Cover Story - Lynne Garner

Whilst working on my latest collection of short stories I decided I'd ask my talented niece (Sam Davy) to design the ebook cover for me and then I’d also use her design for the print version. When I came to create the cover for the print version I rashly decided to create a cover from scratch rather than use one of the many CreateSpace templates. It was then I discovered I’d forgotten to ask my niece to take into account three important elements. These being:

  • Leave excess for bleed (0.125”/3mm)
  • Allow for trim (0.135”/3.5mm)
  • Ensure important elements such as text and coyote bottoms were in the ‘safe’ zone (at least 0.125"/3mm inside the trim lines) 

Thankfully I’m able to stumble around PhotoShop and my niece was forward thinking enough to supply her cover design as a PhotoShop file. This allowed me to move Anansi, Brer Rabbit and Coyote slightly and increase the length of the grass so I could also move my name into the safe zone. Having completed this task it dawned on me I also needed to think about the spine and the back cover (again something you don’t have to think about when designing an ebook cover).

So the next step was to upload the contents of the book and calculate the width of the spine. Thankfully CreateSpace came to my rescue with the information I needed - if you plan to create your own cover click here for assistance. Armed with this measurement it then became apparent that reusing the front cover design as it was wouldn't work. I needed space for the bar code and the ISBN number (again something I hadn't even considered). So again my nieces forward thinking allowed me to adapt her design. 

I'll admit I would have liked to have been a little clever and flipped the moon on the back cover so I could render the top half of the spine yellow. Perhaps when my skills in PhotoShop are a little more honed I'll be able to. But at least now I know I can create a cover from scratch (well not totally from scratch I did have a fab front cover designed for me to start with) and next time I'll know to allow for bleed, trim and keep everything in the 'safe' zone.


P.S. My online courses via Women On Writing:
How to write A children's book and get published
5 picture books in 5 weeks
How to write a hobby-based how to book   


Alison Boyle said…
I like the colour palette you've used very much. The tones and shapes work excellently together, playing on the notion of silhouettes against the moon and highlighting the characters in the foreground.
Lydia Bennet said…
I like the design and the lovely bright clear colours! You've made your name a lot smaller than most publishers do, perhaps you're modest! Good luck with the new paperback.also thanks for the info about using Createspace.
Susan Price said…
Made me laugh, Lynne, as I'm struggling with much the same things!
Note, to flip an image. Use the square on the tool bar to outline the image you want to flip - just click and drag until your image is enclosed in the square.
Then go Edit - scroll down Edit menu until you reach TRANSFORM. Click on the arrow to the right of transform and you are offered a long list of choices, including 'flip horizontally.'
Lynne Garner said…
Thanks folks.

Thanks for that Sue I'll give it a go. That's the issue when you teach yourself. It's not until you decide to try something different that you realise you don't know how to do it. I think the best thing I learnt was how to use the layers tool oh and last month discovered how to lock certain levels together.

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