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Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Kindle Kids Mastery

Kindle Kids Mastery is a new course from Jon Bard, a successful children's author and co-owner of the Children's Book Insider website and newsletter.

It is a comprehensive guide to making the most of the new Kindle Kids' Book Creator software, which I discussed a while ago in this blog post. KKBC is a free resource for children's writers from Amazon.

Jon was kind enough to provide me with reviewer access to Kindle Kids Mastery, so here's what I found...

The course content for Kindle Kids Mastery is accessed via a dedicated members' website. This has the advantage that it can be continuously updated and expanded (and all buyers get lifetime access with free updates). Do remember to keep your log-in details in a safe place, though!

The members' site is attractively set out and looks very professional. The course consists of nine modules in total, each of which has up to seven units. Each unit typically contains an instructional video along with some online text. In some cases downloadable manuals in PDF form are provided as well.

The subjects of the modules are as follows:

1. Before you create your first e-book
2. Finding illustrations and creating your e-book cover
3. Creating your e-book using Kindle Kids Book Creator software
4. Uploading to Amazon and creating your Author's page
5. Bonus: Kindle marketing advice from the pros (with transcripts)
6. Bonus: Cheat Sheets
7. Bonus: How to find free and low-cost illustrations
8. Bonus: Kindle Kids Mastery checklist
9. Bonus: How to format and publish your e-book WITHOUT using Kids Book Creator

The video training is of high quality, using screen captures as required. The videos are presented by Jon himself or his partner Laura.

As I noted above, this is a comprehensive course. It takes you through pretty much everything you would need to know in order to write, design and publish an illustrated children's book on Kindle using Amazon's free Kindle Kids' Book Creator software.

I was impressed by the thoroughness with which Jon and Laura have researched this software and uncovered some quite creative ways of using it. For example, there are two units devoted to the use of pop-ups, a special feature incorporated within the software (but with little guidance provided by Amazon). There are some very clever and original ideas in the second unit in particular.

The module about finding and using illustrations (which is, of course, key to creating this type of book) is very thorough too. It reveals a wide range of resources you can use, many of which are inexpensive or free.

Using stock artwork is discussed as well, though Jon does point out that if you are going to do this, you should really adapt it in some way to ensure that it appears unique and original. Plenty of advice on how to do this is included.

I have very few criticisms of Kindle Kids Mastery. One (very) small point is that Module Nine recommends the use of Mobipocket Creator for formatting mainly text-based e-books. This is old software that has not been updated for quite a while. Admittedly it is free, but it would not be my first choice for formatting Kindle e-books nowadays. Still, that is not really the type of book this course is about.

As I have noted before on this blog, Amazon are currently trying to build their presence in illustrated children's e-book publishing. This therefore represents a huge opportunity for authors willing to take up the challenge (Jon also touched on this subject in his recent guest post on my blog). In addition, the release of the first Kindle Kids Tablet earlier this month raised the stakes even higher. It's now clear Amazon intends to go all-out on children's books,and they're giving authors the tools to help stock their store with books.

If this is something that interests you, therefore, now is a great time to get involved. Kindle Kids Mastery should get you up to speed with pretty much everything you need to know.

Finally, I should mention that Jon is currently offering readers of my blog a generous $70 discount on Kindle Kids Mastery. Just visit his information page and use the discount code NICKDAWS when placing your order.

If you have any comments or questions about Kindle Kids Mastery, as ever, please do post them below.

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Blogger Nick said...

In answer to a query received, I should make clear that the special discount referred to in my review is actually on the full price of $197.

The course is currently on sale at an introductory $50 discount, so you only get a further $20 discount with my code. Once the price goes up to $197, it will provide a full $70 discount, though. Apologies that this wasn't made as clear as it could have been in my review.

1:47 PM  

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