Covers - General Cover Image Design Information

Everything you need to know about Cover Design, according to your chosen book format, is located within the Publication Setup Button – the publishing wizard – and can be accessed through your FastPencil Project Dashboard.

When you reach the Book Cover step within the publishing wizard, you will be able to Upload Images, add your Title and Author Name, and select background colors, if desired. It's quick and easy to create your own attractive book cover using our cover design tool.


General Cover Image Design Information

  • Design separate art files for the front cover and back cover (TWO JPG or PNG files).
  • FastPencil generates the SPINE according to your book page count. You’ll select a solid color that fits your design scheme. Text, if your book is thick enough, can be added.
  • Do NOT include Crop Marks.
  • Color profile: Save as RGB (our system converts to CMYK).
  • Keep text at least 0.5 inches from TRIM edge.
  • All pixel dimensions based on 300 PPI (pixels per inch)


Designing Covers with Bleeds 
(“Enable a border” box IS NOT checked):

When designing and centering your cover artwork and text, DO NOT factor in the page bleed areas, as the printer will cut the printed cover spread at the trim size, removing the bleed sections. If you do not follow this guidance, your cover artwork will not be centered, and cover text could be truncated.

Our dimensions assume a .625" bleed area on all sides of the cover spread. Your design should extend at least .25" into the bleed area, and the additional space should be padded in your file so your image matches the dimensions shown below (trimming your image could cause distortion during printing).

  • Front cover: Include .25" of bleed on the top, RIGHT, and bottom edges, but not on the LEFT edge.
  • Back cover: Include .25" of bleed on the top, LEFT, and bottom edges, but not on the RIGHT edge.

Designing a cover without extending images into bleeds (WITH “Enable a border” box checked):

Cover images not extended into bleeds will have a horizontal and vertical background color border around the front and back cover images, on soft covers this will be .25 inch vertical and .375 inch horizontal, hard covers will have .5 inch vertical on gutter side and .25 inch face side, and .50 inch horizontal border.


FastPencil's publishing platform automatically generates a bookstore-ready, retail-friendly front cover, with a reserved-for-ISBN-and-Barcode section on the back, which will be placed after publishing. (ISBNs are supplied with global distribution service).
Upload your own image and we'll place the title and author text. Or, if you need help polishing your book, FastPencil offers a variety of professional author services such as editing, cover design, and copyright protection.
Have Questions? Contact Customer Support for custom service quotes or technical help.  

 Printed in this approximately 1” tall space:

  • FastPencil imprint
  • barcode(s)
  • pricing
  • categories

Book Cover PROOF SAMPLE PDF, downloaded from the Setup Publication publishing wizard. Orange spine shown to highlight break in front and back cover files and show retail-friendly back cover white bar reserved for auto-printed book metadata.




Front Cover:


Back Cover:



Jump to your FastPencil Project Dashboard. Or learn more about:

Publishing with FastPencil allows authors to write, print, publish and sell books and e-books publicly (or privately) in multiple formats and sizes with ISBNs available. Plus, Professional Author Services are available for those who would like to distribute through Global Partner Networks. Reach sales and budget goals while selling through Amazon, B&N, iBooks, BAM! and more by publishing just once from one simple platform.


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  • 1
    Meggie K. Daly

    Is the Cover Service purchased separately or is it part of the Publication Service?  For example, if one were to purchase the NaNoWriMo publishing special (ISBNs for your print and eBook plus distribution to Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Ingram, and more. Regular price: $299. Now: $150) does one still need to purchase cover services separately?

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