Your cover must include a back cover, spine and front cover. You can create your cover as a single file in one image, or as separate files. We accept JPG and PDF.

After you upload your book cover assets you can add tags to help us identify them. Please tag your cover assets as Front Cover, Back Cover, Spine or Full Spread.

Setting the cover size






Crop marks, printer marks, registration marks

Setting the cover size

You can ask us for a template or set your file up yourself using our formulas.

Ask us for a template

Send us a message with your binding type, trim size, page count, ink quality, and paper type. Unsure? Browse all of Tablo's format options here →

Set your file up yourself

We have formulas for calculating the full width and height of your cover, including bleed and spine width. See all our cover formulas here →


Your cover can have a background color or image. Make sure your background extends the full width and height of your cover.

  • For paperback and hardcover, dust jacket books, this includes the bleed area.

  • For hardcover, case wrap books, this includes the foldover area.

Books are trimmed to size. To avoid white lines on your cover, your background must extend past the trim lines, into the bleed area.

Other things to note:

  • Borders and straight lines. Avoid borders on your cover. Borders close to the sides or fold areas of your book may look broken or uneven after printing. This is because we must allow for slight variations during printing and binding. If you'd like to add a border, keep it 0.25 in (6 mm) inside the trim edges.

  • Spine edges. Slight spine shifts are possible with printing. For best results, avoid hard edges on your spine.

Why do variations and spine shifts happen?

The width of your book block depends on the the thickness of the paper and the amount of ink that is transferred to the paper. These can vary slightly between copies.

Another reason is the preparation process. Ingram's printer operators do everything they can to keep your book spine design from extending onto the front cover. But small shifts are possible, and considered normal.

If your spine has stand-out colors, extend them half an inch onto the front and back of your book to create a band. This is a solution many hardcover books follow.


  • Bleed. Make sure any images extend 0.125 in (3 mm) beyond the trim line.

  • Transparencies. Flatten transparent images.

  • Color space. Images should be CMYK.

  • Size. Keep images at their original size (100%).

  • Quality. Images should be 300 PPI. We accept images 200-300 PPI.


  • Covers. Make sure any text is at least 0.125 in (3 mm) inside the trim lines.

  • Spine. Do not add spine text for paperback books under 48 pages. For all other lengths and binding types, keep spine text within the safe area:
    For widths less than 0.35 in, keep empty 0.03125 in (1 mm) left and right.
    For widths greater than 0.35 in, keep empty 0.0625 (2 mm) left and right.


We'll place your barcode. Simply leave a white box of space in your design.

  • The space to leave is 1 × 1.755 in (25.4 mm × 44.58 mm).

  • The lower right-hand corner of your book's back cover is best. But a lower center, or lower-left hand corner position is also fine,


A few things to note on color:

  • No ICC color profiles.

  • No spot colors.

  • Convert spot colors, color profiles to CMYK.

Crop marks, printer marks, registration marks

  • Do not include any marks. These could show up in printed copies.

Related articles

Trim sizes and margins

Format your PDF

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