Amazon launches KDP Kids, a tool to help authors self-publish illustrated books

A whole lot of people think they have a book in them. And even more think they could write a children’s book. Amazon made that a little easier Wednesday with a new tool, KDP Kids, that aids in the creation of illustrated ebooks.

“No one should have to be a computer programmer to create a beautiful, illustrated Kindle book for kids,” Russ Grandinetti, SVP of Kindle, said in a statement. (Of course, you will still need to have the illustrations at hand and in digital format. Amazon’s not doing your artwork for you, at least not yet.)

KDP Kids largely consists of a free software program, Kindle Kids’ Book Creator, that is downloadable to Mac or PC and lets authors “import artwork from popular formats, including jpg, pdf, tiff, and png,” add text to the pages and preview how it will look across Kindle devices (clearly, illustrated books are best suited to smartphones and tablets). The software also lets authors create pop-up text boxes that magnify text when it’s double-tapped. When authors publish their books to the Kindle Store, they’re prompted to enter grade and age ranges, which should aid discoverability when customers search.

[company]Amazon[/company] also prompts children’s book authors to enroll in KDP Select, which gives them access to additional marketing tools in exchange for making their ebooks exclusive to Amazon for a certain time. Amazon’s recently launched ebook subscription program, Kindle Unlimited, automatically includes all KDP Select titles, so this would also be a way for Kindle Unlimited to gain more illustrated content.