Format a Children's Picture Book for the Kindle

Amazon Kindle e-reader

NOTE: The Kindle platform has changed substantially since this was originally written. This is outdated information, but it might still work. Amazon now has free software specifically for creating children's books, which will probably give you a better result.

The original info:

I wanted to release my children's picture book, Two Boys, Two Planets for the Kindle, but the Kindle is fairly limited in its formatting options and it is more oriented toward text data than image data.

The Fix: 

I wrote up a more detailed blog post (How To Format a Children's Book for the Kindle) if you want a step-by-step approach, but the basics are...

...different now! OK, so I'm leaving the original info below, but there really are better ways to do this now. At the least, read my blog post update. The instructions below are primitive at best, and I have not checked lately whether Amazon still accepts this. But for the sake of preserving the original, this is how I previously did it:

  1. Don't use Word or another tool like that; instead, write a basic HTML file for the book content
  2. Size all illustrations to the width of the Kindle display — you can find the screen resolutions on Amazon's site — and let your image editor calculate the height to maintain the aspect ratio
  3. Put one image on each page, forcing page breaks with <mbp:pagebreak />
  4. Put the HTML file and all of the illustration JPEGs into a ZIP file and upload that as your book content in KDP.

If any of that doesn't make sense, I recommend reading the blog post as it provides much more information. For those who are familiar with writing HTML, creating ZIP files, and that sort of thing, the above overview should suffice.

Fix License: 
Creative Commons: Attribution-ShareAlike