Cover Image Degraded on Compile to Kindle

When I compile my book to Kindle format, the cover image is degraded. Downsize and resample is not checked. If I add a new page and put my cover image on it, it looks great when compiled. However, under the ToC (see attached image) the Cover link on the left is ghosted. If you click the Cover link that appears on the right in the ToC itself, it goes to the cover page I added, but it appears after the ToC instead of in front of it. Neither option seems to be a good one, a degraded image of an out-of-place cover.

You will want to add a cover using the compile overview tab for that, on the right-hand side, §23.4.5, Cover Options, in the user manual.

That’s what I’m doing and the output degrades the cover. See the attached images of the top of the cover page. The text looks blotchy when I add the cover in the compile overview tab as here…

When I add the cover image to a page, it looks like it should as here…

Something is over-compressing the image during compile when inserting “the way it should be inserted.”

I see what you mean, you were trying that as an alternative and it broke the ToC (as expected) so it isn’t a good alternative.

Hmm, maybe you need to move the compression slider down in the Sharing: Export preference pane? I think the setting it is at is what Scrivener 2’s default was—but maybe you changed it in the past—or maybe this level of compression only now became visible with the sort of graphics (lots of solids and hard contrasts are difficult for the JPEG algorithm).

I have the compression slider set to minimum and the image is still degraded. I’ve tried different sizes and formats and the result is always the same. I spent a wad of money to have a professional cover designed and the compiler is messing it up. There really needs to be an option for NO compression of the cover image. I can squeeze the size down more than necessary on my end with no negative effect on the image.

Using a .png file is just as bad as shown here…

Neither option is acceptable for a quality product.

Compare the above images to the original as here…

There’s no comparison. There has to be a better way to attach the cover and have it look like it should.

That doesn’t look anything like what I get with the slider all the way to the left. I compiled with the source files option enabled in the gear tab so that I can see what Scrivener produces, and with that setup the image is actually 1.5x larger than your original. While it doesn’t turn compression off (that’s impossible with JPEG) it does go down to a level where it is so lightly compressed that you would need to go in at the pixel level to see it. It’s way more file than you would normally want for an ebook.

So there must be some other factor. I’d start with that source file option, see what the cover looks like in the images subfolder, and if it looks great there, try opening the .opf file in Kindle Previewer or using kindlegen directly on the command-line if you prefer, and see what happens.

I followed your instructions and found things as you indicated. My question is why does the image file look okay in the source folder and on the Kindle Previewer, but look degraded in the Kindle app?

Also, according to the Kindle Previewer, it says there is no ToC (but it’s there, just not identified as such) and in the Kindle app the ToC is available from the sidebar?

It could be Kindle for macOS extracts the image and further compresses it for its library view. It may only be a problem with loading .mobi files directly rather than how it would be distributed through their store. It’s also worth noting that the Kindle reader software caches cover thumbnails rather persistently, so you could be looking at a very early test that is no longer valid.

I don’t know about Kindle Previewer, I’ve never managed to get that working properly on this computer—I’d say if the ToC looks fine everywhere else though it’s probably just an issue with Previewer.