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Evolution of a Book Cover — 7 Comments

  1. Hi Dave, thanks for the great article.
    Really good to see the whole process of how you ended up with your cover, and I must say it looks totally worth it. Beautiful cover.
    Just two things I wondered about though…
    Firstly, I was under the impression Lightning Source insisted on having the barcode on the back cover.
    And secondly, do you know if it’s possible to have them do any other colours onto the cloth binding apart from the gold leaf on the spine, or do we have to go with a jacket to have colour on a cloth book?

    • For hardcover books, LSI allows the barcode to be printed on the jacket flap. Make sure they don’t miss it and slap a second one (off-center) on the back without telling you. I busted them on that but they were good enough to send a second proof at their expense afterward. Cloth binding comes in blue or gray with the option to foil stamp. No colors are possible. I’ve considered making a silkscreen to do some custom editions but for now, the demand for hardback appears to be low enough that embossing and cover foil aren’t priority additions. Maybe someday, the technology will get cheaper and classic covers will become easier to produce.

  2. I’m curious about your choice of POD hardback format. Is it as good as litho/offset printing?
    I have a publisher for my factual books but I’m thinking about setting up an imprint for my fiction, not least due to the significantly higher e-book income potential and the fact that you have complete control over the product.
    Is this book already available? I’d love to buy a copy just to see the final product!
    Thanks for your always excellent blog posts. I’ve learned a lot in the last few months following your blog!

    • I’m very pleased with the results. The only difference is that with offset printing, you get the subtle emboss of metal type in the paper. Of course, that’s esoterica only a printer will ever notice.I have noticed that Lightning Source occasionally gets the book jackets on about an 1/8-inch off center, but that’s an easy fix. Use the links in the blog sidebar to order from your favorite bookseller. Thanks, Dave

      • Don’t you mean that with letterpress you get the emboss of metal type? With offset, no metal type goes anywhere near the printed page.

        • Basically, yes. What I’m really talking about is digital vs. traditional printing. As far as I understand the process, digital printing is some sort of laser/inkjet process. What’s lost is a subtle aesthetic of printing plate on paper.