Preparing the PDF of the book cover

The cover of the paper book must be a PDF file, formatted on a single page and completed with the front cover, spine, and back cover, as shown in the image below:

If you use  Write to create the paper layout, the application will allow you to create your book cover, too. As an alternative, you can use any graphic editor; however, you will need to comply with the specifications below.

General specifications

  • Each text and graphic element (both in the first and back cover) must have a distance of at least 1.5 cm from the borders;
  • each text and graphic element on the spine must have a distance of at least 1.6 mm from the right and left borders;
  • you must not insert any writing or graphic elements on the spine of the books that have less than 100 pages;
  • the size of the spine should be calculated according to the type of paper, print (black and white or color), and the number of pages. You can calculate the back cover using the calculator located at the bottom of this page.
  • images must have a minimum resolution of at least 300dpi, and if there is a full-page image it must have a size of at least 1850x2500 pixels;
  • hardcover or flap printing is not available at this time;

How to create a correct layout

The cover must have 5 mm  bleeds per side and must be the same color as the background of the cover. If the background is an image, the latter must exceed the bleeds.

Here's an  example of a calculation of the measurements for a book cover in A5 format (148x210 mm) with a spine of 15 mm. 

Size of back and front cover: 148x210 mm + 5 mm bleeds -> 153x220 mm
Spine size: 15x210 mm + 5 mm bleeds -> 15x220mm 
Total cover width: 153+15+153 -> 321 mm 
Total cover height: 220 mm 
The PDF file of the cover will have to measure a total of 321x220 mm

The two images below show respectively a correct layout and a cover with noticeable errors. 

On the first cover, the light hatch outlines the bleeds that will be cut out while being printed. As you can see, all backgrounds extend beyond the light hatch, even though they will be cast aside. On the second cover, the bleeds are white, the text on the spine fills all the available space, the texts and the logo on the back cover are too close to the edges; all these elements are layout errors to be avoided.

The barcode

The ISBN barcode will be placed on the bottom of the back cover, either right or left, depending on the layout.

Once the file has been uploaded to HUB, StreetLib automatically inserts the barcode on the back cover, during the project development phase. You will just need to leave a blank space of at least 5.5x4 cm at the bottom. The space should not be outlined by any box, just leave it blank so that the system can apply the barcode.

If you prefer to insert the barcode yourself before the upload, it will have to be 5x3 cm in size, must be inserted in a white box, and must be a vectorial image 100% black, not a rasterized one.

Here is a correct barcode example:

StreetLib can take care of the graphic creation of your cover. Take a look at our service which can create a cover layout for printing.

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