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15,426 Views 15 Replies Last post: Oct 17, 2009 1:30 PM by walton RSS
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Level 0 1 posts since
Mar 23, 2009
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Oct 16, 2009 1:43 PM

Margins for 6x9 novel

For the past few days I've been tweaking and tweaking at my interior file. My novel is 6x9 in trim size, paperback and 352 pages.

My interior file keeps getting rejected because of the margins not fulfilling the demands, but I have no idea how make them do so.

The message I keep getting is that the Gutter needs to be 3/4" and the inner margins should be 1/4", I use MSword, which doesn't accept this measurement, and converting it to centimetres didn't help: the file was still rejected.

What am I doing wrong? I'm not even sure I understood the measurements correctly.

Level 5 14,242 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
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1. Oct 16, 2009 2:56 PM in response to: Chuusama
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

I was about to post this, but it is relevant to your question.

 

The Submissions Guidelines "Inside Margins Chart" has been interpreted to mean the minimum total inner margins for two facing pages based on the page count. Therefore, a 602 page book would have a minimum total margin of 1", which would be a minimum 0.5" inner margin for each page. This conforms to my understanding, the understanding of various members who explained it to me, including Legman, and to CS itself; for example:

 

My last published book had 580 pages, therefore it required a minimum inner margin of 0.875" according to the chart.  I used an inner page margin of 0.625" (which, combined, is 1.25" and exceeded the minimum). It was approved and printed with that inner margin.

 

The meaning of inside margin on the chart has changed within the last few days: the chart now refers to the individual per page inner margin (not the gutter, i.e. the total combined inner margins of the facing pages)

 

I asked support; ""Does the Minimum Inside Margin (Submission Guideline "Inside Margins Chart") refer to the total inner margins on two facing pages."

Answer: Vanessa, CreateSpace Support, "The margin area required is per page not two facing pages." [emphasis added]

 

I asked because I had received this yesterday in a Review: "Page 11 has a .375" inside margin. We require .75" inside margins for all books that are 150-400 pages," Kelyn, CreateSpace Support.  [The inner margin was actually 0.4375" on the PDF and the InDesign files.] If the .75" inner margin means the total of the inner margins for two pages, then 0.375" on each page would be the minimum, and would not have been flagged as a problem.

 

I guess we will all be reformatting new jobs.

 

Walton

Level 1 89 posts since
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2. Oct 16, 2009 9:14 PM in response to: walton
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

I recently submitted a 6 x 9 novel with .75" margins all around and a .25" gutter. This file was created in Word 2003. Word had no problem with it, and neither did CS. My book is only 186 pages, and if the margins were any narrower, it would not be readable without completely flattening the spine.

 

Numerous folks on these boards expressed the opinion that my margins would be way too big, but to my eyes they look great! I am really pleased with the look and can't imagine why anybody would want narrower margins unless you actually wanted a full center bleed for an illustration or something. I don't think the tehcnology that CS is using for printing could tolerate a center bleed image.

Level 5 13,347 posts since
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3. Oct 16, 2009 9:33 PM in response to: Grrl
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel
Wouldn't it just be easier to take your inside margin of 0.75 and increase it by the gutter margin of 0.25 - call it an inside margin of one inch and forget the gutter aspect all together? Why confuse the issue with inside margin and gutter allowances. It is all the same, isn't it? Seal
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4. Oct 16, 2009 10:01 PM in response to: Seal
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

I dunno! I just know what I did worked for me. When I was setting it up, I thought that the .25" gutter was somehow split between the pages (not logical I know), but really by the time I was getting advice about how I should have set it up, I was way too far along in the process to think about changing it unless I absolutely had to. In the end, I was completely pleased with the outcome. I wonder how Word would react to "no gutter"?

 

 

 

sincerely, NP

Level 5 13,347 posts since
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5. Oct 16, 2009 11:20 PM in response to: Grrl
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel
If you look at the page setup for a new document you will see that the gutter defaults to ZERO inches. I know, that in the rush of trying to get things prepared, things like this seem to slip through the cracks and you don't notice it when others are talking aobut interior margins and gutters. But, hey, that is the way it is with everything. And, in case you hadn't noticed - WE PASSED 100 TITLES on SelfPublisherStore.Com and you are one of the reasons we were able to do this. Thanks, Seal
Level 5 14,242 posts since
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6. Oct 17, 2009 8:29 AM in response to: Grrl
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

Thank you for the comment, but my point was slightly different. The following is not aimed at you, but the Community:

 

The Submission Guidelines give the various design requirements that must be met in order for a book to be reviewed, accepted, and printed. These guidelines set the limits within which we make aesthetic decisions.

 

Every book has inner margins. The minimum inner margin is related to the page count, controlled by the "Inside Margins Chart." The description of the chart, and specifically what is meant by "inner margin" is incompetently defined: thus it is fair to question whether it means 1) the minimum inner margin on each individual page; or 2) the total, combined, minimum inner margins on two facing pages.

 

I asked the forum to clarify this several times.  The answer, consistent with previous threads on this question, is that the CS chart shows the total, combined, minimum inner margins of two facing pages.  I have had two books accepted with margins based on this assumption.

 

One of two things happened yesterday that should be important to every member:

 

1) CS has changed their inner margin minimum:

 

Vanessa, CreateSpace Support "The margin area required [as listed on the "Inside Margins Chart"] is per page not two facing pages."

 

Regardless of previously accepted works or aesthetic considerations, this new policy will cause everyone to change all current and future design criteria.

 

Or:

 

2) Vanessa and Kelyn  (with support from Will, Margaret, and Molly) were wrong, but nonetheless paused the review and proofing a book 15 times, over 3 1/2 weeks, based on their false interpretation of their own Submission Guidelines. Perhaps they were intentionally wrong, who knows.

 

 

So, next time someone posts a desperate plea for help and everyone suggest he calm down and try to figure it out, (or just ignores him) please remember that if Support does not understand its guidelines or if it administers them whimsically, the poster deserves better than he gets from us.  He might have been lied to. Our silence makes us complicit--but then, based on what I have seen and read, hey, who gives a ****.

 

Walton

Level 4 1,324 posts since
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7. Oct 17, 2009 9:29 AM in response to: walton
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

Well Walton

 

CS administrators know what they are doing.

 

and the change you are talking about does not exist.

 

We have been using these settings from the very beginning, a professional formatter should know what is physically acceptable for margins and not just what CS guidelines demand.

 

They have done no change, they have just added a special instruction.

 

It is but obvious to designers like Designhouse, Lipmag and myself that 0.5 margin won't go with a 400 page book.

 

There will be no change for us.

Level 5 14,242 posts since
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8. Oct 17, 2009 10:29 AM in response to: Wicked
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

Thank you, I hope you are right regarding the minimum inner margin. Whatever the administrators know, and regardless of their expertise, Support personnel (Vanessa, Kelyn, with support from Will, Margaret, and Molly) were explicit, and were explicit with regard the Inside Margins Chart: 


"The margin area required is per page [on the Submission Guideline "Inside Margins Chart"] not two facing pages." Venessa, CS Support.

 

Although the administrators may know absolutely what their policies and guidelines are, they are not the people who review interior and cover uploads. They are not the ones who pause projects.  They do not respond to Contact Support queries. 

 

If a book is paused because it's margins do not comply with Vanessa's interpretation of their guidelines, then that is the CS policy in practice and fact.  And those of us who are new to book design, typesetting, etc. would be foolish not to take note.

 

I appreciate the breadth and depth of your knowledge, experience, and expertise, and that of other professional formatters, and I would not challenge your aesthetic judgment either, I am, after all a newbie here. I am curious, however, where you think I might have suggested that a 0.5 margin (is that top, bottom, outside, inside, or gutter?) is universally appropriate for a 400 page book? I certainly would not wittingly be so incautious.I hope you will tell me so I can apologize, and maybe offer clarification, for that comment to whatever post it was made.

 

Thank you, again,

 

Walton

Level 1 89 posts since
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9. Oct 17, 2009 10:49 AM in response to: Chuusama
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

I posted before but my reply appeared to be going to walton, my bad. I don't know anything about the whole dispute about the CS guidelines, I was just commenting what has worked for me.

 

I was trying to say that I formatted my 6 x 9 novel in Word with .75" inner margins and a .25" gutter. Word accepted that configuration and so did CS. It's the opposite of what you posted being required. Just a thought!

Level 4 1,324 posts since
May 16, 2008
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10. Oct 17, 2009 10:49 AM in response to: walton
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

You did not suggested, you are using them

 

"Page 11 has a .375" inside margin. We require .75" inside margins for all books that are 150-400 pages," Kelyn, CreateSpace Support.  [The inner margin was actually 0.4375" on the PDF and the InDesign files.]

 

 

0.43 is even less than 0.5, not at all recommended.

Level 5 14,242 posts since
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11. Oct 17, 2009 11:06 AM in response to: Wicked
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

Oh, curious, that reference was to a jpg that "fills" the live area of a page, on which there is no text (header, footer, or text as a concept disctinct from the Platonic universal "cover"), which  stays well within the margins, and most of the image and all of the outside of the image is white. It was Support, not I, that called this jpg "text."  It is a scan of a  dust jacket.  It falls safely within the permitted and at least what I thought were artistic margins.

 

Walton

Level 4 1,324 posts since
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12. Oct 17, 2009 11:39 AM in response to: walton
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

For you its a cover,

 

for them any text, whether rasterized or not will be concluded as a rejection if it enters the safe area.

Level 5 14,242 posts since
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13. Oct 17, 2009 12:35 PM in response to: Wicked
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

Anything that CS thinks is text in an image is considered text--I was made aware of this through Ligmag, who tried to help with a problem.

 

Margins:

There is the 0.25" no-type zone,by which I presume you mean the "safe zone."

There are the top, bottom and outer margins.

There is the inner margin: what I thought was, and which you think still  is the minimum permitted inner page margin @ 1/2 the listed Inner Margins Chart dimension; because

The  permitted inner margin is "The margin area required is per page not two facing pages" according to CS Support.

 

On the image I referenced:

 

The effective margin from the inside edge of the page to the closest glyph in the image was 0.4438"; therefore no "text" was in the "safe zone" and no text in the minimum permitted inner margin if that number is 1/2 the list number in the Inner Margins Chart.

 

Our problem is that if Venessa or Keylin or any of the others that agreed with this new, more restrictive, meaning of inner margin, rejects an interior upload 15 times in a row because of this, and they have, then that is policy. Period.  Just a note: I have worked with some  of these people since 2002, and talked with several VPs and the founder.  I might be new to CS, but not to this.

 

Walton

Level 4 1,324 posts since
May 16, 2008
Currently Being Moderated
14. Oct 17, 2009 12:54 PM in response to: walton
Re: Margins for 6x9 novel

Rejected 15 times, Sounds interesting, now you must have known them and they you, so they are really pissed off with you, it seems

 

or

 

your cover is not properly designed.

 

I cannot comment on the first point,

 

on the second, upload your source file somewhere and I will check it tomorrow and help you,

 

I need the source file of photoshop, not pdf.

 

There is a festival here in India and its already 1 am. Can't help you tonight.

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