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Old 07-04-2010, 08:00 AM   #1
Mike L
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How do I use Calibre to change a book's cover?

I have downloaded some books in Mobi / PRC format from the library here at Mobile Read. In some cases, I want to change the cover image, but I can't get it to work. I'd appreciate some help.

I am using Calibre ver. 0.7.7.

This is what I have been doing:

1. Downloaded the book as a PRC file.

2. Added it to my Calibre library.

3. Went to the "Edit metadata individually" screen. In the Book Cover area, I can see the cover that comes with the book.

4. Clicked the "Browse" button and selected a JPG file (on my hard drive) to use as the cover. The new image shows up correctly in the Book Cover area.

5. Clicked OK.

I can now see the new image in Calibre, both in the main library page and also when I open the book within Calibre. I can also see a new file, named Cover.JPG, in the book's containing folder; this file contains the new image.

The problem is that when I try to open the book in Kindle for PC or the Mobi Pocket reader, or when I transfer it via USB to my Kindle, I still see the built-in image.

I have also tried this:

1. Selected the book in the Calibre library.

2. Opened the Convert E-Book screen. I can see my new cover in the Book Cover part of the screen.

3. Clear the checkbox labelled "Use cover from source file".

4. Clicked the "Browse" button and selected the file with my new image.

5. Clicked OK to convert the book from PRC to Mobi.

The result is exactly the same as before. The new cover shows up in Calibre, but not in the other readers.

I feel sure I'm missing something obvious. I hope someone can help.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:03 AM   #2
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The cover only gets inserted into the file when you run a conversion. This can be a conversion with both input and output format set to the same value (though in this case you overwrite the original so make sure you want that to happen)

I am not sure why your last attempt did not work as you said you ra a conversion there?
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
5. Clicked OK to convert the book from PRC to Mobi.
After you did this .mobi file had the new cover. Kindle for PC might have had to refresh (mine needed restarting to see the new cover in the menu) or as in my case I had to scroll back one page to see the cover even though there was no left arrow.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:51 AM   #4
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Thanks for both of your replies.

I had already tried restarting the Kindle for PC app, but that didn't help (I also did the same with the Mobi Pocket app, with the same result).

However, Dwanthny, you made a good point about scrolling back one page to see the cover. In one of the books I was experimenting with, I could still see the old cover when I loaded the book. But when I went to the menu and chose "Cover", I could see the new one. Then, when I stepped forward one page, I could see the old one again.

So, in this particular book, it looks like the original image wasn't the cover after all; it was just an ordinary page at the front of the book. (But when I transferred the book to my Kindle, and chose to view the cover from the menu, I still couldn't see my new image.)

It's all very puzzling. I wish I knew more about how the cover and other metadata is stored, Meantime, I'll keep experimenting.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:44 PM   #5
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I am having the same problem. Changed the cover in calibre but when I see the book in my reader it's the original or a generic cover. I tried resending but it didn't work.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tponzo View Post
I am having the same problem. Changed the cover in calibre but when I see the book in my reader it's the original or a generic cover. I tried resending but it didn't work.
The only way a cover is added to the book is if the book is converted. ePub to ePub conversion works fine. Beware if you convert the book to the same format the the original will be overwriiten with the newly converted book.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:10 PM   #7
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How do I use Calibre to change a book's cover?

Hi. I'm new to these forums.
I signed up for an answer to this problem / question.

I'll keep looking, but did you ever come up with an answer?

Now in 2013, and I am having this problem.

Rather than the generic cover, I would think it would be better for Calibre to either leave to original cover, or have the cover displaying the title of the book in text.

With the silly generic Calibre cover, I cannot tell one book from another in iBooks.
It is easier in list view. But visual / verbal differentiation in covers would be so much better!

Anyway, this is a fantastic application apart from this problem.
I love it.

Last edited by BuffaloBill; 08-23-2013 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:35 PM   #8
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Default Calibre does not remove existing covers from the book.
But there are settings

Also, when you send a book from Calibre and include a cover, it uses the one displayed.
If you had not set it (or generated it), you get a generic brown book as shown in book details.
A generated cover has the title, Author and Calibre Logo

There are plugins to generate custom covers
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffaloBill View Post
...With the silly generic Calibre cover, I cannot tell one book from another in iBooks.
If you mean as per first attachment - that indicates the book has no cover.

When a book is added, Calibre will try to find and extract a cover from the format file, but if it can't find one - perhaps because its a text format file - then there is no cover to extract.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffaloBill View Post
It is easier in list view. But visual / verbal differentiation in covers would be so much better!
Calibre can generate a default cover - second attachment, but I think you have to go into Edit Metadata to do that

For good measure the third attachment is a cover from the Generate Cover plugin, text is from metadata, image is user supplied.

Suggestion : Add Books to have an option to Generate Cover if no cover found in format file(s)

BR
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