Book Cover Dimension Woes

Through my journey to self-publishing and using the various publishing sites to upload my books, I’ve found there are different hoops each site wants you to jump through to fit their dimension regulations. Some are just simple bits of advice, like Amazon’s 1:6 ratio. Others aren’t so nice, like B&N’s insistence on a cover with sides no greater than 2000 pixels. In this post, I’ll give the basics for each of the sites I list on along with what I do to my book covers to please all of them.

First off, their recommended sizes (dimensions):

Amazon: A minimum of 625 on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the long side (so width vs. height). Like I typed above, they like the 1:6 ratio.
Barnes & Noble: A minimum of 1000 pixels on the shortest side and no larger than 2000 pixels on the longest side.
All Romance Ebooks: 200 x 300 pixels. Period.
Smashwords: A minimum width of 1400 pixels.
Kobo: Limited to 2mb size

So here’s the conundrum. I put my covers at 1400 width (to satisfy Smashwords) and 2250 height (to give the 1:6 ratio of Amazon). That leaves problems with B&N and All Romance. I get around these by first uploading to the less picky sites (Amazon, Smashwords, and Kobo), and then I’m forced to adjust the image.

That means cutting the height down for B&N. This is a little trickier for some covers. I try to keep all important images and text far from all borders (top, bottom, left, right and sideways) to avoid anything getting cut off. That way I can cut the image down without having to shift anything important.

When I’m done with B&N, I revert image back to full size to shrink it for All Romance Ebooks (I always remember to have the shrinkage set to Best Quality when doing that on Paint.net). Through jumping those hoops I’m able to self-create and self-publish my books (and their covers) on all five sites directly.

There is the option of simply uploading to Smashwords and allowing them to handle Amazon, Kobo and B&N, but they would take their cut of the profits. I’m greedy and willing to work for the extra dough, so I don’t mind uploading directly to get my 60-70% cut.

Overall it’s probably not the most efficient way of appeasing all these different sites, but it does work for me (kinda, sorta…). If anyone has a better way, I’d be interested in reading about their adventures through the book cover jungle.

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