Your real estate here is very small usually but very important for discoverability on a bookshelf. Whether in a retail store or a library, that spine should stand out just like a front cover needs to stand out.
Elements: Title, Author Name, Series Name (if applicable), Series Number (if applicable), Publisher Logo
I prefer this to be a wrap around from the front cover, I find it is smoother and then you don’t have to do as much. But in the absence of fancy design skills, make it a solid color that matches the front.
Small decals and icons can add some depth. Especially if it is your publisher logo or series numbers. I did this for the Project Collusion series.
You usually want between 70-100 pages in the book to be able to have something legible on the spine. The thinner the spine the more simple it should be so that it is easy to read. Books with more than 100 pages should be able to have a bit more on the spine.
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