Kindle: Disappearing Book Covers

There have been some changes lately on Amazon which affect the way some product pages display. 

You have probably found that the book covers on your Kindle disappear after around 5 minutes of download. You can probably read the book without any problems, but it’s a bit annoying and ruins the experience somewhat.

There’s a reason for this…

Books that aren’t assigned an ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) will have their cover artwork replaced by a generic thumbnail. So, if you’re sideloading free e-books onto your Kindle, you’ll likely be missing the artwork.

If this bothers you, there are workarounds. The best one so far is to update to the latest version of Calibre (version 4.17).

What Is Calibre?

Calibre is an open-source software program that allows a reader to sync e-books across different platforms. It was created by a very smart software engineer who wanted to convert e-books so he could read them on Sony devices (called LRF format). He also found it got more and more difficult to organize his collection of e-books. 

So, he teamed up with some other clever people and created the first version of Calibre called Libprs500. Very techie!

His invention caught on with publishing houses and content digitizers and soon became globally popular. 

It was then time for a new name – Calibre.

This software allows you to read e-books purchased or downloaded from any platform. And, if you want to transfer an e-book from a tablet to a laptop, Calibre can do this for you.

This software also allows you to format any e-book however you want. For example, you can format a document you’ve written yourself into book format.

Calibre is always being updated and developed. The latest fix is the disappearing book cover issue with Amazon books so let’s delve deeper into that right now…


How To Fix Disappearing Book Covers 

There are a number of different ways to fix the disappearing book cover issue. Some are easier to execute than others. 

This issue is happening because your Kindle isn’t detecting any ASIN numbers. 

The thing with Amazon is that unless it’s a personal document or a book sold by them, they won’t show the book cover. Perhaps it’s a way to make authors only sell through them? 

You can get around this as follows…


Workaround One

The first way is to enter the ASIN number of your Kindle edition in the book’s metadata in Calibre. You can get this from the product information. 

Then, open up Calibre and enter the ASIN number in the metadata section of Calibre. This will sideload the book cover into your Kindle edition.

Workaround Two

This process is super-simple. 

First, download the most recent version of Calibre.

When you’re sure your version is up to date, plug your Kindle into your computer. Calibre will automatically fix the problem and the book covers will reappear on your Kindle.

This should sort the problem out once and for all. You won’t have to resend your books, either. There’s always the old way of doing things, where you can use Calibre to convert your books into MOBI and then email them to yourself. This approach is longwinded approach and the older format isn’t as good.

This new workaround is better because you can just plug in and away you go.

Final Thoughts

For all things e-reading, make sure you bookmark Pick My Reader so you don’t miss any more handy Kindle tips.

We’ve got a busy schedule lined up and we’re sure we’ll have some more handy guidance to make your e-reading more enjoyable! 

See you soon!

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