The Components of a Paperback Book Cover

No matter how engaging your story may be, the public is going to “judge your book by its cover” before they ever pick it up to read the contents. As such, the exterior should always receive the same professional care and consideration as the interior.

A complete paperback book cover is made up of the following components:

 

 

  1. Back Cover

    As shown in the following visual aid, the back cover portion of your complete book cover begins on the left-hand side. The dimension of the back cover must match whatever trim size you’ve chosen your book to be (i.e. 5.5″ width x 8.5″ height) with a minimum 1/4″ bleed around the outside edges for trimming. It will also contain:

    – an author photo (optional)
    – back cover copy (to summarize the contents of the book in a compelling way)
    – room for the book’s barcode/ISBN number on the lower right-hand corner
    – room for PPG’s logo on the lower left-hand corner
    – a short author biography (optional)

  2. Spine

    The spine portion of your complete book cover sits in between your back and front cover. Its height will match your chosen trim size (in this case 8.5″) while the width is determined by factors such as the final page count of your designed interior and chosen paper weight. (PPG will provide you with these specs once your interior has been designed by one of our professional graphic designers.) The spine also contains:

    – the book title at the top
    – author name (pseudonym) in the centre
    – room for PPG’s logo to be placed at the bottom

  3. Front Cover

    The front cover portion of your complete book cover sits on the right-hand side. The dimension of the front cover must match whatever trim size you’ve chosen your book to be (i.e. 5.5″ width x 8.5″ height) with a minimum 1/4″ bleed around the outside edges for trimming. It will also contain:

    – the book title (and subtitle, if applicable)
    – author name (pseudonym)

  4. Artwork

    Your cover artwork can wrap around the spine of your book and span the entire height/width of the complete cover (as shown in the first visual below), or it can appear on the front cover only (as shown in the second visual below). Both examples are correct. If going with the first example, make sure the artwork itself contains a minimum 1/4″ bleed all around the edges so the outside edges of the picture aren’t trimmed unnecessarily at the printer.


When deciding how you would like your book cover to appear, it is best to pay a visit to your local bookstore and view the many different examples there. What designs, colours, and fonts draw your attention the best? Write down the book title(s) and author name(s) so you can use this as a handy reference when it comes time to provide a description to your assigned graphic designer. This will help the process run much more smoothly for both of you.

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PPG is a professional book publisher dedicated to serving serious-minded authors around the world. Visit our group of websites today:

 

PPG Book Publishing Website: http://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Publisher’s Blog: http://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Writers Forum: http://writersforum.polishedpublishinggroup.com/

 

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