How to Use the New Kindle Kids’ Book Creator (Tutorial)

Kids 1


KDP Kids features a new FREE, easy-to-use tool for designing illustrated children’s books. It’s called the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator.

Will this tool work well for your book?

  • If all (or most) of your book consist of illustrations, and some (or all) of the pages also have text, this tool provides an EASY way to create pop-up text for Kindle devices (and apps).
  • If your book reads more like a novel or chapter book where many pages have just text, I recommend creating a reflowable e-book instead.

First, I will tell you a little bit about the tool, and then I will show you how to use it. It really is easy!


Kindle Kids’ Book Creator solves a major hurdle in creating Kindle e-books:

  • Pop-up text makes it much easier to read illustrated children’s books on small devices, such as cell phones.
  • As I’ll show you, it’s really EASY to use. And it’s FREE.
  • It respects the concept of a page, which is so important for children’s books, while still making the text readable on small devices.
  • It’s designed to work on Kindle Fire tablets, iPads, cell phones, and Android Kindle apps. You see the pattern here? These devices all support color. (Although Paperwhite comes up as an option in the previewer, I checked on a book published this way and it wasn’t available on the Paperwhite.)

Better and easier formatting will attract more children’s authors to create illustrated Kindle e-books.

Better-formatted children’s Kindle e-books will attract more parents and educators to the Kindle children’s market.

This may also increase parent participation in Kindle Unlimited. For $9.99, you can read unlimited Kindle e-books from 600,000 participating titles, which is a great value for bedtime stories, chapter books, early readers, and homework resources.

You might as well enjoy the benefits of KDP Select, since the output format only works with Kindle anyway.


Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has a new page just for kids, called KDP Kids:

Visit the KDP Kids page to download the new Kindle Kids’ Book Creator tool. Click the Get Started button.

  • It’s available for both Windows and Mac.
  • For the PC, you need Windows Vista, 7 or later.
  • For Mac, you need OS X 10.5 or later.
  • Click the Learn More link for additional options (and to read the FAQ’s).

If you have any problems with functionality, first I would try using a different web browser (e.g. Mozilla FireFox instead of Internet Explorer). If switching browsers doesn’t resolve your functionality issue, visit the KDP help pages and look for the Contact Us button to explain your problem to KDP support.

I downloaded the tool without any problems. Everything was virtually automatic. I just had to check boxes for what to install (I selected everything) and agree to the terms of use.

It added itself to my start menu and also appears on my desktop. However, as a general rule, it’s wise to write down the location where you save it on your computer so that you can always find it, just in case.


Before you open the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator, you’ll want to get your materials together.

You have a couple of options:

  • You can upload a PDF of your illustrated children’s book.
  • You can upload image files in JPG, TIF, PNG, or PPM format.
  • The images can include text, or you can add text later.

A partial PDF is okay, too: That is, once you upload a PDF, you still have the option to add additional pages as images later.

When you upload a PDF, the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator automatically converts every ‘page’ to an image.

Every ‘page’ should appear exactly how you want it to appear on the screen (but you can leave the text out now, if you wish, and add the text later).

If you already have a PDF of your illustrated children’s book for a print edition, that’s perfect.

If not, you need to first create the ‘pages’ for your book:

  • You can open a graphics program (find one that’s better quality than Paint) and create each page there (with or without the text—you can add text later, if you wish).
  • You can scan images onto your computer, but, if so, you’ll want high-quality scans that will look good on any device. If the scans don’t include text, that’s okay, as you’ll be able to add text later.
  • You can open Microsoft Word and put each image on a page (without text is okay, as you can add it later), and then you can save your Word file as a PDF. Making a PDF is unnecessary, though, as you can simply leave all of your images separate, and just upload your image files.


Here is how to add your images (or how to add a PDF):

  1. Open the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator.
  2. Click the button to create a new book.
  3. Read the directions, then press Continue.
  4. Enter the title for your book.
  5. Enter the author name(s).
  6. If you have a publisher name to use, enter it here.
  7. Select a language from the list. Note that not all languages are supported. Presently, it’s English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Russian, and Portuguese. (Someone should contact KDP and let them know that they misspelled Portuguese. Oops!)
  8. Click browse and find a location where you want to save your book. You’ll actually have to create an empty folder for your book. Right-click in the pop-up window and choose New > Folder, then right-click the folder to name it, and then select this folder. Press Select Folder.
  9. Choose landscape or portrait. The bottom options only apply if you choose landscape (they disappear if you pick portrait). If you’re using landscape, choose the options you want.
  10. Uploading the cover and pages: Only choose the top option if you’re uploading a PDF and the first page of the PDF is your book cover. (You don’t have to bother adding the cover to your PDF. Just pick the second option and you’ll be able to submit your cover file and PDF separately.) To submit your cover as a separate file, pick the bottom option.
  11. Browse for the files as instructed. You should be doing one of the following.
  12. One option is to upload a PDF that includes your cover and your pages. You can still additional pages later.
  13. Another option is to first upload a cover as an image file and then upload a PDF of your pages. You can still add additional pages later.
  14. A third option is to upload image files. In this case, each image file should contain one ‘page’ from your book (including any text that needs to appear on that page).
  15. Once you upload your files (and you wait a while for the program to assemble the pages of your book together), you will have the option to add images, add text, or add blank pages.


You may wish to adjust the zoom from 100% to something else.

The main features you’ll need to perfect your book can be found on the toolbar above:

  • Add page.
  • Delete page.
  • Add text.
  • Add pop-up.
  • Add blank page (see the little arrow on the right side of the Add Page button).
  • Add multiple pages (see the little arrow on the right side of the Add Page button).


It’s easy to insert pages:

  • Click on the page where you’d like to insert a new page.
  • Browse to find the image that you’d like to add.
  • Choose whether to add the image before the selected page, after the selected page, or at the beginning or end of the book.
  • If you choose before or after a page, you can also select the page number you’d like to have it placed before or after.

You can also add a blank page by clicking the little arrow on the right side of the Add Page button.


It’s easy to add text to any page.

  • Select the page.
  • Click the Add text button.
  • This opens a rectangle. Grab any corner and drag it to resize. Grab any edge to move the rectangle.
  • Type your text in the rectangle. Place your cursor in the pop-up and look for a gray box just above the rectangle called View Pop-Up. Click View Pop-Up. This pulls up a white box that says Enter Text Here. Just start typing and you should see the text you type show up before Enter Text Here. Press the delete button to delete Enter Text Here.
  • Highlight selected text and use the toolbar above to change the font style, font size, boldface, italics, underline, font color, line spacing, letter spacing (kerning), or alignment.
  • Add as many textboxes as you’d like to any page.
  • Select the number at the top left of the textbox and press the delete button on your keyboard to delete a textbox. Or just right-click on the pop-up. You don’t want stray, empty pop-ups lying around.

Text added this way will automatically pop-up. You won’t need to do the next step unless you have text that was already part of the image (or if you uploaded a PDF).


If your text was embedded in your images, you’ll need to add pop-up text in order to make the text pop-up. It won’t be automatic if the text was embedded in the images that you uploaded (or if you uploaded a PDF), as opposed to adding text through the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator.

Here is how to make your text pop-up:

  • Select the page.
  • Click the Add Pop-up button.
  • This opens a rectangle. Grab any corner and drag it to resize. Grab any edge to move the rectangle.
  • Place your cursor over the rectangle and you’ll see a View Pop-up option. Click View Pop-up.
  • A white box will appear that says, “Enter text here.” Enter your text.
  • Highlight selected text and use the toolbar above to change the font style, font size, boldface, italics, underline, font color, line spacing, letter spacing (kerning), or alignment.
  • Add as much pop-up text as you’d like to any page. You can create a pop-up text for each text area.
  • Select the number  at the top left of the pop-up text and press the delete button on your keyboard to delete pop-up text.


A cool feature of the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator is that it allows you to edit the HTML. You don’t actually need to know HTML: just what to look for to change.

For example, if you wish to insert hyperlinks, such as the url for your author website, you can click View > HTML View. You would then find the text (which you probably don’t want to be in a pop-up, if you want a clickable link in the text; note that you can disable a pop-up if you wish), and place something like <a href=””>website</a&gt; where you would like to make a clickable link. The syntax is very important. Put the website url in the quotes, including the http:// part, and the text that you want to show between the > and </a> (that text can be the same as the url, if you want).

Be very careful with HTML, especially the syntax. If you’re not already fluent in HTML, research exactly what you want to do thoroughly before you try it out.


Click Book Preview at the top of the screen to preview your book.

This opens your book in the downloadable Kindle Previewer tool.

Preview your book carefully in each device.

Click the Devices button at the top.

You need to check:

  • Kindle e-ink
  • Kindle Fire
  • Kindle for IOS

The e-ink option will only give you Paperwhite, but when I checked on a book published this way, it wasn’t available on Paperwhite. (Try finding a book published this way and see if this may have changed recently.)

When you select Kindle Fire, you’ll see three options:

  • Kindle Fire
  • Kindle Fire HDX
  • Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″

When you select Kindle for IOS, the previewer will create an AZK file that you can download. Connect your iPad or iPhone to your computer with a USB cable to preview your AZK file. If you’re not familiar with this, you may need to Google some help.

With view, you can also open the file in Kindle for PC.


When your book is ready, go to File and click Save for Publishing.

This will create a .mobi file.

Find the .mobi file in the book folder.

Now you can log into KDP and upload your book file.


Click the help button and choose user guide to explore all the possibilities.


I would add a page near the beginning of the book that says:

This e-book features pop-up text:

Double-tap on text to open a text pop-up. The pop-up text displays in a large font size for easy reading.

This is especially convenient on small devices.

I would also include an image on the Viewing Tip page to make it look interesting. A picture of you actually doing this on a device with your book would be perfect. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing

Kindle for Kids Just Got Better!


Amazon just announced the new KDP Kids website:

  • Visit Amazon’s PR page,, to read Amazon’s press release about KDP Kids and the Kindle Kids’ Books Creator tool.
  • Visit the new KDP Kids website,, to explore the new program and to check out the new Kindle Kids’ Books Creator.

Or keep reading here and I’ll introduce you to them. I might even mention a few things that you can’t find through the above links. 😉


The main thing that I see so far is the new Kindle Kids’ Book Creator tool.

This tool is designed to help children’s authors prepare illustrated books for Kindle.

There are some very convenient, cool features:

  • You can upload a multi-page PDF file. Usually, PDF’s don’t convert well to Kindle, but this is different. This tool was designed to convert children’s paperback PDF files to Kindle-friendly files.
  • Kindle text pop-ups are designed to make the text more readable across all available devices (Kindle Fire tablets, iPads, and cell phones).
  • In addition to PDF, you can upload JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and PPM files. Most of these formats are to upload images.
  • Basically, you can add images, add text, and make the text interactive through pop-ups.
  • The idea was to simplify children’s e-book formatting for Kindle. Rather than work with HTML or CSS, you just conveniently add images and text.
  • You can specify facing pages to improve readability. For example, sometimes a print book is designed so that two facing pages create one larger image.

The Kindle Kids’ Book Creator is available for Windows and Mac. Check to make sure that your computer meets the system requirements.

  • Visit the KDP Kids website (I gave the link above).
  • Click the Get Started button.
  • You can download the tool here, or you can click the Learn More link. This link gives you additional options (e.g. downloading without the previewer) and also includes FAQ’s.


It’s not just good news for authors.

This is great news for parents, children, and educators, too.

KDP Kids solves the main problem:

  • Authors and publishers have struggled to make illustrated children’s books work well with Kindle. In the past, this either meant not making a Kindle edition at all, or not achieving optimal formatting. Now it’s much easier to properly format an illustrated children’s book, so there will soon be many quality illustrated children’s books on the market. This is your chance to ride the wave! Yes, the key word was quality (which includes editing). It’s not just about the visual design, but KDP authors now have an easy means to make the book interactive through pop-up text.
  • Many parents and educators have preferred print editions for the same reason: It’s been a challenge to find a selection of properly formatted children’s books. Now that it’s easier to make the images and text work better together, with interactive pop-up text, there will soon be many quality, interactive illustrated children’s books on Kindle and the reading experience will be much improved.

Children’s authors can help themselves by advertising these benefits to parents and educators. Show them how KDP Kids will benefit their kids. It’s a chance for you to advertise something other than your book directly, while still branding your image as an author. That is, you can get publicity through this without blatant self-promotion. That’s a nice marketing opportunity.

Let’s take this a step further: Kindle Unlimited is an amazing value for parents. Children get unlimited reading of 600,000 eligible Kindle Unlimited books for $9.99 per month:

  • bedtime stories
  • chapter books
  • early readers
  • homework help

Kindle Unlimited is like having an immense library at your fingertips, with no late fees. You can borrow up to 10 books at a time.

Check out A.J. Cosmo’s author picture on the KDP Kids page. That’s pretty cool, and shows you how even your author photo can do positive marketing. (But if everyone copies the same idea, it will cease to be effective. I’m not saying to copy this idea. I’m saying to let this idea inspire your own creativity.)


I expect to see new tools on the way, such as a textbook-friendly option for nonfiction.

KDP Kids is just one of 8 new pages that KDP has created. For example, there is KDP Non-fiction: At the bottom of the KDP Non-fiction page, you can find out what the other 6 new pages are.

Kindle is striving to make it easy (and FREE!) for authors to convert their books (even complex ones with images) to Kindle format, and to make it easy and convenient to achieve quality formatting.

The new Kindle Kids’ Books Creator is a giant leap in this direction. I expect to see more coming soon.


I received two emails this afternoon regarding KDP Kids. One was the automated announcement; the other was a personal email. I responded to the personal email and received a very quick, polite response. So I replied to that with some technical questions to try and clarify some important points that didn’t seem clear from the press release or FAQ’s. If any of my questions get answered, I’ll post that information on my blog.

I will also be testing this new tool out. If I discover anything valuable, I’ll be happy to share my ‘secrets’ on my blog, too.

So I may have another post or two about KDP Kids later this week.

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.


Click here to jump to the comments section: