When it comes to the cover of your book, KDP offers two tools:
- A template builder that specifies cover dimensions for use with a dedicated graphics package such as InDesign,
- A free, online Cover Creator app. developed for KDP
Using the Cover Template Builder
The Cover Template Builder generates a template that is exactly the right size for your cover and its spine. These dimensions are based on your chosen trim size and the total number of pages in your book.
To use the template builder, type the following web address into the address bar of your browser:
Note: you do not need to register in order to use the template builder.
You should now be looking at the template builder:
To enter the trim size, click Select an option. This will display a pop-up menu of available trim sizes. Make sure you select the same trim size for the cover as for the interior of your book.
For Number of Pages, type the total page count of your book – i.e. including front matter, chapters and back matter.
To select the Paper Color, click the button labelled ‘White’. This will display the three paper options: White, Cream, and Color.
Select the paper type and click the Download Cover Template button.
You will now be prompted to save the download file to your computer.
Important: your anti-virus software should be up-to-date and turned on before opening any files from the internet.
Click OK to save the download file.
Once the download file has been saved to your computer, you will need to ‘extract’ the two graphics templates it contains.
Later versions of Windows include a utility to unzip files. The following instructions are for the Windows unzip utility.
The first step is to locate the template file on your computer.
Once you have found the template file in My Computer or Windows Explorer, Right click the name of the file.
This will cause a context sensitive menu to be displayed.
From the menu select ‘Extract All’ as shown.
Depending on what software you are using to unzip the file, you should see something like this:
Select the location to which you wish to extract the template files and click the Extract button.
The cover template files come in two formats: PNG and PDF. Both formats include detailed instructions and precise measurements based on the information entered into the cover template builder.
The template format you choose will depend upon the graphics software you, or your graphic designer, use. How you use the templates is up to you, but the dimensions of the cover must be exact.
Note: even a small deviation from the correct size can result in an error message when KDP checks the file.
The PNG file looks like this:
If you plan to include an image or large amounts of text on the back cover, it’s important to allow enough space for the barcode [shown as the bright yellow rectangle above].
Note: KDP will generate the barcode for free using the ISBN you provide during the setup process.
When the cover matches the template, convert the graphics file into a PDF. It is this PDF file that you will upload to KDP.
KDP Cover Creator app
As you must be signed in to KDP to use the Cover Creator app., please see PART 2, Using the KDP Cover Creator [optional], for detailed instructions on how to use the app.
In Part II we will begin the process of setting your book up with KDP.