New Kindle Publishing Guidelines (2018) Allow For 50MB Cover Image

Amazon just released a new version of its comprehensive standards guide for Kindle ebooks (PDF).

The new edition features a new rule about cover images and a list of fonts that should not be embedded in a Kindle ebook (because they are system fonts). I have also heard on Twitter that the new guidelines explains how to create pop-up footnote references.


  • Updated 4.1 Marketing Cover Image is Mandatory: To provide consistency with Kindle Direct Publishing guidance, changed the 2700 x 1688 pixels recommendation to 2560 x 1600 pixels and changed the 5MB file size limit to 50MB.
  • Updated 9.3.4 Avoid Using Fixed Values for Most Elements: Removed references to line-height.
  • Updated 9.3.8 Using Embedded Fonts: Added list of Kindle fonts that should not be embedded in eBooks.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Shady10 January, 2018

    The footnote info was updated last April. There’s no change to it here.

    1. Nate Hoffelder10 January, 2018

      Thanks for the correction! I didn’t know!

  2. BDR10 January, 2018

    50mb cover for a 400k ebook? Yeah, THAT makes a lot of sense.

    Were all of Amazon run like their Kindle division, there’d be a whole lot more brick & mortar stores around. It’s like the Kindle folks all caught the dreaded B&N stupidity disease.

    1. Nate Hoffelder10 January, 2018

      I doubt they’re going to send that cover image out at full sized; this is probably just a way to let users upload the best quality image.

      1. Maria (BearMountainBooks)10 January, 2018

        That upload size is likely that large to accommodate PDF full wrap covers (for print–which you can now do from the kindle dashboard. I have not tried it). Those wrapped covers can easily run 15 to 20MB if you don’t spend some time saving a certain way (even with that, 12MB isn’t unusual). For just a front cover, I’ve never run anywhere near that large, but on the Createspace side of things, even though they were supposed to handle 12MB the upload would not always happen without choking.

  3. Erik10 January, 2018

    That marketing cover image is not used in the ebook, that’s a different cover, so 50 mb is just fine, allows for it to look better at smaller sizes when amazon does promoting or on the website. Since they don’t use the cover from the ebook directly to market, it’s nice they are allowing better quality.


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