Amazon’s introduces the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator

On Sep 3, 2014 Amazon introduced Kindle Kids’ Book Creator. Amazon has offered tools for authors to publish their own books for a while but kids books are a completely different product. In the past making ebooks has been fairly simple because it’s just been flowing text into a e-book program (this is an over simplifyication), but tons of bright and colorful images as well as type that is a bit more playfully laid out, makes picture books completely different than a textbook. This is where Amazon’s new tool, the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator comes into play. It’s a free tool for authors and publishers to turn their children’s picture books into a digital version for use on the Amazon Kindle line of products. Which sounds great if you’re happy with only publishing on the Kindle store. “Kindle Kids’ Book Creator makes it easy for authors and publishers to import artwork, add text to pages, and preview how their book will look on Kindle devices.” says Amazons page for this product. Amazon’s new piece of software is available to download from their site and supports both Mac and PC. Chapter books can be imported using the following formats: Word’s doc/docx, HTML, Mobi, and of course ePub. Import formats available for Illustrated books are: PDF, PNG, JPG, TIFF, and PPM.


“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.

Alongside this new piece of software Amazon also opened a new section in their Digital self publishing platform called Kindle Direct Publishing Kids. This new section was created to help authors prepare, publish and promote both illustrated and chapter books in Kindle Stores worldwide. KDP Kids also offers authors better age and grade recommendations so their customers can more easily choose the best books for their kids. You can read the full press release here.

About the author

  • Norm GrockNORM GROCKContributor, Founder

    Having grown up on the shores of Maui, Hawaii, Norm has always had a love for drawing. Since leaving the Islands’ beautiful beaches and landing in Oregon he went to college and received a degree in graphic design. Now living in Beaverton, Oregon, Norm has been working as a full-time graphic designer and illustrator for the last 12 years. He has spent countless hours perfecting his craft as a freelance illustrator working on several children’s books, a few video games and creating numerous educational products. His ability to draw has given him the chance to do the thing he truly loves — Create.

Amazon Acquires Digital Comics Platform ComiXology

Last week Amazon announced that it was acquiring the digital comic book distributor ComiXology. If you don’t know what is, it’s been called “the iTunes of comic books” by the New York Times. ComiXology is a cloud-based digital comics platform that offers a selection of more than 40,000 comic books and graphic novels across Android, iOS, Kindle, Windows 8, and their Internet web store. ComiXology was launched in July 2007 and now has deals with 75 different comic book publishers giving these companies a digital storefront to sell their content. Their ComiXology app has gone on to become Apple’s top-grossing non-game iPad app from 2011 to 2013.


They have had well over 200 million comics downloaded through their app as of September 2013. There have been several reasons for ComiXology’s rise to digital comics prominence, but none more prominent than their patented Guided View technology. Guided View has made reading digital comics a much better experience on digital devices. “ComiXology’s patent-pending Guided View technology allows readers to view a comic on a panel-by-panel basis suitable for mobile devices in a way that mimics the natural motion of the user’s eye through the comic” says the ComiXology website. Continue reading

Will Amazon kill off the Storyboard Artist with Storyteller



Recently Amazon Studios released a new application called Amazon Storyteller. Storyteller lets scriptwriters upload their scripts and the software turns it into storyboards through an automated process. The free online tool was released on June 7, 2013 and is currently in beta. Here is how Amazon describes their new software.


“Amazon Storyteller is a new application from Amazon Studios that lets you turn a movie script into a storyboard. You choose the backgrounds, characters, and props to visually tell a story. A successful storyboard can tell the full story of a script, or capture its essence in short form, like a trailer. Either approach can be a great way to build an audience for your story and see how people respond to it.” Continue reading

Amazon Releases the Kindle Comic Creator


Amazon has just released the Kindle Comic Creator for creating your own comics for the Kindle platform. Kindle Comic Creator is a free tool for authors and publishers to turn their comics, graphic novels and manga into Kindle books. Kindle Comic Creator makes it easy for authors and publishers to import artwork, create their preferred customer reading experience and preview how their book will look on Kindle devices. Once satisfied with their Kindle book, authors can publish to Kindle and share their story with millions of Amazon customers worldwide. Here are a few of the software’s key features:

  • Create a guided navigation experience with Kindle Panel View
  • Create books with double page spreads or facing pages
  • Import artwork from jpg, pdf, tiff, png and ppm formats
  • Preview content across Kindle devices before publishing

So as always the first question that pops into my head is “What’s in it for them?” From what I have found so far it looks like Amazon takes the normal 30% and your take home is the remaining 70%. 30% seems to be the standard when putting your content up with companies like Google and Apple.

This application was just released on Tuesday for both Mac and PC. I’m going to download it and give it a try and report back with my thoughts. If you’d like to download it and try it for yourself you can download it from Amazon here.

Mobile Apps for Running a Freelance Illustration Business

With September being a huge month for announcements in mobile technology like Amazon releasing the 2nd version of their tablet Kindle fire and all kinds of smart phones being released from Samsung to Motorola. All of that being topped off by Apple releasing their new iPhone 5 on friday (09.21.12). So, all of this got me thinking about my favorite mobile apps for running my freelance business. Here are a few of the apps I couldn’t live without.

Minimal Folio
This app is for creative professionals who want to let their portfolios do the talking. Minimal Folio is the simplest way to present images and video on your iPad or iPhone. The app is unbranded so all your clients see is your work.
Device: iOS
Price: $2.99
Developer: Simon Heys

Continue reading