Spoiler alert: I like it. VERY much.
So much, on a first trial pass, that I’m planning to redo all my Kindle books to make them even more true to the print originals.
Okay, let me back up for a second. Amazon has just released a new program designed to make creating beautiful kids’ books a total no-brainer. This is huge news, because self-publishing illustrated kids’ books for Kindle has always been somewhat of a pain in the you-know-where.
Huge. Like, “drop everything” kind of huge.
So I dropped everything to test it out.
I have a bunch of other things to do this morning, but I wanted to check out the program right away. You can download the Kindle Kids' Book Creator tool free here. (I love that they remembered the apostrophe!)
I decided to give it a “quick whirl,” a process that occasionally ends in an hours-long disaster. Not this time.
Install was quick, easy: hassle-free, and the program launched right away after install. It has a fun, friendly look.
Again, I was in a rush, so I thought, let’s just haul in an existing PDF and see how it does.
I’m in the middle of preparing a book called Panda Purim, a Jewish holiday themed follow-up to Penguin Rosh Hashanah (which made it to #9 last night in the Jewish children’s books category!).
So I just whomped in the PDF file, images, text and all.
It took a little while to import the 30-something pages, but was very stable during the process, more than I can say for some other programs.
After the import, there was a processing stage that was also kind of slow.
And then… there was my book! And it actually looked great.
But I thought, “not so fast.” It may look great in their special tool, but how will it appear in the Kindle Previewer? They bundle the Kindle Kids' Book Creator tool with a free previewer that lets you see how your book will look on an actual Kindle.
So I hit the Save for Publishing button and waited through the export process. The software exports to .mobi files, which are the standard format used by Kindle Direct Publishing.
I have to tell you, it looked unbelievably good in the previewer.
The text and images have been kept in their absolute position, and all the text has been converted to an image so that it will never move relative the images. The size and orientation of the pages has been retained, so the KDP Kids’ Book Creator version is essentially exactly the same as the print version.
One last test, though. It may look good in the previewer, but it was time to fire up the full Kindle app on my PC to make sure it looked decent before I gave it my excited thumbs-up (and got back to the other stuff I have to do today).
And once again, the layout was totally true to the PDF version:
Wow. Wow. Wow. I am very, VERY impressed so far.
There are many features I still need to explore, including the pop-up text feature. I also need to figure out how to add links to my Kindle ebooks.
But this program is a game-changer. Seriously.
Check it out for yourself. Download the Kindle Kids' Book Creator tool free here and let me know in the Comments section what you think of it!