Friday, 01 June, 2018

Case Study: Kindle Book Publishing

Producing a Kindle Book

Preamble

Kindle ebook creation uses pretty much the same knowledge and tools required for web development; they're essentially HTML and CSS with a few proprietary tools and industry standards thrown in.

I'd call it embedded web application development if I were building it on another kind of hardware.

Original book covers designed for the Kindle Author

Overview

I received a request from a new author asking for help to creating a Kindle version of her book and a cover for her hard back books.

She was happy to produce her own hardback books in MS Word but needed help converting them to Kindle format, feeling that the automatic transformation service offered by Amazon wasn't of a high enough standard.

Options

The format was fixed. If you're releasing ebooks on Amazon it's got to be Kindle (.mobi) compatible; and since Amazon prohibit the release of books outside of the Amazon market place (under certain license agreements) other format were not necessary.

The hardware was more flexible as Kindle books may be read on a variety of formats including: Kindles, smart phones, eReaders and computers.

We needed to agree a cover image, fonts, styling, content, testing and deployment; but these were all resolved in the usual back and forth emails and meetings.

Solution

Fonts: We discussed fonts and found a font the author felt suited her books.

Princess Sofia Image

Cover: The author supplied the cover image and I converted them into PDFs for CreateSpace.

Example template and final image used for Create Space hard back books.

Testing: The books were tested on a variety of Amazon Kindle devices, ranging from the original device to the more recent paper weight series, alongside the Amazon emulator; and provided to the author in a format she could upload to her own kindle for review before release.

Release: In this instance the author didn't require assistance uploading and releasing the ebooks using her own Amazon account. It was both a bonus to have a technolgically savvy author who could do this and a mild disappointment that I didn't get to see this side of the process, but from what I have seen it's a fairly simple upload and review web interface which doesn't require any special training or technological know how.

Conclusion

The author went on to write a series of books which are now available for sale on Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LXQEPYR. 

As we produced more books together the quality and content of the books increased, and have recently prepared to release the first 3 books in the series as a box-set.

Once the books became successful, earning revenue, the cover images were improved by a professional cover designer and the books re-released.