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You can upload a cover with or without a barcode. If you use Cover Creator, or choose not to provide your own barcode, we'll automatically place one on your back cover.



When you create a cover, you choose between the following three options, which determine the barcode that will print on your cover:
  • Cover Creator. If you use Cover Creator to make your book cover, we'll add a barcode to your cover. That barcode may include a Transparency code when printed.
  • Upload a print-ready PDF with a barcode. If you upload a print-ready PDF that includes a barcode, ensure it meets our formatting requirements or we may reject your file.
  • Upload a print-ready PDF without a barcode. If you upload a print-ready PDF that doesn't include a barcode, we'll add a barcode to your cover. That barcode may include a Transparency code when printed. Covers with images or text in the barcode location will be rejected.
To update the barcode that prints on your cover, you'll need to update your cover file to remove or add a barcode. To update your cover, go to your Bookshelf and follow these instructions.

Formatting requirements

If you upload your own cover and choose to provide your own barcode, it must meet these requirements:
  • Image quality:
    • Vector images* are preferred
    • Rasterized images** should be 300 PPI (pixels per inch)
  • 100% black (not RGB/CMYK color or registration black)
  • Suggested size is 2" x 1.25" (50.8 x 31.75 mm)
  • Minimum size is 1.4" x .8" (35.56 x 203 mm)
  • Positioned at least .25” (6.3 mm) from the spine and trim of the cover
  • Solid white background
  • Right-side up and square to the cover
  • Image is not flattened into the main cover as a single image
  • * Vector images are comprised of "paths" that create the shape of an object with points, lines, and curves and which can be scaled up or down with no loss in quality. Objects like fonts are vector objects. 
    ** Rasterized images are objects made up of numerous color-coded pixels which together make a single picture. Rasterized images cannot be scaled up or down without changing their resolution. Objects like .jpeg and .tif files are rasterized objects.
If your barcode includes an ISBN, it must meet these requirements:
  • Include a valid ISBN
  • Not overlap with any text
  • Price code should match list price (if included)
You can include a QR Code or UPC barcode in addition to the ISBN barcode. It can't appear in the space reserved for the ISBN barcode.

Transparency code

If we add a barcode to your cover file, we may add a Transparency code to the barcode printed for some orders. This code doesn't change the barcode dimensions and is visually similar to a QR code. This allows us to create a more engaging experience between you and your readers. If you're using a screen reader, the Transparency code is located to the right of the blue upper-case T on the barcode. If you review your book in our Print Previewer tool before publishing, the barcode will appear without the Transparency code.

Barcode with Transparency code
Barcode without Transparency code


If you upload a cover that includes a barcode, we won't add a Transparency code to that barcode. If you use Cover Creator, or choose not to provide your own barcode, your book is eligible to be printed with a Transparency code for some orders.

Review this table to learn which orders may have a Transparency code added:
Transparency code may be addedTransparency code not added
  • Author orders
  • Amazon-fulfilled orders
  • Hardcover orders
  • Proof copies
  • Expanded Distribution orders

Reader experience

When a reader scans the Transparency code with the Amazon app, they can learn more about you and your book, leave a star rating or review, and go to the book's Amazon detail page.

To scan the code, open the Amazon Shopping app and follow these instructions:
  1. In the search bar, click the camera icon.
  2. Choose Barcode and scan the Transparency code.
  3. Additional information about the book will appear and readers can leave a star rating.
  4. Readers can click the right-facing arrow to go to the Amazon detail page.

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