Amazon Launches KDP Kids and Kindle Kids’ Book Creator

Amazon has launched a new self-publishing product that should help it continue to maintain its dominant control over the indie author market: KDP Kids and the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator.

KDP Kids is a new program that is designed to help authors of children’s books create and distribute ebooks for kids much in the same way Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) does so for adult content. The Kindle Kids’ Book Creator is a tool authors can use to create illustrated children’s titles that harness interactive digital features available on Kindle. The new Kindle self-publishing services will also be available for Amazon’s KDP Select program, which gives authors certain marketing tools in exchange for a limited period of exclusive distribution of content.

Part of the new initiatives are special features authors can use to find age-appropriate audiences, like age and grade range filters.

 

 

[Press Release]

Amazon Announces KDP Kids and Launches Kindle Kids’ Book Creator
Authors can easily publish children’s books and reach millions of Kindle readers around the world

Kindle Kids’ Book Creator for illustrated children’s books available for download today

Amazon today announced KDP Kids, designed to help children’s book authors prepare, publish and promote both illustrated and chapter books in Kindle Stores worldwide. Children’s book authors can use Amazon’s new Kindle Kids’ Book Creator tool to easily create illustrated children’s books that take advantage of Kindle features like text pop-ups. Once the book is ready, authors can upload it to KDP in just a few simple steps, and use KDP’s category, age and grade range filters to help millions of Amazon customers choose the right books for their kids. Authors can earn royalties of up to 70%, while keeping their rights and maintaining control of their content. Authors can also choose to enroll their books in KDP Select for additional royalty opportunities like Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and access to marketing tools like Kindle Countdown Deals and Free Book Promotions. Get started today at kdp.amazon.com/kids.

“Authors want to focus on telling great stories and we want to help them do that. No one should have to be a computer programmer to create a beautiful, illustrated Kindle book for kids,” said Russ Grandinetti, Senior Vice President, Kindle. “Kindle Kids’ Book Creator makes it easy. In addition to helping authors craft their books, we’re helping customers find them with things like age and grade range filters.”

By creating a digital edition of their book, authors can reach a whole new audience of Kindle readers, who have already downloaded millions of children’s books this year.

Some authors got an early look at what KDP Kids offers, and here’s what they’re saying:

“The new Kindle Kids’ Book Creator is exactly what I’ve been looking for,” said children’s book author Niki Alling. “I was able to create fun popups with ease. I have plans to upgrade my existing children’s books with this new tool, and to use it with future books also. I highly recommend it to children’s book authors who want to add some extra fun to their eBooks.”

“As a self-published author, doing all the work myself and being no technical expert, I found this so easy to use,” said children’s book author and illustrator Michele Lynn Seigfried. “It will definitely save me time and money when I publish my future books.”

“Since I’ve published books for children of all ages, it’s a big plus that the Kindle Store helps parents find books by their kids’ age range,” said children’s science books author Seymour Simon. “KDP gave me all the tools and information I needed to get my books in front of the right audience.”

To learn more about publishing children’s books through KDP, or to download the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator, visit kdp.amazon.com/kids.

About Amazon.com

Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Amazon Launches KDP Kids and Kindle Kids’ Book Creator

  1. Michael W. Perry

    Quote: \… tool authors can use to create illustrated children’s titles that harness interactive digital features available on Kindle.\

    Not so. I read the specs and downloaded the app. You can see the only real interactivity in Amazon’s video. Words can be made to pop up. But Dot the Dog and Cutie the Kitty in someone’s tale will just sit there on the page, as lifeless as in a paper book.

    I also saw nothing about transitions between pages. Hopefully, Amazon will add that and real interactivity later. Right now it’s pretty basic: just pictures with words like a typical children’s story book. There are a host of paint apps that could create something that on screen that looks like this app. The real distinction is that this app knows how to export to Amazon’s proprietary format for Kindles.

    Also, there are Kindles those books won’t work with, primarily those inexpensive epaper readers. I suspect the hitch is that the device has to handle Amazon’s KF8 spec and display color. That raises the cost barrier for parents.

    The good news is that Amazon isn’t being cheap with the Mac version. It’s not a dreadful Java app like the Kindle Previewer. It’s a real, honest-to-goodness Mac app. Hopefully, that’ll spread to their other authoring apps. I hate Java apps. The UI is dreadful.

    The bad news is the same bad news as with Apple’s iBooks Author. Both create files that can be uploaded through a different process (iTunes Producer with Apple, webpages with Amazon) to publish. It’d be great if the apps themselves could add the metadata and handle the upload. The constantly changing complexities of that are a nuisance. It’s also be great if both Amazon and Apple (or a clever developer) would create an app designed to make writing and sending the result to Amazon/Apple easy. Vellum for Macs is a good start in that direction but just a start. A lot of good writers rebel and all the geekiness that it still takes to publish digitally.

    Two things interest me about this release:

    1. iBooks Author is intended to create books that look like high-school textbooks. I suspect Apple hopes teachers will use it to create a custom textbook for their classes without publishing it, side-loading it on iPads.

    I wonder how easy it would be for a parent or a child with Amazon’s app to create a child’s story book that’s only passed along to friends and family. If so, creating stories with it could become a great rainy day activity for kids. Amazon would not sell books, but it might sell more Kindle Fires.

    2. Both Apple and Amazon like walled gardens. I wonder how easy it’d be to use the apps of each to create, from the same set of pictures and text, a children’s picture story book for both retailers? Amazon’s app is already designed to do that, but I suspect that someone in the know will have to create a set of children book template for iBooks Author.

    There’s one bit of most important good news hidden in this release. In the past, Amazon has been the Scrooge of ebook retailers. Authors and publishers have to create ebooks for its proprietary formats either using geeky compiler-like software or hiring pricey third party companies to layout their books. With some 70% of the ebook market, Amazon has apparently assumed that publishers will have to format ebooks for its platform and the more they can be forced to spend on that, the less money they’ll have for other platforms.

    This story book app doesn’t destroy Amazon’s attempt to create a walled garden of proprietary formats. It only creates Kindle ebooks. But it does make, for one kind of ebook, the entry fee much less. Any mom with a laptop, a kitchen table, and a story to tell, can use this app to create digital children’s story books.

    And that, we can hope, may mean that Amazon will open up a bit in other areas and making creating ebooks for it less pricey and more successful. That’s particularly true for the software that most publishers use, InDesign.

    Amazon refused to work with Adobe, whose InDesign team works a mere ten minute drive away from Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, to add Kindle export capabilities to the latest release of ID. The result is not good for Amazon. Yes, I can still create a tolerable-appearing ebook for Amazon. All I need to do is send it the reflowable epub that Adobe exports.

    But ID now exports a fixed-format epub that’ll look marvelous on iPads and other tablets that have epub 3.0 readers. With the greatest of easy, I can replicate all the attractive, complex layout of a print book into one that displays, virtually identically, on a tablet. That’s particularly great for serious books, for textbooks, for cookbooks, and yes, for children’s story books. But Amazon offers me no way to create an appealing fixed-layout for them. When I contacted them about the possibility that their software could turn a fixed layout epub into their KF8 fixed layout, I was told that, not it couldn’t, I’d need to pay thousands of dollars.

    Sorry, but I don’t spend that kind of money. Apple will get two versions of my books, one a beautifully formatted fixed layout and one that reflowable for devices with small screens like iPhones. Amazon will only get the dull, reflowable version.

    Maybe this app signals that Amazon, for all its attempts to bully publishers in the U.S., Germany, and Japan, is going to open up a bit and play well with at least those who develop the software that creates ebooks. It’d be great to have Amazon Kindle export (reflowable and fixed layout) from InDesign that’s as easy as that for epub.

    And that’d mean that publishers who’re create print versions of children’s books with InDesign could easily export them to Amazon’s Kindle format like they now can for the epub that virtually everyone else is using

    Reply
  2. Marie Seltenrych

    Hi, thanks for this notice. I worked for hours (until after midnight) trying to format my kindle for kids book, making pDF files for every page. I got half way through my book (54 pages) and saved it. Today, it is just not in my files. I am using a imac Retina (brand new), and this baffles and totally annoys me. I tried uploading to Kindle previerer in a neat format and it flung all my pics in every which direction earlier. It was disgusting. I am so frustrated with this software because my book is comprised of 114 images (creations that took hours and even days to create). Now it is a shambles. I cannot believe it is so bad. The comic creator is not the right software for this children’s book.
    I am exhausted trying to get this on kdp. I wish there was another way.
    God only knows what this will look like on someone’s iphone. My reputation is at stake here. I am considering bowing out of kdp/amazon because of this dilemma.

    Reply

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