In September, I received an email from Amazon informing me of a new service available to authors and illustrators who might be thinking of publishing their picture books but did not want to go through the hair-pulling torture of formatting images and text so that it would be suitable for all electronic devices. Amazon’s new and free programme, ‘Kids’ Book Creator’, claimed to be easy to use and would therefore preserve users’ barnets—something that I’m hugely in favour of.
I have had a rhyming picture book lounging on my computer for many years, so I thought I’d give it a shot. My illustrator sister, Ann Kiernan, had already created some beautiful images for my story and I hated the thought that they would never see the light of day, so I scanned them into my laptop and got going on creating my first picture book.
My rhyming story, Pip Learns To Fly, is available from Amazon now and I am awaiting proofs from CreateSpace. They should arrive next week.
The Kids’ Book Creator was that easy to use, I found myself making up problems to complicate matters. I have compiled three short ‘how to’ videos for any authors or illustrators that would consider this kind of thing but are a too nervous to try it out or believe it to be too difficult or time consuming.
There might be sections of the videos that are too basic for some authors/illustrators but I thought I would put them up anyway as they were part of my learning curve and I thought there likely to be folk out there who will benefit from them.
The first tutorial shows how to resize your illustrations and add text in preparation for publication, so skip ahead to the third video if you don’t need this.
The next ‘how to’ video explains how to compile your pages into a single PDF file. This could make uploading your picture book to CreateSpace easier.
The final ‘how to’ video shows how easy it is to upload your pages onto Amazon’s Kids’ Book Creator:
Below is also an email I received from Amazon about my formatting, as I was a little worried about the amount of white space around my pages on the Kindle Previewer. I thought I’d paste it here for those who have similar concerns.
Hello from Amazon Kindle Publishing,
Thanks for writing to us. We have analyzed the screenshot and found that it is working as expected and images are actually center aligned. The issue you are facing will be reproducible only in Kindle Previewer. Since Kindle Previewer is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) tool of kindle devices, particular device screen resolutions maybe higher than your desktop resolution. Due to which, a scroll bar appears on the screen. Please scroll down to see remaining space beneath the image. We assure you that this will not be an issue in actual devices.
Please get back to us, if you still have any concerns.
And that’s it! I found the experience liberating and headache free and now have a picture book for sale on Amazon. Do comment if you know of better options out there or if you have any questions on the process, I’ll try to answer them.
Olivia Bright is author of soon to be released, Becoming Lady Beth (published on 16th of December, 2014). You can preorder your copy here: BECOMING LADY BETH