Kindle KDP: Two images ?

I realise there is a lot of discussion all over the web on kindle cover dimensions ,and I have had to go through a lot of it myself this week as I am self publishing my first eBook on KDP this week. I have eventually settled on a cover of 1000x1600 at 96dpi which I hope is the best choice.

I am confused by two things and hope someone here might know the answer:

a) In a couple of web sites I have seen mention of two different cover images being needed to publish on KDP. Yet I cannot find anything on it in KDP’s own guide. They talk about a cover inside the uploaded eBook and a separate ‘display’ cover uploaded separately…

Can anyone clear this up for me ?

b) Does KDP insert the cover into the eBook file myself ? as they seem to require me to upload it with the eBook file.

The sites you read are probably mistaken on this being a necessity. One can choose to put the cover image into the book content as well as the display cover used for the catalogue and library views—but there is absolutely no reason to do that unless you want readers to open a newly purchased book on the cover graphic. (The cover image cannot be targeted directly as a start position, as it is not technically in the e-book content stream, but rather a part of its meta-data, such as the title, ISBN and all that.)

I’m not myself a fan of that practice in general—I never want to start at a grainy black and white cover image when I start reading a new book. I want to… start reading the book. :slight_smile: So it seems a bit silly to me in the first place—but for those that must have it that way for their own books, having the cover image in there twice is the only way to do it on a Kindle.

I’m not sure about that. I’ve never actually submitted anything to KDP. They may need you to provide a graphic for the web store itself, though, as that may be different than the cover image used for the e-book itself.

Whatever the case, the cover graphic is definitely in your e-book if you set it up correctly using the Cover compile option pane. You can test by going to very first page of the book on your Kindle (probably the title page) and then clicking the Prev. Page button. You should see the cover image—and of course you will see it in library views as a smaller thumbnail.

Thanks for your reply - though I’m not sure it tackles the issue about two images :slight_smile:

Maybe the best thing is to wait until I start the upload process and then if needed I will come back to this thread.

At the moment I am struggling with KDP’s confusing recommendation for the cover image dimensions. It recommends a huge image of 2800x4500 and I have spent two weeks struggling with huge files in Photoshop. Now I have just discovered that almost all authors I can find on the web who write about it say categorically to use more like 1200x800, or 1600/x400.

I also realise this is not directly a Scrivener issue but scrivener users like me who are self publishing on KDP must be encountering this issue regularly and will do so even more in the near future as self publishing explodes.

A good percentage of KDP writers write in Word or similar.

When submitting to KDP, they upload a file of text to create the body content, and a separate
image file for the cover.

KindleGen then merges the text and image files to make a .mobi document.

As Scrivener uses KindleGen to create .mobi files complete with covers (depending on the user’s settings), there’s no need to submit two images: one in the .mobi file and a second separate file. Amazon can just use the image embedded in the .mobi file for product listings.

However, it is useful to submit two images:

  1. A compressed image in the .mobi. The bigger a .mobi file is, the more Amazon charges the author for each download. So compress the .mobi image to limit the file size and download costs. Don’t compress it too much or it will look grainy. Balance quality and heft.

  2. A high-resolution image for use on product listings to make the novel stand out as much as possible. There is no charge to the author for the size of the product-listing image.

From the Amazon website…

Personally, I’d go with Amazon’s advice for the product image. I’d compress the .mobi image though for the reasons listed above.

Even after publishing, you can change the .mobi file and the product image file. Lots of people tweak their work and designs, or just bring out new editions. I, for example, added a postscript to my story to explain what had happened to the novel since it was first written and sold.

Thanks for that info Briar. Very helpful. Appreciate it.

I have just clicked on Publish in KDP with a Mobi including an image plus an uploaded image… but there is no way to preview whether it will cause a mess :frowning: