Thumbnail to Kindle book cover in 3 simple steps

screen shot unruly pen

I would like to share 3 simple steps that I discovered when attempting, without much success at first I might add, to upload my thumbnail image as a book cover for my first ever Kindle book just a few short weeks ago. This might save others time and hassle as well as money and most importantly, perhaps get you the image for your book that you really would like to use, but it happens to be in thumbnail form and you don’t know how to convert it into something that Kindle will accept.

There I was, finally having completed my first ebook ever, I was ready after months of pain-staking work of research, writing and editing, to upload it all to Kindle. I had the text file ready; all the author info in my little notebook box on the screen; filled in the tax stuff and then: Kindle refused to accept my image. “Blast and darn! I must have that image, there is no other”, I screamed silently to myself. I couldn’t believe it. How could something so trivial let me down on the 11th hour?

My thumbnail image of Darwin holding a plump blue fish caricature image (creative commons with no strings attached) was not to their liking at all. Not the cute image; the resolution was all wrong. It wasn’t in JPEG format or I think they would accept another well known type, which I sort of knew how to resolve, as it was in some strange format, but I naively thought that the resolution (thumbnail about 300 x 200 and something) would be fine. Afterall, it was only a Kindle book, not an actual physical book cover. But Kindle insisted that is was at least 3 times better resolution (i.e 1000 dpi minimum). Anyway, to cut to the chase, miraculously I somehow managed, quite by fluke, to resolve it and got my book uploaded sucessfully. Here is how I did it:

Step 1: The screen shot of this site with the book cover in the above image was the key. Take a screen shot of your thumbnail displayed on your website or blog. You see, the image in thumbnail will display a large picture with higher resolution and the screen shot is now the image you are working with, not just the little thumbnail with tiny resolution.

Now here comes the bit I would never have figured out is I didn’t just happen to have Picasa open at the time (Picasa is easily downloadable and great for albums of all your pictures and it has some simple editing tools as well). If you look up youtube and type in how to take a screen shot, you will find good short videos that show you if you don’t have Picasso. Anyway, quite by accident I happened to press my screen shot key on my keyboard [PrtSc] for print screen to the right of F12). I’d say they are standard on most keyboards. But pressing this key isn’t enough if you don’t have picasso open at the same time, it’s just a bit more convoluted. But if picasa is open and you press this key, an amazing thing happens. Picasa slips in a snatches your screen shot and puts it in a screenshot folder and all you have to do is go an retrieve it in most recent screenshot image. Save as whatever from your menu in picasso – it will format it in JPEG automatically, which is an accepted format for Kindle. And finally two more quick steps:

Step 2: We’re almost there. Crop your image in Picasa or whatever program you like for editing, taking away all the unwanted screen bits and tabs etc and finally: Step 3: This step is important. You need to open your saved and clipped screenshot in PAINT and expand it proportionally in all direction to 300 % its orginial size. I tried to upload the image as it was before expanding in paint and it only accepted it at the 300% size.

The moral of this story is that no quality of the original tiny thumbnail was lost. Kindle accepted the format, I would never have figured this out except through desperation to use ONLY this image I had set my heart on and sheer luck. This is why I’m sharing my discovery with you or anyone who wants to do the same for free and achieve a great look in the end for my new Kindle book. The book is on Amazon and called the Darwin Delusion and more info is on my linked blog on the sidebar:

Book cover Amazon large

This is the thumbnail converted for Kindle book cover. I added the title and author after I uploaded it successfully!!!

Thanks for dropping by. I hope this is of some use. Please share with any other INDIE authors

Signing off for now

Maria Brigit


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