Best way to format photos for both Kindle and CreateSpace?


I hope someone can give advice on the best resolution for photos. I would like to compile the same Scrivener file as both .mobi files for Kindle and .pdf for CreateSpace.

When I import photos into Scrivener’s “Research” section I can import high resolution files (for example 3000 pixels on the long dimension).

BUT…the Kindle book files (.mobi) I output are quite large (20MB) when I do this.
Because of this, I’ve resized all photos use for my Kindle Book so they are smaller – about 1000 pixels wide. The .mobi files are now smaller.

PROBLEM: If I want to make a CreateSpace book from the same file, these photos are are not high enough resolution.

QUESTION: What is the best way to import or size photos for Scrivener so they can be used as low resolution for Kindle books and high resolution for CreateSpace books?

Thank you!


If no one else comes along with a better solution for you, I would try using linked inline images—see section 15.5.3 of the user manual—creating two sets of images with identical names but different resolutions, and swapping over to the appropriate files (through Finder) when compiling to different formats.

Worth trying a single image in different resolutions as a test initially to make sure it compiles as you need it to.

Hi, I’d just like to thank you for your suggestion. I will give this a try and see if it works. If anyone else has a solution, I’m all ears :slight_smile:

Your idea will definitely help provide two sets of images without having to create two different Scrivener book files.

Hi Kit!

Just wanted to ask how to accomplish " swapping over to the appropriate files (through Finder) when compiling to different formats. "

How do you suggest I swap over? I’m not entirely sure what you mean by doing this “through Finder.” Do you mean removing files and replacing them in the Mac finder? Or are you talking about Scrivener’s interface? Thanks.

Hi Jeff

Yes, you can store images outside of Scrivener and tell Scrivener where to find them when you compile. In this way, you can store two sets of images at different resolutions and compile as fits your digital and print publishing needs.

Ioa (developer and moderator) is the real guru here…

As ever, probably prudent to perfect your workflow with a test file and some test images until you’re happy that things are going to work as needed on a substantial publication.



Consider that an image 600 x 860 pixels is the maximum size for an iBook screen. You could use larger images with the same proportions, but that would be a waste of storage and download bandwidth. Also, if you often reduce the image to say, 50% of the page size, using the CSS width property, it makes little sense to load images larger than 300 pixels wide.*

In my personal experience, I use a graphics app to scale my images for web or epub use, trying for a standard size such as 480 x 640, or 600 x 860. (I save the originals, of course.) I then apply either HTML or CSS height or width properties for display size as required for each photo & page layout. This eliminates the gross inefficiency of excessive photo download sizes.

I often add a size identifier (ie, 480 for width ==> myPix480.jpg) to the photo filename for convenience. If, of course, you need to include the same view at a much larger resolution, store a second file–say 1200 x 1720 pixels–with name myPix1200.jpg for ID.

*Thanks to Elizabeth Castro in her book, “EPUB Straight to the Point”

Hi Kit,

Thanks for your image advice.

I created a folder with images sized for use on a Kindle reader. The photo sizes are 1400 pixels on the horizontal edge. I know this is a bit larger than necessary for Kindle, but I’m just experimenting.

When I compile the Kindle book, the photos appear small…they don’t appear to be 1400 pixels wide.

When I click on an image within Scrivener, the “Scale Image” displayed is 336 x 205 points. There are sliders to change size. It also says 1400 x 854 pixels (300dpi) as image size.

Do you know what might be causing the photos in the .mobi document to appear like thumbnails?