Create Perfect Print Covers for Amazon and IngramSpark with Affinity Photo

How I create perfect Print covers for IngramSpark and Amazon KDP with Serif Affinity Photo.

(I need to write this out before I forget it!)

First:

Get the artwork created, at whatever (approx) size, and with layers! Without layers, you’ll just be stretching around the image and everything will be distorted. Therefore, a layered file from your designer or by yourself (if you self-created your cover) is essential. Photoshop files created by professionals open in Affinity Photo. However Affinity is about £50 compared to hundreds (or a monthly subscription from Adobe! Get Affinity here

Great. Next…

You need to have your book interior finished and in the correct format. Generate your print PDF using Vellum, Atticus, Reedsy, Draft2Digital, or any of the other formatting tools. Make sure you know your print size (5″x8″) and your page count.

IngramSpark Template

  1. Go to IngramSpark Cover Template page and complete the details. They will then email your cover template.
  2. Follow this video to open it in Affinity.
  3. Don’t change any settings upon import. The file should be 300 dpi. Leave it like that. If your artwork turns out to be too small to fit the template without distortion, it means your artwork is too small. Do not try and adjust the template. Go back and recreate your cover artwork at 300 dpi or return to your designer and tell them you need the file at 300 dpi.
  4. Isolate the blue layer on the left by using the Black Arrow tool (V keyboard shortcut) clicking on them and drag out some guides from the Rulers (Crtl+R or Command+R keyboard shortcut) on the edge of the canvas. This make it easier the crop tool ‘snap’ into position.
  5. Next, select the blue layer on the opposite side (the right side / front cover) to ensure your dragged Crop the template out of their guide and click ‘Apply’ in the top left. It is now the correct size for upload with No Bleed. Remember that. No Bleed is what you need.
  6. Now select and paste your layered Artwork onto this template. Drag the template layer to the top of the Layers, and set the opacity to 50% or something so you can see through it and check your artwork is within the guides. You must ensure all image elements are within the blue borders as per their instructions otherwise the cover will be rejected.
  7. Once happy. Export the file. Go to the top menu and select: File > Export > PDF. Then choose PDF/X-1a:2003 from the dropdown, and don’t set any other options. Your DPI should already be 300. If not, you’ve changed something and set it wrong. Don’t change any settings upon importing the PDF! Go back and start again with the import.

Now to do the same for KDP:

  1. Go to KDP Cover Template page and generate your cover template.
  2. Open the PDF in Affinity (follow this video) and…
  3. Select the Crop tool. Instantly the crop will cover the entire visible page, but you need it to INCLUDE the outer margin.
  4. Drag the Crop handles out to the margin (It should ‘snap’ into position). Click ‘Apply’ in the top left. Now your file is the correct size to upload (without Bleed).
  5. Follow Steps 6 & 7 from the Ingram guide to deal with your artwork (Keep all your artwork within the Red/Pink border otherwise it will be rejected) and export into the correct format.

That’s it. You’ll now have two files, correctly edited to fit both Ingram and KDP requirements by using Affinity Photo.

Questions? Problems? Leave a comment.

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