e-book vs print cover dimensions

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amyall

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Hello all,

I'm doing some research to find the best dimensions for my novel's cover art but I need a little help. From what I've read, e-book cover dimensions vary depending on the platform I'm publishing with and of course paperback print sizes will vary as well. Has anyone found a good standard that will let me utilize as many different options as possible?


Thanks for any and all help!
-A
 

veinglory

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I use the default recommended size for Amazon for ebooks. For paperbacks you need to decide what size you are going with and calculate your spine width before commissioning a cover (assuming it is wrap-around).
 

amyall

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Thanks Veinglory. I had this idea that I could create something large, 1250 x 1600 for an e-book and perhaps just scale it down to make the same thing work for the paperback. It's my first time trying to design a cover so I'm making loads of mistakes. Thanks for your help!
 

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Thanks Veinglory. I had this idea that I could create something large, 1250 x 1600 for an e-book and perhaps just scale it down to make the same thing work for the paperback. It's my first time trying to design a cover so I'm making loads of mistakes. Thanks for your help!

The thing that's crucial in terms of print vs digital is the resolution, that is, the dpi.

Print needs at least 300 dpi. So yes, follow the guidelines to the letter and number.
 

Dennis E. Taylor

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Amazon recommends a 2:3 ratio of size (width:height). My latest covers were done 2700x4050. I also had a 2700x2700 version done for Audible (they use square images on their site).

My cover designer isn't cheap, but he signs over complete rights to the art, and gives me the image and typography separate, as well as the source PSD file. So if I had to, I could do some surgery.
 

veinglory

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DPI and ratio. Just trimming some arbitrary portion off one end when you find out your proportions are off makes cover designers very cranky.
 

Sleeping Cat Books

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Thanks Veinglory. I had this idea that I could create something large, 1250 x 1600 for an e-book and perhaps just scale it down to make the same thing work for the paperback.
At print resolution (300 ppi) that would be 4.17 inches wide and 5.33 inches tall, which is not very big at all. And really, that's about the minimum size for an ebook cover as well.

They are very much two different animals, not only from the pixel dimension standpoint, but also from a resolution (ebook covers are fine at 96 ppi) and design/typography standpoint. Your ebook cover must look good and be readable at thumbnail size, which might not look great on a paperback cover.
 

kevinwaynewilliams

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3675x5475 is pretty much perfect in my experience. Crops to 3600x5400 for applications that don't need bleed, which has a perfect 2:3 ratio and resizes nicely into standard smaller sizes. When you do need bleed, it's built right in, and prints at 600DPI for a standard 6x9 book.

Bear in mind that cropping and resizing are separate things: don't resize a 3675x5475 to 3600x5400, because you'll introduce blurring and artifacts. Crop it, and make sure that there's nothing on the edges you needed to keep. If there's anything on the edges you need to keep, the cover won't work for printing anyway.
 

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