Book Cover Specifications

There are 2 options for creating your cover. You can either create your cover within the Book Designer or during Step 2 of the PDF Uploader, simply upload a front and back image, enter your text, and you're done! For many customers this is all they need, and they're off to checkout.

Video Tutorial: Design Your Cover in the Book Designer

Video Tutorial: Uploading a Cover

Video Tutorial: Previewing Your Cover

Gaining Knowledge, Losing Bliss

Professionals and designers need more information and details about how design their cover. First, we cannot emphasize this enough:

Three #1 Rules of Cover Design
  • Do not try to be precise about placements of items on your cover.
  • Do not try to place anything on the spine
  • Leave lots of bleed. You cannot be too conservative moving elements away from the edge.

All about Covers

  • We HIGHLY recommend your covers be created as sRGB .jpg files
  • We HIGHLY recommend you leave plenty of room around your cover edges so important items (heads, text) are not trimmed.
  • Do NOT include crop guides in your uploaded file. This is especially important with Illustrator files. These recommendations are in place because our covers are printed as a single image file. Thus, we must flatten everything in order to make a uniform print. To avoid font and color space issues all cover manipulation is processed with sRGB .jpg images. Images that are not sRGB .jpgs are converted in the background and this may lead to some format and color space miscalculation. Thus, we recommend you perform the conversion prior to uploading your cover file. See these screen captures for information on saving a PDF as a JPG.
  • Make sure you visit our Crop & Bleed page for the most detailed information on ensuring your cover content isn't trimmed.

Living on the edge is bad

Your mother probably told you this and hopefully you listened. If you set up your image to run to the very edge of the fold or crop guides, you will be disappointed. Binding equipment can easily have 1/4" fluctuation between cycles. Please compensate for this fluctuation.

Cover Dimensions

Perfect Bound Softcover

All softcover books have 1/8" (3mm) bleed on all edges, so the cover should be .25" (6mm) larger than the final book size.

Spine width for softcover books is 300 pages (150 sheets) per inch, or 118 pages (59 sheets) per cm.

Imagewrap Hardcover

Safety Margin for Turn-in (Bleed) for all book sizes: 1.0"
Spine Widths
Page CountExpress HardcoverPremium Hardcover
24-72 pages:.22".22"
73-146 pages:.37".44"
147-220 pages:.52".62"
221-294 pages:.67".80"
295-368 pages:.79".97"
367-440 pages:.974"1.15"

Book Size Fullwrap Guide Front Cover Guide Back Cover Guide
11"x8.5" 11x8.5 Fullwrap Cover 11x8.5 Front Cover 11x8.5 Back Cover
12"x12" 12x12 Fullwrap Cover 12x12 Front Cover 12x12 Back Cover
8.5"x8.5" 8.5x8.5 Fullwrap Cover 8.5x8.5 Front Cover 8.5x8.5 Back Cover
8.5"x11" 8.5x11 Fullwrap Cover 8.5x11 Front Cover 8.5x11 Back Cover

All files are shown in the Cover Guides Gallery

Getting all wrapped up

The full wrap cover is another great feature that many individuals use to make breathtaking books. This option is easily selected under the "Advanced" tab during Step 2. of the Product Maker. This option will auto-stretch the front cover image to exactly fit the entire book.

Cover FAQ

I created my book and I want to change the cover image. How do I do that?

Click the on the pink shop tab
click the title of your book
click the edit product link
click the cover options link
click the colors and images tab
click the browse button to the right of Upload new front cover image:
get a new front cover image

click the update cover button
click the save button

Your cover should be updated.

Creating a Spine

We strongly discourage including your spine in your cover file. Paper size and cover dimensions vary greatly which makes calculating spine width difficult and we cannot guarantee that the spine you create will print perfectly. There is a high chance that it will fold over the cover. For this reason, we will not reprint a book with a custom spine.

For the best results, you have 2 options:

  • Upload a separate front and back image and use the spine text tool in the "Design Cover" section. Our software will automatically fit the text in the center of the spine.
  • Create a full-wrap cover with a continuous image - then use the spine-text tool to lay text on top of the full-wrap cover.

Note: Your book needs to be 40 pages or more in order for text to print on the spine.

Adding Spine Text to a PDF

To add spine text to an uploaded PDF you'll need to do so from Step 2 of the upload process. Under "Cover Text & Colors" you would click on "Spine Text" and then you can type the text you'd like to have at either the top and/or bottom of the spine. Once you have entered the text you'd like click "Update Cover" at the bottom of the page and it will be applied to your cover. :)

Adding Spine Text to a Book Designer Project

To add spine text to a Book Designer project, select the Front Cover in the edit step. When that page loads, there will be a section called "Captions". Click on Top or Bottom Spine and enter the text you'd like to have at either the top and/or bottom of the spine. Then hit "Save" when you've included all the text you need!

You can preview your change by clicking on "Cover Option" once you've hit save and the page has regenerated.

Do you offer different text types for the cover text?

Yes, we offer a variety of fonts to use for your cover text.


Cover Wrap

By cobie, Sun 17 of Apr, 2016 (19:47 UTC)
I have made books here before, but the book I uploaded today (separate files for cover and copy) the cover is being shrunk to fit on the front page instead of enlarged to fit back and front. Nothing has changed (size) from the previous books I have uploaded....can you take a look and let me know what to do? I am building a 6x9 hard cover.

Re: Cover Wrap

By connie, Tue 19 of Apr, 2016 (18:00 UTC)
In our cover section there is a check box to let the system know you have a "full wrap" cover. Just check that box and click the Update Cover button at the bottom of the page

Cover Image

By Corin Williams-Dixon, Sun 08 of Jun, 2014 (16:53 UTC)
I am not sure if the image on the front and back of my book will be cut off an any way? I am not understanding the other messages below. Please help! Corin

Cover Bleed

By Jennie VanDuyne, Tue 20 of Nov, 2012 (19:15 UTC)

I have uploaded the front and back cover images with the 1/8" bleed for the 5x5 mini book. When I click on Preview Hi-Resolution Cover it shows the images with the bleed still showing on the top, bottom, and outsides. It has taken the inside bleed off and included the spine which I was pleased with. However I do not want the bleed to be shown for the top and bottom. My design is text that is supposed to get cut off and my fear is that it was re-sized so that this would not happen. Please let me know if this is the case and how to fix it. Also I was disappointed to discover that your logo is going to be on the back of the book unless we have a professional membership which would be more than my order. Previously we wanted to order the mini books and the quote was around $107. Please let me know if there is another option other than the professional membership. If something can't be arranged to take the logo off we will take our business elsewhere.


Re: Cover Bleed

By PrestoPhoto Support, Tue 20 of Nov, 2012 (21:02 UTC)
Jenne, thank you for your message!

I looked over your project. With the way it is, it looks like almost all of the text you have one the edges will be trimmed, so you may want to bring it in a bit. For mini books, you want to look at the the pink crop guide for the cover and the interior.

A professional membership is not required to remove the logo. You can also pay a $10 fee to remove the logo on a per order, per project basis. For instance, if you are ordering 10 copies of the same book, the fee to remove the logo is $10. If you are ordering 2 different books and you don't want the logo on either of them, the fee is $20.

If you have any questions about this specific project, please contact us at so we can further assist you.

PrestoPhoto Support

By , Fri 03 of Aug, 2012 (19:48 UTC)


By PrestoPhoto Support, Mon 06 of Aug, 2012 (14:05 UTC)
Greetings from PrestoPhoto!

We do not print on the inside of the front and back cover. The image-wrap Hardcover have a black endleaf page ( ), then page 1 beginning on the right, just like novel. The Softcovers begins with page 1 on the right just like a novel.

If you have any further questions please let us know and we'll do our best to help!

PrestoPhoto support

Cover image size?

By chbamey, Tue 20 of Dec, 2011 (01:55 UTC)
I'm not clear on exactly what size to make my cover image document. It looks from the the image that I should I add the 0.75 inch recommended bleed to the 8.5x11 cover size for an imagewrap hardcover, for a final 9.25x11.75 inch document. Is this correct?

Re: Cover image size?

By PrestoPhoto Support, Tue 20 of Dec, 2011 (18:00 UTC)

Greetings from PrestoPhoto!

Here is a direct link to a template for an 8.5x11 cover:

Please let us know if you have any further questions and we will do our best to help in any way we can.

PrestoPhoto support

Re: Cover image size?

By Lifeline Christian Mission, Wed 13 of Jun, 2012 (15:36 UTC)

I am using your imagewrap cover template to design the cover of a hardcover 8.5x11 book. Since I am making a hard cover book do I still need the image to bleed all of the way out to the soft cover trim area or just to the imagewrap hardcover fold area?

  Page 1 of 6 »
Go to page