In 2007, Amazon revolutionized publishing with the launch of Kindle Direct Publishing. This new platform gave authors an opportunity to self publish their own works on one of the Internet’s most popular sites, Amazon.com. Independent authors have been incredibly successful through the KDP program and a growing number of those authors are popping up on New York Time’s Best Seller lists.
Seven years and a countless number of self published books later, Amazon is changing the publishing industry again.
Last week, Amazon launched KDP Kids, a new platform for authors to self publish children’s books. According to Amazon, KDP Kids gives authors a new way to prepare and publish illustrated and chapter books for children. Utilizing the Kindle Kid’s Book Creator, authors can bring the pages of their books to life with special effects, such as floating text and pop ups. Authors will also be able to utilize age and grade tools to help parents select the perfect books for their child.
This change is absolutely incredible. Because of their elaborate illustrations, children’s e-books are a bit more complicated to self publish than an e-book with only words. By adding this Kindle Kid’s Book Creator, Amazon has made creating children’s e-books much more simple. It is a real possibility that the Kindle bookstore will be flooded with a wave of new children’s books because of the convenience of this book creator.
With the addition of KDP Kids, the sales of children’s e-books could possibly increase. As of now, the children’s e-book market is a relatively small one. Digital Book World reported that children’s e-book sales made up only 11% of all children’s book sales in 2013. If more books are self published and introduced to the market, there is a potential for more sales. However, if there is an increase, I don’t think it will be a exponential one.
My only concern with KDP Kids is the age and grade tools. I really hope that Amazon has a team that specializes in children’s books and can approve the age and grade selections made by the author. An author who has never worked with children may not know what content would be suitable for each reading level. If there is a flood of children’s books self published through KDP Kids, sorting them out into the appropriate reading levels should be a huge priority for Amazon.
Although I am a bit of a book traditionalist, especially with children’s books, I think that KDP Kids is a great idea. Children are gaining more and more access to technology and having a large variety of age-appropriate books is incredibly important. I think that it’s a real possibility that other independent publishing platforms, such as NOOK Press, could take on a similar idea in the future.
Until next week,