New Look Inside at Amazon for Fixed Format Books (Kindle Textbook Creator, Kids’ Book Creator)

101 Teen Word Scrambles:

101 Teen Word Scrambles:


Yesterday, I encountered a pleasant surprise shortly after publishing my mom’s latest word scramble e-book (101 Teen Word Scrambles).

We used the Kindle Textbook Creator because:

  • The letters are scrambled across 2 or 3 lines, so it’s a bit of a geometric formation.
  • The letters should ideally display the way that images do. Letters tend to pixelate in Kindle images, except when using the Kindle Textbook Creator (as long as you just leave the text as text, and don’t turn them into images).
  • It seemed ideal to have one image puzzle per page, a large image using large letters, for easy reading on any device.
  • Images usually take up a ton of memory, but they are greatly reduced when using the Kindle Textbook Creator.
  • It automatically centers images on each page.

In the past, I’ve always been informed by KDP that e-books produced using the Kindle Textbook Creator won’t generate a Look Inside. (Though it was always possible to place a request so that the print Look Inside would show in its place.)

However, the e-book I published yesterday generated its own Kindle Look Inside automatically. (This book doesn’t have a print edition, nor does it have an ISBN—it just has the free ASIN assigned by Amazon.)

Most of my older e-books published using the Kindle Textbook Creator still don’t show a Look Inside for the Kindle edition, but I expect this feature to roll out over the course of the coming weeks.


I’ve heard reports from authors who use the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator that a Look Inside can now generate for those, too.

Let me emphasize the word “can,” and this word may also apply for the Kindle Textbook Creator. Just because it can be done and it has be done, doesn’t mean it automatically will be done. First of all, there can be delays of weeks in generating a Look Inside regardless of how you publish; there is some luck involved in the timing. Secondly, if it doesn’t generate in a couple of weeks, you can place a request through support. It might help to provide the ASIN of an e-book showing an example where there is clearly a Look Inside of the Kindle edition of an e-book that was definitely published using the same tool as you used, either the Kindle Textbook Creator or the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator.

The Kindle Textbook Creator isn’t ideal for “all” types of e-books. You can find a discussion of the pros and cons of using this tool, and tutorials for how to use the Kindle Textbook Creator and the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator (both are free tools available straight from Amazon) at the following links (to my detailed free “how to” articles):


Here are a few sample e-books illustrating the Kindle Textbook Creator. (All of the following e-books are available with Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Prime, and of course good old-fashioned sales. However, I included the examples in case you’re curious about the Look Inside or how these tools work, not because I thought you might be shopping for e-books at the moment.)

The following e-book (which is presently 99 cents) illustrates that a Look Inside can automatically generate for e-books published using the Kindle Textbook Creator. It’s a simple design. (Carolyn Kivett also has a teen word scramble book in print, with many more puzzles, which can be found here; and she has also published several other word scramble books, both in print and for Kindle.)

101 Teen Word Scrambles by Carolyn Kivett

Below is an example that looks more like a textbook. The Look Inside is still showing for the print edition (though that may change in the near future, so by the time that you read this, it could be displaying for the Kindle edition).

The last example is fully illustrated. (My other astronomy e-book, which can be found here, is reflowable and offers both greater range and depth.)


Here is the basic difference between these two free Amazon tools:

  • The Kindle Kids’ Book Creator allows for pop-up text, which is nice for most illustrated children’s books. It also allows for two-page spreads. It is possible to edit the HTML, if you know what you’re doing, e.g. to add links.
  • The Kindle Textbook Creator is designed for pinch-and-zoom. It doesn’t allow for pop-up text (nor for two-page spreads). You can’t edit the HTML or add links at all. Update: The latest version of the Kindle Textbook Creator now supports hyperlinks (provided that you upload a PDF with fully functional hyperlinks).
  • The Kindle Textbook Creator generally produces much smaller files, saving you on the delivery fee.
  • Both are convenient because you can upload a PDF. The PDF generally converts very well. The text usually comes out crisp with the Kindle Textbook Creator. (PDF ordinarily doesn’t convert well to Kindle, but these two tools are an exception to the rule.)
  • Neither is suitable for a book like a novel, that mostly consists of text.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

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

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22 comments on “New Look Inside at Amazon for Fixed Format Books (Kindle Textbook Creator, Kids’ Book Creator)

  1. Great post, Chris and something I’ve been wondering about for over a year now. One question though, do you think the textbook creator would be suitable for a cookbook type publication? i.e. something with lots of pictures interspersed with text?

    • Ideally, using a somewhat larger font than you would use for a print book. If the customer doesn’t need to pinch-and-zoom, that’s ideal. It depends on the details, as there are pros and cons to both fixed format and reflowable.

      • Thanks Chris. I haven’t read the tutorial yet but I assume you set the font size in the Amazon textbook creator rather than the PDF. I know that’s pretty much how it works for reflowable.

      • Actually, you make it exactly how you want it to appear in the PDF. The KTC won’t adjust font attributes. (Reflowable works that way though. If you can make it as a good reflowable book, that may be the compelling option for a cookbook. It would also be available for all devices.)

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