A Cover’s Journey – after design, comes production

Once a cover is designed – gorgeously, I might add, by our brilliant design team – there are several stages it has to go through before it is ready to go off to print.

The back cover gets as much scrutiny as the front cover – every word is pored over, the ISBN checked and double-checked, every tiny piece must be perfect before it’s printed.

The whole cover is designed and printed as one big sheet, that then gets wrapped around the insides, which are printed separately.

SUNK cover spread

This is a working print out of the full back cover of SUNK, an adventure in the SHRUNK series by Fleur Hitchcock, where beach furniture is out for revenge in the sleepy town of Bywater-by-Sea. (Coming in June.)

We’re redesigning the whole series so each of the covers for the four books is being circulated around to each department for corrections and approvals, before it’s sent off to print.

You can see some design comments on the above SUNK, written right on the sheet, as well as below for SHRUNK: MAYHEM AND METEORITES.


Can you see the different greens that are being pointed out? That two tone differential shouldn’t be there. We can’t print the cover like that!


Above is an example of text corrections, precisely noted by the editorial team. The top note is as tiny as making sure that the comma looks enough like a comma, and can’t be confused with a full stop.

On the above, you can see the marking for inserting text; it’s the pointing-looking h thing.

IMG_9254This is what the circulation form looks like. You can see the cover specifications in the top box and then people leave comments and sign off below.

IMG_9253When a cover has glossy bits on it, the shiny reflective stuff, that’s called “Spot UV” – in order to instruct the printer exactly where it goes, we produce a guide, a mask, that everywhere there is black, the Spot UV goes.

(If this kind of stuff gets you as excited as we get, you can take a look at our cover finishes blog, on our sister site Hot Key Books.)



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I'm the Fiction Digital Director at children's and young adult fiction book publisher Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press. www.hotkeybooks.com @HotKeyBooks @PiccadillyPress.

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