Publishing your book through Amazon KDP can be a great way to take control of your writing and publishing journey. You get to oversee everything, from the layout of your book to the cover image artwork. 

This can be incredibly freeing as a writer, especially if you have struggled with traditional publishing in the past.  

However, there are a few things that you should know before you dive straight into publishing your latest work. 

In this article, we will look at everything you need to know about the cover image guidelines for Amazon KDP.

Why Do You Need A Cover Image For KDP?

Cover images on KDP act in the same way as the cover of a book that you would find on the shelf in a bookstore. They are designed to grab a potential reader’s attention and draw them into your book.  

Because of the way that Amazon KDP works, you are unable to upload your book to Amazon without a cover image. 

Furthermore, there is no reason why you should want to upload your book without a cover.  

Book covers are often the most unique thing about the first impression that a reader will get.  It is more unusual to have a unique title than it is to have a unique cover image. 

Therefore, it is something that should be given a significant amount of thought before you press upload.  

There are a few different restrictions and guidelines that need to be followed to successfully upload your cover image and make the publishing process on KDP much easier and more streamlined. 

Types Of Cover Images

There are a couple of different types of cover images that Amazon KDP will ask you to upload.  There are also some guidelines that apply to each type of image that depend on the type of book that you are publishing.  

Marketing Cover Image

The most important cover image that needs to be uploaded is a marketing cover image. This is the cover image that people will see when they are browsing through books on Amazon. 

This cover image is provided separately from the rest of your book because it is purely for marketing purposes.  

There are a few restrictions that come with the cover image that you can upload.  Amazon has put restrictions on the size of the image that you can upload to help you get the best results. 

We will look at the size restrictions below.  

There are also some restrictions surrounding the content of your image that pertain to the content and copyright laws.  

Internal Cover Image

You will also be asked by KDP to upload an internal cover image. 

This is a cover image that is used within the content of the book.  This is a cover that comes with the book when it is purchased, whether that is an ebook or a physical book.  

There are also size guidelines for the internal cover image that are necessary for Amazon to correctly process your book. 

For this image, it is important to make sure that the quality is high and that the image itself is large enough to cover the front of your book without having to be resized.  

Uploading an internal cover image is required for all books apart from manga episodic content. 

If you are uploading a book that is considered manga episodic content, you can ignore the pop-up warning that the internal cover image is missing. 

These warnings will not interfere with the publishing of the content for this type of book.  

When uploading your cover image, you should make sure that you don’t add an HTML cover as well as uploading one as this can make the cover image appear twice in your book. 

It also risks your book not being able to convert properly which can delay the publishing process.  

Cover Image Size 

As we mentioned above, there are some size guidelines that need to be followed to ensure that your book looks as good as possible to entice potential readers.  

For the marketing cover image, Amazon has some specific size guidelines that need to be followed to avoid your cover image from being distorted or not being displayed at all.  

The ideal image that Amazon KDP is looking for is an image with a ratio of 1.6:1.  This means that your image should be 1,600 pixels in height for every 1,000 pixels in width. 

If you are working with an artist to create your own, original cover art, this should be the scale that you ask the artist to work to in order to get the best results.  

The ideal size for your cover image for correct display on high-definition devices is 2,560 x 1,600 pixels.  The minimum size of an image that Amazon KDP will allow is 1,000 x 625. 

The maximum size of an image that KDP will allow is 10,000 x 10,000 pixels.  The size of the file that you upload should be 50MB or less.  

KDP Cover Image Top Tips

KDP Cover Image Top Tips

There are a few top tips that you should follow to help your KDP publishing journey run as smoothly as possible. 

Remembering to do these things can help boost the success of your book when publishing through KDP.

Add A Border

Not all covers need to have a border.  However, if your cover has a very pale background or even a white background, it is best to add a dark border to the image. 

The border only needs to be 3 to 4 pixels wide and can be in a medium gray color.  

Adding this thin border to your pale book cover will help define the edges of the book against the white background of the Amazon website. 

This simply makes it easier for people who are browsing to define the boundaries of your book’s cover.  

Omitting a border on a pale cover will not affect the uploading process of your book, but it can help your book stand out more to potential readers when they are just casually browsing. 

Do Not Stretch Your Cover

Sometimes, the cover that you have selected does not meet the correct size requirements. When this happens, it can be tempting to simply stretch your cover to meet the minimum requirements. 

However, it is not recommended to do this because it runs the risk of distorting your image and significantly lowering the quality of the image. 

This can affect the sales of your book because it will not look professional or well put together. 

Amazon KDP recommends creating a new image that does meet the minimum size requirements to help ensure that your image is displayed properly on the site.

If your image doesn’t meet the minimum size requirements, it just won’t be displayed on the site. 

Be Unique

Another important thing to consider when you are creating your cover image for your book is to be unique. 

Obviously, books that fit into a certain genre are going to have similar cover art, fantasy in particular is a genre where cover images can be incredibly similar. 

However, it is important to make sure that your cover image doesn’t infringe on any other authors’ copyrighted cover images. 

There are sites where you can download and use copyright-free images, although these are less unique and interesting. 

If you are creating your own cover art yourself or with an artist, make sure that it is an original piece of work and that you have the proper copyright permissions to use the image.  

Final Thoughts

Uploading a cover image for your book on Amazon KDP is an easy process but these guidelines should be followed to ensure your book looks as good as it should.  

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