Learn about using the Kindle Kids' Book Creator and Kindle Comic Creator. Or create the book by hand.
- [Instructor] Okay, is it possible to get a beautifully-designed, interactive ebook up on the Kindle platform? Yes, it is possible to get a fixed layout ebook up there, but it is not as simple as getting a reflowable ePUB converted to a MOBI to upload. There are a lot of different options and some are more powerful than the others, and I want to run through them in this video. First of all, yes, the Kindle does support fixed layout. You don't find a lot on the Kindle platform because the devices themselves are kind of small.
And remember with the fixed layout ebook, users can't change the size of the type. So it's limited to certain kinds of ebooks, and it's really hard to tell from the book's description on the Kindle store if it's fixed layout or not. But KF8 is the format that supports fixed layout ePUBs, and here I am on the KF8 page for Amazon Kindle. We're looked at this page in other videos, as well. And it explains all the wonderful things about fixed layout down here. But on the right, we have some of the free Kindle publishing apps that create fixed layout ebooks for the Kindle.
They're kind of limited, but they could be useful for your project. Textbook Creator, Kids' Book Creator, and Comic Creator. Now I've downloaded all three of these, and there's one more that's in beta at this point. One day it'll be added to here, I assume. And that is called Kindle Create. We looked at this in a previous video, where I showed how you can create a reflowable MOBI file from a Word document using this new software. You can also create a fixed layout document from a PDF using Kindle Create.
Let's take a look at just the splash screens and maybe one level in to all four of these programs, and then I'll talk about a couple other solutions. First, here's Kindle Create. This is the one that we were looking at earlier. And if I click New Project From File, notice that it has these two choices. Do you want to create an ebook from a book like a textbook, travel guide, or something from a novel or an essay? This was the reflowable MOBI, and this is the fixed layout KF8. It's interesting that they don't call it reflowable and fixed layout.
I guess those are too geeky terminology for their audience, people who would use Kindle Create. But essentially if you choose this one, then it says, "Okay buddy, where's the PDF?" So you take your project, you export it to PDF or you make a PDF out of it. It could be a series of Photoshop files, if you wanted. Make them into a PDF, and then you choose it. And with Kindle Create, you can add video and audio, you can add image popups, and you could add links if you wanted. That's not that big of a deal. But I'm not going to go ahead and choose it, but that's essentially how Kindle Create works.
And then you make a package like we did for the reflowable MOBI. It can export a package that you upload to the KDP Portal for sale. Let's look at another solution, Kindle Kids' Book Creator. Isn't that fun, with the balloon? You could open an existing book that you've been working on to edit, or create a new kids' book. And it gives you some amount of instruction about what you need to do, but essentially you need to import a multi-page PDF file or individual pieces of art. They recommend using a PDF.
And then you can add text pop-ups to enhance your book, so when the kid taps on something in the book then it'll pop up with some text that's easier to read. And this is explaining how to use this. Preview and Save For Publishing, and then you just choose File, Save For Publishing and upload your book file directly from Kindle Kids' Book Creator. We'll close out of here. Yes, I want to cancel. And we'll quit out of Kindle Kids' Book Creator. And let's look at Kindle Textbook Creator. It's very similar to the other two, but if we choose Create New Textbook From File it says, "Where's the PDF?" It jumps right to the point.
Now I actually have a PDF in the exercise files, but you can choose any PDF that you want to test this out. It's a short version of Little Red Hen. Let's just try that one. And boom, it loads it up into individual pages. Now this isn't quite what I had in mind for a textbook. I don't think you're going to do a textbook a little chickedy. But if you had a highly-designed textbook, you could see that you could insert it and then people would be able to read it on the Kindle. There's not too much more you can do with this other than create something that a Kindle can download and read.
It's essentially a PDF in a Kindle gift wrap. So let's quit out of Kindle Textbook Creator, and let me quit out of Kindle Create as well. And I think I had one last one, which was Comic Creator. We'll make a new book. And then it says, "Okay, what's the language of your book?" And you specify your language. We'll go ahead and do a few things here, and just leave everything set up. You have to enter text here. And then at some point you're going to get to start adding pages, where then you can add the pages from your comic book, which are saved as art files or as PDF files.
And then you can enhance it for comic book reading on a Kindle device. Those are all different ways to create a fixed layout. Click yes, I want to cancel. Now let's look at a couple other solutions. First, you can go to the Online Training Library and find this wonderful title, Creating Fixed Layout Ebooks for the Kindle. Yes, that title has already been recorded by my friend Kevin Callahan, and he is a specialist in this. He likes to actually create the files himself, and then upload them and get them converted.
And he explains how to do so. For example, you could export a reflowable or a fixed layout ePUB from any other program, and then crack it open and edit the HTML and CSS files. He also talks about using Kindle Kids' Book Creator and using his own template to create such. So that's kind of a lot of work, but you can get the most control over what the book is going to look like using this method. Then there are two somewhat easier methods, I think. One of them is using this wonderful utility that works with InDesign from CS6 onward called CircularFLO.
I have that Little Red Hen book open in InDesign. And if I start up CircularFLO, which is free to download and free to use in trial mode. When you want to actually publish a book, then it costs $199 per book, but you could do as many versions of it as you want. And notice that its sole purpose of being is to create fixed layout ebooks, either for the Mac iOS or for Kindle. There are lots of other bells and whistles that you can take advantage of. You could do add audio and video.
It has its own set of animation tools. You could do a read aloud fixed layout ebook. You can add all sorts of fun HTML code. And essentially, you just click Create Fixed Layout Ebook, and it says, "Where do you want me to put it?" That's all. And the last solution I want to mention is PubCoder, which we looked at earlier. Close out of CircularFLO. And PubCoder is a standalone app that's kind of like a jack-of-all-trades. It can do all sorts of interactive publications. And one of them is, if you come over here you could export this book to KF8 for Amazon.
You could make an interactive fixed layout ebook for Amazon, pretty neat. Now not every device may support all these fun little animations like quizzes and so on, but whatever it can support it does, and it's a lot of fun. You could always test it yourself to see how it works. Okay, we've gone through the gamut of all the different choices that you have at this moment for creating fixed layout ebooks for the Kindle.
- Finding, downloading, and reading free ebooks
- Choosing the right format for your ebook
- Building reflowable EPUBs and fixed-layout EPUBs
- Using tools like Word, Sigil, calibre, Jutoh, Pages, PubCoder, and InDesign
- Adding animation and interactivity such as clickable buttons
- Creating ebooks for the Kindle
- Learning the pros and cons of PDF ebooks
- Creating reflowable and multitouch ebooks with iBooks Author