A spine is an often overlooked book element that can actually play a crucial role in how many books you are able to sell. The spine is what a reader sees first when books are stacked up or lined up on a shelf. Your book spine includes basic information about the title and author. Sometimes, the spine also has a trademark or small icon associated with the publisher.

The thickness of the spine varies from one book to another, and depends on the number of pages the book has. Of course, if a book has more pages, the thicker the spine will be. Spine design is one of the determining factors whether a book will be a success or not, since most books spend a good portion of their time spine-out in a store’s bookshelf. Basically, a book that has a spine thick enough to place text will stand out more on the shelf than a thinner, spineless book.

Since the text on the spine typically starts from top to bottom, it is important that the text is bold and readable. This can easily be done on a book with a wider spine, as there is enough room to increase the text size.  With thinner spines,  this is more difficult, and in extreme cases some books are so thin that there is no space to put a title at all. It is recommended that a book be at least half an inch wide to be able to add all the apropriate information to the spine. Other information can be added as well, but do not forget to make it short, simple and uncluttered. Usually, images on spines are reserved for books with considerable thickness, however images on spines have been proven to grab a passerby’s attention easier than a non-graphical spine. Providing enough room for a book’s information and graphical elements will greatly encourage potential readers to pull the book from the shelf and read the front and back cover.

Ways to Increase the Size of the Spine

Since you already know that thicker spines are important for books in bookstore, the next step is to increase the size of your spine. Fortunately, there are some ways to increase thickness and maximize the full potential of the spine.

• Size of the text – The easiest and simplest way to increase the size of the spine is to increase the size of the text inside your book.  By doing this, the text will need more pages and eventually increase the thickness of the spine.  Aside from that, it will also make the text more readable.
• Paper thickness – Increasing the paper thickness can also help in increasing the thickness of the spine. The thicker the paper, the thicker the spine will be. This also helps the pages to withstand the abuse of being turned multiple times.
• Extra pages – Adding extra pages (such as an introduction, forward, prologue, blank pages, etc.) can also help in increasing the spine thickness.

The book spine is important, just like the front and back cover, so make sure that it has a professional look and entices your readers.  Do not give readers any reason to pass up your book by having a thin spine!