Knowing about pixel boundaries helps in managing and creating clean, sharp images for the Kindle. One effective way to encourage customer confidence and boost sales is by creating a high-quality cover image. Consumers increasingly demand high clarity of images within e-book pages, but maintaining small file sizes helps authors avoid reduced royalties due to Amazon download fees.
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Kindle versus Kindle DX
The Kindle 2 and 3 screen size is 800 x 600 pixels. Based on square-inches, the Kindle DX is about 2.5 times larger than the Kindle 3. In pixels, the DX screen is approximately 50-percent taller and 37-percent wider than the Kindle 3 screen.
At 1200 x 824 pixels, the resolution of the Kindle DX screen is significantly higher than that of most notebook displays; however, it has a 10-percent lower screen quality than the 6-inch E Ink display of the Kindle 3 (150- dpi versus 167-dpi.)
E-book cover image
Size the Kindle cover image, not to be confused with the product image, at 600-pixels wide by 800-pixels high and 72-dpi resolution. The cover displays within the e-book and must also present well in grey-scale.
Although the Kindle displays in black and white, take the opportunity to design images in colour where relevant, to take advantage of readers using colour devices such as the iPhone or computer. Colour devices display in RGB (red, green, blue) colour mode, which is native to the Web and many colour displays.
The product image displays in the Amazon store listing and makes a direct impact on the readers' purchasing decision. Always create your book cover in high-resolution or 300-dpi. Designing at a lower resolution results in a low-quality image and may ultimately require a costly redesign for print.
As with the e-book cover image, view the product design in grey-scale to ensure adequate contrast. Clear black and white designs improve sales by consumers who purchase e-books using Kindle's Wi-Fi store. Make adjustments to the original product design to fit the 600 x 800-pixel Kindle screen before exporting the 72-dpi JPG file.
Images you place within the e-book may vary in size; however, you should create images to the exact size for display. Create tables and charts 800-pixels wide and rotated 90-degrees CCW for widescreen display. With Kindles' reflowable text technology, the layout display changes depending on user settings, so avoid wrapping text around images.
Amazon charges the author 15 cents for every e-book download or sale on files greater the 3MB. To avoid loss of royalties, optimise book images for maximum clarity and minimum file size using 72-dpi for digital books and 300-dpi for print-on-demand or offset printing.
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