Designing your eBook cover can be a fun and creative thing. Especially for writers who usually deal with words it can be a refreshing thing to make something visual. And while everything about designing your eBook cover can vary depending on your book and your preferences, there are certain things that you kind of have to follow to meet the legal requirements for your eBook cover.
This will in no way bound your creativity, you are still free to choose the color palette, font and overall design, it is just that when doing so you will need to follow some eBook cover legal requirements to get your cover approved. Even though it might look that your eBook cover should just be something like a sized down version of a regular book cover that is really not the case.
The basic requirements include size and format. Different sites can vary from each other in terms of image size, resolution, image format, etc. But luckily, most major eBook marketplaces have very similar requirements that you can meet with a single design.
One thing that all sites can agree on, is that your image has to be RGB as opposed to CYMK image. To be more specific, RGB color is used when the image or design is made for devices and online usage, while CYMK color is used when the design is set to go to print. Since we are designing an eBook Cover the right choice here will always be RGB.
The ratio. This is also a pretty simple one. Almost all of the online stores requires approximately 6 to 9 ratio. Of course this can vary between devices and sites but you will find that 6:9 ratio will satisfy most eBook cover legal requirements.
The resolution. This is a bit tricky as it can vary from publisher to publisher. The good thing is that most publishers are starting to be more tolerable with their requirements and not as strict. In most cases you have a lot of room to actually meet the resolution requirements. For example, Kindle Direct Publishing’s resolution requirements state that the short side should be at least 500 pixels and the long side at least 800 pixels, with room to go all the way to 2000 pixels on the long side. BookBaby also has flexibility of 550 to 700 pixels on the short side, and 800 to 1000 pixels on the long side.
As you can see most sites are pretty flexible when it comes to resolution, as long as you keep the format consistent and the image isn’t poor quality. So keep in mind that you shouldn’t go lower than 500 pixels on width and not above 2000 pixels on length.