Troubleshooting KDP Error Messages

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) can be both a cute adorable bunny one day, and then a raging dragon the next, so take a deep breath, let it out, and look through the error messages noted below to see if you can locate the one the fire-breather is currently throwing at you.

These mainly focus on the book cover upload portion, but if you receive other error messages, toss them in the comments and I’ll add them, and the solution, to this post as well.

Error message: Adjust the design of your cover to accommodate a barcode size of 2″ (50.8 mm) by 1.2″ (30.5 mm) tall that does not overlap with another barcode.

Solution: Your designer has included the barcode on the back cover. Therefore, in the “Book Cover” section on KDP where you “upload a cover you already have (print-ready PDF only)”, there is a small box that needs to be checked that says “Check this box if the cover you’re uploading includes a barcode. If you don’t check the box, we’ll add a barcode for you.” Screenshot below.

Error message.jpg

Error message: Your expected cover size is X” by X” but the submitted file size is Y” by Y”.

Solution: 90%* of the time, the reason this error message shows up is because the wrong paper color was selected during the upload process. Make sure you know whether the designer used white or cream paper. Cream paper is thicker, therefore the spine width is bigger making the whole cover wider. 5%* of the time the reason is the page count changed and the designer wasn’t informed. If the page count is different from what was originally told to the designer, they will need to make the adjustment. 1%* of the time the wrong trim size was selected during upload. Make sure the trim size matches what was provided to the designer. And the final 1%* of the time, it’s truly just KDP having a hissy fit and your designer will need to adjust it to the dimensions they say it should be.

*These percentages are just my own estimate, there’s no data to back this up, only my personal experience. 

Error message: Resize your front cover so that the image or background on the front cover extends far enough beyond the edge. Add an extra 0.125″ (3.2 mm) along the top, bottom, and sides of your cover. This prevents manufacturing issues when the cover is trimmed.

Solution: Check to make sure you chose the same paper color as what your designer used to create the print cover, whether that’s white or cream. KDP likes to default to cream, so if you chose white and the designer created the file for white, then you need to make sure white is selected. If white was for sure selected, make sure the page count is the same as what was provided to the designer. If the page count is different, notify the designer. Lastly, make sure the trim size matches what was provided to the designer. If all of the above is kosher, then notify the designer of the error message. 99% of the time, it’s one of those issues noted though causing the error.

Error message: Add at least 0.0625” (1.6 mm) of space on either side to prevent the content wrapping onto the front or back cover.

Solution: Let the designer know the error message. What this means is that the spine text is too close to the edge and needs to be reduced in size.


Not seeing your error message? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it and the solution to this post.

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