Monday, 16 May 2011

How I created a First Story ebook for Children to work on Kindle

A first story ebook for children created as an exercise in learning about creating ebooks. The book is the picture story with a bit of text called "Monty Bear and the Chocolate Egg". The Amazon link is at the bottom of the page.

As part of the process of learning about the practicalities of creating an ebook for my Kindle, I practised on transferring the content of the digital book I had already created at http://issuu.com/miltoncontact/docs/monty-bear-and-the-chocolate-egg, which you can read online, but not download. (the Amazon Kindle link is at the bottom of the article).

The work process for creating the Kindle ebook was as follows:
  • Convert and edit the images into greyscale, with a high contrast. This is important as the Kindle reader has a lower contrast range.
  • The images were resized to be 520 pixels wide, the optimum for the Kindle reader
  • I then used Sigil, a WYSIWYG ebook editor, to layout the book with the edited images and text. 
  • To force each image and its short text to be on a new page, I had to make each page a new chapter.
  • The ebook was then saved in epub format.
  • The ebook was then imported into Calibre and the meta information (about author, title, publication date and preferred book cover) was added.
  • Using Calibre, the ebook was exported into the .mobi format, which is accepted by Kindle.
I actually went through the cycle several times as minor coding features had to be corrected. For this simple 20 page book, the process took five or six hours before I was completely satisfied.

I could either import the book to my Kindle (best option) or use the free PC software to view Kindle ebooks available here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000423913

By generating this very simple book, I learnt a considerable amount on the practicalities of producing an ebook for Kindle - and other - ebook readers.

Please feel free to sample or purchase the ebook, "Monty Bear and the Chocolate Egg" at only £0.70p for your Kindle from here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Monty-Bear-Chocolate-Egg/dp/B00519TOIE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306161559&sr=8-1

I would really appreciate your comments after trialling this out on young children!

2 comments:

  1. Great little book, Chris.
    I have a question though. If this took several hours for a 20 page picture book, how long do you estimate a 100 page book with text only might take?

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  2. Thanks Ruth :-)

    Re 100 page book. The time depends on the formatting required.

    If you take care during writing and set a limited number of styles (Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, normal text, bold text and italic for example), the time taken could be as little as a couple of hours.

    If you have lots of pictures, bullet points perhaps tables etcetera, or if the original document has hidden formatting, then reckon on requiring a day or even several to iron out the format to look perfect.

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