After the excitement of reaching the ‘final’ proof stage, a query fought its way through the celebration. My book cover will have no text on the spine. A quick search on the CreateSpace help pages revealed the answer: ‘Books with 131 pages or more will include the title and author name on the spine. Books with fewer than 131 pages will not include spine text. Page count is automatically determined when you upload your interior file.’
I could, if I wanted, create my own cover and include that spine text, but I was testing the easiest route. Most novels contain more than those required 131 pages, so authors I work with wouldn’t have to worry.
Producing the cover for a non-fiction book cover is very different to that of fiction. For a novel, the cover would need to include something associated with the plot, and that’s why many authors opt to have their covers designed. But can an author produce an eye-catching cover without incurring those fees?
The book cover that illustrates this post is for Mandrake’s Plot by Helen Laycock. The book is set in a boarding school and there’s a ‘skeleton, a curse, a key and a code. St Agatha’s is no ordinary school…’ Helen’s cover needed to be atmospheric and she sourced a photo of an appropriately creepy-looking building. The photographer asked only for a credit in the book – so there was no cost.
That photograph perfectly complements the book's theme and demonstrates how authors can create a quality cover.