CreateSpace Message ‘Your Cover Cannot Be Printed In Its Current State’

I’m paraphrasing here but you get my gist, right? 

For almost a year, I had the ability to make a professional paperback cover.  I could make the front, spine and back in under five minutes.  On the back, I had my publishing logo, the price and the book description.  CreateSpace supplied the ISBN.  On the spine, I had my publishing logo at the top, the title of the book beneath that, the cover image of the book, and my name at the bottom.  On the front, I had what you saw as my ebook cover. 

This was all very easy with my software program.  I would upload my file to CreateSpace and have it approved on the first try.

But that was before CreateSpace did their ‘improvements’.  I hate, hate, hate it when sites take something that already works just fine and ‘improves’ it.  Blech!

Ever since October when I wanted to get another cover uploaded to CreateSpace, I haven’t been able to meet their cover requirements.  I’m not doing anything differently than what I did before.  Unless I get my cover looking like a three year old did it, they won’t approve it for one reason or another. 

And I have a theory on why this is now true. 

CreateSpace wants me to pay them $299 to make a professional cover.

Well, they’ll be waiting forever because I’d rather stick a fork in my hand and have my husband run over it with the car twice before I’ll ever pay CreateSpace to make the cover for me.  This is highway robbery!  My system worked.  I had great looking paperback covers.  But it irks them to no end that an author can be self-sufficient and do this stuff without paying for it.

It’s all about money.  I wonder when Kindle is going to require authors pay to have their manuscripts professionally formatted so we meet their requirements?  I wonder how long it’ll be before authors have to fork over a hundred or two just to have their books up on the Kindle store at all?

Back to CreateSpace though…

I had fifteen paperbacks up on Amazon last year and I made…are you ready…$130.  Wow.  Now, imagine if I had spent $299 on each book to have them make me a cover?  Do you see why this wouldn’t make sense for me to make paperbacks anymore?  Unless I do those cheesy cover templates, it’s not happening.  I refuse to spend more than I’ll make on anything anymore.  I’ve done my time with vanity presses and paying them a boatload of money to see minimal return on my investment.

I had spent the $39 per title to get them priced from $10 to $7 for my readers.  This means, I only make about $1 per sale.  I’m not exactly making a ton of money off of my paperbacks here.  This month, I’ve made $8.83 out of the 10 paperbacks I sold.  Do you see why I can’t be affording $299 for a professional cover?

So that’s how it must end.  For now on, I’m only doing ebooks…until they start charging me for that too.  Then I’ll have to reevaluate the benefit-cost analysis all over again.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to or check out
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4 Responses to CreateSpace Message ‘Your Cover Cannot Be Printed In Its Current State’

  1. Lynn Byer says:

    Wow, Ruth. That’s CRAZY. You ar the PRO at putting your books out there. OBVIOUSLY the “problem” is coming from the other end, not from what you’re doing. This is very frustrating news.

    • Joleene Naylor, the other person who commented on this post, also has problems now, and she’s the expert on making covers! I don’t get what the hang up is or why there even has to be a problem. *sigh* Things were so simple before.

  2. I’ve had issues with CS since they improved – namely the text on the spine and then they also have complained about a lack of bleed when the image extended beyond the trim edge – as it should have done. For the first I made the text smaller and that fixed the problem (even though it was the same sized text they had accepted previously) and the other the author had to contact a representative and have them manually approve it (she ended up with a free proof).

    Anyway, I shot you an email on this 😉

    • I think it’s the bleed area but I sent the reply I keep getting in an email to you so you can tell me if that’s what it is or not. My border is the background color I use on my cover.

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