This post is probably only of interest to other authors making picture books for Kindle with the KKBP (Kindle Kids Book Publisher.)
If you find it useful and want to pay me back, please consider getting yourself a copy of Angelico Goes To The Store – and please leave an honest review!
Making my first picture book for Kindle was fun and frustrating.
Specifically, understanding exactly how big the images needed to be to display properly on devices, and allow for text to be added.
I did a lot of digging around, and it’s not at all well documented.
Here’s what I found:
Below are the specs as per Amazon… mostly from discussion threads among users, rather than from Amazon themselves since their documentation sucks.
Then, below that, you’ll find what I did based on that to make it work.
Finally, there’s a few links listed for more info.
ASPECT RATIO: Use an aspect ratio of 8:5 or 5:8 for the images to fit Kindle devices.
Aspect ratio is the ratio of the width first to the height of an image.
For example, an image with an aspect ratio of 8:5 has 8 horizontal units to 5 vertical units – Landscape orientation. If an image has an aspect ratio is 5:8 that’s 5 horizontal units to 8 vertical units – Portrait orientation.
Some pixel-specific resolutions which fall under this 8:5 ratio are, 3840*2400, 1280*800 and 1920*1200.
RESOLUTION: Use a resolution of 300 dpi or 300 ppi for all images.
IMAGE FILE SIZE: The largest single image file KDP can accept is 5MB. If you submit a larger file, it will take much longer to convert and may fail completely, so it’s better to stay below these limits.
TEXT: If your image contains your text in it as part of the image, add pop-up over text for optimum user experience (this is a feature of the Kindle Kid’s Book Publisher.)
If you intend to insert text via the KKBP tool, you’ll still make your image the full size as per aspect ratio above, with a blank space for the text.
WHAT I DID
Originally I didn’t understand that my image needed to be the size of the screen – I guess I assumed that the KKBP software would create the page sizes correctly, and somehow ‘insert’ my image where it needed to be.
Even after I figured out the right image size, I found that the KKBP software ‘previewed’ my book with vertical and horizontal scroll bars, indicating (I thought) that my image was somehow too large for the screen.
Eventually, I realized that the KKBP software is suboptimal, and while it displays those scroll bars, the actual finished book works just fine. The ‘preview’ isn’t really entirely accurate.
That said, I made all my images as follows:
- 2400 pixels wide by 3840 pixels tall
- I left my text area blank and inserted text with the KKBP tool.
EXAMPLES: NOTE that the border is NOT part of my image, it’s only here to outline the actual image area for clarity.
If i had chosen to use a landscape (horizontal) layout, this is what I would have used:
Hopefully this helps, and if anyone with more experience or insights can add to what I learned the hard way, please chime in! I’ll modify the posting to reflect any input.
Please refer to section #2.5 Adding Text of KKBC user guide that will help you with creating pop-ups over text: https://goo.gl/3zVd4u
Discussion Thread from Amazon April 2016: https://www.amazon.com/forum/kindle%20publishing?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx21HB0U7MPK8XI&cdThread=Tx2E3V5D8T60SJP
Review the Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines section 3.6 and section 4.3.3 here: http://kindlegen.s3.amazonaws.com/AmazonKindlePublishingGuidelines.pdf
Aspect ratio calculator: http://calculateaspectratio.com/