How Do I Create Books for Amazon KDP?
Today I thought I’d do a fairly quick post about the main tools I use to create books for Amazon KDP. Over the last three or four years or so, I’ve tried a variety of tools to create paperback* books to sell on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform. I’ve also bought software I’ve still not used. We’ll focus on the ones I actually use and would recommend most. This post will contain sone affiliate links.
Free vs Fee – Paperback vs Hardback
Before we start, please note that some of these self-publishing tools are free (like Canva) and some of them are not. Most but not all have a free trial.
It’s not just paperbacks now too. We recently have been given access to creating hardback* books on Amazon. It’s a fairly straightforward to create a hardback from and existing paperback. (Cover dimensions are very different though!)
Finally, I posted a similar post about Print on Demand but I’ve picked up a new tool or two since I wrote that post so updating that here today.
As an official brand ambassador, of course I am going to say Canva is the tool that I use every day for creating book interior and book covers alike. I also use it to add graphics to things like journals and planners.
You can create an entire book – inside and out for FREE in Canva and upload it to Amazon also for FREE.
If you use Canva to create books, I tend to recommend that you stick to all the FREE elements to stay safe legally. Having a Pro version is highly recommended too, but not wholly necessary. Canva just updated its licensing page this week.
If you do want to test drive Canva Pro, I can offer you a 45 day FREE Canva Pro trial. (It’s very handy for re-sizing book covers and manuscripts!)
You can create covers and interiors in Book Bolt. While I do less of that, I have started to use Book Bolt a fair bit but more for research than anything else. It has a “Cloud” feature which is quite useful. They have a variety of other features like ‘Book Scout”, KDP Spy and the BookBolt Lister which uses a Chrome Extension.
Now if you’re interested I have a special link that can get you a wee discount if you want to join BookBolt – just use the code ‘podinscot‘ and that should give you a little something off….
Aududu Book Creator
Earlier this year I “met” Aududu’s founder Cindy Minear on Clubhouse. I’d heard of her software even before I met her, but after having a few good conversations with her, I went and forked the money for a year’s subscription. To be honest, it took me a few months to actually use it, but when I did, I fell in love with it. It’s how I’ve made my Totally Scottish and Totally ’80s Word Search books. If you want to give this one a wee three-day spin – then use this Aududu book creator link and give it a try. She has lots of tutorials if you need some help getting started.
UPDATE 13/11 (taken from Cindy’s Instagram): ‘Create covers for hardcover books with our cover creator! You can upload an image for the entire cover, and/or images for the front and back cover. Switch between hardcover and paperback with one click! You are going to love how quick and easy you can create both paperback and hardcover covers! This example uses a background image, with transparent png files added for the front and back cover. Try it here: https://www.aududu.com/pagegen/cover
Activity Book Generator
One I have just picked up in the last 48 hours or so is Activity Book Generator. When I couldn’t sleep early one Saturday morning I fired up Youtube and came across a video where a guy was reviewing the software (2.0). I watched it, fell back to sleep, and many hours later, I went and searched for the software and bought it. At just $29 for the basic, somewhat limited membership, it was a no brainer.
Creating books fast…
With a few clicks I made a 30 page Mandala book in about 15 seconds. Repeated the process again for thirty more mandalas. When the downloaded PDFs looked rather sparse, I imported them into Canva and completely made them my own. I added some frames, some lines and some sketch pages to create a 100 page A4 book. It’s an oversaturated niche, so honestly am not sure I’ll get any sales, but I was feeling inspired and so went with it.
By the end of the weekend I’d submitted my first Mixed Mandala colouring, journaling and sketching book.
Tangent Templates, like Canva, is a go-to tool I use all the time to create Books for Amazon KDP. It’s quick and easy to make planners in seconds. The other thing I love love love about TT is the ability to quickly download “size guides” which show bleed on your covers and interiors. It costs about $50-$60 but was 100% worth every penny.
I don’t have an affiliate link for this one, I just love, love, love it. Incidentally, its co-founder is another Canva CCC (not something she broadcasts).
There is some cross-over with these platforms. For instance you can make log books in Book Bolt, Tangent, and Aududu. Heck you can do it in Canva too. ‘Couple of them do Puzzle and Activities as well. I find you just have to try different software on, and see how it fits you.
I tend to mix and match all of these. To be fair the Activity Book Generator is a brand new tool but even though I just bought it, I am already loving even the basic membership and might even consider the jump to their premium offering.
What tools do you use most to create books for Amazon KDP? Or are you just starting out on your journey? I’m aiming for 200 books uploaded by Jan 2022. Wish me luck.