Preview of Children's Picture Book in Kindle E-Reader

Kindle Create can show a preview what an e-book will look like in a a tablet, smartphone, or Kindle E-Reader. The E-Reader has a grayscale display, so my pictures will be viewed in all of their black and white glory.

The question is, why am I spending time with an e-reader when my goal is to publish the print version first? There are several reasons. The first is that Kindle Create converts the InDesign PDF into a series of pages that are fun to scroll through. I can also see which images can be easily adapted to a future e-book, and which will need more work. This particular image works with both the square print format or the HD e-book format, though the position of the text will have to be tweaked.

The original image without text…

The page, with text, as it will appear when viewed with a Kindle E-Reader…

More E-BOOK Image Shenanigans

Yesterday I showed a square image that I plan to crop for use into a 16:9 aspect ratio e-book image.. Today, I’ll show an HD aspect ratio image that I’m going to crop into a square image for my print book. This image, when finished, will have unimportant details on the left side of the image. I’ll be putting text there.

The colors are off in this image, waytoo saturated…I’ll have to work on that. Several other images have the same problem. Every time I tweaked this image, the colors got darker as I hurried to meet my deadline.

The  light cyan border shows the HD aspect ration of the e-book version. The dark cyan border shows how the image will be cropped for the print version.

The light cyan border shows the HD aspect ration of the e-book version. The dark cyan border shows how the image will be cropped for the print version.

Creating an Image Usable for Both Print and Ebook

My ongoing dilemma is that my print book will be in a square format and the ebook will be in either a 16:9 aspect ratio (HD) or a 4:3 aspect ratio (iPad). In short, I need two versions of each image. I didn’t plan for dealing with screen aspect ratios when I started this book. I was impatient to get all of my images painted and just plowed ahead without thinking.

My solution for this dilemma, for this book at least, is to produce square images that can be cropped to work in either the iPad or HD format. I plan to crop the square image into a wide image suitable for an ebook.

The example below shows a typical square image. Notice that there’s a lot of headroom that contains no important content. I’ll place the text boxes in that space. In the cropped ebook version, I’ll place the text on the left side of the image, or the right side, depending on the placement of the action. I will have to make sure that no important characters or action is covered by the text.

Here’s the square version of everyone getting on the Magic Moustache Bus. As I said, there’s a lot of blue sky in this image.

2019_02_04_all_aboard_color8x8.jpg children's picture book, magic moustache bus, the Jay family

With the sky cropped, we have the wide ebook version.


Here’s what the original image looked like. When I drew this image I the bus became so large that it didn’t fit on the page. The new version shows the entire bus.

2019_02_04_all_aboard_color_original.jpg original version

Painting in Krita for the First TIme

I’ve decided to do all of my painting using Krita, which means that I’ll be doing my painting on my desktop computers, and eventually on my Linux setup. I started using Krita by editing a picture that needs to be squared to fit into the print version of my book. This particular image is quite a mess. Momma Jay’s body and arms are truncated and, for some unknown reason, I changed the color palette for this image and Momma Jay’s pink hair and hot pink accents are too saturated. I’ll have to do some repainting. I will also extend the picture downward to add more of her arms. It’s a work in progress and I’ll be completing this do-over tomorrow.

This is the original image…


And this is the image I’m working on in Krita


The InDesign File -> Package Tool

InDesign can create a “package” containing all of the resources used to create a document. The images in an InDesign document are low-resolution placeholders linked to full-sized images stored elsewhere on the system. When I create an InDesign package, InDesign creates a package that contains all of the document’s resources, including a copy of the InDesign .indd file and copies of the linked images. InDesign changes the image links in the .indd file to point to the images in the package directory. The package is now a clone of the original project. It stands on it own and can be sent to another person for editing. Who knows, I might someday have to send my Jaybird book to an editor, graphic designer, collaborator, etc. so that they can work on my project with a complete set of files.

In the example below I have opened the InDesign document contained in a package. When I edit the images in the package, the images will automatically be updated in the package’s InDesign file.

This example shows a page containing a low-res copy of a PSD file.

I edited the image in the package Photoshop and turned off the color layers.

When I return to InDesign, I can see that the image has been automatically updated. This is very cool!


Deleted today's blog post by accident

As the saying goes, save early, save often. Which I didn’t do today. But let’s move on. Here’s the image I was planning on posting.

In the first frame, the image needs to be expanded to the bleed line. In the second frame, the text wasn’t exported. I’ll have to figure that out tomorrow.

fixes_blog.png InDesign, mysteries, fixes