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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 1.2" (50.8 x 30.5 mm)
  • Minimum size is 1.4" x .8" (35.56 x 20.3 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.
    Note: Two-stage barcodes, typically used for Japanese books, aren't supported.
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

When we print a book, we may add a Transparency code to the barcode. This code doesn't change the barcode box 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, you will see what the barcode looks like with the Transparency code on it.

Note: Transparency codes are not QR codes, and a Transparency code is only scannable through the Amazon shopping app.

Barcode with Transparency code
Barcode without Transparency code


Paperback books that are published through KDP and meet our barcode formatting requirements will be printed with a Transparency code on the barcode. You can use Cover Creator to create your cover, or upload your own cover.

When you upload your book’s file, we will process it as it uploads and determine if we can add the Transparency code based on ISBN barcode placement.

If a Transparency code is added to your book, you are able to view how it looks by using Print Previewer. This tool shows you what your paperback will look like before you publish it.

To use Print Previewer:
  1. Go to your Bookshelf.
  2. Click the ellipsis button ("…") under PAPERBACK ACTIONS next to the book you want to preview.
  3. Choose Edit Paperback Content.
  4. Scroll down to the "Book Preview" section and click Launch Previewer.
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 the Barcode option 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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