The “Chosen One” hits a Snag

After making a thousand miniscule tweaks, I have finally produced the final version of my Poor Percival Stories cover art – the “Chosen One”.

Final Cover Art


Time to party!  Right?  Um…not so fast 🙁

Unfortunately when I upload the cover to my bookshelf on the Kindle Direct Publishing site, the thumbnail preview it displays looks radically inferior.  Like this:

thumbnail 1

My guess is that it’s because of whatever crazy amount of compression they do to the file.  Which is disappointing considering everywhere else a thumbnail of the image is generated (Windows, Gmail, and even WordPress) the image looks perfect.  If I change the title font to be something regular like Times New Roman, rather than the cool custom font I discovered, the title is somewhat more readable, but not perfect.

thumbnail 2

I’d hate to have to change to a font like that because then the cover loses some of it’s personality.  I’m going to mess around in Photoshop tonight and see what else I can come up with.  But if it doesn’t get any better, I guess the decision I need to make is whether I go with a thumbnail image that is sub-par, but a larger image that I prefer, or alter the text so the thumbnail is better, but a large cover that I’m not completely happy with.

Part of my thinking is that the the title of the book will appear next to the thumbnail on Amazon anyway, and once you click on that link, a larger version of the image will appear and look better.  So maybe it’s not a big deal that the thumbnail  isn’t 100% perfect.  But then again, the thumbnail is probably going to be the first image most people see of my book, and could be the deciding factor whether they do click on that link or not.  First impressions are key.

What to do?  Decisions, decisions…


  1. Is there no way to upload a different image for your thumbnail and the cover?

    • Unfortunately not 🙁 They only let you upload one full cover image, and then scale that down for the store thumbnail. I think I’m just going to go with it as is though. I like the cover image too much to change it at this point 😛

      • One more idea before you stick with what you have — can you save the cover image as a lower res image, like a jpeg or something? I don’t really understand file types, but I think jpegs are fairly simple … lol.

        • I tried a couple different file types. The current one is jpeg. KDP also accepts tiff files, but when i tried that it inverted the colors of my cover, so it looked like the negative of a photograph haha! I also tried making my original image bigger, hoping the compression they do to the file wouldn’t be as noticeable once it was shrunk down. But alas, Amazon is very strict about file sizes, and trying to upload it made the internets cry lol.

          I appreciate your eagerness to help solve my problem though! 🙂

          • You made the internets cry? For shame! Well, I’m out of ideas, lol.

  2. Generally speaking, I use about a third of my available space for the title. Yup, a third. It sucks having to design for the thumbnail, but it’s important. It’ll screw up the kerning, but you could expand everything by like 5 pixels to make the text fatter. I’d go ahead and add a drop shadow too. Really, I put a drop shadow on just about all my text, and while it’s subtle, it makes a difference.

    Also, the previews when you’re uploading your book always look terrible.

    • Thanks for the advice! I’m going to try that tonight and see if it helps. Can’t believe I didn’t think to try adding a drop shadow before. Precisely the reason I set up this blog – to let others catch my mistakes 😛

      • You’re welcome! Since I started making covers, I pay so much attention to text art, when I’m watching TV, playing games. Browsing the top 100 books in your genre on Amazon never hurts.


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