Createspace’s Cover Generator is Totally Broken

According to Createspace’s submission requirements,

To calculate the spine width of your book,

  • White paper: multiply page count by 0.002252
  • Cream paper: multiply page count by 0.0025

So, for the 230 page cream book I’m working on, my calculator says the spine width should be 0.575″. That’s also what Createspace is telling the author, as it rejects the cover I made for her.

Why the rejection? Because instead of painstakingly measuring the spine and adding it in separately to the front and back, I just use Createspace’s automatic cover generator.

But Createspace won’t let me make a cover for 230 pages. They either round it down to 224 (0.56″ – the same as my original book cover, when I still trusted Createspace and hadn’t noticed the discrepancy) or up to 234 (0.59″ spine).

createspacecover

It seems Createspace needs to automatically add a set number of pages – which is fine, but if those pages are added into the manuscript directly for printing, then my cover should have worked fine.

Instead, Createspace responded saying the spine needs to be exactly 0.575″ (the proper, calculated spine width for precisely 230 pages). Either someone at Createspace doesn’t know what’s going on, or the automatic generator is flawed beyond usefulness.

Responses?

About Derek Murphy

I help authors and artists turn their passions into full-time businesses, make a bigger impact, and blaze a luminous trail of creative independence. Right now I'm in Taiwan finishing a PHD in Literature, writing several books, and managing a handful of online businesses. Find me
  • CreateSpace cover templates come in ten-page increments for spine width, unfortunately. You could try using the next size up and adding your own blank pages.

    • Thanks Susan, I can’t believe I didn’t notice this earlier. So what they really have is a “pretty close” template recommender, that doesn’t actually give you usable templates… that seems unhelpful to me. At the very least they could add in a calculator that gives you a precise spine width when you plug in your page count, rather than having to do it yourself with a calculator.

      • I suspect they don’t have an actual “generator” but rather a set of prepared templates, and their tool assigns the closest one to your book.

        One way of looking at it: we’re getting what we pay for.

        Have you tried templates from Lightning Source or Ingram Spark?

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