View Full Version : What size cover picture?


GraciousMe
11-13-2012, 07:10 PM
Ive read the the format of a cover picture for an e-book should be 500x600 or 600x730.

What about 500x707? Is that okay?

Aerys
11-13-2012, 10:14 PM
Yes, it should work but best to check it on the particular device your targeting.

GraciousMe
11-14-2012, 05:01 AM
Yes, it should work but best to check it on the particular device your targeting.

How particular are these margins? I mean, the difference between 500x600, 600x730 and 500x707 seems small to me, but what do I know.

Are the former two the best ratios?

DaleDe
11-14-2012, 01:43 PM
How particular are these margins? I mean, the difference between 500x600, 600x730 and 500x707 seems small to me, but what do I know.

Are the former two the best ratios?

Most readers will scale down pictures that are too large and will usually maintain the aspect ratio. Many people don't like blank bars at the top/bottom or on the edges which is why they try and scale the image to fit the screen. A typical screen is 600x800 pixels but often there is a menu or status bar across the bottom taking up a few pixels, say 40 to 60 so sized a picture a bit smaller may keep the actual available area full. These days many screens have larger pixel sizes so it it is sometimes better to let the reader scale the image down to fit but the aspect ratio can still be a problem for some users not want bars around the image. There is no way to expect the image to be perfect except on a single device as the various products differ so much. If you are willing to permit the aspect ratio to vary by CSS entries you can achieve a full image size but whether this is desirable depends on what the image is.

Dale

JSWolf
11-14-2012, 10:34 PM
If I have a large enough cover image, I scale it down to 1024 lines and leave it at the correct aspect ratio. The SVG code for the cover will cause the image to fit the screen and if you do it correctly, you will display the image with the correct aspect ratio. Just ignore people that don't mind images to be stretched. The correct aspect raio is much preferred (overall).

GraciousMe
11-15-2012, 03:21 AM
Most readers will scale down pictures that are too large and will usually maintain the aspect ratio. Many people don't like blank bars at the top/bottom or on the edges which is why they try and scale the image to fit the screen. A typical screen is 600x800 pixels but often there is a menu or status bar across the bottom taking up a few pixels, say 40 to 60 so sized a picture a bit smaller may keep the actual available area full. These days many screens have larger pixel sizes so it it is sometimes better to let the reader scale the image down to fit but the aspect ratio can still be a problem for some users not want bars around the image. There is no way to expect the image to be perfect except on a single device as the various products differ so much. If you are willing to permit the aspect ratio to vary by CSS entries you can achieve a full image size but whether this is desirable depends on what the image is.

Sorry, still confused.

This sounds like: might work, perhaps.... Is the situation that volatile?

I have the same picture in different sizes; 500x707 and 800 x 1131.

Can I use one of these or should I ask my designer friend who made the picture to do another with a different size/ratio? If so, which?

GraciousMe
11-15-2012, 03:25 AM
If I have a large enough cover image, I scale it down to 1024 lines and leave it at the correct aspect ratio. The SVG code for the cover will cause the image to fit the screen and if you do it correctly, you will display the image with the correct aspect ratio.

Sounds great, but I frankly dont understand how to do this, not even where to begin.

(Wanna exchange my "connoisseur" title for "amateur in this field", so everyone understands how little I know.)

mzmm
11-15-2012, 04:21 AM
... I scale it down to 1024 lines ...

by this do you mean scaling it down to 1024 on the longest side?

Sounds great, but I frankly dont understand how to do this, not even where to begin.

resizing the image would be done in a program like Photoshop or Gimp, and the svg wrapper is explained here (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showpost.php?p=590355&postcount=44)

DSpider
11-15-2012, 06:06 AM
Ok, so you tailor your e-book to 600x800. But what do you do if a colour e-ink reader with a 800x1280 screen comes out tomorrow? Wouldn't it be better to resize the image to something like 1500 px tall and scale it at 100% display size with an XHTML tag? This way you don't have to worry about panel sizes, aspect ratios, etc. Or are today's e-readers that stupid?

Oxford-eBooks
11-15-2012, 08:28 AM
Just to muddy the waters here, aren't Apple going to insist shortly that cover images are 1400px minimum on the shortest side?

(Bless 'em - - with the big naily blessing stick!)

GMcG
11-15-2012, 10:29 AM
There are ereaders with screens with 600x800 pixels and tablets with 768x1024 pixels (yes, there are some other formats too). The aspect ratio of the screen in both kind of devices is 1,333, so the cover should have this ratio too.

When resizing a picture there is less loss of quality when downscaling than when upscaling. So in any case you should choose the largest version of your picture. And, here we are again with Amazon: For KDP they want a cover with a height of at least 1000 pixels.

Which means: The width of 800 px (your largest picture) needs a height of 800x1,33=1066 px (1131 px is too much). But there could be a menu bar and a status line, as DaleDe mentioned, which means 1066 px minus about 66 px. So your designer friend has to cut off some pixels at the top and/or at the bottom of the picture with a resulting cover of 800x1000px. On an ereader it will be shown with 600 x 750 px only, but the cover will be shown in good quality also on a tablet with a larger screen.

I'm afraid there will be bars in any way depending on devices, because you don't know if they have menu bars or not. But if you get a blank bar at the bottom, it will be so small that it will be acceptable and you still have the original quality of the picture.

Resizing the cover by a device to full screen with a different aspect ratio of width/height will cause distortions. Maybe this is not apparent in the picture, but you will see it in the letters. I would prefer the first version with width=100%.

George

mzmm
11-15-2012, 02:13 PM
Just to muddy the waters here, aren't Apple going to insist shortly that cover images are 1400px minimum on the shortest side?

that was meant to be a requirement for all books going to apple starting last july/aug, but they're still accepting covers with a minimum width of 600px for the time being.

Are the former two the best ratios?

amazon's also recommending a cover that's 1500px on the longest side and minimum 1000px on the shortest, so amazon's requirements seem to be pushing a 2:3 ratio. -- see comment below

GMcG
11-16-2012, 03:36 AM
@mzmm

Actually the KDP guidelines say:
Requirements for the size of your cover art have an ideal height/width ration of 1.6, this means:
A minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side
For best quality, your image would be 1563 pixels on the shortest side and 2500 pixels on the longest side

I just looked into an Amazon sample that had a cover 860 x 1226 px. The ratio is 1.426. So anything goes?
As for GraciousMe, who said in another thread she doesn't publish at Amazon, a cover with a size of 800 x 1000 px would be ok, though it has not the ideal ratio of 1.6 recommended by Amazon.

For KDP I found some useful information on:
http://kevinomclaughlin.com/2012/04/17/amazon-updates-kdp-ebook-cover-recommendations/

"A last note on this: these images are the display images Amazon uses to sell books on their site, NOT the cover image included in the book. In most cases, it is advantageous to include in the book file an image on the lower end of the spectrum, since readers will rarely actually see it there, and higher quality images result in a larger files size for the ebook. Since indie writers getting the 70% royalty from Amazon are billed a small amount for file downloads, the bigger the file, the less you earn per sale. Those pennies can add up in the long run, so best practice is to include in the book file a smaller file size of image than the one youre using for display."

George

mzmm
11-16-2012, 04:24 AM
@George

wow yeah - how did i misread that. thanks for the correction

GraciousMe
11-16-2012, 05:33 AM
I felt a bit lost, now I am totally confused.

GraciousMe
11-16-2012, 05:40 AM
As for GraciousMe, who said in another thread she doesn't publish at Amazon, a cover with a size of 800 x 1000 px would be ok, though it has not the ideal ratio of 1.6 recommended by Amazon.

I have one with the ratio 800x1131. Could that work?

This book will later be published as an A5, the sizes comes from that, I think...

I get help from a designer, hes the one who knows what these numbers mean.

HarryT
11-16-2012, 07:55 AM
You're getting stressed about a non-problem. Use the largest image you have, and everything will be just fine.

JSWolf
11-19-2012, 06:29 PM
by this do you mean scaling it down to 1024 on the longest side?

I scale it down to 1024 lines horizontally.

resizing the image would be done in a program like Photoshop or Gimp, and the svg wrapper is explained here (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showpost.php?p=590355&postcount=44)

When using an SVG wrapper, you NEED to make sure the images dimensions are put in and not some arbitrary set of numbers. ADE doesn't display the image correctly unless the actual dimensions are in the SVG wrapper. Also, you want the SVG wrapper set so it keeps the correct aspect ratio of the cover image otherwise, it just looks off because it is off.

purplepancake
11-21-2012, 08:36 AM
@GMcG

"Requirements for the size of your cover art have an ideal height/width ration of 1.6, this means:
A minimum of 625 pixels on the shortest side and 1000 pixels on the longest side
For best quality, your image would be 1563 pixels on the shortest side and 2500 pixels on the longest side

I just looked into an Amazon sample that had a cover 860 x 1226 px. The ratio is 1.426. So anything goes?
As for GraciousMe, who said in another thread she doesn't publish at Amazon, a cover with a size of 800 x 1000 px would be ok, though it has not the ideal ratio of 1.6 recommended by Amazon."

Thanks this has been useful as I've been playing around trying to get a better cover on a Kindle Paperwhite.

I started, following advice from elsewhere, with 600x800, ok but noticeably shorter than Amazon covers. I went up to 800x1280 as a ratio of 1.6 based on your post and other info. This is now the same height as Amazon covers but looks a little thin, being picky here.

So, I would suggest a near perfect rendition would be 960x1280 which at 1.33333 is yet another ratio.

Worth repeating though that I've only tried this on a Paperwhite.