Thanks to a thread over at Kindleboards, I realized I needed to include my book covers in my ebook files.
The covers appear on the product pages, and I thought it was enough. Who looks at a cover after they purchase the ebook? Besides, a file without a large image file is smaller, and takes up less space on the reader's kindle or iPhone or computer. I figured I was doing the reader a favor by leaving it out of the file.
Today's discussion on Kindleboards convinced me I was wrong.
I logged onto my Kindle Direct Publishing account, downloaded the book files (in the html converted format), and began the adventure of adding the covers.
Below I have a step-by-step tutorial on how to do this, and I hope it saves other authors/publishers time and frustration.
HOW TO ADD YOUR COVER TO A KINDLE EBOOK FILE:
Note -- replace the brackets in the code below with < or > (blogger won't let me show HTML tags with the correct brackets -- it thinks I'm trying to put HTML commands into this post).
1. Make a jpg file of your cover. Keep it small enough, in pixels about 500-600W and 700-800H. You can scale your existing cover down using a graphics program.
2. Put your book file and the cover image file into a folder together. Open the book file in a plain text editor (like textwrangler) or an html editor (Dreamweaver) to edit the html directly.
After the [body] tag enter the following code:
Save the file after making these changes.
3. Zip the files together. Do this by right clicking (ctrl-click on a Mac) on the folder containing your files. Select the "compress" files option in the menu that pops up. The zipped file created by the compression option will show up on your desktop.
4. Log into KDP, and upload the zip file (Upload Your Book File - step #5) for your book. Preview your book. You should now see your cover at the beginning of your book.
5. Save and publish your book in KDP.
Voila. Not only does this add the cover art to your ebook, it also allows the reader to see the cover when they use the right arrow button from the main list on their Kindle device.