Layout Tutorials

CreateSpace Book Cover Template


I realize I should have accounted for the spine bleed and the new version on google docs has it. I will update the excel version as well.


Hello. Jon Griffin here, and today I’m going to show you how to use my CreateSpace cover dimension sheet to create a cover in Photoshop with all the right dimensions and guides.

Hello, everybody. I’m going to show you a real quick and easy way to set up a template in Photoshop for your physical books on CreateSpace. I will have a link to this Google Doc spreadsheet. You can download it for your own. I will also make an Excel version for those of you who don’t like to work in the cloud, which I highly recommend you do work in the cloud because it’s nice to be able to work everywhere you want.

Okay, so let’s get to it. The only thing you need to worry about are the things in red, which are the width, the height, and the number of pages. Your PDF should have that very easily so you can just open that if you don’t know. In my case it’s a five by eight book with 68 pages. What do we need to worry about? Nothing really. All we’re going to have to do is cut and copy and paste. We go and we have the spine width which is nothing you need to ever copy. That’s basically a CreateSpace constant which I’ve multiplied by some numbers, number of pages. That creates these numbers here that will give you the spine. The spine is the center part. Creating those guides is important because unless you’ve got a thick enough spine you can’t write on it so you want to know where it’s at.

I also give you dead center and the right side bleed. The left side bleed is always .125. CreateSpace .125 inches all the way around is the bleed. I also calculate the cover width for you and the cover height. How do we use that? It’s pretty easy. We go to Photoshop and all you do is go file new just like normal. You can take your number and copy it. Control C or command c if you’re on a mac. Put that number in there; it’s going to round it off 10.403. We know our height was 8.25. Make sure you’re in inches. Resolution is 300 for a print; remember that. You could make it higher but there’s no real point.

You got 300 pixels per inch and you just click okay, and there is your book. How do we use these other numbers? Basically we’re going to get the spine first. We’ll take this, the left spine, and we’ll copy that again. We’ll go to view, new guide, 5.125, and voila. There you go; it’s in ready to go. No messing around, no dragging guidelines over, no guessing. We’ll do that for the right one. View, new guide, boom. Now we know that this is where our spine is going to be where the book folds. The pages fit in the middle. You’ve got this cover, but we have another bleed area that needs to be taken care of so we have to make sure we don’t have text over this. That’s what our other bleeds are for.

Now we’ll go here, we’ll get the right side bleed, which is basically the cover width minus the constant, which is .125. We’ve got this number: 10.278 blah blah blah. We’ll go here again. We’ll go to new guide. We’ll paste that in. Okay, so there’s our bleed for the right side. The left side’s always .125 so we can add that in there. New guide, and remember, this is in vertical. We’ll do the same thing for the horizontals in a minute if you want. .125 and press that and there you go.

Now we could put them in the top and the bottom. We’ve got new guide. We’re going to do horizontal this time, .125. I don’t have it on the sheet because I normally don’t it because I know not to put text in the bleed area, which is what they call that. The picture, the background image, can be there but they will flag it if you have any text that overlaps these guides. We know it’s 8. … What was our number her? 8.25 and we can just do a quick -1.25, so it’s 8.125 basically. That was easy in this case, but like I say, I normally don’t bother with it but we’ll do it here.

We go 8.125 and there we go. Now we’ve got our document completely set up and ready to go. You have your front cover, your back cover, your spine. That’s pretty much all you need to do. The rest is up to your creativity. I hope that helps, and make sure you sign up for my mail list if you want to notified whenever I put more of these little tidbits for authors out. Okay, thanks a lot.


Google Doc – You should copy this and put it in your own account:

Excel File .xls:

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