My sixth proof arrived over the weekend. All of my tweaking had paid off, except, the text on the spine wasn’t centered. Yet, on the template, it was centered. I wasn’t sure what to do.
I reopened the cover file I made in Gimp. As I studied it, I realized that the bleed area on the front cover margin, was narrower than the rest. I checked the total file size in pixels, and compared it to the template I downloaded. My file was narrower by 15 pixels! In looking closely at the proof cover, I realized that if they printed the file from right to left, then the spine text would be off, just as it was. The only thing I can figure is that when I cropped one of the images on that front edge, I actually cropped the entire template layer.
So I’m rebuilding the cover, this time taking care with file size. I’ve learned that to resize images, I can use the “scale layer” tool, rather than crop. This is working very well. I’m using the old Gimp cover file as a guide for sizes and distances (with the aid of the grid), and it’s coming along fairly quickly. I can copy and paste text, so that helps as well.
I find myself wondering if I trust myself enough to approve it for print without ordering another proof! I’d hoped to have the book available my the first of November, now I’ll be lucky if it’s available the first week of December.
I’ve learned a lot, I will say that. I just have to trust that the care and attention to detail will be worth it in the end.