Kindle Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have run into a wall that I cannot seem to get over.

It's my kids book.

The text is written. The text is not the issue. The issue is the illustrations, and how I envision this book working and appearing, and whether it's viable as an e-book, and if not, how to self-publish for print and not get screwed.

Okay. My kids book SHOULD end up being the kind of short book you often see aimed at young children. It might be 16 pages long not counting the title page or any additional dedications or publication info pages. It's a book about exploring natural sciences. It contains 7 parts. The text for each one is 10-15 lines of rhyming verse, a short caption giving one or two sentences of project suggestions, and all of that is meant to take up 1/2-2/3 of a page accompanied by an illustration that takes up the entire rest of the page the text is on and the page facing it.

(The illustrations are not done yet. Also, I don't need the cover design services many POD companies offer -- I'm an artist, I intend to design my own book cover as long as I know what dimensions and dpi I have to work with.)

First of all, I am confused about whether kids books like that are viable for e-publishing for tablets at all. I could design the illustrations to fit into the dimensions of a Kindle or phone or tablet screen, but that would still mean having to flip back and forth between two pages in order to see two halves of what really should be ONE illustration, even if I design it in a way that makes it able to be cut in half like that. Those dimensions just about halve the amount of visual information I can put on a page without it getting cluttered or having details become unreadably and incomprehensibly tiny. Plus, a book with illustrations in color obviously will not ever be usable on a screen that is not in color, like the Kindle I have.

I COULD feasibly publish on Kindle and in print by publishing two different versions of the book, which would require me to do two sets of illustrations entirely from scratch. That doesn't sound like a rational investment of time for a book I don't know will sell in a format I don't know will be visible or compelling in an electronic format regardless of the size screen it's on.

But... I don't have an e-reader with a color screen. No one I know does. I have no way to see if other kids books are published for Kindle or other tablet formatting or see how they look that way.

So should I even keep pursuing the idea of e-publishing my kids book at all, or just focus on having it published for print? If I do that, does anyone have any suggestions for what service to use? I've looked at reviews for a few -- the top 3 seeming to be Lulu.com, Dogearpublishing.net, and CreateSpace. Of these, CreateSpace is the only one that addresses the issue of kids books at all on their website -- I have only just submitted written inquiries for more information about how the other two handle that. On top of that, there's the issue of royalties, and how to judge which service will give me the best returns for the widest distribution and best marketing choices.

It looks like all self-publishing POD services are going to require a significant investment of money, and I already have plans for that. But the rest of this is making my head spin. Are there any other authors here who have ever published in anything other than standard tablet/e-reader screen dimensions or in color? Or tried to publish for print and potential distribution to actual bookstores?

....help? ???
 
G

·
Despite being an artist yourself, you may want to consider identifying someone who is familiar with digital formats for technical help the first time around. Your post illustrates the limitations of digital media for certain types of books. What you are describing CAN be done, but it takes a certain amount of technical know-how insofar as making sure the images appear correctly.

Insofar as print, Createspace is by far the best choice. They have the best pricing in the industry, particularly for color. Color POD tends to be notoriously expensive because of the way POD of produced. POD has an "all or nothing" cost structure for color. It doesn't matter if one page is color or every page is color. The price is set up assuming all pages are color. It is a limitation of POD that few places have found effective work-arounds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,398 Posts
Ven West said:
I have run into a wall that I cannot seem to get over.

It's my kids book.

The text is written. The text is not the issue. The issue is the illustrations, and how I envision this book working and appearing, and whether it's viable as an e-book, and if not, how to self-publish for print and not get screwed.

Okay. My kids book SHOULD end up being the kind of short book you often see aimed at young children. It might be 16 pages long not counting the title page or any additional dedications or publication info pages. It's a book about exploring natural sciences. It contains 7 parts. The text for each one is 10-15 lines of rhyming verse, a short caption giving one or two sentences of project suggestions, and all of that is meant to take up 1/2-2/3 of a page accompanied by an illustration that takes up the entire rest of the page the text is on and the page facing it.

(The illustrations are not done yet. Also, I don't need the cover design services many POD companies offer -- I'm an artist, I intend to design my own book cover as long as I know what dimensions and dpi I have to work with.)

First of all, I am confused about whether kids books like that are viable for e-publishing for tablets at all. I could design the illustrations to fit into the dimensions of a Kindle or phone or tablet screen, but that would still mean having to flip back and forth between two pages in order to see two halves of what really should be ONE illustration, even if I design it in a way that makes it able to be cut in half like that. Those dimensions just about halve the amount of visual information I can put on a page without it getting cluttered or having details become unreadably and incomprehensibly tiny. Plus, a book with illustrations in color obviously will not ever be usable on a screen that is not in color, like the Kindle I have.

I COULD feasibly publish on Kindle and in print by publishing two different versions of the book, which would require me to do two sets of illustrations entirely from scratch. That doesn't sound like a rational investment of time for a book I don't know will sell in a format I don't know will be visible or compelling in an electronic format regardless of the size screen it's on.

But... I don't have an e-reader with a color screen. No one I know does. I have no way to see if other kids books are published for Kindle or other tablet formatting or see how they look that way.

So should I even keep pursuing the idea of e-publishing my kids book at all, or just focus on having it published for print? If I do that, does anyone have any suggestions for what service to use? I've looked at reviews for a few -- the top 3 seeming to be Lulu.com, Dogearpublishing.net, and CreateSpace. Of these, CreateSpace is the only one that addresses the issue of kids books at all on their website -- I have only just submitted written inquiries for more information about how the other two handle that. On top of that, there's the issue of royalties, and how to judge which service will give me the best returns for the widest distribution and best marketing choices.

It looks like all self-publishing POD services are going to require a significant investment of money, and I already have plans for that. But the rest of this is making my head spin. Are there any other authors here who have ever published in anything other than standard tablet/e-reader screen dimensions or in color? Or tried to publish for print and potential distribution to actual bookstores?

....help? ???
Indie kid's books are a tough market, even after you surmount the technical hurdles (don't want to rain on your parade, but that's my observation). I would look at where you're trying to market this first, then decide what format would be best. A good place to start is the bestseller charts in your category - what have people already done? Are they indie or is it only trad-pub (with the budget/know-how) that are making this happen? I'm all for trail-blazing, but you should at least send out a scout first.

Also: have you looked at iBookAuthor (Apple's design program for iPads)? It might make this easier (but you'd have to have an iMac).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ah. Great idea, looking at bestsellers. (Why didn't I think of that...?)

Thanks for the input. :) Does Createspace have good support?

Also -- I do all my work on a macbook. My mom has an iPad I could borrow but I have no idea how to use it. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,081 Posts
I just did my book with Createspace and am very happy with it. I had Jason Anderson www.jasonga.com/ebook-formatting do the formatting and a cover artist do the cover. All I had to do was upload. Make sure Createspace will take the size of book you want before you get the formatting done. My cover artist said there was a problem with the 8.8 x8.5 size.

I designed my book to have one picture per screen, with the text below the picture. I wanted to keep it simple.

(It's free tomorrow and Sun if you want to take a look. You can download Kindle Previewer to see how things look. http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000765261

You will want to market your book to library story time and other children's events, as well as making presentations to groups of schoolchildren. It's best if you don't expect to make much profit and are able to keep your costs low. I thinks schools will be using tablets and e readers a great deal in the future, so educational e books should be in greater demand soon.

Best of luck to you. I've been having a blast with this. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
581 Posts
Making an app instead of a Kindle book is another option.  There are a lot of things you can do in an Android app that the Kindle software doesn't support.  The Kindle software is really designed for text at this point (and it is very good at what it does).  Intricate multimedia effects are much better supported in the app system.

One good way to make Kindle apps, especially for the Fire is using Adobe Flash and exporting to the Adobe AIR runtime.  We've done some preliminary experiments with it and it seems to work well for simple presentations, which is essentially what a picture book is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,554 Posts
Hi Ven,

I have done several kids' books in print and ebook format. The print books are from CreateSpace and are 8.5 by 8.5. I just looked at the ebooks on my ipad, and the pages take up about 2/3 of the page. I have pictures and text on most pages. When I do the original print version, I use photoshop to do the entire page with the text embedded as part of the picture. So, I do have to redo the book for ebooks by separating picture and text. It's not that much work. I do not redo the illustrations themselves.

CreateSpace does not require a significant investment of money . . . in fact, it can be free unless you do the expanded distribution and then it's only $25. Ebooks are free. CreateSpace has excellent customer service/support. Here is their page about royalties https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/#content6.

As Janet says, you can download Kindle Previewer (they have a Mac version) to see what your books will look like on tablets. They also give the option of looking at it with different versions of the Kindle (black and white or color).

There is an children's author named Lexi Lexington that has many rhyming children's books. Her books are almost all high up in the charts, so I can only guess that she's making good money. So, it is possible.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top