The KDP Cover and Image guidelines

Self-Publishers:  These are the new guidelines for Cover and Image size and resolution straight from the New KDP Guidelines.  This is just the Kindle guidelines, not Smashwords or PubIt (epub).  Make of them what you will.

This is for the DISPLAY image…the one on your Product page at the Kindle Store… not the cover on your book that is fairy-conveyed to a reading device.  So this is the Cover that you upload via KDP…not the one attached to your  KDP will accept “Display Cover Art” of   1000×625 to 2500×1562 pixels and with high resolution (they say 300dpi, but that’s pretty big… they say they can compress it.

Then for your interior images, make sure each image is not more than 257kb in size (that actually is double what they originally wanted).  So send your e-book designer (I previously called myself a ‘formatter’ but decided that I do so much more than formatting… so now I’m a Designer) not your Display cover for your product page at KDP, but the smaller sized (less than 257kb and resolution = 96dpi) cover.  Just pass this on to your Cover Artist.  They need to give you two covers at least… a big display cover and a cover of 625×1000 is fine, just get it down to 96dpi  and send that last one to me (or whoever designs your e-books).

Now the above is specific only for KDP/Kindle… so check with Smashwords and PubIt to see if their rules have changed. I’m really busy right now and just can’t check for you!

I probably just scared all my clients to death about the new guidelines… but the jist of the news from the KDP Newsletter was pretty skewed and led one to believe that these new Cover guidelines where a good thing, but remember there are 2 covers in an e-book… a display cover, and a book cover.  The display cover is KDP’s problem, they can compress what you send them, so make it as crisp as you can and make it at least 625×1000 pixels in physical size…they want their webpage to look good.

Gosh I’m tired of reading new ‘guidelines’ every other day!  Can technology just take a day off once in awhile! Please!!!




About athirstyblog

If you're a published author and are sitting on a basement full of backlisted books, then you've found the right blog. Although I formerly filled these pages with book reviews, they will now be filled with tips on eBook formatting, talk about the current technology of eBooks, and other stuff that interests me and hopefully interests you. I'm currently an eBook formatter, formerly a bookseller, archaeologist, illustrator and lover of all things historical and scientific. And I'm now a permanent citizen of DownEast Maine with my own beach and 175 year old house and everything! Come along for the Journey!
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7 Responses to The KDP Cover and Image guidelines

  1. Alan White says:

    Here are the spec’s I think are correct for the Kindle. (1) Exterior cover image from 625 pixels wide by 1000 pixels tall on up to 1562 pixels wide by 2500 pixels tall. (The aspect ratio should be 0.625-0.630.) Weight in kilobytes, from 125 on up to maybe 500 kilobytes. (2) Interior cover image and start image 600 pixels wide by 860 pixels tall. Weighing not more than 127 kilobytes. (3) Interior (text) images, 600 pixels wide (maximum, could be less) by 860 pixels tall (maximum, could be less), weighing not more than 127 kilobytes. I tend to think of dots per inch as a unit of weight or density used in reference to covers on paper and ink books. Care to comment?

    • athirstyblog says:

      Alan, you are correct, but Kindle really suggests, and suggests strongly that your cover be at least 1500pixels wide with an ratio of 1.6 and resolution of 300dpi. This is the product page cover that is uploaded from the Dashboard at KDP. Interior images can now be up to 250kb, but I try to keep mine below 150kb just for the file size. I also kick down the metadata cover image to 96dpi although KDP has been overriding the metadata image lately… they compress that big uploaded product page cover. If you don’t have a cover with the shortest side at least 1500pixels, your product page doesn’t look consistent with others, and if it’s below 800pixels, I believe KDP has the option of not including it at all, so your product page doesn’t have an image.

      • Alan White says:

        Dear A Thirsty Blog-
        (1) I have a copy of ‘Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines’, version 2012.4. On page 17 it states interior images can weigh no more than 127 kilobytes. Where are you getting the 250 kilobyte number? (2) Is it really correct to use the term dots per inch in reference to electronic books? Seems to me dots per inch refers to ink density on a paper cover. I would like to imagine pixels as the correct unit of measure for anything viewed on a momitor screen. (3) When you use the term ‘meta data image’ do you mean the interior cover image or the start image?

  2. athirstyblog says:

    Alan, (1) I got this info from a KDP newsletter. (2) Your semantics are probably correct, but using the term dpi saves me from a lot of explanation… and KDP using the term ‘dpi’ (3) Metadata is information which is attached (although hidden) to a file and contains the title, author, publisher, series and number if applicable, date of publication, tags, ISBN if there is one used, and a cover image. Amazon overrides this cover image file and uses as a cover the product page cover uploaded from the author’s dashboard at KDP although there used to be a small box that the author could leave blank (would you like to use this cover as the cover of your ebook) to indicate a metadata cover was attached to the file.

    • Alan White says:

      Dear A Thirsty Blog- I know you know what you are doing because I know you are a self published author and a freelance publisher. We are having issues with semantics, nothing more. I learned e-book building from a free pdf I found at this URL: (Title: Indie Author Guide to Publishing for the Kindle)
      Follow that link. Scroll down to the bottom and focus in on the right hand corner. Mouse click where it says- “Click Here To Get It” April’s essay on MobiPocket Creator starts on page 27. If you read her book, you and I will be speaking the same lingo. (Not that you have to!)

      • athirstyblog says:

        Alan, I’m sure you’re right… But no one I know uses MobiPocket Creator anymore… Kindle suggests using Kindlegen or an ePub file converted through Kindle Previewer via Kindlegen.

        Sent from my iPad

      • Alan White says:

        Dear A Thirsty Blog- After I work my doc file through MobiPocket Creator I load it up into SIGIL. SIGIL adds a toc.ncx file (it takes my word doc generated hyperlinked Table of Contents and converts it to a hyperlinked table of contents working in Kindle). From there my file goes into Calibre, where the EPUB to MOBI conversion step is accomplished. Is your way just as easy? Do you have to build a toc.ncx file one step at a time? Not that you care, but I’m a math science nerd with no formal training in computer programming.

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