Here is a template that will help you perfect your 6×9 full-cover design for your paperback book. This is a 2-part overlay: front and back with bleeds and margins, including spine margin and the default barcode size and placement.
You can use this overlay to develop a cover that will fulfill the guidelines for Amazon’s KDP print books and as the base for creating your IngramSpark 6×9 books. You will still need to download IngramSpark’s own template for final placement, though.
- The outer pink zone is what will be cut away by the printer. This is called the bleed.
- The outer blue zone is the margin. You need to make sure that no important text is in that blue zone. A good design will make sure that the text uses a zone that is .5″ away from all edge if at all possible, but .125″ is the bare minimum (or .25″ from the bleed’s edge).
- The ISBN is fake and is just a placeholder. KDP assigned ISBNs are 2″ wide, 1.2″ tall, and are placed .25″ up from the bottom and .25″ to the left of the spine. (Read all about barcodes, including where to download free ones.)If you are using your own barcode, then you can place it where you want on the back. You can also size it down to roughly 75% of the above dimensions.
- I have segmented each side in halves and thirds. Because the pink zone is cut away, it is not taken into my segmenting consideration. The gray grid lines denote halves. The blue grid line denotes thirds.
- KDP requires a book to be 100+ pages in order for it to allow text on the spine. If you are using cream paper, then multiply the page count by .0025″. If you are using white paper, then use .00225″ as your multiplier.
Even though you really should be creating your covers in Adobe InDesign, these overlays will provide help for those of you who have not made that leap yet. I am self-taught and found David Blatner and Anne Marie Concepcion’s courses on Lynda.com to be super helpful. They manage InDesignSecrets.com and are an amazing asset to the publishing community.
These overlays are created at 300 dpi and are transparent. Overlay them on top of your design in progress. Simply turn them off or delete them when you’re done and are ready to export the final cover. They can be used in Photoshop, Canva, etc.
The pixel dimensions are in the title names, but the single side overlays are 1838 x 2775 and your canvas should always be set to 300 dpi for print projects.
I know this will help many of you, and I would have loved to have had them when I first started learning.