What is this article about?
In this article we will take you through the steps to prepare your book cover for Amazon, including Kindle and Paperback. We cover the basics, from trim sizes to spine calculation and tips for printing and publishing your book online.
Setting up an account
The first step is the easiest. If you already have an Amazon account you can use that to sign into KDP. If not, you will need to create an account with Amazon KDP. Follow the prompts - you will need to enter the author, payment, and tax information.
Create a new title
Amazon will ask you to "Create a New Title" (see image below). You have two options (1) Kindle eBook or (2) Paperback.
Which to choose? Kindle, Paperback or both?
The quickest and most cost effective method is to publish your book on Amazon Kindle. If you have more time and budget you should consider both options (recommended). Why limit yourself to only one format? Both options are free to setup on Amazon, however each cover requires a different design and separate files for Amazon. In summary: for Kindle you only need a 1-page cover. For paperbacks you will need a front, back and spine on one PDF. The spine width will need to be the correct dimensions to support the number of pages.
Do I need two book covers?
You may need either one or two book covers, depending on your goal and budget. The easiest and most cost effective is to design a Kindle eBook cover (one page). For printed paperbacks you will need to decide on the trim size and the illustrators will create separate files for uploading on Amazon (1) Kindle eBook (front cover only) and (2) wrap-around cover (front/spine/back). You can choose a standard book size from 5" x 8", square and many more trim size options. Amazon have a paperback cover template that helps the illustrators design the book with precise measurements for the cover, spine and back cover.
Amazon Paperback 6" X 9" Template
For paperbacks your illustrator will need to know the measurements for the front, spine and back cover. Calculating the spine is more complicated. Even a millimeter out and Amazon will not allow you to upload the book cover. The illustrators will need to know the trim size, page count and paper colour to ensure the file and dimensions meet Amazon's specifications.
Yes, we judge a book by it's cover
The book cover design is the most important part of your book. It has to be engaging and eye catching to draw in potential customers. This is your chance to show potential customers what your book is all about. The book cover will need to appeal to the target audience. Having a professionally designed book cover can make all the difference.
Book Covers by The Illustrators