover

Not that you really need dozens of choices to pick from, but Createspace only offers two or three back cover layouts, all of which include the UPC bar code.  Anything unique has to be done with the type font, background colors, and whether or not you want an Author’s Photo included.  For example, notice how they wrapped the snow-covered forest from the front cover, across the spine, and onto part of the back cover.

As I said in Part 2, the Promotional Text portion of my package included the back cover copy and author’s bio, so that was ready to be stuck in.  I was also able to obtain a “blurb” (industry lingo for a nice comment) from a prominent talk radio host in San Diego that was included on the back cover.

You will also notice the price is not shown on the cover (it often appears nears the UPC code).  Most marketing experts recommend against printing the price on the cover in case you ever decide to change it.

As with the Promotional Text project, Createspace sends you an email when they have something ready for you to review, telling you to log into your project on their website.  You are then able to download what they have produced, examine it, and either approve it or contact them with corrections or changes.  Remember, every time you change something, it will be a week before you see the next revision.

If I didn’t say it earlier, I give Createspace high marks for the ability to quickly communicate with your design team.  When you log-in and review the latest changes to your project, or have any other question, you can either e-mail them with a 24-hour or less turnaround time, or – the method I always used – just talk to them on the phone. 

On the website, there’s a place for you to enter your phone number.  After you do that and hit Enter, your phone will start to ring.  Yes, that fast!  After you answer it, you’re on Hold for a short while before someone from your design team will pick up and discuss your project.  Note, they are always going to ask you the name of your book and your member ID number.

In Part 4, I will discuss the Interior Design.

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