Saturday, 23 April 2016

KDP quirks

The book is now on both the kindle store, and the ibooks store.
iBook- 49p 

Kindle (not iOS) - £1.49

It's minimum price allowed on both stores.
The idea isn't to make any money, but to see how that side of things works, and I'm learning a fair bit.

What I'm learning is that there are some quirks, particularly with the Amazon store.
The Amazon KDP admin tools are far easier to use that the iTunes Connect/iBooks publisher except when they aren't.

For example I created the kindle version in the "kindle kids book creator", because it's a fixed format book  and letting the text flow as it does in a normal e-book just wouldn't work.

However it seems Amazon have some beef with apple, and won't let you port this format of book to an iPad... they don't mention this until it's in the store.
Of course it could be that the iPad simply can't handle the format... but that seems technically very unlikely, and as Amazon manage the app for the iOS devices they could easily tweak it?

If I were suspicious I'd think they might be trying to drive sales of their Fire things... but they'll probably just hack off a bunch of people.

I did ask why the book wouldn't work on an ipad and here's the reply from Amazon:
"Please note that in order to provide readers with the best possible experience, fixed layout books are currently only available in the following devices and applications:

Fire Tablets:

"Kindle Fire HDX 8.9''
Kindle Fire HDX
Kindle Fire HD(2nd Generation)
Fire HDX 8.9 Tablet
Fire HD 7 Tablet
Fire HD 6 Tablet
Kindle Fire HD 8.9"
Kindle Fire HD(1st Generation)
Kindle Fire(2nd Generation)
Kindle Fire(1st Generation)

Fire Phones:
Fire Phone

Free Kindle Reading Apps:

Kindle for Android Phones
Kindle for Android Tablets
Kindle for Mac
Kindle for PC

This is the reason why you were unable to open the book using iOS. When you create a fixed layout book, our system identifies it as such and determines the content is best viewed on a color device that supports Kindle Format 8."

Friday, 1 April 2016

Final Draft - picturebook publishing to Kindle

In the last Millenium when I was an illustrator I worked on a lot of books, maybe hundreds, but I got lured away from publishing by the glitzy world of TV design, and my contacts dwindled.

When the fancy TV work dried up around 2005 I started working on a self published kids book as a way of re-presenting myself to the world of publishing, and something I could show an agent, and this was about the time the Kindle came out. The early kindle platform was pretty restricted, with a black and white screen, and tiny file sizes, making it less than ideal.
In fact I used the platform later for the outputs of my 24 Hour Comic Day efforts which were pretty much black and white anyway.

However I never managed to finish the artwork for the proper story as I was distracted again by learning technology.
Then iBooks came along with an iPad platform perfect for the sort of picture books I had in mind,  and even allowing for a flourish of adding "widgets" to the pages, so I dallied with Tumult Hype, and built some samples, but again I never quite managed to finish the thing.

Well now I have.


I spent the last Tuesday tarting up images and tweaking text, and then bundled the whole lot up through the completely clunky Kindle Kids Book Creator.
I've uploaded it to the store, and once I've tested it on a range of kindle readers, and had it proofed by Ali  I'll publish it.

34 pages of pics, and some words.
I'm putting it on the kindle store as a paid book, just to see what happens... to be honest I don't expect much,  though I was delighted a few years back when Amazon accidentally sent out cheques to all their suppliers, usually they hold back payments till you make a few quid... I'd clocked up something like £1.29.

Once that's done I'll try the same for the iBooks store, which involves either suffering the pain of iBooks Author (not nice), or the slow and clunky route of adding images to Adobe In Design and then arranging text etc etc.

24HCD "sales" stats through iBooks

I will try and make a short video about the process as it could be useful/interesting, I can say it's nowhere near as involved as it used to be. When the platforms were new it required a phone call to the US tax office, the issue of a special secret "withholding" number and whatnot, now all just tick-boxes and buttons (famous last words).