Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Still dealing with cover woes

FYI, I wrote this last week and today got a little news which is at the bottom of the post.

If you've been reading this blog regularly, you'll know I'm dealing with print book cover issues. The other day, I discovered a pleasant surprise about a few of the books on my bookshelf. The traditionally printed books that I love don't always have perfect covers. It made me feel better about my own cover problems, but unfortunately, that feeling didn't last.

I received an email from CreateSpace about the issues Keary and I contacted them about. In the email, they declared they solved the bleeding onto the cover at the top and bottom. I have no idea what they are talking about. The problem was the spine was bleeding onto the front and a quarter inch of my cover image was being cut off and making the image look off-centered. Plus the spine was badly off-centered. I would at least like it if things were off-centered on my book that it be barely noticeable. These problems were glaringly obvious.

Createspace also requested an image of my book to determine the actual problem. I gave them two. One of a side by side of the proof and the ebook cover, and another of the cover Keary tweaked to have a black bar along one side in hopes of keeping the image from being chopped off. It worked to a degree, but anything she did to the spine did nothing to solve how badly off-centered it is. (The spine is very obvious as well. When you look at it, there is no mistaking it is not centered. The cover can sneak by if a person hasn't seen the ebook cover, but there is no hiding for the spine.)

I may have also gotten a little short with Createspace. I said all these problems could possibly been avoided if they had an online preview. As it is right now, you don't see any preview of the book. You have to order the proof to see if there are problems. An online view, while not perfect, should show glaringly obviously problems. Like the spine been off-centered by an eighth of an inch. Or part of the cover image being cut off by a quarter inch. Or the back bleeding onto the spine. Problems that are big enough to be noticed in a smaller version on a computer screen. If you go to Lulu, they have an online preview that gives you an idea if there are any big problems to fix. I would still order a proof to get a closer examination.

I also may have said it looked like a blind person did my proofs. Oh, and I capitalized key words I wanted to emphasize. Like 'we should not have to do this'. Just trying to drive my point home. But I don't think my irritation isn't unwarranted. When Keary said she pushed the spine as far as possible and I compare the proofs and see no improvement, I think I have a right to sigh in frustration. Especially when all this costs me money (another thing an online preview would save along with time.)

Hopefully, this last email to Createspace will be the last. Hopefully, the spine will at least look centered. It doesn't have to be dead on, it just has to look it and right now, it doesn't. Hopefully, my cover will also look centered, part of the image not cut off and instead, resized to the correct dimensions. As I stated in my last post about cover problems, I will live with a little bleeding of the spine onto the front or back. A lot of the books on my shelf have that problem too. I just want to look at it and not see a lop-sided book. I want to look at it and see a book that can compete with the traditional books in looks. I want my book to give the illusion of perfection too.

I received the proof Createspace emailed me about. It's not perfect, but it's much, much better. The spine looks centered and there is a little bleed. The only other problem is the black bar Keary put shows on the cover by a 1/16th inch. Since the back and spine are centered and nothing on the cover is cut off, I'm going to approve. I just don't want to deal with it anymore. I'm too worn out to care. Hopefully, you won't hold it against me.


  1. Goodness. At least it sounds like Createspace did try to improve things. But it is really strange they don't have an online preview feature. You'd think they'd want it just to avoid angry e-mails and calls.

  2. This is one of those "do not try this at home" issues if it were me. I don't know anything about this sort of thing, but looks like you are keeping up with it all. Good luck with the cover and hope you get it all as you wish.

    Tossing It Out

  3. Yeah, this was one of the reasons behind my waffling over whether or not to publish in only e-book format or e-book and print. :S Good to see your issues getting resolved, though!

  4. Well done for sticking at it and getting an improvement, even if it still isn't quite what you wanted. At some point we have to weigh up whether the benefits we might still get are worth the emotional/physical cost we're going to have to pay. I think you're there.

  5. Oh man, hope this gets sorted out soon. Another reason why I did not venture into Createspace for A to Z Stories of Life and Death. :(

    Btw, are you thinking of joining The Rule of Three Blogfest ?

    Would love to see a new story emerge with some of the characters of Being Human! The blogfest is open to all genres, and the Rule of 3 story might generate a lot of interest in the original book :)

  6. @Jenny, They had a survey and it asked a few times about an online preview so hopefully they are going to have one soon.
    @Arlee and Sarah, thanks
    @Hayden, yeah, I don't expect many sales from paperback, but I have some friends and family I wanted to give a physical copy to as well as having one of my own.
    @Damyanti, sorry, sitting that out. Looked through it and nothing clicked to write about.

  7. Thanks for joining the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Look forward to your post next month.

  8. I'm glad it's starting to sort itself out. I would also be pretty worn out with it all. I hope the rest of the journey is a rather painless one.

  9. Something else for Createspace to put on their to-do list, huh?