Guest Post: Joleene Naylor ~ Transforming Cover Art into a Wraparound

Today I’m turning the blog over to Joleene Naylor—Artist, Author, Photographer—she’s just got her hands in so many pots. 🙂 Welcome her as she simplifies cover art for us do it yourselfers.


In December Reena hosted a blog about how to find an artist to create your book cover.  But, what if you later decide to move that ebook into a paper back?

A paperback book has to have a full, wraparound cover. In other words there has to be material for the front, spine and the back of the book. This might sound daunting, but don’t sweat it. Anyone can turn their ebook cover into a full-fledged wrap around

The easiest way to make your cover is to use the cover creator in your POD of choice. (Some have better directions than others, though the programs are essentially the same, so you can use the superior FAQ at LuLu-  ) Import the front cover into the cover creator and then you can create the back cover in the online program, or make a back cover as a single image (the same way you did the front cover), then place the images correctly and, voile! You’re all done. However, cover creators don’t allow you to import images for the spine. If you try to, it will simply place them on the front cover instead. This includes logos.

Before you jump into your back cover there are a few things to consider. For starters, it needs to match the front cover. You don’t want a purple back and a primarily yellow front.  Be careful of using full sized images, as well, because it’s usually hard to read words over the top of them, unless you understand opacities and layers in your art program.

But what exactly do you need to put on your back cover?

1-    The bar code. Most POD places will provide that for you.
2-    Your copyright information (example: © Publication year Your Name/ All Rights Reserved). Near the left hand corner is a good place.
3-    You may also want to include a link to your website. If you capitalize keywords it makes your URL easier to remember: prettypinkponies vs PrettyPinkPonies.
4-    Most important is your “description”. It can be a blurb, a small excerpt, a hook, the description you used on Amazon, whatever.  But, remember, it is the meat and potatoes of the back cover, and everything else is the gravy. You don’t want any of the design elements to interfere with the readability.

If you have space left over, you may wish to include an author bio, a photo, or even “other books by”.  Whichever you choose, don’t turn it into a long, laundry list. Only mention a couple of books that pertain to this one (eg the same genre) or that have sold the most copies.  The reader can always look inside the book for the list of your other titles.

Whether you’re adding that author photo, using a decorative image, or just making the whole thing and then uploading it, there are some things you need to remember:

1-    Make sure you have permission or a license for the image
2-    Don’t use blurry webcam type photos. They don’t print well.
3-    Make sure all your images are 300 DPI. Smaller images will print badly.

The most important thing to remember is this; book covers aren’t scary. They’re an extension of your book, and they should be as much fun to make as your book was to craft. If you find yourself frustrated, angry, or upset, then take a breather and come back to it later, or get some help.  If you hate the cover, everyone else will, too.

Have you done a paperback cover? What worked for you? What didn’t work?


Joleene NaylorBio: Joleene Naylor is a freelance artist and author of the eBook How to Get a Cheap Book Cover and the Amaranthine vampire series. Her current projects include Ties of Blood, the third in the series, a collection of short stories titled Vampire Morsels, and The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy webcomic. In her free time she creates book covers for other authors, blogs and waits patiently to win the lottery. Learn more about her at her website:

2 thoughts on “Guest Post: Joleene Naylor ~ Transforming Cover Art into a Wraparound

  1. I don’t know what I was so afraid of. After reading your post, I started working on the back cover for Shadow Cat. And just like you said, I plugged in the images cover creator and Voila! I was done. You really took the scary out of making a wraparound cover.

  2. I had to save this post to my educational folder. I never used the cover creators. My own program isn’t working with 300 dpi photos any more. I’ll figure it out eventually, but will have to rely on what’s on site until I do. Good post.

    Thanks for dropping by Reena. You’re always a force for literary good.

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