[scribus-dev] cover.py script for perfect bound book cover design is ready.

John Culleton John at wexfordpress.com
Sat Dec 20 21:23:37 UTC 2014

On Sat, 20 Dec 2014 08:48:35 +0100
"Christoph Schäfer" <christoph-schaefer at gmx.de>

> > Gesendet: Donnerstag, 18. Dezember 2014 um
> > 21:18 Uhr Von: "John Culleton"
> > <John at wexfordpress.com> An:
> > scribus-dev at lists.scribus.net Betreff: Re:
> > [scribus-dev] cover.py script for perfect
> > bound book cover design is ready.
> >
> > 
> > With the very welcome advice of JLuc and
> > Gregory Pittman and the availability of the
> > spine.py script as a model I have a production
> > version of the script cover.py.
> > 
> > In gross this script terms does what what the
> > Perfect Bound Cover extension does for
> > Inkscape users and what my previous
> > template.html did in more limited fashion for
> > Scribus users. 
> > 
> > The data fields are:
> > 1. Number of pages
> > 2. Pages per inch (PPI) of the interior pages.
> > 3. Finished book width.
> > 4. Finished book height
> > 5. Allowance for the thickness of the cover
> > stock plus some additional distance for the
> > fold. A recommended value is 0.017 inch.
> > 
> > The one improvement that I see as useful
> > would be to combine all the data entry fields
> > into one window instead of producing a
> > separate window sequentially for each data
> > field. I don't know how to do this.
> > 
> > When the fields are filled out a base document
> > correctly sized becomes the current document
> > for Sribus. 
> > 
> > There are two vertical guides marking off
> > the edges of the spine. There are also
> > vertical guides bisecting  the back cover, the
> > spine and the front cover.
> > 
> > There are solid blue margins spaced 0.375 inch
> > from each edge. These margin guides are
> > designed to prevent text and similar entities
> > from approaching too close to the finished
> > edges. The distance consists of the bleed of
> > 0.125 inch plus a safety margin of 0.250
> > inch. 
> > 
> > I tested it with Scribus 1.4.5, 1.5.0. 
> > Now who wants a copy of the script to bash it
> > around before I submit it for inclusion with
> > the two releases? I'll post it at
> > http://wexfordpress.net 
> > Your comments are most welcome.
> > 
> > BTW my draft update of the e-book mentioned
> > below suddenly go a lot simpler.
> Hi John,
> Thanks a lot for your work. It is definitely
> something we can build upon and hopefully
> include in 1.4.5 and 1.5.0.
> I didn't find the script on your website, so my
> comments are based on your description, as well
> as the reactions by others.
> And now the criticism starts:
> 1) Your role model for the script seems to be
> Inkscape's "Perfect Bound Cover" extension.
> That's a bad idea, because it's completely
> useless outside the North-American market (and
> I doubt it's of much use in North America).
> 2) As JLuc already noted, the world outside
> North America uses the metric system, and even
> if some countries are still working with the
> irrational Imperial System, it's not likely to
> be identical with the the North American
> version. Hence my suggestion to add
> centimetres, millimetres and micrometres to the
> script.
> 3) In Europe and large parts of Asia it isn't
> enough to work with a "recommended", assumed or
> average paper thickness. A cover designer needs
> to operate with exact values, either per sheet
> or per a 1000 sheet (or a fraction of the
> latter). If you're interested in a
> European-style calculation, you may want to
> have a look at
> http://www.print-assistant.de/tools_press_berechnung_papier_staerke.html
> (you can use Google Translate to learn what it
> does).
> As for the other features, I applaud your
> efforts. All you and the Scripter gurus have to
> do now is making it perfect :)
> Kind regards,
> Christoph
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> scribus-dev at lists.scribus.net
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> _______________________________________________________
Actually my model was my own online package
http://wexfordpress.com/template.html. It was
the companion to my currently deceased pdf e-book
"Create Book Covers With Scribus" which was
written in 2009 and distributed via
Booklocker.com. The e-book is currently deceased
because a buyer objected to the antique
illustrations taken from Scribus or
thereabouts. The distributor, Booklocker, returned
the buyer's money and at my suggestion took it
out of availability. 

The major difference between my earlier attempt
and the current effort was that my online
facility provided numbers for the overall width
and height and for the vertical guides which the
user had to key in by hand in Scribus. 

It did have the advantage, shared by my/our latest
attempt, to bisect the three panels with three
additional vertical guides to make centering
things easier. Just maneuver the text block or
whatever so that the little red squares fall on
the added guides. No other cover design aid has
this little helper. 

You and one other person thus far have asked for
a Non-North American version. Well although I
began programming in 1968 before many of my
listmates were out of kindergarten the world
of Python and object oriented design is totally
new to me. So I am in favor of learning how to
crawl before I walk.  If/when I participate in a
metric version I would prefer to make it a
separate program. It would be easier for me
to code and debug and less cumbersome for the
user to manipulate. 

I totally agree that both the interior paper
thickness and the cover paper thickness should be
figured exactly and not guessed at. In my once
and future e-book I have a table showing the ppi
numbers for the most popular interior papers used
by Lightning Source International (LSI),
CreateSpace and a more complete set of ppi
numbers for my favorite small printer, 360
Digital Design. I took the recommendation of
0.017 inches from 360 Digital's handbook, where
the recommend an overall allowance of 0.034 for
both sides of the spine including cover stock 
thickness and an allowance for the fold. 0.034
inches divided by 2 is 0.017 for one side. Their
covers are usually 0.010 stock although 0.012
caliper paper is also available. Contrast this
with the Amazon owned printer/publisher
Createspace, where they provide canned values for
various spine widths in their comparable cover
template program to the nearest ten pages! Bottom
line, the printer's numbers should be used for
both interior ppi and cover thickness, with a
little extra allowed for the folds on each side.
I did not and do not recommend guestimates or
Createspace style approximations.

I have more thoughts but family concerns have
arisen for this evening. 

Thanks for your comments. I will send you a copy
of the current cover.py script under separate
John Culleton
Wexford Press
Free list of books for self-publishers:
Updated PDF e-book: "Create Book Covers with
Scribus 1.4.5" coming soon at

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