When outsourcing work for a cover image for a book published on Amazon, what should the format of the image be?

I have a collection of poems written in a language other than English on Amazon, and I want to outsource the cover image to a freelancer, because it's so easy to hire someone on the Internet these days. However, I am not sure what the format of the image should be.

What file type should I use, what aspect ratio, what size? I am thinking of asking for different file size and different aspect ratio to make sure I get what I want, but I am unsure of what's the recommended format for the cover image. I have never downloaded a book from Amazon, so I have no idea how they appear, and I don't know how to take into account the different display sizes of the devices on which my book will be read.

1 Answer 1


Are you talking about a cover for a paper book or a Kindle?

For a paper book, you have to decide on a page size, and then the dimensions of the cover must match the page size. If your pages are, say, 6" x 9", then your cover had better be 6" x 9" or you have a problem. The thickness of the spine is determined by the number of pages in the book. Amazon gives a formula that depends on what type of paper you use.

You must give Amazon a file that is "print ready PDF" in the correct dimensions. This file must have the front cover, the back cover, and the spine all as one image. They will then print this file and wrap it around your book. Think of printing the cover on a big sheet of cardboard and then bending it around.

They have a page describing the formatting requirements here, https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201953020 This specifies the required margins, etc, pretty much everything you need to know. They also have templates to help you fit everything in the right places.

If someone advertises themselves as producing covers for Amazon (or other print-on-demand printers), they should be familiar with all this.

Ebook covers are just the "front cover", there's no back cover or spine. In that case you just need the correct ratio of width to height and a suitably high resolution. See https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200645690 for specifications. Basically it must be JPEG or TIFF, have a height to width ratio of 1.6:1, and be between 1000 and 10,000 pixels tall.

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