Skip to Content

Preparing art/text

WritersServices Self-publishing

Preparing your own artwork and text for WritersServices Self-publishing – some guidelines

The cover

This is a vital part of the book which deserves a significant investment of your time. The cover must attract attention. As many will probably buy it online, the image must be strong even when viewed at less than full size.

Spine design issues

It is difficult to get the spine of the book exactly the right thickness until you know the page count and the thickness of the paper (which is an organic material which changes as the moisture is absorbed!)

Once you know the number of pages, we can supply a template in the format to suit your software. If you don't want to do this, then find a similar book and guestimate it.

The best solution is to flow the image or the background colour from the front onto the back cover to avoid a sharp edge. The lettering on the spine must be 2 mm away from the nominal edge of the spine. A larger margin is recommended unless you are very confident about the exact thickness of the spine of the finished book.

When the paperback cover is glued on to the ‘book block’ (i.e. the insides of the book), there must be at least a 2 mm 'margin of error' round the outside of the cover. This is known as ‘bleed’. Make sure the cover image or background colour extends at least this distance (and preferably 5 mm) beyond the design edge.

Bar code

The barcode is generated by WritersServices Self-Publishing and goes on the back cover at the outer edge (furthest from the spine). It is 45mm wide by 25mm high. It needs a white space situated about 10mm from the edges.

The price is normally printed on the back cover in Pounds Sterling and US Dollars (if the book is to be made available for international sales).

WSP logo

A set of jpeg files in various colours are available for the logo. These go at the bottom of the spine.

The WSP lettering block is never bigger than 11mm wide by 15mm tall and there is no minimum size provided it is ‘legally legible’. If you condense, expand or distort the logotype in any way it may end up with it looking like someone else's logo. So we strongly recommend you include it ‘as is’.

All artwork is reviewed by WSP before going to press. Blank pages will be inserted as necessary to balance the book where the total page count must be divisible by four.

The Text block

We strongly recommend that you have the text set by our design team. Remember that most word processors do not have full proportional spacing or the other facilities to produce a good flow of text through the book.

  • If you do it yourself, choose a suitable font and font size. Times Roman works well on the printed page. Small font sizes reduce the page count and so the print cost, but may be difficult to read.

  • There is normally a larger margin on the inside edge (spine) side of the page

  • It is not only acceptable, but often necessary, to include blank pages.

  • The main pages are numbered. The preliminary pages are often not numbered or given roman numerals.

  • New chapters normally begin on the right-hand page.

  • Even page numbers are the left-hand side, odd pages on the right.

Trim sizes

Choose a size to suit the style and length of the book. A larger book sizes means a lower page count. Larger sizes are preferred for non-fiction books, but avoid a large trim size if your text is quite short, as your book will end up looking very thin.

Our designer will be able to advise you on a suitable size for your book.

The five sizes available are:

  • B format: 203 x 127

  • Demy: 216 x 140

  • Royal: 234 x 156

  • Crown Royal: 246 x 189

  • A4

Print parameters Design brief Cover design

Back to Pre-production