#4. Book Release Options
Another recent addition to the KDP process, is the ability to list your book on Amazon before it is released, so that people can pre-order it. So this section is asking if the book is finished or not. If it’s ready to go, select ‘I am ready to release my book now’ if you want to set a date for the release, and collect pre-orders, then select the second option. Be warned, when you choose the pre-order option, Amazon will want the final draft of the book uploaded at least 10 days before the official release date. And if you don’t upload it in time, you will be banned from pre-releases for a year. So make sure you are organised enough to stick to schedule.
#5. Upload Your Book Cover
For Kindle books, you only need the front cover of the book. No spine or back cover is necessary. You do need a high-resolution image though, and it is definitely advisable to still have it designed for you, rather than do it yourself (unless you’re handy with graphics). To see all the cover guidelines, click here. But the basics are the following:
1. Image needs to be in TIFF or JPEG format.
2. Image should be a minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side (but for best quality, your image should be 2500 pixels on the longest side)
3. If you have a white background, be sure to ass a fine grey line all around it so it stands out against the white Amazon page.
4. Make sure that your book cover looks good and the title is readable when it is a small thumbnail, as that is how it will appear in Amazon searches.
Having never used the cover creator before, I thought I would try it out for the purpose of this post. But having done so, I would strongly recommend getting a cover designed and uploading the image. But for those who wish to know how it works, here are the steps below:
First step is choosing an image. You can either choose one from their library (they are royalty free images) or you can upload your own.
Second step is choosing a design. There are only 10 available – 6 image based and 4 non image based. So this creator is quite limited in its scope! For this example, I chose an image from their library.
I picked a template, then had to enter the book title, subtitle and author name. I have made up a title of a romance for this example.
You can modify the cover somewhat, in that you can change the colour scheme, the layout and the fonts, but it is still very limited.
Changing the colours:
Changing the layout:
Changing the fonts:
When you have decided on your design, the final step is to preview, then save.
I couldn’t find the answer on the pages about the cover creator, but it would be worth inquiring to KDP whether if you create your cover with them, you are then allowed to use that image for your print version (in which case you would need a JPEG of the final cover.) My guess would be that you wouldn’t be able to, in which case I would recommend that if you are going to use the cover creator, it’s for a book that will only ever be on Kindle, and that you don’t need the original JPEG for. If you are planning on creating promotional materials, then it might not be a good option. Think it all through before deciding. I will do another post on cover design in the near future, as it is a very important part of the publishing process.
Once you’ve uploaded your cover (or created it on the creator) you will see a thumbnail of it on the page.
(As you can see from my design above, when it is a thumbnail, the text disappears into the background, and would not be a good idea. At this point, if this were really my cover, I would go back and change it!)
Disclaimer: All views, ideas and tips presented on this website are my own, based on my own experience and the experience of my clients. It is by no means the only way to do it, or the right way to do it, but it is the way that works for me. Please take what helps you and makes sense to you, and don’t worry about the rest for now. Please know that I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of you following my advice. I have created this blog as a resource for Indie Authors to help them make the publishing journey a little easier. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I mention, other than the fact that I use their services myself.