Kindle e-readers come in many sizes and shapes nowadays. The two most popular are the standard Kindle e-ink device and the Kindle Fire Tablet. The Kindle e-ink device only displays black and white. A Kindle e-ink screen is precisely 3½x4¾" in size, with a ¼" margin all-round. You will want to remember this when you format your book, if you have any images, or charts and tables. When you think about using a chart inside your book, shrink it down to 3” wide, and see if you can read it. If you can, then it’s safe to use in a Kindle book. Below, you'll see an image of an e-ink Kindle, followed by an image of a Public Domain book, "The Prince and The Pauper," by Mark Twain, as it would appear on a Kindle e-ink device. 

 

One of the Kindle e-ink readers
One of the Kindle e-ink readers
 

The Prince and the Pauper on the Kindle e-ink device.
The Prince and the Pauper on the Kindle e-ink device.

 



A basic Kindle Fire Tablet is 7” long, with a reading area of 3½” x 5”. It displays in vivid color. It also has advanced formatting features that the e-ink devices do not have, like drop caps, as just one example.  Below, you'll see an image of the 7" Kindle Fire tablet, followed by an image of a book, "Madman Dreams," by Keith Ferstl, as it appears on the Kindle Fire tablet (note the Drop Caps and the red line highlighting the Chapter title.)

 

The Kindle Fire Tablet, image used by permission of Amazon.
The Kindle Fire Tablet, image used by permission of Amazon
 

Madman Dreams, on the Kindle Fire tablet.
Madman Dreams, on the Kindle Fire tablet.

 

With very few exceptions, books have to work both on the regular Kindle device and the Fire Tablet. Children's books can be formatted strictly for the Fire, “forcing" the reader to view the content in landscape mode. Some other types of books, like cookbooks, can be formatted this way. Authors who want to format their books for the “Fire only" should remember that many, literally millions of, Kindle owners have the e-ink devices.  You can see an example of a children's fixed-format book, below, from "The Fox and The Fawn," by Daniel Derasaugh, displaying the Region Magnification (pop-up text) capability, which is very useful for reading on the smaller devices, like Android smartphones with Kindle for Droid reading apps. 

Unlike the iPad and the Nook Color, as of this writing, the Kindle Fire cannot support embedded, recorded files as “read-along” for children's books for self-publishers. Unlike the iPad, the Fire cannot support embedded video inside of eBooks at this time. (June 7, 2012, updated 5-31-2015)

 

 

The Fox and the Fawn, with Pop-up Text, on the Kindle Fire
The Fox and the Fawn, with Pop-up Text, on the Kindle Fire.
 

   

 

The standard formatting for a Kindle novel is paragraphs with first line indent, and no blank lines between the paragraphs. If your book has block paragraphs with no indent, we will have to add the indents. If you have extra lines between paragraphs, we will have to delete the extra lines. The first paragraph of a chapter may usually be flush-left (no indent) and the first paragraph after a scene-break.

Remember that on the Kindle devices, readers can change the font size (all devices) and sometimes even the font (the Fire Tablet). This will cause your book text to reflow. If this concept is unfamiliar to you, you may wish to read our FAQ article on the topic, Text reflows--or wraps.

Phone Call Alert! 

(Please read, thanks.) 

Old Timey Switchboard Operator Cartoon

 

Due to the COVID-19 onslaught, we currently cannot take incoming phone calls.  

 

A notification about phone calls:  due to the COVID-19 plague, we've significantly increased our incoming inquiries--nearly double our usual volume--and the number of incoming inquiries by phone has been literally overwhelming.  Although most writers will say that their call "will only take 15 minutes," the truth is, that after 10 years of doing this, most author inquiry calls take an hour.  45 minutes at best. I'm currently receiving 7-10 calls/day, and due to that, I've had to stop accepting incoming phone calls, which my voicemail will tell you. You can leave a message--I can't call you back without one--and if a call is needed, I will of course call you.  But we have very complete and extensive email replies, handouts and our website is very informative. Almost all the questions that I receive during a call are actually already answered on our site, or are, in fact, publishing questions, not questions about our services, what we do, what we offer, or the like.  I already handle between 90-130 emails/day, as it is. I can't handle that many emails and take 7-10 hours of calls each day. I can't. So, in order to be able to answer this huge email volume, to help the greatest number of people, with my time, I've had to stop accepting calls.  I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. I'm in the process of setting up a call-appointment function, for free 15-minute calls to answer questions from new prospective customers and longer paid sessions for folks who generally want consulting on "publishing," generally (and for prospective kids' book publishers, as a special category of paid consulting).  But that functionality isn't yet set up. I hope to get that working the 3rd week of July, sometime.  

Thank you for your understanding.