What is the ideal cover size for an eBook cover?

I get this question a lot!  In fact, probably more than any other question… so, to answer it once and for all.. here’s the answer (which incidentally has changed since the Kindle Fire came about):  But the ideal cover size is a .jpg that is 800 pixels wide by 1066 pixels tall.  This will result in a full size image on just about every eReader.  This isn’t to say that other cover sizes won’t work… 600×800 is still very common, it just may be scaled to fit the screen (in some cases) and result in a slightly lower resolution.  If you use a larger file, that’s fine as well – but doing so may result in a larger file size (& thus increase your delivery fee.)

*One caveat is Apple iBooks. They changed their cover requirements this year, and now require the cover image to be a minimum of 1400 pixels on the shortest side.  So be sure to also get a ‘large’ version of your cover to meet Apple’s requirements if/when you decide to publish to the iBookstore.

Hope that helps everyone who ever wondered what size to tell their eBook cover designer to use… All my best to your self-published success -Brian Schwartz, Kindle Expert

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5 Responses to What is the ideal cover size for an eBook cover?

  1. Tony Layzell says:

    This is my first eReader and I need help in providing a cover. As is is a children’s book about a special car, I would like to have an large American saloon ‘fifties’ car, painted green, with the title across the page in red. If there is any chance that you could help me then I could fill in the rest of the cover idea!

    Thank you
    Tony Layzell

    • brian says:

      Tony,

      I’d be happy to assist you. The price of the cover design will vary depending on complexity, but $200 would be a good number to budget for.

      Please contact me if you are interested in discussing further. Be sure to include a way for me to get in touch with you as well.

      My best,
      Brian

  2. jc says:

    Hi Brian,

    I’m confused by Amazon’s recommendations, which often are nothing like what you and other Kindle veterans recommend…

    “Requirements for the size of your cover art:
    • Minimum of 1000 pixels on the longest side
    • Ideal height/width ratio of 1.6
    For better quality, we recommend that images be 2500 pixels on the longest side. ”

    Would it be you suggest a much smaller size to avoid sloppy resizing by Amazon’s algorithm?

    • brian says:

      JC,

      Thanks for raising the question. My recommendation of 800 x 1066 is based on real-world experience. After submitting hundreds of titles to Amazon, Apple, and BN (on behalf of my clients), that ratio gives the best results for all devices (not just Kindle).

      The real problem is that while trying to comply with Amazon’s requirements of a larger cover that you mention, the cover image for example will be cut off on if you publish to the BN nook.

      Going forward, what we’ll likely need to do is provide separate versions for each marketplace. Each slightly tweaked to accommodate the requirements of each marketplace. This of course is not ideal when it comes to making any changes in the future – because now you have several different files to update!

      The world of eBooks is constantly changing and unless you are in the thick of it day in and day out, I’m not sure how you could ever keep up.

      The point is – this information will likely change again, and I’ll update my post when it does.

      My best,
      Brian

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