Problems With A Book Cover Image On Social Media

Book Cover Images On Social Media

Book cover images are portrait but we live in a landscape world on social media

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 will change depending on what device is being used.

Let’s look at what happens to book cover images on different social media platforms.

First, lets’ look at Facebook.

book cover image cropped on Facebook
Medium image on Facebook

Facebook is by far the most restrictive.

If your book cover image is very large it will be in landscape, but medium and small images will be cropped to a square.

book cover image cropped on Twitter from Facebook
Large image on Facebook

However, if you share a Facebook post on to Twitter, the small square image suddenly becomes landscape. It also depends on what device is being used

Your book covers fair a little better on Twitter.

book cover image in full on Twitter
Portrait image on Twitter

On Twitter, you 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.

If you are posting from your blog that has Twitter Cards enabled, you will find that image posts are always in landscape.

book cover image cropped on Twitter for iPad
Landscape book cover on Twitter

But alas, when it comes to mobile devices, once again, the book cover image gets cropped by Twitter. 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 or iPhone. So my expensive plugin is only good for laptop and desktop viewing.

Pinterest is the only platform that works well for book covers.

book cover image in full on Pinterest
Book cover on Pinterest

Hooray! At least one social platform loves book covers. Pinterest is the only platform that always accepts portrait images.

So what can you do to get your book cover image viewed in full on social media?

There is not a lot you can do, unfortunately.

The only workaround is to create a landscape image that you can use on all social media platforms.

I use Canva to create images for my blogs, which is a free online image maker.

You can use Canva 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.

Landscape book cover image for social media promotion
Promote book covers in landscape

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 is really pot luck.

Your book cover image is almost certainly going to be cropped, depending on what social media platform and device someone is using.

So perhaps you might want to consider moving the title to the middle of your book cover.

Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

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