KINDLE KIDS’ BOOK CREATOR
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: https://kdp.amazon.com/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.
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.
ADDING YOUR IMAGES
Here is how to add your images (or how to add a PDF):
- Open the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator.
- Click the button to create a new book.
- Read the directions, then press Continue.
- Enter the title for your book.
- Enter the author name(s).
- If you have a publisher name to use, enter it here.
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Browse for the files as instructed. You should be doing one of the following.
- One option is to upload a PDF that includes your cover and your pages. You can still additional pages later.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
PERFECTING YOUR BOOK
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).
ADDING POP-UP TEXT
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.
EDITING THE HTML
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=”http://www.website.com”>website</a> 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.
SAVE FOR PUBLISHING
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. 🙂
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
Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.
Thank you. 🙂
Reblogged this on Dee Van Dyk and commented:
Got a kids’ book looking for a publishing home? Chris Mullen breaks down the how-to of Kindle’s new Kids’ Book Creator.
Thank you for sharing this. 🙂
This is great. Must check it out!
Thanks. Good luck with it. 🙂
Reblogged this on The Way of the Storyteller:.
Thank you. 🙂
Question: Many picture books are square in format so you’ll have space above and below. If I want a “perfect fit” what are the dimension proportions? i.e. 5×8 (10×8 spread). Thanks! To note, according to the homepage, “Intel Mac OSX 10.7 or later” is required for Mac but that is incorrect. I’m having no problems on 10.6.8.
Ah, perfect fit depends on the device. Do you want to match the Fire, Fire HD, iPad, iPhone, Fire Phone? It matters. You’re right, though, that square will leave a gap no matter what.
iPad is 3:4
Fire is 3:5 (almost)
Fire HD is 5:8 (exactly what you said)
iPhone 4 is 2:3, iPhone 5 is 4:7 (almost)
So if you go with 5:8, it will fit the Fire HD (well, not if they put those automatic margins in there, but it will be pretty darn close). BUT then you’ll have gaps on the sides on iPad, Fire, and iPhones.
This is where if you can get some info from your target audience, it sure would be handy. Using 5:8 is good for Kindle customers buying your book with a Fire. If you expect most of your Kindle customers to use a Kindle Fire, this would be the way to go.
Good luck. 🙂 And thank you for the update on the Mac working despite the posted specs.
This was very helpful. I am using the PDF created by my illustrator for the 8″X10″ print version of “I Don’t Want to Go to Kindergarten…I’ll Miss You Toooo Much!” My KKBC preview looks perfect on one device but leaves some gaps on others requiring the reader to scroll slightly to center the page. It’s important to me that my readers have the best experience possible so I have put off publishing to KDP. I’ve been asking KKBC if it is normal to get a different view on different devices or if I am doing something wrong. Their responses have included sending me a generic link to the Users Guide (already had it) and asking me to send screen shots (which would be a waste of my time since you say the gaps are normal). I really appreciate your straight forward answer. 🙂 Maureen King
We’re having a problem adapting our recent Kindle children’s picture book (landscape style, not portrait) that we originally built in the first Kindle Comic Creator to the new Kindle Kids’ Book Creator with pop up text. We already have text built in to the pictures but decide to “upgrade” to the pop up text offered in KKBC because we heard Amazon is suppressing the visibility of kid’s picture books that can’t be easily reason the smallest devices (i.e. smart phones). So tonight we followed all instructions and we have good looking interior pages… but the cover appears small and very lette-rboxed. Yes, we tried both methods of including a cover, making the cover part of the entire book pdf AND by uploading separately as an image file. So far, no dice. Just wondering, is anyone else having this problem in getting a deeply letter-boxed cover? Any solutions out there, we’d love to know.
Marie and Chris
I went through the whole process and made a book, but didn’t notice any issues with the cover size or display when I tried it. If you haven’t already done so, consider posting your question on the formatting forum at the KDP community forums. Unfortunately, since the KKBC is new, there isn’t a list of common issues and fixes yet, but even if nobody has experienced the same issue, you might get a couple of helpful suggestions at the KDP forum. Good luck.
Marie Rose, I am having the same problem. My interior pages look great. But it is letter-boxing my cover page. I have tried making the cover page dimensions larger, and I have tried all the things that you mentioned that you tried. No dice either! I wonder if it is a glitch in the Kindle Kids Book Creator Software.
Hey Chris thanks for this. For the book I’m working on I chose landscape and I would like the pages to be side by side but I think my images are too big to allow side by side. Do you know what size they should be? Thanks!
There are many differing opinions on the best size. 🙂 600 x 800 used to be very popular, but the e-readers are becoming higher and higher resolution, so now 600 x 800 would be small on many screens. Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ is 1200 x 1920, while a 3rd-generation iPad is 1536 x 2048. One problem is that one is 5:8, the other is 3:4, so no matter what, you can’t make the aspect ratio match both.
Another issue is whether this tool and the .mobi conversion will leave your original image sizes unchanged, or if they might get resized.
What I would do is create a test book with several copies of the same figure at different sizes. I would create the test book and upload it to KDP, download the converted .mobi file and view it on the downloadable previewer (not the online previewer). I would also open it on a couple of different devices to see how it looks. This may be a helpful guide to see how your images best suit you.
Good luck with your book.
I’ll do that. Thanks so much Chris, I really appreciate it.
thanks – it help us to create our world for kids books.
Our kindle edition is available now.
tell us, what do you think ?
Your book looks nice (and the image looks nice on your website, too). Did you use the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator or another method?
yes – we do it only with kindle kids books creator !!
The only problem is the sound – with itunes we have a voice who tell the story
This is a great post, so thanks for sharing! I have a tough question that I hope I can phrase properly and hope equally that you can help with.
I’ve published several nonfiction books using Createspace and KDP but am now launching a series of picture books targeted at 3-5 year old. I’d like to do them on both KDP and Createspace and have outsourced the illustration.
My question is what guidance to give the illustrator so that the images appear most attractively in all formats, given the various aspect ratios. While I would have liked to have some two-page spreads (I was originally planning a square format) I’m now thinking it’s best to have a lot of white space and perhaps “spot” illustrations. I hate doing that since the books have farm scenes but I need to tell the illustrator what size/aspect ratio I need to cover all formats.
Any specific recommendation?
My take is that while the children’s market can be hard to break into, children’s authors tend to find the print market easier to get into. Perhaps parents tend to be more willing to let their kids read print books, and perhaps many of the effective marketers of children’s books capitalize on the possibilities that the print edition brings to the table.
So my advice is to give priority to the print formatting and then adapt that to the Kindle e-book. There are chances of breaking into the Kindle children’s market, too (and I see opportunities there when I shop for books for my daughter), but the odds seem to favor the print, so I’d place my bet there.
With that in mind, you want the images (originals) sized as large as you’d like in the print book with at least 300 DPI. I would actually take a few sample images (variety of what you have in mind), make a test book (slap together your test images and any other pages to make 24 pages and meet just the minimum to pass review), order it, and see what you get. You may notice little details that need to be improved, so you might be able to nip these in the bud (even in the design stage).
For Kindle, what will matter is the number of pixels wide and high, not the DPI. Take your target device (iPad, KIndle Fire HD 8.9″, or whatever) and figure out how many pixels wide. You want to make sure that you’ll meet this width.
If your target Kindle device and your print book happen to have the same aspect ratio (or close), and if you plan to make a book of full-page pictures (with text as part of the pictures), then life will be much simpler. The problem is that may illustrated children’s books are 8.5″ x 11″ or 8″ x 10″, whereas the Kindle Fire HD is 5:8. The same images won’t maximize the usable space of either. (Well, if you have margins in your print edition, that put things in your favor; but many designs don’t favor margins, so don’t force it.)
You can also just make a few sample pages for the Kindle edition and upload that to KDP to make a test book and see how it looks (use the downloadable previewer and view it on the Fire, Fire HD, and Fire HD 8.9″; don’t use the convenient online previewer for these; if you can sideload it to an actual device, even better). Good luck with your books.
Thanks Chris. That’s awesome info.
I have a toddler myself and prefer the print books. Letting her see the iPad is like giving her a drug. However, I’m thinking that you mean cracking the print market is easier for new authors because they market and sell the books themselves? I have an email list of over 10,000 that follows my non-fiction writings and blog so I have at least some people to market to if I chose Kindle.
The question I’m trying to also get my mind around is what is the trend? Is the Kindle market for children growing as fast as the adult market, or are parents reluctant to have their young children read digital books?
I think that if this market (digital) is really expanding then perhaps I’ll just design each image with an attractive border. If I optimized for Kindle Fire at 5:8, for example, wouldn’t I also be able to do a industry standard print book of 5.5 X 8.5 and have that border also fit within that page? I guess what I’m saying is that, while no one design would be perfect for all, perhaps I could pick one design/aspect ratio that would be best for 90% or so.
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond!
A few authors may be realizing the potential of Kindle for Kids, and Amazon wants to reach this market more (they released a new Fire for Kids), but my feeling is that parents still favor print books for younger ages. Also, print books can be sold at readings, signings, etc. My school sent out a notice to parents about a local author’s book with info on how to buy it. There are many marketing possibilities for print children’s books, and many of the successful authors in this market capitalize on these. But I’m not trying to discourage you with the print. My point is, thinking in terms of odds (while observing exceptions), I wouldn’t in any way sacrifice the print book. I’d make the print whatever size and layout make the print book its best, and then adapt for the Kindle.
With that in mind, I don’t see too many illustrated children’s books in the 5.5″ x 8.5″ size, though I do see a few. If I were you, I’d visit local bookstores and libraries and browse through illustrated print books for children, trying to visual the design of your book and how it would work best.
Another thing I would do if I were really trying to break into this digital market is explore a variety of Kindle illustrated books for kids, especially those that seem to be selling well (and doing so without a big name, like Disney, though I’d look at these, too, as they may teach you some formatting or design nuggets), and see what kind of formatting options seem to give you the best chances. Good luck with your books.
Chris, I’m unable to add new fonts from the “Tools > Add Font” menu . My only option is Georgia. Do you have any ideas?
Well, Just found my answer. You can only load .otf or .ttf fonts.
That’s correct, the fonts do need to be one of these two types (which does cover most of the fonts). The alternative is to embed the text in images before you upload them, and then add plain pop-up text. Good luck with your book. 🙂
I’m not able to get the Pop-ups to work. I can add them just fine, but they don’t show up in either the preview or the published version. I see on Amazon help that others are having this same problem, but no answer has been given. I’m not trying to add text, that is in my images, just the pop-ups.
After you uploaded your images, you added pop-up text to various pages using the pop-up text tool int he Kindle Kids’ Book Creator, right? If you use a Kindle device that supports pop-up text (not all do), then if you click in a region on the page where you added the pop-up text (ideally, you would add the pop-up text box directly over the actual text that was part of your image), then the text should pop up. What devices have you tried?
Hey Chris, just letting you know that thanks to this post, I was able to convert my mobi to an AZK and side-load it onto my iPad for viewing. My embedded font was replaced by ‘Georgia’ for some reason – any idea why?
The ‘hot’ areas for my popups are also not working as they were in the previews for the Kindle Fires. KKBC is rather glitchy.
Fonts embedded in images should be okay. Fonts added through the pop-up tool or add text tool are different. The only font on the KKBC is Georgia, but then there is an Add Font button under tools to add more. The font needs to be .otf or .ttf. How did you add your font and which font did you use?
Today when I opened the KKBC, it prompted me to install an update, which I did. There will probably be more updates coming to help deal with a few of the glitches. Are any of the pop-up features working when you test it on your iPad?
What is the purpose of the “unlink from page text” button that appears when I click the view pop up button?
I am trying to add pop up text that is different from the story text I added by using the add text button.
Use the Add Text button to create new text that doesn’t already appear on the page. By default, this text will appear both on the page and in a pop-up associated with this new text box.
You click the Add Text button, type text in the box, format the font, and place the textbox wherever you’d like. This text box appears in addition to any text that may already appear on the page. When a reader enables the pop-up text, it will automatically show the same text as what you just typed in this text box.
(This is unlike the Add Pop-Up Text tool, which is intended to associate text with text already in the image. If a customer clicks on the region, this pop-up opens. This text only appears when the pop-up is enabled. In contrast, the Add Text feature appears on the picture even before the pop-up is enabled.)
Now the Unlink from Page Text button does something different. Suppose you want to add text that says one thing, but you want its pop-up text to say something different. For example, you can type, “Wow, that rabbit can jump high,” in the Add Text box, then click the button to unlink from page text, and type “A rabbit jumped over a bush” in the text box. The text on the page will show, “A rabbit jumped over a bush,” but the pop-up text will show, “Wow, that rabbit can jump high.”
Thanks for helping me figure this out!
You’re welcome. I hope it was helpful. Good luck with your book. 🙂
Hi, years ago (to many to mention) I published a series of kids books and paid an artist to do the pics, the story lines are mine. Now I always had it in the back of my mind to still do something with them as I feel they had value to teach kids some positive lessons. the pics are big and colourful and I have lots of scans. I feel this might be a good time to develop them, resurrect them and I see kindle kids books is a good way to go. I don’t know much yet, the size? they have to be? etc how to promote? all sorts of stuff, kinda feels bait overwhelming. I also have or am perfecting audiobooks so would like to know where to sell them. I also use final cut so want to make some vids. So thats me – any comments would be appreciated. Pete
I recommend also publishing in print. There are many children’s authors who’ve found more success with print books, perhaps in part because parents prefer to limit electronic time, and also as some children’s authors find effective ways to market the print editions.
For the e-book, check out the various devices that you envision your target audience using, and that will help you choose a target device. For example, if you target the Kindle Fire HD (which comes in multiple sizes), you can look up the specs and size your images to match the pixel count. (If you also publish in print, you need your images to be 300 DPI for that edition.)
Amazon lets you publish audio books through acx: http://www.acx.com/?utm_source=amzn&utm_medium=w&utm_content=cta&utm_campaign=selfpub.
CreateSpace has video options (and is also Amazon’s print-on-demand company for publishing paperbacks). Good luck with your book. 🙂
Thanks Chris for taking time
You’re welcome. 🙂
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Thanks for this helpful post – I tried to upload my picture book yesterday directly from a word doc and it’s totally messed up. So I found your column and tried to download the Kindle Book Creator. But it says “not supported” on my mac – and said I needed an APP to run it with. ANyone know what that app would be? I’m at my wits end. Seems like it would be so much easier if you could upload your book, then use tools to fix formatting directly on the kindle upload page. Why do they make it so hard?
Do you have Mac OS X 10.7 or later? If so, KKBC is supposed to be supported for Mac. If you meet the system requirements, but it doesn’t work, you might visit KDP, use the contact us button, and report the problem to Amazon. Here is the link to where you can get the KKBC directly from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1002979921
I hope you get it work. Good luck with your book.
Thanks Chris – I finally got it to work. I really appreciate your blog. The Amazon/kindle site was not very user friendly. I wish they had just said, use our kindle book creator no matter what – it made it soooo easy ! thanks
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Dumb? Probably. Trying to assemble kids picture book with some text-only pages. I inserted blank pages between the images. Typed in my text. Hit “save”. Went away happy. On restart my text had disappeared except where I had inserted a text box in an image. Can anyone sort me out? Thanks.
That should work, in principle. Since these pages have text only, you probably want to disable the pop-up feature for these textboxes.
However, I would probably format this book another way, depending on the details. For example, if you have pages with just images separated by pages with just text, I wouldn’t use the KKBC for that, and it would also make your book available on more devices. Or, if you don’t need the pop-up feature (if you have text-only pages, you don’t need it for those pages; the question is whether or not you need it on other pages), you might find that the Kindle Textbook Creator works better for your book (it has pinch-and-zoom instead, which substitutes for pop-up text).
John may have checked this already but the text MIGHT actually still there. I added text to a page with a colored background and saved. When I reopened it, the blue page looked blank in the side bar. I thought I had lost all of the text. When I clicked on the thumbnail, the text actually showed in the preview window. ~ On the other hand, I showed my husband my completed file on a Friday night. I was not going to have time to do the full upload so did a regular save. The following morning we had a major lightening storm. My file would not open so I had to start over. All of my test files still worked, but not the one that included multiple pop-ups, etc. That’s when I decided to redo my copyright, and other text only pages, in a word processing program that I converted to a PDF. I hope this helps, John. 🙂
Many thanks Chris. I do not need pop-ups and I will start by disabling that. I will also look at Textbook Creator – might be a better way to go.
I was working on my book in April and had no problems using KKBC or the previewer on my MacBook Pro. After upgrading to 10.10.4, the previewer will no longer open on my Mac. I went to the KKBC and Apple forums and found that many people were having the same problem that seems to be related to an outdated version of Java. It seems like Apple is not too concerned about “playing nicely” with a program that is not really designed for Mac. I took the advice of someone online and used my hubby’s PC to Preview it and make final changes. The day I uploaded “I Don’t Want to Go to Kindergarten” to the Kindle Store, it said it would work using many free Kindle software programs including “Kindle for Mac” and “Kindle for iPhone”. 5 minutes later, the device list was limited to “Kindle for iPad”.
Have you reported this to Amazon? I would use the Contact Us feature at KDP to pass this info along. I would specifically ask them to forward the info about Mac upgrades to the technical team, and once they reply to confirm that has been done, I would place a separate request inquiring about the availability of your book on Kindle for Mac, for example; I can’t think of a good reason why it shouldn’t be available there. If you hear anything helpful or promising, please share. Good luck.
Thank you for getting back to me, Chris. I reported the problem with the Previewer, including cutting and pasting messages from Apple and those generated by the previewer program. KDP Support basically said there is no problem which is why I went to the community. I will contact support about the limited devices. I’m glad I grabbed screen shots showing the expanded list and the limited list when it first happened. I will include them. I’ll let you know what I hear from them. I don’t know if you would be able to tell anything by looking at the book but you can “borrow” it if you have Prime or KindleUnlimited. Thanks for your help! Maureen
Maureen. Many thanks for your suggestions re my lost text. It does not show when I click the thumbnail. Maybe KK demands importing text as an image or in an image. See also my reply to Chris. Cheers.
Is there any way to swap out pages and maintain the pop-ups in the new pages? Or even copy and paste the pop-ups? Thanks!
You should see the thumbnails of the pages in a column on the left-hand side. (If not, go to View and choose Page Manager.) You can select a thumbnail and move it around to reorder pages.
Hi, thank you for this post! I tried to insert a hyperlink by replacing the ENTER TEXT HERE in the HTLM viewer/editor, carefully respecting the syntax, but i always get the following error messages “E34001: Ordinals used for region magnification should be unique.” and “E4001: Enhanced mobi generation failed.” after running the book preview creator.
There was one time when I deleted some code preceding the ENTER TEXT HERE and the hyperlink worked(!) but the formatting was lost! :))))
Please help, I am a first time author and “formateur” 🙂
Thank you for your time and understanding! 🙂
I was SUPER excited to find your article! However, I am having just a little trouble. I am creating a children’s picture book but on the last page I would like to add a clickable url. I used some code like you mentioned above. It did turn it into a clickable hyperlink and blue. However once I got it in the MOBI file and then put it on Kindle it shows blue but is not clickable. Is there something I did wrong? Can you direct me in any way to fix this?
Where is it not clickable? In the online previewer? Or on actual device?
Should one consider the final file size of the ebook? I want the best rendering of my images, but is there an extra charge per megabyte of file size when selling on Amazon?
The only file size that matters you won’t see until you reach page 2 of the publishing process at KDP. There are delivery costs if you choose the 70% royalty option, but in the end KDP compresses the file fairly well. As long as your images don’t exceed about 1800 pixels either way, I would first try it the way it is.
Thank you, Chris!
Chris, if I may ask another question (I haven’t gotten a response from customer svc)… is there a way for me to replace (update) the background artwork I imported as a pdf? I need to update the art on a couple of pages and can’t find a way to do that other than deleting and starting over (I already have my pop-up text set up and didn’t want to have to start it over). Thanks!
I found your article very helpful. the book has turned out well except that I’m unable to insert hyperlinks to the amazon book page, and to my website.
The link appears in blue and changes color when I click on it, but doesn’t take me to the hyperlinked. I’ve checked it on the html previewer.
This is the code I’ve used;
Please tell me what to do. (:
I don’t believe the link should work in the previewer. It definitely won’t work in pop-up text at all. What I would try is using edit HTML to add a hyperlink to text where the popup feature has already been disabled. That’s your best bet.
Hi Chris. How do I add a text UNDERNEATH the Jpeg image w/o having to rely on the pop-up? Thx.
Text is either embedded in the jpeg or you add text with the KKBC. In the latter case, it pops up by default unless you disable the pop-up.
Hi and thanks for this When you say new kkbc I have one bout a year old Is this newer version? Thanks Peter
Sent from my iPhone
There have been a couple of updates. It should update automatically at some point if an update is available (and let you know what it’s doing).
hi chris. I managed to do the whole hyperlink but it kept on saying duplicate ordinals on the page with the hyperlink on. It won’t create a finished product
Did you disable the pop-up feature for the hyperlink text?
Hi Chris. And thanks for a great post. I have a question regarding picture quality. I have a project originally created in illustrator (pictures and text) and exported as a PDF. It looks great in my mac but when I download it in KKBC it just gets very blurry, especially the text. Same thing when I have a look in the preview. I still haven’t checked it on a device, since my Kindle just broke down but maybe it will look better when published?
I would test it out on a device first. What are the pixel sizes of your pictures? Text can pose a problem, unless you remove the text from the PDF and instead add the text with the KKBC.
If you don’t need the pop-up text feature, I would use the Kindle Textbook Creator instead, as images and text may come out better and the file size (end result) is generally smaller.
Hi Chris. Thanks for a rapid answer. I will start by testing the result on a device and see how it looks. Otherwise I think I´ll do as you say and create the text within the KKBC.
What’s the trick to getting full page images with kindle children’s book creator? I have tried many different suggested dimensions, pixel sizes, file size and formats. I can get bigger images but never close to full page. Also is there a way to move a non-full page image to one side or the top/bottom?
The images automatically center on the screen. If you have a reason for wanting to make an image off-center, the way to do it is open the picture in a graphics program like PhotoShop or Gimp, and “pad” the image by making the canvas larger than the image (then position the original image as desired).
Most images should automatically grow to nearly full width or full height with the KKBC. (If the image is larger than about 1600 or 1700 pixels across or high, it’s likely to be compressed, so there is no reason to go larger than that unless things have changed recently.) Getting both the width and the height to be full screen is virtually impossible, since the aspect ratio varies from one device to another. You can target certain model Kindle Fires, for example, but then they will be narrow on an iPad. If you target iPad, it will be wide and short on a Fire. Even with the targeted device, there may still be a small margin.
Thanks for your reply. I thought I have seen bleed to the edge Kindle books, maybe not. Have you ever heard of people using KKBC to make “adventure path books”. I think all I would need to do is put a hyperlink in a pop up text box to a unique page within the same book. Can we do this? PS, your A to Z monster book has some great user controls I haven’t seen before, what program did you use for that?
You can get images to be nearly full screen for a particular device, but there will at least be a little margin (larger, depending on the customer’s device settings), and without allowing the aspect ratio to warp, it will leave wide gaps on devices with different aspect ratios.
I’ve heard of books where you can read by clicking on a choice of hyperlinks, though I don’t recall seeing it in fixed format. (Note that one or more of these kinds of books may have trademarked the term that they use for it.) If you can get the hyperlinks to work, you should be able to pull it off with the KKBC (or even the Kindle Textbook Creator, which now supports hyperlinks without having to edit HTML).
I believe that is somebody else’s monster book. What features are you seeing on it?
Hey Chris, thanks for the easy read and instructions. I am about ready to use KKBC for the first time and you have definitely eased my apprehension. Click and saved your link, will retrun often I can assure you and this community. I think I found my people! 😉
You’re welcome. Thank you for the kind note. 🙂
Hi, I have a question about uploading to Kindle Kids Book Creator. I want to upload my book and know that it will take time to play around and get it right. Do I set up an account that works no matter which computer I’m on? Or if I upload it on my work computer…can I only ever get back on and alter, change or do something different from THAT SAME computer…OR will I be able to get to it from my home computer too? Most applications that have an upload for their site ask you to create an account…then you can sign in from any computer and it keeps the info in the account, not on the computer. But I was just going to upload and it asked where I want my file saved and it’s showing me this computer’s desktop! So I’m worried I can’t go home tonight and get to it from that computer also. Can you advise…before I upload something and get locked into needing to do it on only 1 computer from here on out? Thanks so much!
Once you create a KDP account, use the same info to login from any location.
Hello, is it possible to include a TOC using this tool?
It is. Beware that what the KTC calls a table of contents only refers to device navigation, so if you also want a physical table of contents, you must insert that yourself (and you can use hyperlinks with your toc in your PDF and have the tool preserve these).
Does anyone know if it’s possible to remove the page numbering function ?
I’ve created a kids picture book, and we numbers on the pages themselves, but due to the cover image and other pages before the actual story starts, the kindle numbering is different from whats displayed in our image. We obviously have the same issue within iBooks, but it seems there’s an option in there to remove page numbering, so I’m hoping there’s something similar within the Kindle software
The Kindle device or app automatically numbers pages for device navigation… Unfortunately.
I see. Thanks very much for the response Chris.
An interesting post Chris. I landed here when I was doing a search on inserting images for my children’s chapter book with Createspace. I have two children’s chapter books as e-books and want to convert them to paperback. I wanted to know if my images could extend into my margins, allowing for bleed. It’s all a big learning curve with so many new publishing terms to learn along the way!
Yes. The pages in your file need to be larger than the page size, allowing images to bleed 0.125″ on the outer edges. Any image that comes within 0.25″ must bleed at least 0.125″ beyond the page edges. Text and glyphs must remain at least 0.25″ within the actual page edges.
Thanks Chris, I’m gradually getting there. My images all fit directly under text and don’t extend any further than the text does, so I hope they’ll look OK. Fingers crossed. Thanks for your reply! 🙂
How do I convert my ebook to a print book through create space?
You need to go back to your original file (in Word, for example), and make every page look exactly the way you want it to appear in print, including margins, page numbers, page headers, etc. Use some physical books as models to help with your design choices. If you have images that need to bleed to the edge of the page, you want to visit CreateSpace and read about bleed. Then convert your file to PDF.
When preparing a file for KKBC, do margins, bleed, and page size matter? I can’t find any information on this in the KDP user guide. I was thinking of setting up the file for print, so I could also do a print book later, and ideally would like the file to work both for KKBC and print. What do you suggest in terms of page formatting so the book works well in both print and KKBC? Also, should the KKBC pop-ups always be used to re-iterate the text? Am I right to understand that KKBC does not support pinch and zoom? btw, thank you for this thread! Extremely valuable.
You don’t need bleed for KKBC, and you don’t need margins. The ratio of the height to width matters to some extent, though it’s impossible to fit every device. I would format the book for print, and once you are satisfied with the proof, import that PDF into KKBC and add pop-up text. Last I checked, pinch and zoom didn’t work with KKBC, but it could zoom some other way (maybe tapping, depending on the device). But it’s been a while, so it may have changed. Good luck.
Thanks for your input, Chris. I suppose I’ll find out whether there’s pinch and zoom when I test the book on devices. I was hoping to use the pop-up text for additional, fun text, but if there’s no pinch and zoom I’ll want the pop-ups to mirror the page text. Also, I’ve read some info about aspect ratio for these KKBC books which is why I asked about page set-up. I think you’re right that it’s a good idea to lay it out for print, first. Just want that to work for KKBC without having to redo everything. Again, thanks for this thread. It’s a great resource!
I’ve assembled my children’s book, uploaded it to KKBC, and previewed it with the Kindle Previewer. I’m happy with the way it looks—yay! However, I included clickable links, which work in the PDF file, but they aren’t clickable either in KKBC or the Kindle Previewer. Should these links be able to work in KKBC and/or the Kindle Previewer? If so, what might I be doing wrong? If not, how do I test them in a different app? Thank you for your help, Chris!
Unfortunately, unlike the Kindle Textbook Creator, the KKBC does not have an option to preserve links. These would have to be added by editing the CSS, and I believe they still won’t work in the preview.
Thanks, Chris. For some reason, I thought I’d read that KKBC would support hyperlinks. I looked at the html and was having trouble puzzling through it, but I’ll look again. My picture book looks really nice on KKBC. I’ll look at it on KTC, too. I really want the hyperlinks for marketing.
It supports links through the CSS editing option.
Are you saying to use the CSS editing option in KTC or KKBC? I just looked at the book in KTC. KTC doesn’t support spreads, so my picture book loses its appeal and I’m back to KKBC, where it looks really nice. I believe I misunderstood how to do hyperlinks in KKBC. I believe they have to be done in text boxes where the pop-up feature has to be disabled? Anyway, I’m still trying to navigate the text boxes and html code syntax to make that work in KKBC. Goodness. Your blog and your willingness to answer questions is a godsend. Thank you! Any advice you have for the hyperlinks in KKBC—I’d be very grateful. Or viewing in spreads in KTC. I’d like to merge these two programs!
The KTC lets you preserve hyperlinks from the PDF, but is better suited for textbooks.
With the KKBC, you need to add a textbox, disable the pop-up feature, and edit the CSS for the hyperlink text. It’s easier than it seems — just a matter of syntax. But unless it’s changed, you still can’t preview it, so you have to test it out afterward. If I remember tomorrow, I can show how the syntax works. (It’s not convenient to write out HTML with my phone.)
Chris, thank you so much for this detailed help with creating hyperlinks in KKBC. I would love to see the correct syntax.
After you add a textbox and after you disable the pop-up text… You want to edit the CSS.
Let me call the website WEBADDRESS. This will be the full url for the website, including the HTTP:// part, the dot com part, etc.
Find the text WEBADDRESS (the text for your url) in the CSS.
Change this from WEBADDRESS to the following. However, where I have underscores (_), you should less than () signs. Begin with the less than sign, the second underscore is greater than, the third one is less than, and the last one is greater than. (The reason I used underscores is that I believe WordPress would interpret the HTML, rather than show the syntax, if I typed it with HTML characters.)
If you encounter any issues, I’d like to know. (If you want, I could make a post in a couple of days outlining how to make an HTML hyperlink. In a post, I could show the syntax clearly in a picture without having to use underscores, and then I could type the webaddress to look more like a typical url, whereas in this comment it would become a clickable hyperlink. Just let me know.)
Thanks, Chris. I tried this, but ran into a few problems. The first one— I created a text box, then unlinked it from the pop-up, but there were still two boxes—one for the text, then one that popped up in the kindle previewer. Not sure why it popped up, since I’d unlinked it. The second problem—I didn’t see the link when I clicked to edit CSS. I only saw it on the HTML view, so I edited it there. I followed your instructions (I’d actually already tried this based on reading an old post of yours about inserting code), but the link was not live in the previewer. My previewer defaults to Kindle Fire. I’m not able to preview using any other mode, and don’t know how to test the .mobi file on other devices. I think a step by step post with pictures of each step would be incredible. And generous. Thanks for your help.
I don’t believe it works in the preview, even when it works correctly. I should be able to make a post for my blog by Monday.
How does one test the links, then, before publishing?
And thank you! I look forward to reading your blog post. I think it will be helpful for many.
When I tested it out just now (putting material together for my blog post), I was able to successfully test it put in the Kindle previewer that opened up (when I clicked the preview option in the KKBC). I just clicked the tiny link in that window and it opened the webpage in a browser on my computer.
Thanks a lot for the guide. Quick question, I have only one font style available in KKBC, is there anything I can do about this? Do you know a way by which I can add more font styles?
Hi Chris, I’m importing my images into KKCB but having major problems. The book was created in InDesign (approx 10 x 11 inches) and I’m using the high res PDFs exported from that. Every time I import my images they are pixelated beyond belief! I know this shouldn’t happen. I’m a graphic designer by day so know all about dpi etc but I just can’t figure this one out. Why are they importing at such low resolution? Any help would be gratefully appreciated.
I haven’t had issues with pixilated images (at least not from importing from PDF). I’ve used Acrobat DC to make PDF’s without any issue (though not from InDesign).
One alternative would be to make each page a jpeg file. You could test this out with a single page to see how it comes out before attempting to load the whole book this way.
If I want to use another program (like PowerPoint) to layout and create my pdf, what dimensions should I make my pages? I see the 1.6:1 mentioned frequently; would any page-size with that ration work? Thanks so much!
Yes, but you may get better resolution with larger dimensions. I would first attempt the longer dimension at around 11 inches on my first attempt. I would also make a test file with a few assorted types of slides, run it through the KKBC, and preview how it comes out; then I would determine whether or not it may be worth resizing before adjusting the entire book. Good luck.
your website is very insightful. I will be using KKBC for the first time, creating a 8.5 x 11 children’s book. I am having trouble deciding the trim size and bleeding for images inside and cover pages. I plan to print by book as well.
I would probably choose the size for the paperback, perhaps 8.5×11, allowing for bleed (on every page). The same may be fine for Kindle, and the KKBC makes it pretty easy to test it out quickly. The same size may work for the Kindle cover, though somewhat narrower would be the alternative. Good luck with your book.
Thank you so much! Take care!