This week I got some exciting news in my email. Two products we use a lot, iStock and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) announced some good news for their customers and I think you’re going to like these new additions as much as I did. Ready to hear about the changes? Here we go!
iStock royalty free images has to be one of our favorite places to get images for projects. To purchase images here you buy credits for your account and then spend a certain amount of credits per image depending on what size image you need, the quality of the image, and the type of file it is (photo, vector illustration, video clip, or audio clip). The small images cost a single credit. The medium sizes and up, vectors and media files, range between five to 20 credits or more.
A few months ago they started making their “small” images (about 400 pixels wide) 800 px, which used to be the size for their medium and some large images. This was great, because after all, who doesn’t like getting larger images for less?
Now it’s been announced that they’ve come up with a whole new pricing structure. From now on ALL sizes are one credit in their Essentials collection and three credits for any vector file or anything from their premium Signature Collection.
If you’re like us, you may have some credits you haven’t used yet. On September 13th, when the new changes take effect, your existing credits will be converted with a 5:1 ratio. So if you have 100 credits currently sitting in your account, you’ll end up with 20 credits in the new system.
The conversion bummed me out a bit, but I think in the long run, the ability to download higher resolution images without worrying that I have to spend 50 credits to get it is a big plus.
To read more about the new structure and see the FAQs, click here.
Kindle Kid’s Book Creator
Are you a children’s book writer? Until now, laying out a picture book for children for Kindle hasn’t been the easiest thing to do. This week KDP announced that they’ve created a new free app that helps you do exactly that. I downloaded the app and the user guide and had a look for myself.
The way it works is you lay out your pages in your program of choice, then export it to PDF. When you open the app, you’ll be taken through a few windows that walk you through the process of setting up the book info and uploading your pages and images.
During the set up phase you have the choice between portrait or landscape layout, and you get to choose between a single page or double page spread (single page spread for pages you want different images on, double page spread if you want a single image to span across both pages).
Here’s the fun part. When you make your pages, don’t design them with any of the book text on them. Just design the pretty pages. You add your text to the image after you’ve got it in the app. I have yet to create a picture book, but it looks pretty easy to convert. I can see this as having other practical applications for things other than children’s books. Remember how we all used to use fancy PDFs for our freebies before ebooks came along? Yeah, you can use this app to make one of those. Want to make a picture book showcasing your paintings or drawings? Yup, you can do that too. Let your imagination run free, who knows what kind of fun stuff you’ll come up with.
The only drawback I can see is this app only works for Kindle (the file exports to a k8.mobi), and people viewing it will need any Kindle Fire tablet, Fire phone, Kindle for iPad, Kindle for iPhone, or Kindle Android apps. The earlier versions of Kindle that are just black and white screens won’t be able to handle this and currently you can’t convert it to ePub. So, consider your audience before you do this.
For more information, FAQS and the app’s download link, click here.
Now you’ve got your images and a bright, shiny new app to make books with—time to go play! We can’t wait to see what you create. And if you need help creating those books, give us a shout!
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