I'm the OP who requested and received extensive help on this forum with creating a wraparound cover for a 5.25"x8" paperback to be published by CreateSpace, Amazon's print-on-demand service. The cover is complete and uploaded for their review. It meets submission requirements and does not require further revision before printing a proof copy. They did note concerns, which I can either choose to accept and move forward, or address at this time. They are:
1. The cover file contains transparency which will be manually flattened during their processing and may cause a color shift.
2. The cover file contains images at 272 dpi, which may appear blurry and pixelated in print. For optimal printing, they recommend all images be at least 300 dpi.
I intend to contact the support team at CreateSpace, but based on comments here questioning some wording contained in their submission requirements, I'd appreciate any suggestions/advice about what I can do to address the issues myself and upload again to their site.
Based on suggestions from members of this forum, I created the cover using the following summary workflow:
1. Beginning with a 960X1279 image of a mountain shrouded in clouds for the background, I used Photoshop Elements to size it (including bleed) for the front cover. Then I flipped it horizontally to create a mirror image for the back cover. Out of one of these images I cropped a vertical strip for a .94x8" spline, and merged the three pieces into a composite background image with the following characteristics: 3532x2485 px (11.77x8.28" @ 300 px/in). I performed minor editing to camouflage the slightly visible lines where the front and back covers meet the spline.
2. Beginning with a 2924x1895 image of an airplane in flight, in Elements I copied only the airplane and sized the extracted portion so the wingspan does not exceed 5" and fits entirely on the front cover. I placed this image on a separate layer.
3. I placed these two layers into an InDesign CS5.5 document with the dimensions required for the cover including bleed, then added all typography in layers above the two images as suggested on this forum.
4. CreateSpace requires a PDF file, so I exported the cover document to PDF using "High Quality Print" and without changing any of the default Adobe presets. This is the 2.2MB file that I uploaded for review.
I've been advised here (or the Elements forum, I'm not sure which at the moment) that this is not hi-res photography and 200 or above should be fine for the cover of a paperback. One way to find out is to order the proof copy and take a look.
But before I do that, is there anything I can do differently prior to upload that would eliminate the concerns as expressed above by the CreateSpace review process? Thank you in advance for any assistance.
I'm sure the 272 ppi warning is triggered by automated preflight checks. It should not be a problem.
If they do their job right, the color should not shift during flattening, but we don't really know what they mean by flattened manually. If the background image is RGB, you want the flattening blend space to also be RGB, but there is still the potential for color shifting as you move from the RGB to CMYK inks in the print.
Thank you, Peter. I'll mark this as answered and contact them for an explanation of what they mean by flatten manually. Hopefully I'll find someone who can do that in terms that make sense to a novice.