Most people think of Kindle as the device with that easy-for-the-eye, monocromatic e-book reader that is the exact opposite of what a digital photobook needs. That’s the Kindle Paperwhite series.
However, you do not have to buy a Kindle Paperwhite to read ebooks from Kindle. All you need is a Kindle Reader App available for Android, iOS and any laptop or tablet. Amazon also the Fire Tablet that is used as a reading device and that is where photographers and publishers of photobooks have an opportunity. To make full-colour, photobooks that is easily accessible to millions around the world.
The Kindle Reader App is free and you can buy any book that is available on the store and read it on the go. For a photographer or publisher of photobooks like me, it means that I can deliver my photobooks to people around the world, easily and directly into their hands.
Making a Photobook for Kindle
Writing, shooting, editing and making a book or photobook is what a writer (or photographer) should spend time on. Kindle has this very basic book creation software called Kindle Create which anyone can use.
Again, this software is best for writers of regular books. Upload a word document of your manuscript, spend a few hours setting the pages and type, hit publish and you are ready to go.
However, for photobooks, while you do the same, your book is best read a mobile, tablet or laptop version. But the number of readers who use this are in the millions. And defenitely more than the number of people who buy physical photobooks or coffee table books.
But I want a nice, big physical photobook only!
If you want to make a nice physical photo book, there are some amazing choices for you too. There are services like Blurb and Lulu which is an excellent service and then there is Canvera in India. The second seems geared towards the wedding market but that shouldn’t stop you from using it for photo books.
Last year, I met a relative of mine who works with Amazon in Silicon Valley at a family get-together in Mumbai. What I gathered from him was that kindle and books are a not very important part of their business, atleast for the tech people who work there. They are driven by other businesses that give them more challenges and money. While that may be true, it is up to the writers who self publish and publishers to make use of what’s available and make the most of it. Maybe, the reason that I choose digital photobooks over physical ones is because it makes my books affordable and accessible to more people. That is also the reason I call myself the Footpath Bookshop. The audience is also evolving and there is a new generation out there who are comfortable with digital photobooks and that is a market worth selling your ideas to.