Prepublishing, Tips & Tricks

Retrieving Your Cover Template

For indies, we want to make our team’s jobs easier, and the best way to help out our cover designers is to have the cover template available for them.


For IngramSpark, you’ll go to this link—

Fill in the information.

IngramSpark Cover Template

ISBN is the ISBN.

Publisher Reference Number—If you have a lot of titles or a lot of variances for the same title, this is your spot to nickname the version. IE: Heart of Darkness—Hard Cover Edition.

Trim size—We’ve covered trim sizes before—

Interior Color and Paper—Unless you’re doing children’s books or have images that you want in color, 99% of the time you will choose Black & White. Color pages costs more than black & white print.

If you chose black & white, you’ll get three options—

  • White B&W: printed on 50lb White paper
  • Creme B&W: printed on 50lb Creme paper
  • Groundwood B&W: printed on 38lb Eggshell paper (mass market-like)

There used to be a difference in which books got what color paper, that has shifted.

Nonfiction is still overwhelmingly white.

If you want the nostalgia of the off-white pages of books you read when you were younger, go with the bottom two options.

If you chose color, you’ll get these options—

  • Standard Color Color printed on 50lb White paper
  • Standard Color 70 Color printed on 70lb White paper
  • Premium Color Color printed on 70lb White paper

I have little experience on the difference in colored print. Order a proof copy and see which one fits your work the best. If it’s a coffee table type book with vibrant photos and detail, you’re going to want the Premium Color option.

On IngramSpark, there are two options for print—paperback and hardback.

Hardback will give you four options—

  • Case Laminate: Color laminated cover glued to boards, no dust jacket
  • Jacketed Case Laminate: Color laminated cover glued to boards, with dust jacket
  • Digital Cloth™ Cover – Blue Dust jacket optional, text printed on spine
  • Digital Cloth™ Cover – Gray Dust jacket optional, text printed on spine

Laminate Type—do you want a matte finish or a glossy finish. Personally, I don’t like matte finishes—it picks up finger prints and things from my bags—but, some covers looks amazing in matte.

Page Count—The number of pages in the formatted interior (the interior PDF). Do not go off of your Microsoft Word page count. Your formatter/typesetter can give you the number if you’re unsure of what number to use.

File Type—What file type do you want them to generate for the cover. My cover designers prefer PDF, but your designer may want one of the other options.

Email your templates directly to your designer.

Optional Information—from working with bookstores, I opt to have the price shown in the barcode. It also helps with events and festivals where I’m selling in person and may have additional help who might not be familiar with my books. If you opt for this option, inform your cover designer that you want that bardcode on the cover they create.


KDP offers cover templates as well. You’ll go to this link—

KDP Cover Template

The first thing you’ll notice is Amazon’s template generator is rather short. You’ll download the file directly to your desktop, and you’ll be responsible for sending it to your cover designer.

Trim Size—The list of available print sizes available on Amazon.

Page Count—same as IS above. This is the final PDF page count and not Microsoft Word’s page count.

Paper Color—white, cream, color. There are no other explanations on the dropdown menu compared to IS where they tell you the weight and print options.

Final Thoughts

If you’re going to use both KDP and IS for your paperbacks, download both templates. While IS templates work on Amazon most of the time, Amazon templates are hit and miss on IS platform and on KDP.


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