Book cover images are portrait but we live in a landscape world
Have you noticed how your book cover image always gets cropped on social media? It is a big problem when your book cover image is your prime source of attraction for your book.
I am forever tearing my hair out trying to find ways to promote books with a full book cover image showing on social media.
Unfortunately, the world of social media makes the rules, and fitting a portrait peg into a square or landscape hole is not easy.
Not only are there restrictions on size and the orientation of images, these specifications change depending on what device is being used.
Let’s look at what happens to book cover images on different social media platforms.
Facebook is by far the most restrictive. If your image is very large it will be in landscape, but medium and small images will be cropped to a square.
However, if you share a Facebook post onto Twitter, the small square image suddenly becomes landscape.
On Twitter, I can successfully post portrait images in full. However, to achieve this I have had to invest in an expensive paid plugin for WordPress that forces Twitter to accept and post a landscape image.
But alas, when it comes to mobile devices, once again, the book cover image gets cropped. The two book cover images above are from the same post to Twitter. The first is how the post appears on a laptop, and the second on an iPad. So my expensive plugin is only good for laptop and desktop viewing.
Hooray! At last one social platform loves book covers. Pinterest is the only platform that accepts portrait images.
So what can you do to get your book cover image viewed in full on social media?
Not a lot, unfortunately. The only workaround is to create a landscape image that you can use on social media. I use Canva to create images for my blogs, and it can be used to make a landscape book promotion image such as the one below, which I prepared quickly for this post. I am sure you could be more creative with a bit of thinking.
There are so many image specifications for the various social media services that it is impossible to know and understand what will happen to your book cover image when it is shared on social media.
Apart from using Pinterest more or investing a lot of money for a WordPress plugin for Twitter, the best advice I can give is to create a few landscape versions of your book cover image to use on social media.
Apart from that, it’s pot luck. Your book cover image is almost certain to be cropped, so perhaps you might want to move the title to the middle of your book cover.