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How To Make Kindle Comics
& Children's Books (inc. Templates)

by R. Scot Johns

Published: May 2013 / Version 4.0 Update: February 2017
ISBN: 978-0-9821538-5-7
284 Pages / 82,986 Words


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Available in Kindle + ePub + PDF Formats [27.18 Mb]

Download includes all three offered formats for your convenience.


NOTE: Companion templates and sample files demonstrating various Kindle features covered in the manual are available to download on the Tutorials page.

  • Overview
  • Table Of Contents
  • Reviews
  • Rear Cover

The Definitive Guide to Formatting Illustrated Content in Kindle Fixed Layout Format

*** Newly revised and updated to include changes made by Amazon to the allowed image file size! ***

"How to Make Kindle Comics & Children’s Books" is a step-by-step guidebook for creating illustrated ebooks in the Kindle fixed-layout format. Illustrated with 167 full color images, this in-depth tutorial examines every aspect of the underlying code, including which features are available on which Kindle devices and apps, how they really work and why, and how to make the code do more than it was designed to do.

Using two working templates as examples, R. Scot Johns takes you from simple, image-only files to highly complex, interactive layouts with live text layers, multi-layered content, and text and image zoom using Region Magnification and Panel View, as well as offering dozens of unique uses of the code, such as text translations for bilingual ebooks and switching images by double-tapping.

The definitive guide to the Kindle fixed layout format, this tutorial will take you line by line through two working ebooks, including both the content and support files, explaining in painstaking detail what each element is for, and what your options are in every instance. In addition, each of the example templates are available for you to download and use in creating your own illustrated ebook project. A discount code to download both templates for free is provided in the book.

"How to Make Kindle Comics & Children’s Books" covers every aspect of creating Kindle fixed layout content from initial conception to final testing, making it the most comprehensive ebook formatting manual on the market today.

NOTE: The two companion templates shown below are available to download FREE using a code provided in this book!

"R. Scot Johns is the world’s most knowledgeable person on the subject of KF8. He understands and communicates much more effectively than Amazon themselves do, and it would be in their interest to buy a copy of his new book for anyone who wants one."
   - Dan Wright, Director, Circular Software

  • Introduction
    • What Is Fixed Layout?
    • The KF8 Format
    • Why Kindle?
  • Working Methodology
  • Tools
    1. Content Editing
    2. Conversion Tools
    3. Third-Party Utilities
    4. Documentation
    • Opening The File
    • Inside The Template
      • The OPF File
        1. Metadata
          • Kindle-Specific Metadata
          • ePub3 Spec Metadata
          • eBook Content Metadata
        2. Manifest
        3. Spine
        4. Guide
      • The Navigation Files
        1. The NCX File
        2. The NAV File
    • Images
      • Resolution & Aspect Ratio
      • Image Format & File Size
    • Pages
      • HTML & CSS for Fixed Layouts
      1. <div id< Image Insertion Method
      2. <img src< Image Insertion Method
      3. Self-Contained CSS Pages
      4. Active Links (Internal & External)
      5. Multiple-Image Pages
      • Fonts
        • Live Text
        • Embedding Fonts
        • Text Shadows
      • Page Layouts
        1. Live Text Layers
        2. Relative Positioning
        3. Active Table of Contents
        4. Stacking Text & Image Layers
        5. Positioning Text Boxes
      • Region Magnification
        1. MagTargets Using "SourceId"
        2. Alternate Content & Placement Methods
        3. Text Positioning & Alignment
        4. MagTargets Using "TargetId"
        5. Lightbox Fills Using TargetParent
        6. Panel View Using TargetParent
        7. Full-Page magTarget Example
    • Compiling the File
    • Converting the File
      • Kindle Direct Publishing
      • Kindle Previewer
      • Kindlegen
        • Mobi7 vs. KF8
        • Kindle Unpack
      • Testing the File
    • Kindle Fixed Layout Functionality Table
    • Kindle Metadata Attributes
    • Standard Metadata Attributes
    • Device Display Resolution

★★★★★ - 22
★★★★ - 0
★★★ - 1
★★ - 0
- 0

"Get Started With This Book" ★★★★★

This book contains a detailed instruction about how to make a digital fixed layout book. I might have read this one not once but may times to understand the concept. I created two books using Kindle Kids book creator. after completing the layout part I prepared the mobi file. then I edited it to make the necessary changed I wanted. I learned the method technique of editing the mobi file from this book only. I recommend this book for all who are interested in making fixed layout kindle books.

   - Vidya Sagar - - August 31, 2017

"Excellent for fixed page format Kindle books" ★★★★★

Very thorough treatment of the variety of issues related to ePublishing for Kindle fixed format type of books. Gets heavily into the coding lines for those who can use it but for those who can't, they can just skip over it.

But got intensely practical help with specific software. I highly recommend How To Make Kindle Comics by R. Scot Johns.

   - Philip Siddons - - November 30, 2015

"Invaluable Resource For Programming Kindle" ★★★★★

This is an invaluable resource for me! I'm currently converting a children's book from print into kindle format and have tried Amazon's Comic Creator and Kindle Kid's Book Creator. Both applications have failed my expectations and the Kindle Kid's Book Creator didn't even display the pages of the ebook when I uploaded it to my iPad Kindle. The last resort is to use Kindlegen and that's where this book shines. It's a big help in navigating through the numerous options that are often not straight forward (i.e. "original-resolution" meta tag). I highly recommend it.

On the other hand I'm a programmer and very familiar with HTML. If you have never touched HTML this might be a little more difficult to pick up, but the author does a good job in explaining things in detail. Once you buy this ebook, you'll have free access to the author's sample templates, which are A LOT easier to use than Amazon's sample templates.

   - Chris - - July 25, 2015


Your book on creating kindle children's and comic books is incredible. I'm an experienced beginner in html/css, and you wrote at just the right level of explanation/example for me. I was taking notes (highlighting in my kindle) and, unlike most books, I found myself highlighting whole paragraphs or whole pages. Most books have a single take-away per paragraph and add fluff around it. Your writing was efficient and direct. Thank you!

   - Bryan Williams - Macon, GA - May 30, 2015

"Thanks for the help" ★★★★★

Very well written, easy instructions. This book helped me with formatting my own children's book. Thank you.

   - Diane Chattaway - - April 15, 2015

"Five Stars" ★★★★★

Very clear!

   - Guangmin Haralick - - October 19, 2014

"Clearly the KF8 Authority" ★★★★★

I can't even make a webpage, but I found these instructions are easy to follow and understand. I can't believe how much thorough research was put into figuring out every nook and cranny regarding creating these books!

Saved a TON of time with this book. I also appreciate that this digital book has been updated as Amazon has developed their KF8.

   - Kelly - - August 7, 2014

"Once Upon A Time..." ★★★★★

...There was a 27 year old man who didn't own a Kindle and didn't know the first thing about creating an e-book.

He wanted to create children's picture books and had exceptional ideas and all he needed was a way to bring them to market.

As he searched and searched and searched for templates, guides and more he stumbled upon Scot's Blog.

It was here he discovered multiple templates and a Step-By-Step Guide that would change his life.

I'm that guy, and I'm here to tell you this book is worth it. It walked me through every step in creating my first children's picture book and went into extra detail on the little things just to make sure I knew what I was doing. Since then I've gone on to create 5 picture books with two more on the way, and three of which are completely interactive!

I won't tell you this book is the end-all be-all and that it will be impossible to create a picture book without this guide, but that is seriously how it felt for me. Amazon's instructions are murky at best. This book lifted the cloud of fog and now everything is clear. I'm actually creating books that are making sales!

If you want to create children's picture books and you are pondering which guide is the best, please consider How To Make Kindle Comics & Children's Books as it will save you money, and months of time.

P.S. Scot is very thorough and has assisted me numerous times when I had questions. His guidance is priceless, he frequently updates his materials, and I will definitely be using any other templates and guides he releases in the future.

   - Lex DeVille - - July 13, 2014

"An excellent book that goes way beyond Amazon's documentation on the subject" ★★★★★

As Scot Johns explains in this book (and demonstrates in two companion books that are free to download), fixed-layout Kindle books can do a *lot* of nifty things. Much more than the simple "region magnification" feature that's used in many comics and children's books, and that can be set up (though not very well) with Amazon's Kindle Comic Creator application.

The methods Johns describes involve a lot of hand-coding of html and css, so readers who are new to those subjects will have a long learning curve ahead of them, and will want to access some additional educational resource such as W3schools dot com.

This book is dense with information, and to really understand the techniques Johns describes you'll have to spend time tinkering and experimenting with his code examples as well as reading the text. But his instructions are clearly presented and his tone is encouraging. If you need any further inspiration, the two companion books give some really delightful examples of the fun interactive things that can be done with text and graphics in Kindle books. And they're excellent pieces of cartooning art, as well.

All in all, this is an impressive book; far and away the best on its subject.

It’s an excellent book; clearly written and a real treasure-trove of information.

   - Karl Bunker - - June 18, 2014

"If you do fixed layout/children's books, you need this!" ★★★★★

The templates, the access to the blog archives, and the in-depth well written body of text make this the definitive guide to publishing comics and kids books on Amazon. I bought the hardcopy, and Mr. Johns gave me the Kindle edition plus updates. Fantastic!

   - Mr. Pequod - - June 12, 2014

Learning a ton about fixed-layout KF8 from @RScotJohns online tutorials and ebook. Recommend!

   - Teresa Elsey - Twitter - June 11, 2014

"Honestly Amazing!" ★★★★★

I have not even come to the end of this book yet I feel compelled to give it a review. FINALLY SOMEONE WHO KNOWS EBOOK FORMATTING!!!!!

Having purchased several similar ebooks I can safely say this is the only one you need for fixed layout formatting. It covers everything you need to know in depth and in a clear, easy to understand way. The accompanying templates are fantastic and make it much easier to digest some of the technical information.

I know that this book will be something I refer too again and again. The best purchase I have made this year!

   - Sarah - - March 27, 2014

"An Incredible Value" ★★★★★

I originally scoffed at the price tag, but having read the majority of the book I now think it's a bargain. Mr. Johns goes through painstaking detail throughout the entire process and the included supplemental material illuminates the instruction better than any other HTML how to book I've read (kudos for your useful notes in the CSS sheets!) I even contacted Mr. Johns when I ran into trouble with my code and he was kind enough to answer my questions!

If you are a self-published writer struggling with advanced formatting for picture books, there is nothing better for your money.

   - Chris Osman - - January 28, 2014

"I wish I had more time." ★★★

This book is well done. I only wish I had more time to devote to creating the books I want to using this book. I think the author is wonderful.

   - Nolen - - January 22, 2014

"Currently the best 'how to make fixed layout Kindle books' available." ★★★★★

This is currently the clearest and best written 'how to' book for how to make fixed layout Kindle publications. If you're desperate for a 'how to make fixed layout Kindle books for dummies', as I was, then this is an excellent investment.

   - Geoffrey - - December 3, 2013

"Great Book!" ★★★★★

Easy to understand. It does take patients and determination to get through the book though. I would definitely buy another "how to" book from him.

   - Charlotte (Andon Arnold) - - November 23, 2013

"It Will Drive You To Tears" ★★★★★

No fluff here. This book shows you the nuts and bolts and tells you how to create a really great fixed-layout book for Kindle.

But it will make you want to cry. I always thought Bezos and his cohorts were brilliant. Silly me. What's the good of a high-resolution display if you are forced to use low-resolution images? Maybe Bezos has a Ferrari and has to abide by the same speed limits that I do when I get into my Toyota. Maybe he wants all of us to share his pain.

Anyhow, if you are serious about doing fixed-layout, despite all the restrictions, just buy this book.

   - A Man of Wealth & Taste - - October 11, 2013

"Great Resource" ★★★★★

Although I don't make comics or children's books, this was exactly what I needed for a music book that is illustration heavy.

Beware though, this isn't a point and click method of creating Kindle books. It is though, a way to pretty much make your Kindle book look like it should.

I highly recommend this.

   - Jon A. Griffin - - September 29, 2013

"Finally I Found It!" ★★★★★

I was referenced to this book by an author whose ebook about manipulating pictures for for publishing Kindle was exceptional. So, I decided to try this one because I spent a lot of time figuring out how to make a picture book look and work like I want. In this book everything is explained from A to Z in details. A must have book for every picture and comic book creator.

   - Dmitrij Pestrik - - September 22, 2013

"Very Clear & Easy to Follow Instructions" ★★★★★

Producing ebooks can be a minefield but this book certainly helps clarify things. The author has clearly spent many hours testing and writing up his findings. His blog is also a mine of information. Very useful particularly for fixed format ebooks.

   - Jill Sawyer - - August 24, 2013

"Best Book of Its Kind" ★★★★★

There’s not much to dislike in this book. It’s about as comprehensive as one could hope for when it comes to constructing comics and children’s eBooks for Kindle. If you really want to know the ins and outs of these kinds of books you won’t be disappointed. It’s loaded with great images and diagrams too that should help quite a bit when it comes to understanding what’s going on. Especially nice is the appendix on “Fixed Layout Functionality” where Johns goes into detailed tests he’s run on the many different Kindle devices he owns to test books on, showing what the various quirks of each of them are. That alone is almost worth the price of the book, which is very reasonable by the way.

Save yourself time and frustration and buy this book. It is a gem!

   - Charles Seper, Owner of eBook Pioneers - - August 17, 2013

"R. Scot Johns Delivers" ★★★★★

I spent several sleepless weeks navigating the intricacies of publishing to Kindle. If only I'd found this book sooner.

Honestly, I love Amazon and their publishing platform, but there are quite a few kinks in the system yet, to put it mildly. More confusion and caveats than you can shake a stick at! Mr. Johns takes you through EVERY aspect of building your book. Honestly, nothing is left out, but some topics include:

- KF8, HTML/CSS, .epub, .mobi standards and their detailed implementation.
- The content.opf, and building your book in various formats.
- Size, aspect ratio, and other details for ALL devices and best practices for reverse and future compatibility.
- Fixed width layouts, covers, handling images, the pricing model.

The book includes access to a couple templates that really had me hit the ground running. Also to say Mr. Johns has been incredibly helpful via email is an understatement. He has repeatedly gone out of his way to assist me and for that I am very grateful. Definitely start with this book if you are publishing to Kindle, you won't be disappointed.

   - Troy Husum - - July 29, 2013

"Thank You Scot!" ★★★★★

I have been reading Scot's blog for sometime. After publishing an Apple e-book last year, I was anxious to try coding a book for amazon. I just published my first kindle comic "Gorilla, Gorilla." I could not have done it without Scot's work and his willingness to share his code. I am happy to support his work by purchasing this book.

Save yourself time and frustration and buy this book. It is a gem!

   - Nancy Aurand-Humpf - - July 27, 2013

"The Best Book on Fixed Layout for the Kindle. No doubt." ★★★★★

I have tried many other books on the subject. Most leave you with more questions than answers. This book is a one stop shop for anyone that wats to publish on the kindle whilst keeping the format fixed. A superb book that makes you feel like an expert.

   - Joshua James - - July 6, 2013

"An Excellent Resource." ★★★★★

This book is very detailed and very helpful. I've been looking around for a resource to help me develop a children's book, especially getting the graphics right. This book has been the best by far. The author has evidently tested his own work thoroughly and I've found the results he's shared here very helpful. You can also buy and download the example files used in the book from the website. These accompanying resources are great to work with. I also like the artwork in the book! Thanks.

   - Coki-c - - June 19, 2013

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