How to Publish with KDP: Part Seven B

Image courtesy of

Hello SErs. Harmony here.  As promised, here is the second part of the seventh installment in the post series dedicated to taking a step-by-step look at how to get your finished manuscript from your computer and on sale on Amazon in both ebook and paperback.

If you’d like to take a look back at the previous posts in this series, please click on the links below:


Part 1 (Software for Writing) :

Part 2 (General Formatting Necessities) :

Part 3 (Ebook Conversion) :

Part 4 (Paperback Formatting) :

Part 5 (Image Software for Making Book Covers) :

Part 6 A (Using Amazon’s Cover Creator Tool for eBook) :

Part 6 B (Making your own ebook cover to upload to Amazon) :

Part 7 A (Using Amazon’s Cover Creator Tool for Paperback) :

To make it easy to browse back and forth, I’ve set all links to open in new tabs. As this series progresses, I will update the links for you so that each post includes links to all past posts in the series.

So, here’s Part Seven B: Making your own Paperback Book Cover PDF to upload to Amazon.

First of all, we need to look at how to make a PDF book cover to upload to KDP.

I use Photoshop for all my cover work. Whatever software you use, you need to be able to save to a sized PDF file.

I also use a barcode generated by Amazon, so I always leave space for them to insert that.

The easiest way, by far, is to get your total page count for your manuscript, have a chosen trim size, and then download a template. You can find the templates HERE.

And below is what your options look like on their website >>>

I import the PDF into Photoshop, but you can also import the PNG file they provide you with too. I use this as the ‘base layer’ and add layers on top of that. When the whole thing is finished, I ‘hide’ the bottom layer to ensure that no guidlines or instructions can show through onto the finished cover.

Because the book I’m using to show this tutorial has less than 100 pages, it will not have any spine text. However, the template will have the spine area marked out for you, so that you can add spine text on larger books. See an example template below >>>

Once I have everything I need (images, font, author bio, book description, etc.), I then ‘flatten’ the image–which is basically merging the many layers. This ensures that the final export will be a small and simpler file.

Then I ‘save as’ to a PDF, having made sure that the image size matches that of the template (in this case, it should measure 11.95 inches wide = 2  X  5.25″ for the front and the back, and 0.45″ for the spine), by 8″ high.

You need to ensure that any essential text or images do not extend beyond the orange guidelines. This is to allow for the trimming during the printing process. At the same time, you don’t want white space around the edges–unless you have a white book cover, that is.

I acheive this by always using a background fill colour which can extend right up to the very edges of the PDF.

Once your file is all saved and ready, you can upload it to KDP.

To do this, you’ll need to log in to your KDP account and find the book you’ve set up on your dashboard. Click on the ‘edit paperback content’ option by clicking the three dots on the right-hand side of the row.

Scroll down the page until you come to the ‘add book cover’ section. As with the ebook in Part Six B, you’ll want to click on ‘upload your own cover …’


You can either let Amazon add the barcode for you when they process and publish all the files into a book, or you can choose the option to add your own. If your cover includes your own barcode, then check the tick-box at the bottom of the dialogue screen, as seen above. Otherwise, if you want Amazon to add a barcode for you, leave it unticked.

When the upload dialogue box opens, select the PDF file you want to upload.











Below is a screenshot of my finished PDF for my latest book, Oh Baubles.


You can see the lack of spine text on this example. That is because this book is only about 84 pages and so isn’t allowed a spine text with KDP. Some Print on Demand platforms would still allow spine text at this size. So, it really depends at this point on which platform you’re uploading the final PDF to.

That’s it from me for today. I hope you’ve found this post useful. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, and I’ll see you all again on Wednesay, May 6th, where we’ll be taking a look at setting up your KDP account … I reckoned it was about time we got to that bit, lol. 🙂


©Harmony Kent 2020

(If you're reading this post on or after May 6th, 2020, then here's the link for Part 8 in the How to Publish with KDP series: Please note, the link won't work until May 6th, 2020.)

44 thoughts on “How to Publish with KDP: Part Seven B

  1. Just found this in my spam folder, Harmony. Every so often the system decides to take against something and I have to periodically check. There were 8 other things in there from people I’ve been exchanging emails with for years. It’s beyond me! However, this guide is brilliant and the clear explanation means that I do feel as if I could tackle things myself! I’m going to bookmark the opening page with the links as this is a rich seam of useful knowledge. Many thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is extraordinary, Harmony. I’m printing it out so that I can study it…as I’m really handicapped with this kind of thing. You amaze me!!! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Harmony Kent’s back on Story Empire today with the 7th installment of her terrific series, “How to Publish with KDP.” This time, she’s sharing how to create your own book cover, and her instructions are detailed and extremely helpful. But don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourself, and then share with your fellow writers so they can learn a few new tricks, too. Thanks, and thanks to Harmony for another job well done. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A great tutorial, once again, Harmony! I’m hoping I never have to avail myself of it, because I love working with my cover designer, BUT, I’m darn well saving it, just in case. Thanks for such detailed instructions! And my hat’s off to you for your cover work, especially on Oh Baubles, a favorite of mine. SO beautiful! 🙂 ❤ Sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoy cover design, though I admit I seldom have time to play and am by no means an expert. That said, the “art” part is fun for me and the measurements and particulars are most definitely not. Nice to see a simple breakdown here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve done several paperback covers for both myself and other authors. I use Gimp rather than photoshop (have purchased Affinity photo, but haven’t been brave enough to try it with a paperback cover). I also did one book for Ingram – they have to be precise but the template works basicially the same way.

    Another informative post, Harmony.

    Liked by 1 person

We'd love to know what you think. Comment below.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s