Monday, June 20, 2011

Tech Corner: Adding book covers to Kindle uploads

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.


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:

[div id="cover"]
[center][img src="yourcoverfile.jpg"][/img][/center]
[mbp:pagebreak /]

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.


  1. Thank you, Anna. I'd never gotten around to adding covers because I couldn't pin down the how-to.

    Much appreciated!


  2. Very useful information to have if you did not compile your cover into your eBook from the beginning. I like that you include mac instructions as well, it shows that you care about helping the most people possible.

  3. Well, so far I have one book out, and I never even considered NOT embedding the cover. Hasn't really helped sales any, though. My cover must really suck. ;o)

  4. Covers are a must, in my opinion, and best ovtained from a professional. A simple pro cover can be had for less than $100, and a great one for $100 - $200. Icing on the cake, as it were, but who wants a birthday cake without icing?

  5. Hello Anna
    Great blog, and one I'll be returning to.
    Could you perhaps help me with something that has me puzzled.
    I created a Kindle ebook using Mobipocket, and added the code for the cover image in the HTML:
    img src="Connect_files/connect-cover.jpg"
    Then when I uploaded the .prc file to Amazon, I also uploaded the cover image there.
    Now, in the Kindle ebook, both cover images are displaying.
    Should I remove the reference in the HTML, or not upload the cover image at Amazon?
    Thanks and best regards.

  6. Hi Anna,
    Thanks for the post.
    FYI, if you are not that skilled in HTML/XML codes, you can ask a favor from the free tool Calibre, when you convert the book, you can customize the meta information including cover, author name, book name, etc. You can check this guide as a referral: