A cool new FREE tool from Amazon…

Magic world of tales, cartoon vector illustrationLast week I spoke about how Amazon has plans to back selected budding authors, to the tune of $1,500 + 50% royalties – revolutionary!

But Amazon hasn’t stopped there. They love to put user-friendly tools in the hands of their customers (they are extremely customer-orientated, which I love) and to that end, on 3 September 2014 they launched another game changing tool called ‘The Kindle Kids Book Creator.’

This new piece of software is free to access and download (for PC or Mac) and the long and short of it is that by using this tool  most of the obstacles encountered when creating and self-publishing children’s books can now be easily overcome.

For authors writing simple text-based books, the uploading and publishing process to digital platforms, such as Kindle, is a relatively straightforward affair.

When it comes to picture-based books, however, you have to consider the optimum image size and resolution required for different reading devises, e.g. tablet or smartphone, each with a different-sized screen.

Then you have to format your final document into a compatible file for the Kindle (or other) publishing platform… arghh, nightmare! No wonder so many children’s book authors fall at the final fence.

With the Kindle Kids Book Creator all those nasty tech problems are taken care of, leaving you, the author, to concentrate on the creative side of building your picture book.

This tool also neatly side-steps the problem of viewing shrunken text displayed on small smartphone and tablet display screens. It does this by allowing the reader to take advantage of Kindle’s text pop-up feature.

I prefer to describe this new tool more as suitable for ‘picture books’, as opposed to just children’s books, because to do otherwise would be to underestimate its true potential. For, in fact, its uses are much wider than just serving the children’s book market.

Here are the main criteria when deciding when best to use this new tool:

  • If you are writing a free-flowing text or chapter based book, featuring only a few pictures – then leave this tool alone and stick to converting your manuscript from a Word document into a format accepted by most digital platforms – Kindle happily will convert Word documents for you. No real problem there.
  • When creating picture books where the content is predominately picture-based with only a small amount of text, then this tool is ideal.

Examples of picture-based books (apart from kids’ books)

  • Recipe books – This is a perfect example of a picture based book with very little text, i.e. the ingredients and method of preparation, the compilation of which would be simplified with the use of this new tool.
  • Fact-based picture books – Consider educational books, with topics such as ‘facts about space’ or ‘facts about dangerous animals’ etc. Again, these types of books are a perfect fit for the use of this tool.

NB:  Non-fiction fact-based books are really hot in the digital book market right now!

It’s worth bearing in mind that this tool won’t actually come up with the plot, or create the images for you – that is your role. But once you have gathered your content together, then the software will make the processes of compilation, optimisation and file-conversion for easy upload an absolute breeze.

You can download the software here: https://kdp.amazon.com/how-to-publish-childrens-books

So now, with the aid of a series of images (stock images or even some taken on your digital camera or phone), along with a creative storyline and the aid of this tool, you really can achieve your dream of becoming a published author.

Have a great week.



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  1. 1

    Hi Richard & a big thank you for highlighting the versatility of this formatting software package from Amazon. I have given it a try & its quite easy to use, gives good results…….not bad for free! I’m using it on a Space themed factual book that I have been putting together.

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