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Some useful information on spine widths

When you buy a hard-cover book in a bookstore, the width of the spine matches exactly the number of pages. Not so with Blurb. Only a limited number of spine widths are offered, so the result can be a spine that is considerably wider than necessary.

The result can be quite ugly. See my previous post in the old forums http://forums.blurb.com/forums/5/topics/13061

I've done some detective work and discovered that for the books I make (standard landscape, premium lustre paper) there are in fact five widths, as follows:

Thinnest : 20-50 pages Thin : 52-100 pages Medium: 102-160 pages Thick: 162-200 pages Very thick: 202-240 pages

As a result, if you create a book with, say 100 pages, it will fit snugly in its spine, but if it's 102 the spine will be rather too large, intended for up to 160.

I provide this information to assist potential book makers. Others may care to provide similar information for books with other paper types. (But I won't hold my breath, as these forums are Very Quiet Places.)

Perhaps someone at Blurb could provide further details?

Graham Meale

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Hi Graham,

We do use a handful of different case breaks for our books and we are always adjusting and evaluating this process (which is why you won't see these figures posted). If you are trying to determine the size of the spine of your book, the best way to do so is to use our PDF to Book calculator and use the figures for the book you are making. It will then show you the spine width of your printed book.

- padraic

Padraic 0 votes
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Hello, Padraic,

Does the PDF to Book calculator also give the same information if one uses the Lightroom Book Module for Blurb upload?

I am making an approximately 220 page book with Proline Pearl paper. Should I edit for a 200 page or a 240 page book for best results?

pcmurrell 0 votes
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Showing the spine width on the Blurb PDF calculator doesn't help. We, the customer have no idea how the different page thicknesses that are offered as options will effect the spine width.

Jojaq

jaquest 1 vote
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Might as well ignore all my previous advice. I deliberately restricted my most recent book to 50 pages, but still got a book with a spine that's far too wide, wider than the specifications on the website. Wider too than the spine of  a 68-page book I received last year. Trying to communicate all this to one of the automatons at customer support is proving to be an adventure in itself. I've just about given up on Blurb.

Graham Meale 1 vote
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Nothing more on this since 2014? It is one year later. Has this problem been solved by Blurb? I.e., elimination of the "wavy pages" problem listed last year by Graham Meade

~ Kristapb

Kristapb 1 vote
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sorry. I meant "listed in this forum since April 2014" so, of course, it is three months later.

~Kristapb

Kristapb 0 votes
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I have just looked at your PDF to Book calculator and although it provides book cover dimensions there are still no book spine dimensions.

Samanthahodd 0 votes
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I'd like to know this too!  I have a large 210 page book with Proline Pearl paper but I have some flexibility with the page number...but I need someone to tell me what the various optimal lengths would be.  This can't be too hard!

monkarlson 0 votes
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While finalizing my book, I contacted customer service and asked for the current case breaks. The rep was very gracious, and provided a chart of the available spine widths and the page ranges for each, based on the choice of paper stock. As a result, I knew to delete six pages to make sure my book was at the maximum page count for the spine width. I recommend contacting customer service to get the most up-to-date information before finalizing and uploading your files. Ideally, the spines would be customized to fit the book block -- but for now, the inconvenience seems worth it to me for the cost savings. I checked with a half-dozen other vendors to see what they'd charge me to print and bind a copy of my 200-page book. Each quote exceeded $1,000, and one exceeded $2,000 (!) -- and that was using 100-lb. paper for the interior, not the 140-lb. stock I'm getting from Blurb.

That said, it would be nice if Blurb could find a way to have the current case-break information on the website. :)

dianaplattne 0 votes
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Hi all. If you have questions about our case/spine sizes please either follow the steps Padraic gives below or contact customer support if you'd like to know where your page count falls relative to the different case/spine sizes. We don't post these as they may change over time and we don't want anyone building a book based on an outdated forums post!

I'm going to close this thread as the original concern has been addressed.

Michael Y. 0 votes

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