OK so the comments on a previous chapter ask about the size of a book cover, so that is what I'll be discussing in chapter four. Also briefly mentioned was the subject of banners, so I will be including the dimensions of the different types of advertising banners there are. Remember, add your own comments below for any clarification needed or indeed any questions you would like me to address next. I love reading your feedback, so let me know your thoughts - and don't forget to add this book to your reading list, as well as vote / like.
So... Chapter four - Dimensions.
There are different types of book covers and I will give you the usual dimensions for each. When you open your chosen programme choose your background layer and set the dimension to the correct size, you can then add your pictures, fonts, textures, etc. to this layer size knowing that your finished cover will fit the correct dimensions.
We will start with the ebook cover as this is what you will be using here on Wattpad. The standard size used is a 1:6, or as wattpad states 256x400. This means that your finished book cover will need to be 256 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall. Anything outside of this area will be cropped, and therefore lost when you upload your image, so bear this in mind when you start.
As you move into designing printed book covers, should this be a direction you wish to move into, you will need to become more flexible. There are always custom sized books and you will need to know the finished size before you start designing. Unlike with ebooks, printed versions will need to include what is known in the industry as a bleed line, you will need to factor this into your design.
If any element on your document layout makes contact with the document border you will have to use bleed. The trick is to place the element so that it goes over the border where the document will be cropped after printing.
The term bleed is used for all objects overlapping the border of your document. Let's say you're working on a design with images against the outer edge of the page. You'll supply the printer with a document somewhat larger then the final document will be.
After the brochure is printed it will be cropped to its correct size. The bleed in your document gives the cropping some room for error. The paper itself can expand or contract, the cropping machine could be setup wrong, or the person working on the book could make a mistake. There are a lot of factors that could go wrong with the cropping, if you weren't using bleed the images wouldn't be neatly aligned with the side of your printed book and you would therefore lose information.
Your text, textured borders, and other important aspects of the image should not be up to the edge of the cover, they will need to remain inside the bleed line, so that they don't get lost when the finished print is cut. Any cover text should be a minimum of 13mm or 0.5" from the outer sides of your cover.
There are many different book sizes but the two standard sizes of paperback are: the normal 6x9 and the pocket size 5x8. You may need to take into consideration the spine size should your design wrap around from front to back. This will depend on the number of pages the book will have when finished, so the way you design it will be dependant on the book being ready to go. This is fine when your cover design is for a second edition print. For a first edition you may want to keep away from the wrap-around design.
Your front cover and back cover will obviously be the same size, but you will need to ensure there is more room for text on the rear. The blurb, the barcode, the quotes from critics (should there be any), and other books in the series are just some of the information tha you will need to include on the back of the book. So bear this in mind when designing and leave enough room.
Hardbacks are obviously different in that not only do you need to design the front and back covers, but also the flaps on the dustcover. Most designers will keep the design the same on the dustcover that they have used for the actual cover, then just add the flap details afterwards. This is entirely up to you. The standard size for a hardback is 8 inches x 12 inches, so your design will need to be 8.125"x12.25" to include the bleed.
For the standard paperback size of 6 inches wide x 9 inches high, your design will be 6.125" x 9.25" at a resolution of 300dpi (dots per inch). The pocket size paperback of 5 inches wide x 8 inches high will be 5.125"x8.25" with the same resolution. This allows for the bleed line. But remember not to put any important information inside this area as it will not appear on the final cover.
The printers will add a back cover barcode and the ISBN on the back cover after it had been submitted for printing. Make sure you don't place text in this area. It is also not a good idea to add a price to your book cover as this may change over time due to inflation or other costs that you are not able to foresee; therefore it is best to leave this off entirely.
There are a number of different banner sizes available for advertising. Here are the names and dimensions of each. IMU = Interactive Marketing Units.
Rectangles and Pop-Ups
300 x 250 IMU (Medium Rectangle)
250 x 250 IMU (Square Pop-Up)
240 x 400 IMU (Vertical Rectangle)
336 x 280 IMU (Large Rectangle)
180 x 150 IMU (Rectangle)
300×100 IMU (3:1 Rectangle)
720×300 IMU (Pop-Under)
Banners and Buttons
468 x 60 IMU (Full Banner)
234 x 60 IMU (Half Banner)
88 x 31 IMU (Micro Bar)
120 x 90 IMU (Button 1)
120 x 60 IMU (Button 2)
120 x 240 IMU (Vertical Banner)
125 x 125 IMU (Square Button)
728 x 90 IMU (Leaderboard)
160 x 600 IMU (Wide Skyscraper)
120 x 600 IMU (Skyscraper)
300 x 600 IMU (Half Page Ad)
425 x 600
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A Pinkabelle guide to book cover design.Non-Fiction
So many people have asked me how I design my book covers, how they can do it themselves, where I get my pictures from, and so on. I figured it was about time I answered all those questions in one place. Seeing as this is a literary site, how better...