When I started Hague Publishing I thought all we needed to do was to contract an illustrator to do one cover that we could use for the eBook, publicity, and for the cover for a Print on Demand if sales justified it. Unfortunately I was quickly disabused of this because of the wide variety width to height ratios that distributors, and the publishing process requires.
However, I have now come to the view that one size will fit all, so long as all the main elements are contained within a centred, smaller, specified area. Read on as I walk you through why I have come to this view, and what size you should be requesting from the illustrator.
But first of all, what actually is the problem, and here I think two pictures are worth a thousand words. The first picture is how 'Bonnie's Story - A Blonde's Guide to Mathematics' is displayed on Amazon.com (ie 152 x 239 pixels).
However, if you simply use the same picture on Google (229 x 289 pixels), or Apple and Barnes & Noble (260 x 336 pixels) you get the following, which is frankly quite uncomplimentary to Bonnie's hips.
There are two options here, crop some of the top and bottom off, or do as I did and spend several hours extending the width of the original picture. You will notice that the following picture actually shows the edge of the bus stop. More importantly Bonnie's hips have returned to their normal size.
To give you some information I have included the following table which sets out the size requirements by our distributors, and more importantly the width to height ratio as at August 2013. I have also included a couple of others size required for Goodreads.com, large size paperback, and the standard cover for an epub.
|B&N and Apple||260||336||0.77|
|Standard photograph (4"x6")||1440||2160||0.67|
|Paperback (13x20cm ie 5.1"x7.9")||1836||2844||0.65|
|Supplied for printing||Width||Height||Aspect Ratio|