The process of self-publishing has become a lot easy over the years, and one popular platform, Kindle, direct publishing, makes your manuscript more accessible rather than having to go through a traditional publisher.
You might have your text and structure the way you want it, but a cover can make you indecisive, so uploading a new cover can occur if you upload a book size different from the default.
Read on to discover how you can avert this error and make the process as simple to navigate as possible.
Reasons Why Your Cover Won’t Show Up
When you update the cover, whether a kindle or print book, you may find that the thumbnail in the listing has stayed the same, which can be frustrating, as many have reported that the issue can take from a few hours to a few days.
Even though this does sound a bit like hit and miss, there may be a few formatting issues that mean you have overlapping images or text, which may only be noticeable once you get a preview. Below are some of these issues and some fixes you can make.
When you upload your cover, it is said that it has to be a PDF with bleed and no surrounding crop marks or space, and it is said that if these are found on your cover, you won’t be able to approve the change.
As the trim size is 6 x 9 inches, it’s easy to produce a cover that doesn’t fit the margins, and this can also depend on the number of pages and if you have a paperback. With the hardcover option, you have fewer size options, which aren’t available in some countries.
For a fix, you can use a freelancer who has experience designing book covers for this format, and then you can give them the dimensions of your cover so they can format it to this site. This is especially important if your book has illustrated or under the children’s category, as these are larger.
Bear in mind that page count determines the size of the spine, which the quality check of the previewer will notify you of, so you could paste it into a word document that matches the size of the trim, so you won’t be lost in what you can do.
You might have your book cover at the right size, but Amazon’s quality control can also notify you of the minimum clear distance that has to be free of text or illustrations, so the background color or pattern can flow.
There needs to be around 0.125 inches of clear padding on the edge of your book edges and spine, and this needs to be able to fit essential reference points like the ISBN number, so it can’t be covered by text and doesn’t immediately get spotted by Amazon’s quality control.
Format Of Your Cover
Kindle, as of 2022, uses the EPUB format, which is easier to work with, and you can use Calibre, which easily converts your book from the older MOBI file type. Still, once you’ve done this, there are other considerations to make when looking at the cover.
The format needs to be a TIFF or JPEG type, have minimal compression, less than 50MB, and cover art with white or light backgrounds should have some narrow border to define the boundaries of the cover.
Cover Not Synced With Kindle
There might be an issue where you have updated your book cover. When looking on a Kindle device, the cover has yet to update or shows an image unavailable insert instead, which can be frustrating and take some time before this is corrected.
Make sure you do this right by going to your dashboard, then go to edit book details (for the format that it’s in), where you can make changes to the metadata, which includes the book cover. Then you can save and continue, where Amazon will review these changes.
What Can’t I Change On My Book Cover?
To make sure that your update goes smoothly, it’s a good idea to know what can’t be changed, as needing to make these changes means you’ll have to republish the book that has a new ISBN and ASIN number, which can be frustrating for some.
Examples of things you can’t change include the book title, language, subtitle, primary author, and edition number. You’ll find that you have slightly more freedom on a kindle ebook than a paperback, which can take up to 72 hours before the updates appear.
When linking a paperback to the ebook edition, this process can take 48 hours to 7 days after each version is live, and if there is any delay, either there is an issue with your changes, or you need to contact support after the 72 hours have passed.
Should I Republish My Book?
If you need to make any of the changes above or need to change the print format, which includes trim size, and the paper color, or need to switch to black and white, it’s likely that you’ll have to republish though this applies mainly for print books.
If you need to update the title or the author name or make extensive changes, there’s a good chance that Amazon won’t approve these and require you to make a new edition, as things like categories, tags, and reviews may be affected.
If you want to keep things like reviews, you’ll have to contact Amazon, where you can provide the old and new ASIN numbers, which include all editions of the book, then you can ask them to link the reviews to the new book.
This only applies if the new version has the exact same title and author, so before you launch a new version, consider the changes you need to make, and determine if these are extensive enough to republish, which can come with its own benefits.
Benefits Of Updating The Cover
Even though you only want to make a few minor changes for the purposes of the book’s description and category, these updates may give you a better conversion rate, which can have the algorithm work in your favor.
For a republished title, you get a new landing page, plus a time period where your book appears in the new releases section of the store, which can give it a slight uplift in exposure, which is why many authors use this method in their campaign strategy.
Be aware that for a new edition of your cover, if it’s in paperback, these will still be available in the store, where used copies that 3rd party sellers resell may appear, so this will be a limited quantity but can still be a headache for some.
You have a few options for making a successful book on Kindle publishing, and it all starts with a catchy book cover that can appeal to a potential audience, which is the first impression you audience has with the listing.