eBook Conversion

eBook conversion for Kindle and ePub readers

Book covers

One of the downsides of Kindles and other eReaders has been the decline in the importance of the cover. No longer can you see what other people are reading; and no longer can you hope to impress girls by pretending you understand Proust.

That’s not to say that there are no upsides – you may be a professor of theoretical physics at MIT who secretly likes reading Danielle Steel. I digress …

However, covers are still necessary, not least because Amazon stipulates the inclusion of one. (For some reason, Mobipocket Creator doesn’t work properly unless you have a cover image loaded.)

More importantly, a cover image is important in the promotion and marketing of your book. Your book will probably have a website to promote it. You may be making personal appearances and need supporting artwork. You may also be using a resource such as Lulu to create print-on-demand versions of your book. And last but not least, you need an image to appear in the Kindle Store.

So, although the self-publishing process is mostly free, this is one of the areas where you might want to pay a professional. It’s really not the kind of job you should be tackling yourself; in a crowded marketplace, you’re going to need something that really stands out.

If you do go down this route, bear the following technical points in mind:

1. If you’re going to publish in different formats, the dimensions of the cover may vary because of the different aspect ratios. Do your research in advance and make sure your designer knows everything before he or she starts the project
2. Make sure the cover is still distinctive when it’s a few centimetres high – this is important as this is how it will appear in online bookstores. Ideally you should be able to read the title at thumbnail size
3. On the Kindle, the cover will appear in black and white, whereas your designer will probably be working in colour – although colour is the priority, check the black and white conversion is at least acceptable
4. The recommended size of a Kindle cover image is 800 x 600 pixels in the JPEG format.

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