CreateSpace Book Cover Template

Invaluable CreateSpace Cover Template Calculator

By Deborah S. Nelson, Author-Book Coach-Speaker

One of the first things I do, and one of the first things I suggest all my writer-clients do, is to create a book cover right away. With  ongoing publishing clients, I want them to create to the book cover before they finish writing the book. And that’s where CreateSpace Cover Template comes in. We always seem to need it and cannot find it easily on CreateSpace website.

It is OK to Judge a Book by its Cover!

The book cover is the most single important aspects of book publishing. If you are creating a book cover you’ll want it exciting! If you will make your book available for sale online, you’ll most likely want to create a custom book cover design.. If you are self-publishing a book and using print on demand, the first step will be to use the CreateSpace Cover Template tool. If you haven’t done so already, you will need to sign up for a free account. (Sign up here).

Next, you’ll need to download the correct CreateSpace Cover Template to send to your graphic designer. If your graphic designer does not have or follow the correct template, Createspace will not accept the book cover file for publications. The easiest way to get this right is by using the CreateSpace Cover Template Calculator.


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Using the Createspace Cover Template to get your book cover self published

Book Cover–Gather Your Book Info First

But wait … the nice thing about CreateSpace Cover Template is the calculator.  Not everyone knows about this calculator. With the CreateSpace Cover Template Calculator, you fill in the number of pages your of your book, the size of the book, click on a button, and your custom cover template is ready to download! Next, simply download in a zip file, your choice of PDF or Word doc.  and send over this template over to your book designer. You will need:

      1. CreateSpace login information. If you do not have CreateSpace Account ( now Amazon KDP) register for an account. Once logged in click on Cover calculator.
      2. Book size, called “trim size,” in publishing. (See CreateSpace book sizes below)
      3. Number of pages of your book. (We’ll tell you how to estimate number of pages)

CreateSpace Book Sizes

Before using the CreateSpace Cover Template Calculator, you’ll need to decide on book size. Here is a list of the standard CreateSpace book sizes:

Black and White Book Interiors

Trim Size

White Page Count

Cream Page Count

5 x 8 inches 12.7 x 20.32 centimeters
24 – 828
24 – 740
5.06 x 7.81 inches 12.9 x 19.8 centimeters
24 – 828
24 – 740
5.25 x 8 inches 13.335 x 20.32 centimeters
24 – 828
24 – 740
5.5 x 8.5 inches 13.97 x 21.59 centimeters
24 – 828
24 – 740
6 x 9 inches 15.24 x 22.86 centimeters
24 – 828
24 – 740
6.14 x 9.21 inches 15.6 x 23.4 centimeters
24 – 828
24 – 740
6.69 x 9.61 inches 17 x 24.4 centimeters
24 – 828
24 – 740
7 x 10 inches 17.78 x 25.4 centimeters
24 – 828
24 – 740
7.44 x 9.69 inches 18.9 x 24.6 centimeters
24 – 828
24 – 740
7.5 x 9.25 inches 19.1 x 23.5 centimeters
24 – 828
24 – 740
8 x 10 inches 20.32 x 25.4 centimeters
24 – 440
24 – 400

.Full-Color Book Interiors

Trim Size

White Paper Page Count

5.5 x 8.5 inches 13.97 x 21.59 centimeters
24 – 480
6 x 9 inches 15.24 x 22.86 centimeters
24 – 480
6.14 x 9.21 inches 15.6 x 23.4 centimeters
24 – 480
 7 x 10 inches 17.78 x 25.4 centimeters
24 – 480
8 x 10 inches 20.32 x 25.4 centimeters
24 – 480
 8.5 x 8.5 inches 21.59 x 21.59 centimeters
24 – 480
8.5 x 11 inches 21.59 x 27.94 centimeters
24 – 480

Figuring Number of Pages

The reason we calculate number of pages is to figure the thickness measurement for the spine of the book. If you book is less than about 100 pages, CreateSpace will not print anything on the spine, and your book cover layout will include that smallish blank spine. Based on letter size 8.5″ x 11″ manuscript, single-spaced using 12 point type and Times New Roman font,  if your book is 6 x 9 or less, you can about double the number for your published book. For 100 pages of typed material in letter size at 12 points you can estimate your book will be 200 pages when published. For an 8 1/2 x 11″ book, add about half of the pages to your total pages to be printed.

You will need front matter, back matter, headers, page numbers, margins, illustrations, dividers, end notes, About the Author, Resource Sections, and more. See my Book Blueprint book to for more details about the parts of a book. Once the interior design of your book is completed to the specifications required for printing, you will have an exact count of pages. At that time you may use the CreateSpace Cover Template Calculator again, and then ask the book cover designer to make an adjustment in the size of the spine on the book cover layout, if necessary.

 CreateSpace Cover Template Tool

CreateSpace Book Cover

CreateSpace Cover Template Calculator

This is what the CreateSpace Cover Template Calculator looks like. Once you  know your trim size, number of pages and interior type (black and white or color), you can use the calculator to create your cover template. Next send it in an email to your book cover designer, and keep in mind the file must be in a print ready high-resolution PDF. Let your cover designer know these specifications, so you will not have any trouble when it comes time to upload your book cover file to the CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

If you are a graphic artist and can thoroughly understand the steps below, then I would urge you to design your own book cover just how you would like it. If not, I suggest hiring an expert in book cover design. We offer book cover design services at a very reasonable cost to our students and clients should you need someone, just contact us and we’ll make our best recommendations.


Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Publishing

What is the Best Book Size for Self Publishing?

The best book size is that standard book size of 6 x 9–at least that is the most popular size. However, if you are creating a workbook, most likely you will want a larger, 8.5 x 11 size. If you are producing a 4-color photography book, you will want it even larger, so  mages will be displayed beautifully in all their glory. If writing a novel, a pocket size is more appropriate and that would be about 5 x 8 (exact size is 5.06 x 7.81 at Amazon). These are the main standard sizes that you may expect to be accepted at all, if not  most of the bookstores and all online venues. To learn more about how to publish a book yourself try our FAQ-Frequently Asked Self-Publishing Questions

What is Interior Design in Self-Publishing?

Interior design refers to the inside of the book. If you are self-publishing, you must create the complete manuscript PLUS front and back matter to printer specifications in a digital file. This file is a layout reprentations of how the inside of the book will look. The interior layout must include headers, page numbers, chapter headings, front matter and back matter–and a design using fonts and graphics that flows from the book cover.

Many nuances plague the graphic artist who has never designed a book interior. A head’s up for those who are self-publishing for the first time–create your front and back matter before you hire the interior design artist. To get a good overveiw of the strucure of a book including front and back matter,  see The Book Blueprint by Deborah S. Nelson. If you do not, this will add more billable time to the interior design, maybe even double the price to create interior.

What Does the Term “Bleed” Mean in Self-Publishing?

This term refers to a design choice in printing and is a common error returned when using print on demand services. Many covers include a bleed in the design. What this means is if an image spans the entire surface of the page, it is said to “bleed off the page.” In order to accomplish this in printing, an extra margin must be provided in the layout. Once printed and dried–when it comes time to cut the paper to its final size, this extra margine provides enough extra space for cutting error.

Cutting is not 100% accurate like printing and has a margin of error. That’s why the image that is bleeding off the page must extend far enough to be cut off. If your graphic file does not provide enough image to reach beyond the actual printed page, when final cutting is done, you could see a thin piece of white paper along the edge, rather than a clean edge with the image reaching to all the sides of the paper. To learn more about the details of self-publishing read FAQ-Frequently Asked Self-Publishing Questions.

What is My Royalty When Publishing on Amazon?

Once your book is published through CreateSpace and available for sale on Amazon Books, you can look in your account to check your book sales and your “royalty” earned. What you will see is the retail price which you have already selected in the set up of your book title, minus the cost of printing your book, minus roughly 40% sales fee from Amazon. Therefore, you can expect to make about 60% (less printing costs) for each book sale. This could be considered to be your “royalty.”

A true royalty, however, is granted by contract and in practice, from a traditional publishing who pays anywhere from .10-$1.00 per copy sold–depending on the agreement made. In the case of self-publishing, the final amount you earn is actually more accurately described as net profit, since as a self-publisher, you are in business for yourself. The 40% that goes to Amazon is a sales commission and the small printing fee is a cost of goods–making the final amount paid your net profit. To learn more about the nitty-gritty of self-publishing read Frequently Asked Questions about Self-Publishing by Deborah S. Nelson, Self-Publishing Coach.

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