After finishing a recent project, the author read an article by Natasha Fondren about optimum size specifications for amazon kindle, bn, nook, ibookstore and ipad formats.
The original article says “Again, 600px x 800px will pretty much cover your bases, so if you choose one size, I suggest that one.”
Here’s a handy chart to prove this point true:
- EC = Embedded Cover (give to ebook formatter to embed)
- CC = Catalog Cover (you’ll upload separate from ebook)
- n/s = Not Specified
|Format||Size in px||Resolution||File Size|
|Kindle CC||JPG, TIFF||min 500px max 1280px||72 dpi||n/s|
|Kindle EC||JPG||600 x 800||167ppi – 300dpi||127kb|
|B&N/Nook CC||JPG, GIF, PNG||600 x 730||n/s||n/s|
|B&N/Nook EC||JPG, GIF, PNG||600 x 1024||170 ppi||300kb|
|iPad EC||JPG, GIF, PNG||600 x 860||132 ppi||200kb|
Is 600×800 the “right size” for ebook covers?
This is fairly good advice – just make sure you tell your designer at the beginning of the process of you want your cover to be exactly 600×800. Many designers however, myself included, don’t use a default maximally optimal look good everywhere width-height ratio. Why not?
A) Each cover is unique. I could, and probably should, cram all the cover elements together to make them fit a standard output. But all my covers are a little different. They range usually from somewhere between 600×800~600x900px. I focus on aesthetics, not format.
B) Personally, I don’t like 600×800 – it looks more like a box than a book. Yes, it might fit snugly into every px of space allowable, but you’ll still get a box shaped, ebook-looking cover. Real book covers are tall and narrow.
What difference does it make?
On my Kindle Fire, different books have an assortment of different size ratios. I hadn’t even noticed until just now, when I picked it up to check. Some are lean and tall. Some are fat and square. My covers are lean and tall – this makes them look, in my opinion, more professional than the bulky/shorter 600×800 ones. Most of the ugly, obviously self-published books have strange little square covers.
Truth is, it doesn’t matter. Big publishers aren’t worrying about this – why should indie authors? If you have a vaguely book shaped cover that looks good on your computer, it will almost certainly look fine across most of the ebook devices. What you need to worry about is having an amazing book, with a beautiful cover, and getting lots of reviews.