Opposable Cover Reveal: Revenge of the Rating Card and Dissecting Book Covers and Copyright Pages


I hope y’all are maintaining out there! The second edition cover is complete and ARCs are being printed as we speak!

Check out the artist’s, Michael Molinet, portfolio.


Pre-order the eBook for $2.99, but hurry! It could go live any day now!


And don’t forget to check out Badass Sci Fi Battle Royale on Instagram (badassscifi). Round two starts tomorrow, and there are going to be some stunning upsets in round one!

So, as I go through my second run at publishing my first book, and my fourth round of second guessing, I continue to learn. I continue to screw shit up, but that doesn’t really bother me, unless I’m screwing the same shit up repeatedly.

As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a published author. Before two years ago, I never considered being CEO, CFO, COO, COPP, head of marketing, lackey, go-fer, and boot-licker of my own publishing company.

I’m a terrible employee, but I’m an even worse boss. Where’s Newt when you need her?

Anyway, this isn’t an advice column, but every now and then, I like to throw up…I like to post things I’ve learned. It’s mostly for my benefit, because I learned the best way to gain understanding is to explain it to someone else.

Sorry, I’m selfish, but sometimes my selfishness has unintended consequences, like helping others.

So, let’s dissect a book cover and copyright page.


A. Disclaimer- Pretty standard cover your ass stuff. I considered getting creative with it, but weenied out at the last minute.

B. Copyright Notice- Opposable has two; one for the material from the first edition, and one for the new material in the second edition. Both dates align with the publication date for their respective editions.

C. Publisher Information- Badass Sci Fi, LLC. We are legit. Also includes the website, which is the same as the author’s in this case, but you already knew that, because you’re here!

D. The Team- Without them, I’d still be sending out Word docs or PDFs with crappy, homemade covers and littered with errors. Wait…

E. Attribution for EMOJIS!- Sorry, I still get a little excited over that.

F. Rights Reserved Notice- Reiteration rendered redundant by the copyright notice. Traditional formality appreciated in publishing. Needless to say…

G. Printing Information- For customs.

H. ISBN- International Standard Book Number- Different ISBNs are needed for each edition and each format (paperback, hardcover, eBook) of a book. Kindle Direct Publishing uses an ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number), so an ISBN isn’t needed for eBooks through them.

NOTE TO SELF- Make sure the ISBN on the copyright page matches the ISBN on the barcode on the cover (3)!

I. Edition and Print Run- In this case, Second Edition, First Printing trade paperback.

J. Wacky Number Line (Printer’s Key)- Mostly a non-standardized big-house tool to keep track of how many print runs a particular edition of a book has gone through. Some go left to right, some go right to left, some are accompanied by a second number line indicating the print year, some start with the number 2, and some use letters. I didn’t need one, but I wanted to be cool. FYI, I’m not cool.

These guys are cool. Examples of the numbers for Fellowship of the Ring and Dune. So, that would indicate the 29th and 58th printing of not just the book, but that edition of the book. Wow. The HWK on Tolkien’s printer’s imprint indicates the contracted printer for Houghton Mifflin.

Now, I’m not a book collector or retailer (RJT), but I want to let RJT know I’m listening. Thus, Thus, or First Thus, or First Edition Thus. And I’m just gonna give you the definition from Bilio.com’s glossary of book collecting terms:

1st edition, thus

  • Aka: 1st thus, first thus

Indicates that this is not the first appearance of a book in print, but that this is the first appearance in a substantially different format than the true first edition. For example, a first illustrated edition of a book, or even a first paperback release of a book originally published in hard cover.

Random GIF


  1. Back Cover Copy- The 150-250 words that are harder to write than 100k and can make or break you. No Pressure. I still don’t have it down. Be gentle with me.
  2. Publisher Imprint and/or Logo- Technically, the publisher imprint differs from the publishing company in that it is the trade name the book is published under. For Badass Sci Fi, they’re the same, but if I wanted to start publishing romance novels, I may not want to use Badass Sci Fi as my imprint. Example: The imprint on Dune is Ace, which is a subsidiary of Penguin Random House.
  3. Barcode- New ISBN (matches the copyright page).
  4. Badass Sci Fi Rating Card- Yes! Finally!
  5. Spine Width- 0.852″ based on 396 pages, 60# Finch Vanilla. The first edition was 0.995″ based on 448 pages, 60# Opaque.
  6. Safe Zone- All print should fall between the blue margins.
  7. Danger Zone- Still part of the cover, but nothing important should fall here.
  8. Bleed Zone- Graphics should extend to the edges of the red zone, but they won’t end up on the cover.

Thanks for indulging me. Until next time, here’s another random GIF.

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