Does Size Matter?

doessizematterFor self-publication purposes, it’s important to know a few technical aspects of what you’ll require from your book cover designer in order to be able to upload the cover to the eBook retailer and distributor sites and/or Print-On-Demand (POD) sites you choose to publish through.

Every retailer/distributor/POD is a little different. They will post their requirements or recommendations on line. For the 3 that we focus on in this post, here’s what you need to know:

Amazon (retailer):

Amazon suggests a ratio which is skinnier than most eBooks, which then makes your book cover look odd when in a line up with other covers. Their suggestion is not a requirement. As long as it’s 2500 pixels or more long, you’re good. We suggest the following:

  • Type: JPG
  • Color: RGB (most images are in this)
  • Size: 3000 (high) x 2000 (wide) pixels

If it’s a white background, a 1-pixel, dark border needs to be added to the edges so that you can tell where the book cover starts/stops when shown on a white background (like Amazon web pages).

Smashwords (distributor):

Smashwords cover image requirement is that the image be over 1400 pixels on the short side (width). Their recommendation is 1600 px wide. In addition it has to be under 20MB, and they also prefer JPG.

The 3000×2000 image made for Amazon also works for Smashwords.

Create Space (POD):

Because POD is print, we now have to worry about the spine and the back of the cover as well. eBooks, we only care about the front of the cover.

You have two options with this.

Option 1

A cover designer can do a design for print that is a full wrap (includes front, spine, an back of the cover).  This option typically means more $. In addition, your cover designer will need details such as the size of the book and the number of pages to help determine the size of the spine.

Option 2

The easier/cheaper option is to use the front cover design only! Yup. You heard me right.

Create Space has an awesome cover designer tool which comes with several options. Select the SPRUCE design, which allows for a single image on the front cover. You then enter the text for the spine and back cover, and select a solid color for the spine and back cover and text.

Social Media:

You’ll also want a few different sizes for social media and to give reviewers.

You’ll want a JPG in the following sizes:

  • 750 x 500 pixels
  • 300 x 200 pixels

You could also do a 150 pixel size, but honestly, most social media resizes to the smaller dimensions easily for you.


Leave a Reply