Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tweak to Death of a Matador Print Cover

I wrote in yesterday's post that the color of the printed cover from CreateSpace was off, darker, than how it appeared on my screen. I tweaked it and resubmitted the cover file along with an updated interior file yesterday.

Here's the tweaked cover:

  1. I shrunk the white shadow sitting behind "DEATH". I thought the first version looked cheap.
  2. The novel is now a "Grant Starr Novel", not a "Grant Starr Thriller". I changed this because John Sandford's novels say this and I figure I can't do any better than to copy a perennial NY Times Bestseller.
  3. I lightened the sand in the background photo about 10%. The print version was far too dark.
  4. The text on the spine was perfectly centered but too short. I increased the text height, hopefully without messing up the perfect centering. There are a lot of independent book sellers in Utah and I hope to market my books directly to them. Which is why I also left the suggested retail price of $18.99 off the back cover. They can set their own retail price.
  5. I moved my picture higher. I realize I need to take a new picture, one more "authorly", meaning stodgy. The back of Sandford's book jackets are a full-length shot of him, but I'm not quite ready for that. I considered moving the picture to the inside of the back page where I would add an author bio, but didn't.
When I created the PDF file for CreateSpace in Publisher 2010, I did so using the "Commercial Printing" setting, which produces the highest quality PDF. Publisher warned me against doing this because the image has a transparent piece, the grey box behind the book blurb on the back cover. It also warned against leaving the file in RGB format. 

Although CreateSpace says to submit files in RGB format, as well as CMYK, I caved and let Publisher change my file to CMYK. Big mistake as it also changed the transparent box to solid. meaning you could no longer see the sand behind the text. Apparently you can't have transparencies in CMYK format. It took me 20 minutes to fix this.

The above image was saved in Publisher 2010 using the 150 dpi setting. The web setting of 96 dpi produces an image with jagged edges, which is unacceptable. 


  1. Very useful information, thanks for your generosity. More power to you!

  2. Good eye, Val. When I received my next proof, the yellow was almost impossible to read so I changed it to blue. Thanks for the well wishes.