One-Piece Cover Not Lining Up

I asked this question in another thread, but the response was essentially: "Hey this thread is really old," and "Just muck around with it. You'll figure it out."

Well I've been mucking around with my cover for almost a month now. I hired a graphic designer to do a beautiful wrap-around cover complete with spine art and custom lettering. It was done to the exact specifications for an A5 Paperback. I ordered my proof copy and got this:

Cover Whoops

Cover Whoops 2

As you can see, the spine is creeping onto the front cover and the back cover is creeping onto the spine. There's clearly some misalignment here somwhere.

I've read everything I can on the subject. Nothing on the forums or on the site proper has helped. My designer has tinkered with it ad nauseum. I've tinkered with it ad nauseum and neither of us can figure out what the heck the problem is. We've tried trimming the left-most edge of the back cover by a milimitre or two. We've tried adjusting the width of the spine, the size of the art on the spine. We've even tried moving the spine and front cover a bit to the right or left but no matter what we do, it just won't line up.

I keep getting this:

Cover Problems

Yes, that's a small image. That's all I have to work with because I can't figure out any way to make it bigger and see what the heck I'm doing. I think what I'm seeing here is that the spine is now creeping onto both the back and front cover. This is only one of the many, many, many misaligned iterations. The best we've been able to do is a one milimeter creep to the right.

I'm at my wit's end, my friends. Please help me. I'm out of ideas to try and I'm so frustrated I could scream. I really want to put out a high-quality product.

Comments

  • DreamfinderDreamfinder Writer Writer

    It doesn't look like the spine has Margins set.  Or your book is too thin for that bind.  You should contact LuLu for help.

  • At 345 pages, I'm quite sure it's not too thin for this bind.

    Please clarify what you mean by the spine having its margins set. As far as I've been able to discover, one piece cover uploads anchor to the left-most edge. The only way I know to tinker with the spine on the actual Lulu site is to work with the Cover Wizard. As the Wizard does not allow me to put custom images on the spine, I won't use it because I don't think it looks professional. Everything else, as far as I know, has to be done in Photoshop or whatever program one has used to create the cover.

  • Glenn_LuluGlenn_Lulu Author Author

    Hi Ethan

    While it is not uncommon for there to be some overlap from the spine onto the front and back covers, this appears to be a print error based on the images you provide. I suggest you submit a support case and let our print team have a look at your source files. They may be able to fix the problem for you, if you can wait a few days.

     

  • Thank you for your response Glenn! My designer had one last idea to try: recalculate every last measurement all over again and see if there's a discrepency in one of the numbers somewhere. We have a suspicion it must be the spine as nothing else seems to make sense. If that doesn't work, I'll submit a case.

  • Update: Yeah, it's still not working. Smiley Sad I'll have to contact the print team.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius

    Looking at your images, the only reason you are creating a one-piece cover is to get a design on the spine, the artwork does not actually run from front to back across the spine. It's 3 sets of art.

    Try a bit of a border around the artwork for the front and back, making the spine narrower. If the border goes over on to the spine all it will do is give the effect that the spine has an 'edge'.

    It's not always easy even with the 'Normal' Cover Wizards because the trimming machines do not seem to be that precise, so I allow for any eventuality in manufacture by keeping my art away from all edges. Even so they have to be offset a bit before placing on the Wizard, or they don't end up in the centre!

  • I could give that I go I suppose. How much of a border do you usually leave?

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius

    Click my banner and look at my books. There's also a page with just a few of my covers on. That may help.

    I use the 'normal' Cover Wizards because I don't want to put a logo on the spines.

    All I do is create a 300dpi jpg to the same size as my pages for the front and one for the back.

    I delete all the default text on the template in the Wizard and drag my own front cover art to the corner of the front cover on the template (ditto for the back) and that causes the art to entirely fill the cover but for the spine.

    I use the eyedropper to grab the border colour of my artwork, and use that for the spine ( and also the background just to be 'safe' ) so it all  matches, front to back.

    Then I simply use the Wizard's text tool to put some text on to the spine

    But, as I say, I am not bothered about having a logo or non-standard fonts on the spines . Smiley Happy 

  •  

    The main advantage IMO of creating a one-piece cover is that you can have a non standard spine.

    My PINOTAGE book is a one-piece cover and its got a great spine with African beadwork and my company logo.

     

    But we did have difficulty with the width of the spine because, although we used exactly the dimensions stated by Lulu it disn't seem to wide enough, so we made it a bit wider. I thought at the time it was because the printer was using slightly thicker paper for the insides. I had Royal size which came on thicker paper than 6x9. I measured the thickness of the books and passed that to me designer. .

    Subsequently I have used the standard cover designer, creating images for the front and back cover and using  plain text on the spine with a background colour that  matches the front

    I think if I were doing a one-piece cover I'd like one where the image wraps round with the book title down the middle and not too near the edge of the spine space which would then not matter if the placement of the spine was off a bit

  • So, through my struggles, with Lulu support helping me (Thanks by the way!), with nice folks here suggesting things (Thank you too!) the only thing I could really do to make the cover look decent was to offset the spine so that it doesn't line up with the stipulated guidelines. Unfortunately, this means that I have a lil' white stripe down the side of my front cover.

    Cover Problems

     

    The nice support agent who helped me informed me that the one piece cover upload already includes bleed so, if you're using InDesign or a similar program, you're going to need to subtract the bleed from the overall size. If you're using Photoshop or GIMP, you'll be fine with the stated measurements as-is. 

    I asked my graphic designer to resize the image accordingly so I could upload it. Aaaand, I had the exact same issue with the spine creeping 2mm to the right.

    You know what? This cover is fine. The spine fits on the spine. Everything is where it's supposed to be. No one even noticed the white bar until I pointed it out. I'm approving this one for distribution. Hopefully Amazon will not find fault with it and I can move on.

    I am completely out of energy and willpower to deal with this.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius

    If you use the Background colour tool in the Wizard to match the colour of the outer edges of your image, then you will not get those white edges.

    That's all they are, the default background showing around your image Smiley Happy

    I do like the cover BTW, but I do think the text is a bit cramped up.

  • There is no option to change the background colour in the One-Piece Cover Designer.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius

    Possibly one of the reasons not to use it then?  Smiley Happy

    All I can suggest is you need to make the front cover section wider.

  • I want art on my spine. Books without it have nothing with which to attract customers. I find it looks really unprofessional.

    As I stated in my first post, Kevin, I tried the resizing business. That's what's so mystifying about it. It SHOULD work. 

    What would really be ideal is if we could have a template in the Cover Wizard that's simply three blank panels for us to put images on. Back, Spine, and Cover. Let us put the cover on the book in three pictures. Drag n' drop. Resize n' crop. It would be super simple to get a really professional-looking cover using technology they already have. 

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius

    I want art on my spine. Books without it have nothing with which to attract customers.

    I don't know how other people buy books, but I have never heard them say it was due to what's on the spine. What attracts me, and I assume many other people, is the writer's name. I also suspect that many people buy books after reading reviews of them. I will agree that spine art does make them look more attractive though, and makes them easier to find on a shelf, none of which applies to e-books, however, and they outsell printed books.

    I find it looks really unprofessional.

    Not really. I doubt a potential buyer sees it that way. Having a fast look around my own book shelves, I would say that only around 50% have more than the title and writer's name on, and many of them are top-selling classics.

    As I stated in my first post, Kevin, I tried the resizing business. That's what's so mystifying about it. It SHOULD work.

    Indeed it should, there's no reason at all that it should not. All I can think of right now is the cover images are not being printed in line with the covers, no matter where they are placed, in the same manner most domestic printers will not print right to the edge of the max paper size.

    What would really be ideal is if we could have a template in the Cover Wizard that's simply three blank panels for us to put images on. Back, Spine, and Cover. Let us put the cover on the book in three pictures. Drag n' drop. Resize n' crop. It would be super simple to get a really professional-looking cover using technology they already have.

    I cannot disagree with that, I would use that myself even.

  • Please am facing the same problem what is the way out? I have a graphics designer who did the for for me, but wizard Continue to not accept my cover, what to do please
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius

    That looks like a one-piece cover so needs to go in the Advanced Cover Designer.

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