New self-publishing service lets teachers create interactive e-textbooks

kindle-publishingAmazon is rolling out a new e-textbook publishing service specifically for educators.

Called Kindle Direct Publishing EDU, the self-publishing platform lets teachers create texts by marking up existing PDFs, which can be turned into textbooks that can be uploaded to the platform and shared with students on a range of computers and mobile devices, such as iPads and Android tablets.

“Kindle Textbook Creator makes it easy for anyone to take any PDF and create a richly featured and widely available eTextbook,” said Chuck Kronbach, Director, Kindle Direct Publishing. “We look forward to seeing how authors use the new tool and getting their feedback to guide us in adding more features to KDP EDU over time.”

(Next page: Highlighting, note-taking, and other platform features)


Books created with Kindle Textbook Creator offer features for students and other readers that enhance the learning experience, including:

  • Multi-Color Highlighting—Highlight and categorize key concepts for easy reference.
  • Notebook—Capture key passages, images and bookmarks and automatically add them to the notebook. Students can add their own notes and easily access them from one location.
  • Flashcards—Create flashcards and study important terms, concepts, and definitions in each chapter with a simple, easy-to-use interface.
  • Dictionary—Find definitions and Wikipedia information for difficult terms to improve retention.
  • Buy Once, Read Everywhere—Read eTextbooks on the most popular devices students use, including Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, Android tablets and smartphones, Mac, and PC.

The features are designed to help creators take typical textbook visuals–such as charts, graphs, equations, and maps–and covert them to a digital format.

If creators do decide to charge for their books, authors can earn royalties of up to 70%, while keeping their rights and maintaining control of their content. They can also choose to enroll their books in KDP Select for additional royalty opportunities like Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and access to marketing tools like Kindle Countdown Deals and Free Book Promotions.

To learn more about publishing textbooks through KDP, or to download Kindle Textbooks Creator, visit kdp.amazon.com/edu.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Stephen Noonoo

Stephen Noonoo is a former editor of eSchool News. He has served as a consultant for CUE, California’s ISTE affiliate, and as managing editor of its quarterly publication, OnCUE. He has worked as a freelance writer, an education editor for SmartBrief newsletters, and as a staff editor for a well-known publication focusing on education technology.