Digital Comics: Formatting Comics for the Kindle and Nook (an ebook)

8/18/11 IMPORTANT UPDATE: We’ve updated our Nook ePub template so it works better with the black and white Nook Readers. Our new ePub template is resizable. If you’ve already bought Formatting Comics for Kindle and Nook, just delete the old version and then download the latest version! (If you have trouble at any of the sites, shoot us an email with your purchase history or receipt, and we’ll make sure you get the updated ebook.)

Artist Niki Smith and I have been making digital comics for almost a year now (more or less — though it feels much longer than that). And we want to share what we’ve learned, so other folks can join the fun and get their comics out to a whole new set of readers.

So, we did what any creative folks would do. We made a book! An eBook, to be precise, entitled Formatting Comics for the Kindle and Nook.

While the title pretty much says it all, here’s a bit more info:

Formatting comics and image-heavy eBooks can be a confusing and sometimes frustrating task. Every e-reader on the market has a different screen size, meaning that as a creator/publisher, you have to format your comic multiple times.

In this how-to guide, we’ll be talking about putting together your eBook images for the two biggest e-readers on the market: Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Nook Color.

Buy the Book

Review the Table of Contents

And if you’d like to know what’s actually in the book, here’s the complete table of contents:

Part 1: Preparing Graphics
– Adjusting for a Smaller Screen
– Tweaking the Text Size
– Adjusting Image Legibility, and Deciding on Grayscale vs Color
– Setting Pixel Dimensions for Kindle
– Setting Pixel Dimensions for Nook
– Adjusting the File Size
– Streamlining the Formatting Process
– Creating the Cover
Part 2: Uploading Your eBooks
– Uploading Your Comic for the Kindle
– Uploading Your Comic for the Nook
Part 3: Working with Digital Distributors
About the Creators

Hope you check it out, and let your comic-writing friends know about our eBook — and anyone else who may have an image-heavy book to turn into an eBook, from a coffee table book to a kids picture book to a photo book or art book. Happy publishing!

18 thoughts on “Digital Comics: Formatting Comics for the Kindle and Nook (an ebook)

  1. Hi Michael,
    Just wanted to point out I downloaded an epub version of your book and it wasn’t the complete book. It finished right after the Kindle pixel dimensions

    Trying the pdf version now and so far it looks a lot nicer in layout imo.


    1. Hi Adam – sorry for the troubles with the ePub version. I haven’t heard any complaints about that version ’til now. Did you buy it at the Nook store or Smashwords? Thanks!


  2. Just a quick thank-you – downloaded your book and html sample, and used both to set up a graphic novel for the Kindle. Upload and conversion were smooth, not a single glitch, and the pages look the same in the downloaded book as they did when I prepared them in my graphics editor, so your pixel/dimension advice seems to be spot-on. Take a bow ;o)


  3. “Purgatory Volume 1” on Amazon. All pages are the same dimensions (the max dimensions recommended by Niki & Michael, and landscape-oriented as per their suggestions for max screen space), so if you are curious about the setup, the sample will tell you all you need to know. Any shortcomings in the product are entirely my fault, due to the fact that the original pages may have been too big to rescale properly (i.e., readably) to Kindle size; a subject also discussed in Michael’s and Niki’s book, but I began my humble book before Kindle self-pubbing was available ;o)


  4. Having trouble not getting huge borders to appear on the titles I’m uploading to amazon. The dimensions you set in the pdf seem to be half the size of what i need. When it double it it looks better, but still huge borders. Any ideas?


    1. Hey Nick. Sorry for the issues. We haven’t used the latest Kindle upload process for our comics, so our instructions are pre-Kindle Fire. Our instructions should still be relevant, though.


  5. Yeah even on the regular kindle everything is smaller and huge borders. Its a universal problem. Could it be the pages are white? Do i need to add a small black border to signify the difference?


  6. Hello Michael, I wonder if you can help me, I’m having a problem with the Table of Contents section of my book of cartoon strips. I downloaded the kindle template, followed the instructions in the book to increase and code the number of screens to match my number of pages but can’t get the coding to the chapters to work. Is this an issue you’ve had feedback on before?




    1. Hi Steve. Sorry you’re having issues with the ToC. Unfortunately, I haven’t done much with Kindle ToCs. I’ve done more tweaking with ePubs, but that gets a bit hairy, too. Sorry I can’t help out with this.


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