Kindle Formatting: Requirements for the Kindle Book Cover Image

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Amazon updated their recommendation (4/2012) for a book’s cover file to be 1500 to 2400 pixels with a 1.6 ratio to the short side. At 2400 for the long side, this calculates to 5 inches by 8 inches at 300 dpi. I prefer to retain the 6 x 9 inch (typical book) ratio.

The page size ratio for the sample documents* Kindle offers is more like 1.2 to 1.3:
Childrens Book: 452 px by 600 px, ratio is 1.327
KF8 Sample: 600 px by 800 px, ratio is 1.333**
Comics Sample: 900 px by 1100 px, ratio is 1.2

*Samples located in right navigation of page

**Though Amazon recommends 600 x 800 for the book cover (which is more squarish), I prefer to use the 600 x 900, or 6×9, as in a traditional book.


Creating a Book Cover

You have prepared your manuscript and are ready to e-publish. Now you need to know how to prepare your book images and upload your Kindle book cover to the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing system.

There are two covers you will need: the Product Cover and the Internal eBook Cover. The best file format is JPG, which is acceptable for publishing both the product and internal cover image.


Materials, etc.

Free Download of Book Cover Templates

Download sample covers here >>

ONLINE Book Cover Creator: I have not personally tried this site by it may be of interest to some of you: http://www.copysafe.net/cover_designer/default.asp


NOTE: I will be talking about the Product display and internal cover only. (not book covers for print)


Formatting Images Inside Your Kindle Book

Kindle Direct Publishing will convert your images and text for upload to the Amazon Kindle Store as well as display on Kindles and other supported devices.

Kindle Direct Publishing can process your book covers in the following formats:

  • GIF (or .gif)
  • PNG (or .png)
  • BMP (or .bmp)
  • JPEG (or .jpeg)

NOTE: Images will appear in color ONLY on the Kindle Fire device. All other Kindle devices will display black and white.


Internal Book Cover

The best formats to use for the internal Kindle e-book cover is a JPG or GIF image, 127 KB* size at 300 dpi. This will provide enough clarity for images, particularly for large images, or content with gradient patterns. But you also don’t want the e-book file size to become too large.


*Amazon recommends a 127K size for book covers. “The largest element of almost any Kindle book will be the image content. Inside your book file, the Kindle book format supports JPEG and GIF images up to 127KB in size. Images that are in other formats supported for upload to KDP (such as BMP or PNG), or that exceed this file size requirement, will be automatically recompressed as JPEG files during the conversion process. Optimizing your images to fit these requirements before uploading to KDP will help decrease the size of your uploaded file. It will also reduce the chance of encountering difficulties in conversion due to large file size.”

HOWEVER once the reader has purchased your e-book, the Internal ebook cover is a moot point — they may go and look at your e-book cover, but most do not.


Image Processing

If you choose to upload your Word (.doc) file, and you have embedded images in your content, Kindle Direct Publishing automatically extracts images from the content and replaces them with an HTML tag.

This process converts each image to a separate image file, which becomes a part of your content’s publication package (MOBI).


Note: Images do not display accurately when you preview an uploaded file. For instance, larger images may resize or rotate when previewed. If your book has a lot of images, it can be viewed in color by the Kindle Fire or by readers using our free Kindle apps for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, and Windows 7 devices. Otherwise, remember that images on Kindle (with the exception of the Fire) are displayed in 16 shades of gray for great contrast and clarity.


The Product Display Book Cover

The product display cover is the image that resides on the virtual bookshelf in the Amazon Kindle Store. It must be 72 dpi and I recommend a JPG file. I commonly create the product cover from the internal cover I designed at 600 x 800 600 x 900 or 6 x 9-inches. The product image needs to be crisp, sharp, and does not need to be any larger the 127K, however, Kindle Direct Publishing accepts two types of files for product display cover images:

  • JPEG, or .jpeg
  • TIFF, or .tif(f)

KDP applies additional compression to images when displaying them on its website. For best results, images should be uploaded with minimal compression.

Dimensions

Kindle recommends the size to create your cover is 600 x 800 pixels to create a flush image on the older (b&w) Kindles. This is slightly more square than an 6 x 9 inch book cover. I prefer the 6 x 9 (or 600 x 900) ratio as it appears more like a traditional book.

In addition, the product cover is displayed on the Web, so the resolution only needs to be 72 dpi for optimal viewing.

Requirements for the size of your cover art:

  • Image dimensions of at least 500 by 800 pixels 500 to 2400 pixels with a 1.6 ratio to the short side– 600 x 800 pixels produces a full screen cover image on older Kindles. I prefer 600 x 900 pixels
  • Do not make your image any larger than 2000 pixels on the longest side.
  • Save at 72 dots per inch (dpi) for optimal viewing on the web.

Free Download of Book Cover Templates


Kindle Formatting Ebook Cover Sample

Sample of a Full Color E-book Cover Design

Use Color

Color attracts attention so use color images whenever possible and relevant. The Kindle Fire offer exceptional color clarity, so use color images in your e-book. Although the other Kindle reading devices have a black and white screen, Amazon has Kindle apps for other devices, such as iPhone or PC, which takes advantage of color fonts and images.

All images on the Web display using RGB (red, green, blue) color mode, which is the color mode native to the Web and many color screen displays. Combinations of these three colors at varying levels of intensity create over 16 million colors.

Borders for White Cover Art

Cover art with white or very light backgrounds will disappear against the Amazon Kindle Store white background. Adding a very narrow (3-4 pixel) border in medium gray to the Product Book cover Image will define the boundaries of the cover.

Uploading Your Cover to Amazon KDP

To publish on Amazon, you need a Kindle Direct Publishing account.

  1. Log in to your KDP account at http://kdp.amazon.com/.
  2. Select the checkbox next to the book you want to edit
  3. Select the “Actions” drop-down menu under your book list and choose “Edit book details.”
  4. Scroll down to the heading labeled “Product Image.”
  5. Click on the button named “Browse for Image…”
  6. A pop-up window will appear. Click the button named “Browse.”
  7. Locate your cover image file on your computer, click “Open.”
  8. Click the “Upload Image” button.
  9. Uploaded Successfully! will appear along with the preview image.
  10. When you have entered all other information scroll to the bottom of page and click “Save and Continue.”

Rights and Pricing

You are almost done. On this page you will need to reconfirm Content Rights, and click “Save and Publish” at the bottom of the screen. Changes will take effect on the web site within 24 hours.

NOTE: The previewed image serves only as a placeholder while your book completes the publishing process. The publishing process can take about 24 hours (longer if they are backed up). So be patient.

When to Publish

Planning ahead is best, so if you want your book to be live and ready for purchasing by a certain date, then pre-prepare your book publishing information long before you plan to publish.

The book sits in “Draft” mode until you publish. Just make sure you change the date on the publication before you publish. If you started the process in March 2011, and finally publish in July, the March date will be used.

Generic Kindle Book CoverWhen working on your ebook, if you don’t have a product image Kindle will add a placeholder image to the Amazon detail page for your eBook. DO NOT LEAVE IT THAT WAY!

Although the Kindle placeholder contains the title of your book and the first contributor name you entered, it is a generic book cover. While ANY cover produces a better customer experience than displaying a message that an image is not available, nothing can beat a well designed and enticing book cover.


UPDATE 5/11/2012: THE DOUBLE COVER RETURNS

It appears Amazon has stepped backwards, again. The “OPTION” of including the project image is no longer optional. Amazon now embeds your Product cover in your book and they state you do not need to include a cover.xhtml or cover.jpg file in your ebook.

According to Amazon, “Including the cover image within the content of your book will cause the cover image to appear twice in the converted content of your book. Apart from that, there will not be any other issues.

Therefore, if you do not want the cover image to appear twice after conversion, I would recommend you to remove the cover image from the actual content of your book. However, if it is okay with you for the cover image to appear twice, you needn’t make any changes.”

NEED MORE HELP?

Feel free to contact us for you design, formatting and marketing needs.

Comments

  1. TFT says

    So basically we’re talking about cover art that should measure 600 x 800 px and no more than 127 KB, as JPG, for both covers (actual cover and product cover)? What about the dpi though: Is it 72 for BOTH, or just the Product Cover? Can you please expand a bit on this? (Is there any difference?) I also have technical questions regarding photographs to include in the ebook, but I will navigate around your website, as I’m sure you cover those as well. Thanks again for this website; it’s helping me a lot! :-)

    • says

      I make both the internal and product cover 600 x 800 pixels. For the Internal Book cover 127 K size is from the KDP specs, so I would use it as your guide. “The largest element of almost any Kindle book will be the image content. Inside your book file, the Kindle book format supports JPEG and GIF images up to 127KB in size. Images that are in other formats supported for upload to KDP (such as BMP or PNG), or that exceed this file size requirement, will be automatically recompressed as JPEG files during the conversion process. Optimizing your images to fit these requirements before uploading to KDP will help decrease the size of your uploaded file. It will also reduce the chance of encountering difficulties in conversion due to large file size.”

      The Product cover goal is to be chart and stand out. If you use a resolution that is higher than 72 dpi for the Product cover, then the image looks “digitally”.

      All Images inside your e-book, should be at a higher resolution: up to 300 dpi. You want them as sharp as possible, but you also don’t want the ebook to become too large in size. Amazon charges for each download, which eats away at your royalties.

      Thanks for the questions and the kudos.

      Suzanne

  2. TFT says

    Thanks for your quick response, Suzanne!

    So basically, all BUT the product cover image files (internal cover AND photos & graphics) should have those dimensions (600 x 800 px, 127K, 300 dpi) and the product cover the said dimensions, but set at 72 dpi. And they all should be JPG files ideally… Hope i understood that right!

    Yup, kudos again for such a wonderful website, and Happy Holidays!

    • says

      You don’t have to just use the JPG format – Kindle accepts (for interior images):
      GIF (or .gif)
      PNG (or .png)
      BMP (or .bmp)
      JPEG (or .jpeg)

      Example: JPG are best for photos or images with soft graduated screens.
      GIFs are good for single or spot color images, like clip art or illustrations.

      The best way is to test images and preview on an actual device or use an App (like Kindle Previewer or Sony Reader) before final publishing.

      You can use a lower resolution for the indies e-book images (below 300 dpi) — the Key is to make the images sharp and crisp, without making the final ebook size too large.

  3. Craig Thiem says

    Thanks for the info.

    Please could you show me how to import my internal cover into my Word doc, converted to HTML so that it appears on my Kindle preview. Even though my cover does appear, there is a warning note: Missing Cover Image.

    Thanks

    Craig

    • says

      Craig, I emailed you the instructions and code directly — Also, once you embed your cover image, check in the KDP and make sure your are not using your Product cover image for inside your book. It is a small checkbox next to the Product Image upload.

      Open your HTML file in a text editor such as Text Edit or NotePad.
      .
      Scroll until you see the opening body tag <body>
      .
      Paste this code just below the tag. IMPORTANT! make sure to redo the quotemarks so they are “straight” quotes and not “curly quotes” —
      .
      <img alt="cover" class="cover" src="cover.jpg" title="cover art" />
      .
      NOTE: use the name of your cover image for cover.jpg
      .
      SAVE YOUR FILE.
      .
      ZIP both the HTML and Cover Image together and upload the zip file to Kindle.

  4. says

    Hi. My designer followed the guidelines for the cover dimensions and it all looks great except on the Kindle Fire device on the Kindle Previewer. It’s the only device that does not show the cover. When you click on the cover icon, I get the message that the cover file is missing. The cover also shows up on the KDP preview from our title dashboard.

    Any ideas why the cover isn’t recognized or is missing when we try to preview it on the Kindle Fire?

    Thanks!

  5. says

    1. Make sure the file is RGB
    2. Make sure you have a cover.xhtml page for Kindle document
    3. Make sure you zipped the cover.jpg file with the document when uploaded.
    .
    .
    If it shows for the Kindle, then is should show for the Kindle fire Preview as well — If you send me the MOBI file I will take a peek on my previewer– send to me at contact@unrulyguides.com and I will take a look
    .
    .
    PS — I now make my files a 6 x 9 (inch) ratio. Even though on the Kindle it is not a full screen image, it has a better feel and look. (the 600 x 800 is rather squarish).

  6. says

    If you’re creating a book that has illustrations attached to poems, do you have to pay createspace for each illustration you use?

    Also, just to clarify – the formatting for interior illustrations is the same as formatting for an interior cover, is that correct?

    Are there any font limitations if you add text to an interior illustration, i.e. the name of a poem combined with an image?

    I really REALLY appreciate your help.

  7. says

    Carole, If you are formatting for Create Space then you are designing a high-resolution book for print.
    .
    Whether you book is a fiction (text) or a children’s book (illustration) is really a moot point. Create Space provides printing and design services. If you are hiring them to design your book, then that is a different matter.
    .
    All formatting for a print book should be at 300 dpi (dots per inch) minimum for the best quality printing. Anything less and your images will look soft. So images must be created to scale at 300 dpi and then the entire document exported for print at 300 dpi.
    .
    You can use as many typefaces as you want in a book, but I do not recommend it. It may get confusing for the reader; however it is your choice. Just note that each font should be embedded in the exported file for printing (embedding the font will increase the file size of the exported book). If the file becomes too large for you to upload or you have problems doing so, you may have to put on a CD and mail it to CreateSpace for printing.
    .
    If the poem is attached to the illustration as one file (ie/ Tiff or JPG), then embedding the font is not necessary as it is part of the image. Just make sure the file is 300 dpi.
    .
    Hope this helps, Suzanne

    • says

      This does help greatly Suzanne! Do you know what the finished size in pixels should be for an interior illustration, by any chance? or perhaps where i might find this info?

      Thanks a million for your time today!

      • says

        The finished size depends on the size of the book you are creating. And every printer is slightly different so Create Space should have this information.
        .
        But I would imagine that a 6 ” x 9″ book with gutters (that’s the blank space around the edge of the page) of .375″ (3/8″) would leave you 5.25″ x 8.25″ x (1575 x 2475 pixels)
        .
        Here is CS Book Specs page: https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/InteriorPDF.jsp
        .
        I suggest you download the template they offer. Unfortunately, they offer Word templates. I prefer to work in InDesign so I create my own templates abased on CS Book Specs.

  8. says

    i wonder whether you can help me out of a little difficulties.?

    I need an interior images for my e-book.Acceped images :jpg or tiff less than 20MB.Can you provide a file download to ease my work.

    Thank you.

    • says

      Macie, Thank you for the kudos. Its’ nice to hear the information is helpful.

      Also as an Update, I just received word that Amazon uses the product image for your interior book, so including the cover.xhtml and cover.jpg file will create a double cover image in your book. I am still trying to verify this, but it appears they went backwards in improvements for KDP.

      hanks again,

      Suzanne

  9. Demetrius says

    I see a stock photo image that I like, but it says that it is Vector. Can I use it on my cover?

    • says

      Demetrius, A vector graphic would work for your cover. Vector just means you can modify the points, lines, curves or shape of the image in Illustrator. Commonly, the file is in an .eps format (encapsulated postscript). Simply open in Photoshop, or other photo editing program and modify to fit your needs. — Suzanne

  10. Demetrius says

    I created part of a book cover , the manuscript and a rough draft back cover in Wordox.. it is saved as Word dox. I plan to put another stock image (Vector) on cover. It is saved on disk drive.
    What should I do now to get it ready for Kindle? What changes should I make?

    Thanks.

    The cover and pages are 6 x 9 inches.
    The title is large on cover.

  11. Demetrius says

    Sorry. I see what the pixels should be, but when I look at the list on the stock photography images for the front of my book cover, I get confused.
    Could you please tell me which from the list is the correct size?
    I promise not to bother you again.

    1. 3.9″ x 6.7″ @72 dpi 280×480 pixels

    2. 467×800 pixels 6.5″ x 11.1″ @72 dpi

    3. 1323×2265 pixels 4.4″ x 7.6″ @300 dpi

    4. 1709×2925 pixels 5.7″ x 9.8″ @300 dpi

    5. 2162×3700 pixels 7.2″ x 12.3″ @300 dpi

    6 6142×10512 pixels2 0.5″ x 35″ @300 dpi

    • says

      It depends on the book cover you are creating — print or digital. I prefer to design for print using the 6 x 9-inch format (1800 x 2700 pixesl) at 300 dpi, that way I can create print or digital covers.

      It appears your option 4 will work if you proportionally enlarge is to fit the 6 inch width.

  12. says

    I wonder if I might ask your kind assistance.I have three books on Amazon Kindle today and I went through the Mobipocket creator system after making them HTML Web Filtered. I found when I got to the cover part I was able to insert my cover but never found a section about the cover for the inside of my book ie does it stay the same size or do I have to convert it smaller for the inside? Plus how do I go about doing that on Mobi creator please?. Many Thanks Robert James Bridge I hasten to add although the cover of my books is o/k on KDp the inside covers are not turning out right for some reason?.

    • says

      Robert, Unfortunately, I do not use MobiPocket as I have a Mac and it is ONLY for PCs. I use Sigil ebook editor and create a cover.xhtml page for the cover.

      The dimensions I make my book covers is a standard 6 x 9 inch book or 600 x 900 pixels. I just assume once a person has bought a book they rarely look at the cover, so I don’t make it too large in K size either.(around 150 – 200K, if possible)

      However, Kindle states that they will automatically insert your Product Cover (the one you upload in KDP) into your book, so it “appears” you do not need to include the cover “in” the book yourself you upload.

      Here’s a post I found from Mobipocket Developer Center (it may help): http://www.mobipocket.com/dev/article.asp?BaseFolder=creatorhome&File=cover_wizard.htm

  13. Dee says

    Like Demetius in the above comment, I don’t know what stock photos to buy to make my cover. I will be using pictures and photoshoping them together to make a cover. For example, say I need to get a picture of model and this person will only take up one quarter of the book’s 6×9 cover, if I have options like below, can you please tell me which one I should use for someone who be on a the cover for no more than 3″ x 3″. Thanks for any help:

    1. 3.9″ x 6.7″ @72 dpi 280×480 pixels

    2. 467×800 pixels 6.5″ x 11.1″ @72 dpi

    3. 1323×2265 pixels 4.4″ x 7.6″ @300 dpi

    4. 1709×2925 pixels 5.7″ x 9.8″ @300 dpi

    5. 2162×3700 pixels 7.2″ x 12.3″ @300 dpi

    6 6142×10512 pixels2 0.5″ x 35″ @300 dpi

    • says

      Dee, First you need to decide what type of ebook you are making. One that will (eventually) be used for print or just an ebook.

      If you plan to print your book (print on demand) then you need to use a 300 dpi image. (number 3 in the list for a 3 ” x 3″ area).

      If you are only creating an ebook, then 72 dpi will work and you can get #1. (But if you decide to go to print you will have to redo the entire cover at 300 dpi and re-purchase the higher resolution image.)

      This is why I ALWAYS design at 6 x 9 inch at 300 dpi — this way, I am prepared for both ebook AND print. The image may cost a few dollars more, but I save myself a lot of time and aggravation in the future.

      Hopes this help — Suz

      • Dee says

        Thanks, Suz, for the info as I’m making a print and ebook, so I’ll get the 300s.

        I also want to make a book trailer. I’m trying to keep my costs down, but do I need to buy the 300 pictures for those as well? (I’m hoping to get by with 72 since, it’s probably something that won’t even be looked at too much.)

        Also, I’m assuming for some of the licensing that it might be considered a “twice” use so, I’ll have to buy the photos that I use for both the cover and trailer. Or do they consider that all one project?

        Thanks, this is just too complicated for me!

        • says

          I am not an expert in Book Trailers — but I do know someone who is: Darcy Pattison http://www.darcypattison.com/dpbooks/the-book-trailer-manual/.

          Her book “The Book Trailer Manual” is a must read, and a bargain at only $2.99. She also wrote the section on Promoting Work: Book Trailers in the 2012 Writer’s Market book (p 165).

          If you want to know about book trailers, I would start with her book. — and then come back here and share your book trailer link – I would love to view it.

          Suz

  14. Dee says

    Thanks, Suz, for the information. I’ll get the book and bookmark your site and come back later when my trailer’s finished. I was expecting to work on it more in July and August and finish when I launch my book sometime around September or October.
    (I’m using Windows Live Movie Maker)

  15. Demetrius says

    I have designed a book cover in word doc. It has the title and stock image photo a complete cover. Are the following steps correct to make it acceptable for Kindle Direct Publishing:

    1. Change the entire cover to jpeg format.
    2. Download it on Amazon.con
    3. Change the text manuscript that is in Word to jpeg.
    4. Then download the manuscript in jpeg form on Kindle.

    Thanks.

  16. says

    We originated our document in Word Perfect and published in HTML. The problem is it all looks great in Kindle Previewer but in the actual Kindle Direct Publishing it screws up all the commas and quotations. Is this a Word Perfect issue that can be fixed with the Nuclear Method? Why does it look good in the Kinde Previewer and not in the actual upload in publication?

    • says

      It may be your book looks fine in Kindle Previewer because you are viewing on your own computer where remnants of the word Perfect still live. However, on other devices that do not have these hidden remnants, they see your book for what it really is. It is similar to using a typeface in your Word file that other users do not have on their computer.

      I had a client with a book in Word Perfect. It looked “perfect” on his machine, but when he would send me the file, what a mess of coding issues. Opening quotes were turned into a lowercase, capped and bold “Y”, closing quotes turned into question marks (?) plus a variety of other anomolies.

      If you still have Word Perfect on your computer, I suggest first trying to save the file from within WP to a WORD document. That may clean up the file.

      The other method is stripping out all the formatting and starting fresh. This may require copying the entire file and pasting into Notepad, with smart quotes turned off. (text only.)

      I tried every method I could think of for my client’s book and no matter what I did, the odd characters remained; I ended up having to manually correct the issues in Word.

      Let me know how you fare

      Suzanne

  17. Joel West says

    Hi, I have made an epub with Sigil that has a cover but the rest of the book are just jpegs. I scanned some pages in that contain images and text flowing around them, similar to a pdf. I would like the jpegs to fill up the entire screen on my Kindle Fire but no matter what I do they just will not. The are 1024×600 with a pretty low dpi. I tried adding width/height attributes to size them but that only made the images degrade, and they still wouldnt fill up the screen. Is there any way to do this? If I could get them the size of the screen it would look fabulous. And one more thing pertaining to this job while I got you on the line…. When I preview this ebook on the Kindle Fire/Touch and the I-pad they look ok, but on the Sony reader and the Nook it cuts off the bottom half of the pictures. Can I fix this without messing it up for the Kindle and the Ipad? Thanks!!!

  18. Joel West says

    Oh and just to let you know , the pictures show up now with “gutters” around them on all sides. They just need to go another 1/4 to 3/8 ” to fill up the screen. But thats a lot of real estate for the viewers :)

    • says

      Joel,

      The only image that is allowed to be “full screen” is the cover (at least for the Kindle). The remaining inside pages have the gutter. (I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure of this at this time)

      Every device has it’s own standard / and screen size. You’ll need to either make a file for each or specify the size change for the screen size being used in the CSS. (See @media rules here: http://www.w3schools.com/css/css_mediatypes.asp )

      You also need to be careful in designing for the Kindle Fire only. There are several other Kindle readers (e-ink, touch and the Apps) that will display differently. so you need to apply the @media amzn-kf8 for Fire and @media amzn-mobi for everything else (older Kindles / apps).

      I don’t understand having you text part of a JPG file. You can flow text around an image using the “float” property. (See http://www.w3schools.com/cssref/pr_class_float.asp ). Float does not work with the older Kindles and apps at this time, but for the Fire and Ipad it works nicely.

      You also don’t want your file size to become too large. This will cut back on your royalties (at least with Amazon).

      Hope this helps,

      Suz

  19. Joel West says

    Well the brochure that I was converting, I just scanned in each page and just called each page’s jpeg as a page. It was just a little project for my own experimentation and use. If it were a “job” I would have surely gone a different route. Also it is why I made it specifically for my Kindle Fire. Now a friend wanted to use it and of course the aforementioned problem. Now I have something to work on for more experience and education. I am practicing up for a job, (hint, hint) :) Thanks for the great service!

  20. Demetrius says

    Hello
    My book was put up on Amazon the other day “221B A Sherlock Holmes for Our Time” please take a look. (you can read and review for the low price)
    I;m writing to you about the cover. Someone said I failed to make my point on what the book was about although I though the images were symbolic and meant something.
    They said this, although they made no suggestions.
    What do you think?

    • Demetrius says

      Forgot to add, its a short story not a book that is on Amazon.
      Soon I will put up a much larger work and I want to improve and learn by then.

      Thanks.

      • says

        The cover looks like a self help for success book cover. Without reading the book I cannot tell you exactly what the cover should be, but as a graphic designer i would say the customer was right.

        The theme is detective, Sherlock Holmes, mystery…. The image and colors, as well as the typeface chosen all need to convey the essence of the book without revealing too much.

        I envision a 3/4 view of a face, updated with sunglasses or holding a modern day revolver; a ghosting of the iconic Holmes hat or pipe could be included. Then in the dark background an image of a dead body, or whatever the mystery is.

        the title would be on the left, in blood red.

        I would also rethink the title:

        221 B
        The Inventors Game
        A Sheridan Hope Mystery (subhead)
        .
        Anyone that knows Sherlock Holmes will recognize the 221B.

        You can email me directly if you would like more information or help with your book cover.

        • Demetrius says

          Just want to say thanks.
          If I see a photo of you online, I will give it a kiss on the cheek.

          I believe the person who wrote the book cover wasn’t right is the same one who wanted me to pay him to design my cover earlier, so I wondered about comments. Was he knocking the cover so I would pay him? Your reply helped

          • says

            Before you hire anyone, take a look at their portfolio and samples. Just because they say they can design a cover DOES NOT MEAN they will design a cover that will help get your book noticed or sold. I would be happy to help you — the book sounds interesting. — All the best, Suz

        • Demetrius says

          This computer is slow and I couldn’t locate an email address to contact you directly.
          What font or lettering do you suggest the title to be in.?
          I was trying to put together the images you mentioned in the last email I use stock photos from Dreamstime. There, you’ll find a silhouette of Holmes head, smoking a pipe, another of a long shadow of Holmes and one called “London” These images look interesting.
          There are also photo images of deerstalker, pipe and magnifying glasses together.
          I wanted the image of Hope to be like the silhouette of “Luther” on the BBC or Alex Cross on the book cover. I didn’t locate any stock image in sunglasses that I thought appropriate.

          Thanks again

          • says

            D, [I sent you a direct email]

            You don’t have to get the images as I woul dlike to make sure that they will work. Sometimes when an image looks good, when I start to design the cover I find they don’t work.

            Plus, I can’t determine a font until I have all the images in place — images, color and typeface all need to work together.

            If you email me the location of the images I will make sure they will work, are the right resolution, etc

  21. Demetrius says

    What you were saying sounded very interesting. It looks like I have a problem with sizes, and you know what to do.
    For some reason you had to stop, and I hope everything’s fine.

    But when you get a chance, please continue with the help you started.
    What you say is valuable to not just me but everyone else.

    • says

      Demetrius, I am on vacation this week through the 20th — I have your information and will email you when I get back on cover design ideas, etc. __ thanks, suz

  22. Sarah says

    Hi, I just published a book on Amazon for the Kindle.
    All of my photos in the books are below 600 pixels.
    I have a PC and put it in a word doc then converted to html.
    None of the photos show up in previewer, does that mean that
    the photos didn’t work? Is there anyway for me to preview my book, it is so frustrating, I can figure out the mobi thing.

  23. says

    Hi

    I’m desperate for help it is confusing getting through to actually getting my book onto kindle. I’d like to ask for my book cover do I put name of book on the cover plus my name then make it into a jpg? Daft question I know but I watched a video and it appeared that it was done without and they add it so now confused whether to do it with or without.

    Also kindle have now change the size for the cover they now want it to be 1526 x 2500

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give. Great site keep up the good work

    Rosalie

    • says

      Amazon will put up a generic book cover with the title of your book and your name ONLY if you do not supply a book cover. Otherwise, you have to upload a finished book cover (image, title and author name). The 1526 x 2500 size is the largest they accept — however I create Amazon covers at 600 x 900 pixels at 72 ppi/dpi.

      Hope this helps,

      Suz

  24. says

    Hello,
    I have designed two book covers for my client and need to convert them in to the sizes needed for ebooks. I have done them at the right pixels and resolution but I can not for the life of me get them lower than 610kb! Help please! How do I make a 600x800pixel file less than 127kb??
    Your help with this would be greatly appreciated as I have to have these to my client by tomorrow.
    Thanks,
    Claire

    • says

      Claire,

      127K is Amazon’s recommendation – My book covers are up to 250K in size. For interior books, Reduce the resolution from 300 ppi/ dpi to about 100 or even 72. For the product Cover Store image, use 72 dpi/ppi. Readers rarely go back to view the book cover once they have purchased the book and the smaller bookshelf image on their e-readers will still be crisp and clear.

      Suz

  25. says

    Thanks Suzanne for the info regarding the internal cover page. I started a blog today, and I wrote about this in one of my first posts. Thanks again!

  26. sue says

    Hi Suz,

    Good information there especially for first timers like me. I’m going to publish my first book on kindle and wanted some help. I’ve created a word file that I’m getting formatted from someone . I wanted to know if the coverimage that I created using createspace will be acceptable on kindle. It’s a 600×800 pixel but the size is 147kb , will this be acceptable ?? Also will this be acceptable on smashwords and other ebook publishers ??

    • says

      The cover image for Create Space would be a higher resolution, but will work just fine digitally. however, you state the cover image is 600 x 800 pixels and 147KB — That is not high enough resolution for a Print (PO) book. A 600 x 800 pixel is only 2 inches x 2.667 inches at 300 DPI (dot per inch). A true 6 x 9 -inch book at 300 DPI equates to 2500 x 3333 – pixels. When considering POD, you need to think PRINT — DPI and 300 DPI is the target resolution — the lower the resolution the grainier the print. To make sure you like your print book, always order a proof copy before publishing online.

      To answer your question, YES, an e-book of 600 x 800 would work, even if it is larger than the size specified by Amazon. However, I commonly create a 6 x 9 -inch book and then export to 600 x 900 for my Kindle book (1500 x 2000 for iPad), instead of the 600 x 800. the reason is the introduction of the Kindle Fire in January. the 600 x 800 was for a full screen image on the older Kindle screens.

      Other publishers have their parameters they like — such as iPad. They prefer to have a larger image, though it is not necessary. That is why I recommend you design your book cover for print at at least 6 x 9 inches at 300 DPI, then convert to appropriate sizes at 100 or 72 PPI (pixels per inch) for digital consumption.

      Hope this helps, Suzanne

  27. Steve says

    Hello,

    I am having a heck of a time figuring out what size image to use in creating my fixed-layout children’s book for kindle. Do you have recommendations for an image size that will work best with the multiple devices (iPad, kindle, kindle fire, etc). Thanks!

  28. Gina says

    Hi! I am having a hard time finding any info on publishing childrens picture books on kindle,
    any links that might help with preparing the book, publishing, etc?
    Also, I am currently having an ebook illustrated and they are inquiring if the text is going to be submitted seperately from the images. If so, the illustrator will not put any text on the image pages. Is this the case?

    • says

      Childrens book formatting, ie/ Fixed Layouts, are painful to format. Mainly because every device seems to have their own standards. Unlike an epub file that will work essentially across the board for Kobo, B&N and Apple, this is not the case for a fixed layout. And Kindle is, of course, is it’s own realm.

      So As for your design the choice is up to you: if you want the text on the image, and if you want e-readers to be able to “read” aloud the books, then you need only the images from your artist. The images are then placed as a background, and the text is floated on the top in the correct location.

      If the text and illustrations are combined, then you limit the children who can “read” the book — meaning reading devices for the visually impaired cannot read text that is combined into an image.

      A great source for learning more about Fixed Layouts http://www.ebookarchitects.com/conversions/fixedlayout.php . Josuah Tallent is a great ebook formatted and specializes in this type of format.

      Hope this helps, Suzanne

  29. says

    I too am working on a fixed layout children’s book. I am using In-design CS5 and all the goodies from Amazon (export plug-in and Previewer).

    I have read above that full page bleeds don’t work in your experience so I may have to change my layout or work around the gutter issue.

    My question is in regards to text on top of and image. Sample page can be fond here http://www.oliverfae.com/booksample/

    When I export the File from In Design the text ends up below the image and the full page image (set to be 600×900) is centered and doesn’t fill the page. My whole book is like the cover, with text on top of images as you can see by the example above so any advice would help with the rest of the book.

    Thanks in advance. BTW great information here thanks for posting these.

    • says

      Full page bleeds are referring to standard formatting. A fixed layout is en entirely different animal. InDesign is not creating a “fixed layout” but just an epub file. What needs to happen is the image is a background image (CSS) and the text is floated on the top.

      A great source for understanding fixed layouts is Ebook Architects. http://www.ebookarchitects.com/conversions/fixedlayout.php Joshua Tallent is very proficient in creating fixed layout books. Though understand the process is different per device, and so the cost for creation can be quite high.

      If you need any further help or questions, please feel free to contact me directly through my online contact form.

      All the best, Suzanne

  30. LauraO says

    I have a very basic question about uploading cover art – I created my cover with the required dimensions. The initial thumbnail preview is blurry, but the actual book preview is fine. Is this normal? I tried uploading as both a tiff and a jpg with the same results. I am an experienced graphic designer, but have never used KDP’s site and have never had this problem before. I’d like to be able to assure my author that the image will display correctly. Thanks!

    • says

      If you are talking about the KDP area where you upload the image, then yes, it appears blurry but only there — the cover will display fine on the product page in Amazon.

      Suz

  31. Paulette says

    I’m designing a Kindle ebook cover for a friend in Quark 9.3. I’m familiar with Quark but only Version 6. The digital world has changed a lot since (jeez). When I open a new project in Quark, I choose Kindle project and am given a menu for project dimensions. When I put in 600 x 900 pixels as you suggest, it gives me a blank document that has a physical size of 8.3” x 12.5” (not 6 x 9 inches as you suggested). If I change the physical box size to 6 x 9, I get proportionate pixel dimensions of only 432 x 649.

    I’m additionally confused by Amazon’s recommendation for 2400 pixels on the long side. Even at 72 dpi, that computes to a document size that is 18.5” x 27.8” and a file size of 7.62 MB!! How in the world can I get this doc to be the recommended size, recommended pixels, and no larger than 127 KB ???

    Many thanks for screwing my head back on right. :-)

    • says

      The only reason I can see for the larger size is for the “look Inside” feature (which displays large on the screen) and perhaps for better resolution reader devices. This isn’t a print book so designing a cover to fit within the ratios I have given is just fine. (I have never had any complaints). I don’t see the reason for the larger file, especially for a digital book — unless Amazon is trying to increase the file size of your book and therefore deduct more from your royalties.

      I traditionally stay at 6 ” x 9″ (0r use 600 x 900 pixels) at 72 ppi, no matter what they have “recommended.” Also, I rarely have a book cover at 127K. It is more like 200 – 300 K (sometimes higher.)

      Kindle will take the image if you make it larger or smaller than recommended — and their “recommendations” are just that — recommendations, but not required.

      I hope this helps,

      Suzanne

  32. Paulette says

    Thanks Suzanne. I called a designer friend who has been working with Quark and PS for 25 years. He walked me through how to reduce the pixels/inch of the stock photo first, then how to export from Quark as a high-res pdf controlling for RGB color and bleed, how to import that into Photoshop and “save for Web” so I could then reduce the jpeg file size to fit to Amazon’s specs.

    I was trying to save to 127K based on your blog statement “The product image needs to be crisp, sharp, and does not need to be any larger the 127K.” It’s nice to know I don’t have to sacrifice clarity on the final jpeg that much and can give myself more latitude to the 300K+ range. Appreciate your response.

    Paulette

  33. says

    I am about to try and convert and upload my first book on Kindle and I just found this page. I am not even half way through it and I wanted to comment on the quality of the content and how perfectly the topic is for what I need presently. I picked up some software that converts form MS Word but I did not know what to do about the ebook cover. This seems to answer all of my questions at the moment (though I always seem to generate more of them). Thanks for the great information, Suzanne!

      • says

        It may be that your image is not fitting the digital screen or that you have an empty paragraph at the end of the page (after the image).

        Older Kindles, for example are a 600 x 800 screen area, so if the image is larger than that, it will cause older Kindles to create a blank page.

        I designed the images just under the 600 x 800 area, but at a higher resolution of 166 ppi. In this way, when on the Kindle fire, people could double tap the image and it will enlarge to fit the screen and retain the higher quality.

        The other option is that after the image you hit return or have an empty paragraph tag. If this is the issue, then that could create a blank page.

        • says

          You do not need to send the publisher your copyright registration. This is only for added protection for you, though if they contact you directly you can mention you have registered.

          Publishers have their own requirements for submission which include A one-page query letter containing your title, genre, market, word count, a brief description about your book, The first few pages of your MS, A brief synopsis.

  34. says

    Very nice of you to answer all these questions! I’m hoping you can answer mine. I have two books of short stories on Amazon kindle ebooks. I wanted to put pictures on each title page and finally figured out how to do it or so i thought. When I check the preview before publishing, the one that shows up on Kindle Fire seems right, but when i look at it on just the Kindle preview it’s not right. My title shows up on one page, on the next page the picture shows up and then the page after that is blank. After the blank page my story shows up. What am I doing wrong? Thank you!

  35. says

    Thanks for the info. I’m just getting into children’s books now and my illustrator asked me this question and I wasn’t exactly sure what to tell him. This is very helpful. Thanks.

  36. Rosemarie says

    Hi

    I need a step by step instructions as to how to convert my book Please don;t refer me to links , they are not helping me.

    The book is a picture book with full color illustrations on each page with text embedded. These are the steps I took:

    Step 1 I took the illustrations 10.5 x8.50 in inches with text embedded and turned them into Gif’s at 300dpi

    Step 2 I opened a Microsoft Word Document

    Step 3 I did nothing to the Word Document except I inserted the illustrations I saved it as a Word Document. ( I even saved it as a web page, filteres and when I uploaded that there was no illustrations just a camera image)
    Here is the part where I think I am messing up!

    Step 4 I uploaded it to Kindle Direct. I previewed it and the illustrations are at the top of the viewer and they are not to the edges of the viewer, in other words they looks small and are at the top not even half way down the viewer. Please type in this email exactly what to do, step by step.

    Thanks

    • says

      Rosemarie,

      This post is creating a book cover, the interior of a book is quite different. Also, I don’t have a lot about creating e-books from Word because of this very reason – you can’t manipulate elements like you can when working with the HTML.

      However, I have addressed your issues as best I can in the space afforded.

      = = = = =

      STEP 3 ISSUE: A camera image means the images are MISSING.

      First, when you created the HTML file from Word – Word took all the images and put them in a folder. They need to be included with the HTML file when you upload.

      1. Take the HTM file Word created and the Images folder and ZIP them together. Upload the Zip file to KDP.

      = = = = =

      STEP FOUR ISSUE: Image location on page.

      First, Word is not the best program for creating an e-book that requires special handling, such as a children’s book. When using Word, you are very limited to the instructions you can give, such as how to display the images on the page.

      There isn’t any way to make the margin space perfect using Word alone. Word is a word processing program, not a design program. And to tell the image to display with even margins on all sizes requires going into the style sheet.

      Since you only get to make one file for Amazon, that is for every Kindle, so you need to do some testing to see what looks best across the board.

      1. Resize your images to the an aspect ration that will work for the device you are targeting. The Kindle Fire HD, for example is 1280×800 pixel resolution at 216 ppi, or 6.06″ x 3.55″. Older Kindles are 800x 600 pixel resolution at 167 ppi.

      If you choose the larger screen, the image SHOULD proportionately reduce evenly to fit the other devices. But since all devices are differently, they will display with different white space around the image. (the only way to make the images flush for all devices is working manually with the HTML and style sheet)

      2. Place each image on a separate page in Word inserting page breaks for each page. Do not add paragraph returns to get them to separate pages. The sempty paragraphs will show up as a blank page in your final output.

      This MAY help, but it still will not be a perfect layout. The reason is Word was not designed to create ebooks – especially ones that require more detailed formatting and styling, such as Children’s books.

      = = = = =

      I also want to note a few things:

      A. GIF is for spot color only, so if your childrens images have any detail (shading, for example), I recommend using JPG – the quality will then be retained.

      B. Learn the device you want to create the book for. The Kindle Fire HD, for example is 1280×800 pixel resolution at 216 ppi, or 6.06″ x 3.55″. Older Kindles are 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi. You can see the newer the model, the higher the resolution.

      See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_displays_by_pixel_density#Amazon

      C. Margins: Since Kindles have various screen sizes. Only the cover is automatically flush to the margins if created to the correct dimension.

      To make the images flush to the entire screen requires creating a Fixed Layout book, which requires working with the HTML and style sheet. Additionally Fixed Layouts will display fine in the newer Kindles, but not on the older e-ink versions (Kindle 1,2,3). They don’t understand HTML 5

      D. Lastly, by embedding your text in the image, you are removing the ability for the Kindle to “read” the story and the book will not be “accessible.” This means that if any of your customers are visually impaired, then their reading technology cannot read the text embedded in the image. The only way to fix this is to add Accessible-friendly code to each image (in the HTML) so it can be read.