As I posted on Facebook, I created an entry in my bookshelf for Reckless Recon a couple of days ago. I like to do this a week or two before the book is ready to publish, just to keep my motivation up, to start filling in all the fields (keywords and categories can take a bit of thought, not to mention blurb. No, let’s not talk about blurbs yet). Sometimes, you even discover a problem that needs to be solved before the book can go live. In this case, when I uploaded my cover, I could instantly see that something was wrong. The beautiful yellow colours looked muddy and washed out, as you can see in the picture below. The image on the left is the one shown on my Amazon edit page, the one on the right is a screen capture from my own webpage.
I panicked. Something was wrong with my file. Or Amazon was messing up somehow. When I looked at my other covers, they were the same, although less obviously so.
I tried uploading several different formats. Tiff instead of JPEG (no difference), CMYK instead of RGB (wouldn’t let me upload), larger files, higher quality. Nothing made any difference. Every time I uploaded, I was faced with this same, washed out image. I posted on a writers forum I’m on, and received sympathy, but no suggestions. I even emailed KDP, and began the process of going through their canned responses in the hopes of getting an actual solution.
Then I checked back on the forum, and someone posted a comment about specifying a colour profile, and how I could right click on the image, select properties, and find out what colour profile the image was using. So I checked it out, and low and behold, my colour profile was ‘unspecified’. Hmm. So I did a bit of research to find out how to change it, (under Edit–>Convert to profile in Photoshop), changed it to sRGB (recommended by Amazon), and started the upload.
It took forever! I waited, staring at the spot where my image would be, torn between hope that it would display correctly, and fear that it would still look awful.
Luckily, it worked!
So I’ve spent the morning changing all my other covers, and now they’re all beautiful, just like they’re supposed to be
Seems like I’m never done learning about all this publishing stuff!