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How to Resize Image Files for Your eBook & Website

You want your eBook size to be as small as possible because Amazon charges you a 15 cents per megabyte download fee. You want your web images to be as small as possible so your website loads faster. In this post, you’ll learn how to optimally resize image files to strike a balance between file… [Read More]

How to resize image files for eBook and website by Carla King for BookWorks.com

You want your eBook size to be as small as possible because Amazon charges you a 15 cents per megabyte download fee. You want your web images to be as small as possible so your website loads faster. In this post, you'll learn how to optimally resize image files to strike a balance between file size and quality. Here are the steps:

1. Change the dimensions
2. Save for web
3. Remove extraneous metadata
4. Now squoosh it

If you have a hard time doing this yourself, consider taking a Lynda.com course. You can also hire someone to do it for you from a site like Fiverr very cheaply.

But First, JPG vs PNG

How to resize image files for eBook and website by Carla King for BookWorks.comFirst, a little about file types. The main difference between JPG and PNG  is their compression method. JPGs are meant for photographs. They are smaller in file size because their compression algorithm is "lossy" and removes some of the image's information. Use JPG for all your photos and web images unless they need transparency or have text in them. When you save an image as JPG it flattens it, so the nuances of transparency (opacity) are removed. Text in JPG images often become pixelated. So go with the larger PNG format or, better yet, use captions instead of embedded text.

How to resize image files for eBook and website by Carla King for BookWorks.comUse PNG for small images like line drawings, icons, charts, and text-based graphics such as screenshots of fancy chapter titles, headings, and flourishes that replace plain-text chapter titles in your ebook file. (You can't count on e-readers and other devices to translate non-standard fonts correctly.) When you save an image as a PNG you don't lose any data during compression because it's "lossless," so the detail is preserved.

The difference is significant. A PNG image with a file size of 402 KB saved as a JPG would be only 35.7 KB, but you'd lose a lot of detail.

Okay, now on to the four steps to resize image files.

1. Change the Dimensions

How to resize image files for eBook and website by Carla King for BookWorks.comFirst, make a copy of the image. Don't work with the original image!

Change the height and width of your image to 1600 pixels on the shortest side if you want it to fill the screen on a tablet, or 800 pixels if you're targeting e-reading devices and smartphones. If your image is smaller than that, it won't fill the screen.

If you need to enlarge your image you can do it in Photoshop or GIMP or, if you don't need perfect results, use a tool like Online Image Enlarger or Photo Enlarger.

If you don't need to crop your image, you can resize it using Google's free Squoosh App, described in Step 4.

2. Save for Web

Once you've changed the dimensions of your image, compress it using Photoshop or GIMP by Saving or Exporting for Web. Use a quality setting of 40.

3. Remove Extraneous Metadata

Drop each image into a free app that strips out unneeded metadata: ImageOptim is a free application for the Mac and Windows Users can use FileOptimizer.

How to resize image files for eBook and website by Carla King for BookWorks.com

This is the first step to making them smaller by getting rid of extraneous data.

4. Now Squoosh It

The final step to making your image as small as possible is to squoosh it using Google's free Squoosh app. Open Squoosh in your browser, then drag-and-drop the image onto the Squoosh icon. Use sliders to compress the file size until you see degradation, then slide it back up.

I tried Squoosh with this print-quality photo of a dog.

How to resize image files for eBook and website by Carla King for BookWorks.com

The image visibly started to degrade at 91% smaller file size. Amazing!

And... the Resulting File Sizes

From top to bottom, here are the file sizes. Do you think the image quality suffers? I think not.

  • 518 KB dog-original-print-quality.jpg
  • 66 KB dog-save-for-web-40.jpg
  • 33 KB dog-squooshed-50percent.jpg

How to resize image files for eBook and website by Carla King for BookWorks.com

You're Done!

Now you have beautiful, small-sized images to place in your eBook and on your website.

TIP! If you think your eBook images may be too small for a smartphone, upload large-sized images to your website and create a link to them in your eBook. This can be especially useful for readers if you included graphs and charts with a lot of detail.

ANOTHER TIP: Create a separate PDF eBook with the images your readers can download. Use it as a lead magnet by requiring readers to enter their email address. Make it friendly to readers who have not purchased your book by adding just enough information to compel them to buy.

Was This Helpful?

I hope this post helps you create high-quality, small file-size images for your eBook and your website. It will make a difference to your royalty deposits, your eBook readers, and your website visitors.

Are there any tips or tools that you use to resize image files? Questions? Please let me know in the comments section below. Thanks!


Ready to hire a cover designer for your book? Check out BW's Author Services. You'll find trusted partners as well as our Service Provider directory searchable by category/type.


3 thoughts on “How to Resize Image Files for Your eBook & Website”

  1. Mike Perry says:

    Quote: “You want your eBook size to be as small as possible because Amazon charges you a 15 cents per megabyte download fee.”

    Thanks for the suggestions, but there’s an even easier fix. Since only Amazon charges a download fee—and that an outrageous one—don’t include any images in the version you send Amazon.

    And keep in mind that download fee is about ten times what Amazon charges for file downloads on its AWS (Amazon Web Services). Amazon is ripping authors and publishers off with that fee, so you have a very good reason for making it image-free.

  2. Cathy Cade says:

    useful information. I’m experimenting with my blog pics. Thanks

    1. Hi Cathy, we’re glad you found the article helpful. Thanks for your comment.

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