Amazon adding transparency codes to KDP book covers to boost engagement

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is starting to insert a transparency code on the barcode it adds to book covers if you don’t provide your own.

The scheme is starting in the US and Canadian marketplaces and expanding to the EU, Japan, and Australia within the next few weeks.

KDP says the transparency codes allows it to create a more engaging experience between you and your readers. The 2D transparency code looks like a QR code and will be situated on the right of the blue upper-case T on the barcode.

When a reader scans the transparency code, they can learn more about you and your book, leave a star rating or review, and go to the book’s Amazon detail page.

Amazon has been using transparency codes on a wide range of products, although that has largely been as part of an effort to cut product counterfeiting rather than offering information.

Here’s how to scan the code — open the Amazon Shopping app and:

  • In the search bar, click the camera icon.
  • Choose Barcode and scan the Transparency code.
  • Additional information about the book will appear and readers can leave a star rating.
  • Readers can click the right-facing arrow to go to the Amazon detail page.

If you upload a cover that includes a barcode, KDP will not add a transparency code to that barcode. If you use the KDP Cover Creator, or choose not to provide your own barcode, your book may include a transparency code when printed to fulfil Amazon and author copy orders.

You can find out more about barcodes and transparency codes on the KDP Help page.

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