Yesterday (okay, very early this morning) I submitted the final content for FC books IV and V to the CreateSpace “submission review” process. As I’ve mentioned before, this process finds a lot of formatting errors such as text beyond margins, low-DPI graphics, unembedded fonts, and so forth. It’s a good review process, and it encourages the author—through feedback, easy-to-follow help guides, and forum discussions—to submit the highest quality work to achieve the highest quality product.
Up ’til now, I’ve assumed this was a mechanical review process, but after the response I got today, I’m not so sure.
I’ve been using a near-identical template for all the cover art on the FC books. I wanted them to look similar from the front, along the spines, and from every angle. So, I’ve been using the same layout for titles, blurbs, logos, and all the artwork along the spine. The only thing I’ve been careful to change, each time, is the master template.
CreateSpace assists you in this. It has a cover template builder that is dead-easy to use. Tell it your content type (b/w or color), your book size, and the number of pages. It comes back with a zipped folder with a PNG and a PDF of the template. Now, since I have five books, all 6×9″ in size, you’d think I could reuse the same template, no?
No. Remember the spine. The spine will have a variable width, depending on the number of pages in the book.
So here’s what happened. My spine logo fit just fine on the width of the first four books, but FC:V is a little shorter than the others, so the spine is narrower. As it turns out, the logo and the FC:V spine are just about the same width. I centered the logo in the space, and submitted the cover art.
The response came back this morning. They had found that some of the art along the spine was too wide, and there was the possibility that it would wrap around the sides of the book. Okay, right, I can see that, but here’s the cool part. The note went on to say that they had modified the artwork to make it fit.
I went out to the site and pulled up a digital version of the artwork. Indeed, they had taken the logo but only the logo and resized it to fit in the spine. Did their computer program do that? Or are there little worker bees up all night reviewing our artwork and photoshopping it to fit?
I don’t know, but it’s a level of quality and service I certainly did not expect. I expected a rejection of the file with a note as to the problem; I certainly didn’t expect them to fix it for me.
Now, I can do a better job (crop and squeeze, rather than just squeeze, looks less…well, squeezed) so I fixed it and resubmitted the cover art, but hey, I really like working with this team. I never received anything as helpful or easy as this from Lulu.