Ever looked at the book covers of the titles featured on Goodreads? There’s something to be learned there. All those book covers have unmistakable quality and care put into them. Their author didn’t just slap on a logo or do the artwork themselves—they hired a professional designer with an eye for it. Go ahead and look. Every book cover without exception has it going on.

Now ask yourself: did the story get people to look at those covers, or did the cover get people to read?

Just as it’s important to have a decent cover for sites like Goodreads, it’s equally important to have a proper cover for your story on JukePop. People do judge books by their covers. A good one encourages them to check out what’s inside, a poor one encourages them to skip. That’s why we’re committed to only accepting titles with good covers to our library program.

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On the Internet certain rules must be followed for book covers. EBooks are different from paperback. For example, you want people to see the story’s title and author name even when the cover has been shrunk down to a small thumbnail. In fact you want everything about the cover to be eye-catching even when reduced in size. This may not be necessary in a paperback cover, which doesn’t shrink.

More specific to JukePop is our uploading rules. We’re glad to see that the vast majority of our JP 30 authors have covers which follow these rules:

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Notably, they are all 600 wide by 800 high .jpeg files. This ensures there’s no discrepancy when the cover is transferred to an ebook or a site like Santa Clara library. The 3:4 resolution is the standard.

What happens when the resolution is inappropriate? We end up with stretching:

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Here’s the original, a common mistake where the width and height ratio was reversed:

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This may not be a big deal for some authors. It certainly wasn’t for the above! But again, remember Goodreads. Do you think covers like these would make it on there? Neither do we. This same criticism applies to covers which have proper resolution but are too small—they get horribly blurry when expanded or when someone shares on Facebook.

Let’s go through a few bullet points on what we require for our book covers, including some tips and tools for creating better ones:

  • 600 wide by 800 high resolution
  • .jpeg
  • Files size no larger than 5MB
  • Make sure you own the rights to all images
  • Make sure the title and byline are prominent on the cover
  • Free software for you creative types: the GIMP
  • Free software for formatting: Irfanview + the plugin pack
  • Find cheap, quality cover designers on sites like Fiverr
  • Need more help finding a professional cover designer? Contact us

If there’s no other incentive to get a proper book cover than to make your story more appealing to prospective readers, remember: we will only accept stories with appropriate covers to our library program. We want a catalog that can match or even surpass sites like Goodreads. So get to it!