Book Cover Size: Picking the Right Dimensions for your Book Cover
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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone says book cover? It is usually the attractive picture on the cover, the typography used, or the vibrant colors on the cover.
Book cover dimensions are rarely spoken about but are still very important in creating a book cover. There are various dimensions used for different types of books.
In this article, you’ll get to know the standard sizes used for hardcover and paperback and know how to pick the right cover dimensions for your book.
Terms Related to Cover Size & Design
As a writer, you might be more inclined about perfecting the content inside than the outside. The aspects of cover design, ratio, and dimensions of the cover might be entirely new to you but it is crucial when it comes to publishing your book.
If you are a first-time author looking to self-publish your book, it is essential to understand the terms related to cover design to understand the process better. Even if you are hiring a professional designer or doing it on your own, better to be aware of the requirements and terms associated with design.
Here is a list of commonly used terms as far as cover design and size is concerned:
1. File Format
It is a standardized way to save an image or photograph digitally. When you have to select the cover image, it is better to have an understanding of the correct file type. The common file formats for covers are JPG, TIFF, and PNG. Make sure you have the file in the required specifications of the platform you’ve chosen, and then upload the cover image.
It refers to details of a particular photo or image. When you have a low-resolution image, it is seen pixelated and the details in it are blurry, whereas, a high-resolution image is clearer.
The resolution of an image is usually measured in DPI (dots per inch) or PPI (pixels per inch). You use DPI resolution when you want to print the cover, and PPI is used when you want to see the designed cover digitally, that is, in electronic devices.
3. Aspect Ratio
It is the proportional relationship between the width and height of a rectangle. Generally, the rectangle is used for digital screens and print books. It is usually represented as a mathematical ratio, with two numbers separated by a colon. (width: height). When we say 4:3 ratio, we mean 4 inches width and 3 inches height.
It is significant since with eBooks you need to know the aspect ratio specified for each publishing platform.
4. Color Settings
When we decide on the color required for the cover and fonts, we come across schemes like RGB, CMYK, etc. Once you decide to publish your book, you eventually have to familiarize yourself with these as well.
If you want to publish eBooks, you choose the RGB (red, green & blue) scheme, and CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, key) model is used for print books.
Standard Book Cover Sizes
The book cover dimension is crucial in designing a stunning cover. You need to know the standard book cover sizes for different genres to make an informed choice. Here is a list of book cover dimensions (in inches) for popular genres:
- Non-fiction books- 5 x 8.5, 6 x 9, 7 x 10
- Fiction- 4.25 x 6.87, 5 x 8, 5.25 x 8, 5.5 x 8.5, 6 x 9
- Children’s books- 7.5 x 7.5, 7 x 10, 10 x 8
- Novella- 5 x 8
- Textbooks- 6 x 9, 7 x 10, 8.5 x 11
- Manuals & Workbooks- 8.5 x 11
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Standard eBook Cover Sizes
eBook publishing is widespread now among aspiring authors. It is beneficial to publish an eBook along with print books since it will increase book sales. When you decide to publish your eBook, it is better to have an understanding of the various eBook cover sizes to make a good choice. Here is a list of eBook cover sizes in pixels:
- Kindle Direct Publishing recommended size- 2,560 x 1,600 (1.6:1 aspect ratio)
- Illustrated books- 2,800 x 3,920 (1.4:1 aspect ratio) or 3,000 x 3,600 (1.2:1 aspect ratio)
- Audiobooks- 3,200 x 3,200 (1:1 aspect ratio)
Choosing Dimensions of A Print Book Cover
If you decide to have a printed version of your book, the dimensions depend purely on the trim of your book: the size and shape of each page. It’s mainly measured in inches.
While picking your trim size, keep these in mind:
- How it affects your printing costs. Printers tend to charge more per page when the trim is substantial. Sometimes the printers might charge less if the pages are fewer.
- Every category has its own standard book size. Before you start the procedure to print your book, you might want to look at some of the other books in the same genre so that you can see the sizes they picked.
- Now that you have figured out the trim size of your book you need to figure out how it is related to the cover of your book. KDP and IngramSpark (the two most extensive Print On Demand services in the world) will require you to submit a cover design that includes the front cover, the back cover, spine, and bleeds.
While setting up the cover design file, the width can be calculated by adding:
- 2 x trim width. This is for the front and back cover.
- Spine width. This needs to be calculated carefully based on your page count and paper stock. You can use KDP and IngramSpark figures for accurate and up-to-date values.
- 2 x bleed. Bleed is an extra bit of design extended on all sides to allow slight printing errors. Most printers want a bleed of 0.125” (3mm) on all sides of the design that doesn’t include the border between the covers and spine.
The height is calculated by finding the sum of:
- Trim height
- 2 x bleed. 0.125” or 3mm, generally.
Confusing, right? Don’t worry. If you take the help of a professional cover designer, all this will be taken care of. But if you are making your own cover design, make sure the settings match with your printers’ specifications.
What Resolution Should You Choose?
Just like the dimensions of a book cover, the resolution is also super crucial while creating your book cover. After taking a long time to create the perfect cover for your book, you don’t want a blurry one, do you?
Good Resolution vs Bad Resolution
Choosing Your eBook Cover Size
The average reader’s screen of an ebook like Kindle, iPad has an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It means that for 100 pixels width, there will be a height of 133 pixels. Although this is equivalent to the shape of the old standard definition TV, some publishers prefer to create a cover that fits the Kindle perfectly.
It’s evident that the trim and all don’t make sense to care about when it comes to an ebook, but do remember that the cover has to be readable and attractive at the same time as a thumbnail.
The Amazon KDP Book Cover
Amazon is super popular when it comes to selling ebooks. Their store is very flexible when it comes to the variety of cover sizes authors upload on their product page.
Recommendation: use the ideal ebook cover size is a ratio of 1.6:1.
For every 1,000 pixels in width, the image must be 1,600 pixels in height.
To ensure the best quality for your image, particularly on high definition devices, the height of the image must be at least 2,500 pixels and the ideal dimensions for cover files are 2,560 by 1,600 pixels.
Novels and Non-Fiction Book Covers – 1.5:1
Most writers display their book’s hardcover design on the book’s Kindle page. The majority have a ratio of 1.5:1. The cover ratio is similar to novels and non-fiction books. As far as design is concerned, non-fiction cover design is different from fiction. Despite it being a bit wider than Amazon’s recommended size, it offers more space for the design which is very crucial while displaying in a thumbnail form.
Recommendation: use the 1.5:1 ratio, setting your cover’s dimensions to 2500 x 3750 pixels
Note: use a slightly wide cover format, so that the design doesn’t become scrunched to compensate.
Illustrated Book Covers – 1.4:1 or 1.2:1
Books with many pictures are called illustrated books. Photography books, art books, textbooks, children’s books, etc. come under this category. These kinds of books tend to have a wider trim and have an aspect ratio of 1.4:1 or 1.2:1 for a book cover. The pictures are sprawled on the entire cover and look attractive. The art of books like these is a massive selling point.
Recommendation: To use the 1.4:1, set your cover’s dimensions to 2800 x 3920 pixels.
To use the 1.2:1 ratio, set your cover’s dimensions to 3000 x 3600 pixels.
Wattpad Cover – 1:6
Wattpad is a reading app and a community for various kinds of stories.
Recommendation: To use the 1:6 aspect ratio, set your cover’s dimensions to 256 x 400 pixels.
Keep any text and graphic away from the bleeds which are 13 mm or 0.5” from the outer sides of your cover.
Audiobooks Cover – 1:1
Audiobooks are now becoming more popular day by day. Just put it on while driving and you’re good. They usually have a square-shaped cover and have a 1:1 aspect ratio. Many authors create the audiobook after the launch of their paperback, so the audio book’s cover is usually a cropped picture of their print book.
It’s better to create a separate cover for your audiobook, so it has a neat and finished look.
Recommendation: To use the 1:1 ratio, set your cover’s dimensions to 3200 x 3200 pixels.
Now that you have so much information about the dimensions of a book cover, you can confidently go ahead and choose one that you require for your book.