[scribus] Scribus book cover template.

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Mon Jan 26 03:04:32 CET 2009

On Saturday 24 January 2009 10:44:44 pm Owen wrote:
> On Sat, 24 Jan 2009 17:19:54 -0500
> John Culleton <john at wexfordpress.com> wrote:
> > I am in the process of writing an e-book "Creating Book Covers
> > with Scribus" aimed at the novice user.  Early in the e-book I
> > refer the reader to an online facility I created that does the
> > heavy lifting insofar as calculating the overall layout and the
> > necessary/optional vertical guides. The web page should be self
> > explanatory, but you be the judge:
> > http://wexfordpress.net/template.html
> >
> > The e-book itself is still being written so of course you won't
> > find it online yet.
> Cool!
> Maybe a python script for inclusion into Scribus?
> Is the mathematics available for this?
> Owen
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Sure. The math is simple. The script I wrote was in Perl. I don't 
really know Perl but at least I have two books on it :<) I did the 
calculations in inches, then converted the output quantities to 
points, and then truncated the inch results to 3 decimal places and 
the point results to 0 decimal places.

I know three languages well, English, COBOL and profane.  My website 
host doesn't support COBOL. Another possibility for me would have 
been Tcl but the interface between Tcl and html forms output is not 
as well defined in the books I have.   Perl is well supported by the 
host. I have no idea if the host supports Python but I have never 
written a line in Python.

The formulas are pretty simple. Vertically the cover height is the 
page height plus two bleed areas, effectively page height + .25 in.  
Horizontally the cover width is two page widths plus .25 in plus 
spine width.  

Spine is page count divided by PPI plus a slight allowance for the 
cover thickness itself.  PPI is generally provided by the printer. 
CreateSpace provides a factor instead, which is half the thickness of 
one sheet of paper of a given kind. You multiply that times the 
number of pages.

I calculated vertical guides on either side of the spine, and also a 
guide in the middle of each of three rectangles (back, spine, front) 
to help with centering. The ones for the spine are essential; the 
others are conveniences I find helpful.  The output html shows and 
identifies these guides, listed from left to right on the cover. 

I don't want to clutter up the list with a source listing but if you 
look at this file you will see what I did:

And so to bed. Thanks for your interest and your comments.  More 

John Culleton
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