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  • Writer's pictureHeather Cash Art

Should I use RGB or CMYK for my Children's Book?


Let's talk about the different color modes for illustrating your Amazon KDP children's book. First I'd like to explain a little bit about the two available color modes.


CMYK vs RGB

RGB vs CMYK Chart

The CMYK color mode consists of colors that can be printed, while the RGB color mode represents the colors that a monitor can display. RGB includes all the colors in CMYK, but it also has additional colors that are brighter and more vibrant. It's important to note that some colors in RGB are not available in CMYK. Because of this, even though you can easily convert CMYK to RGB without any issues, converting RGB back to CMYK can be challenging because certain colors may not exist in the CMYK color space.



Whether you choose RGB or CMYK will depend on what you have planned for your book. First, I have to admit that I've definitely been lazy myself about choosing my color mode in the past. Most of the time things just turned out okay, but other times I ran into issues, especially when printing on my home printer. Then I would realize "Oh yeah, I have to change my color mode" and I would convert the document to CMYK, adjust the colors, and then it would print properly.


Choosing the Right Color Mode

If you're designing an ebook only, you can use the sRGB color mode. This is the standard RGB mode used for most screens, so your book will look pretty consistent on most devices.


If you're creating a print book only, you should use the CMYK color mode. This is the color mode used for printing, so you have a better chance of your colors turning out accurately on the printed page.


If you're creating both a print book and an ebook, you'll want to use the CMYK color mode. This way, it's already in the right format for the print version, and then for the ebook, you can just convert it to sRGB. This way, your book will look consistent across both mediums. (I use the word consistent loosely, because in the end you can't completely predict how it will turn out based on different printers / print quality / etc)


Converting from RGB to CMYK

But what if you've already designed your book in RGB and now need to convert it to CMYK? Don't worry, it's still possible to make the switch.


If you're using Photoshop, it's super easy. Just open your document, and go to Image > Color Mode > CMYK. Photoshop will ask if you want to flatten your layers. I always choose not to flatten them. Then, Photoshop will convert each layer to CMYK. If you notice any colors looking dull or off, you can make adjustments as needed using the Replace Color function or making adjustments in the Hue/Saturation/Brightness option.


Changing color mode in Adobe Photoshop
Changing color mode in Adobe Photoshop

If you're using Procreate to create your children's book, unfortunately, it doesn't have the ability to convert from RGB to CMYK. You'll need to use a different program to make the conversion, for example, Affinity Photo. Affinity Photo costs $21.99 (as a one-time fee, no subscription). Once you've downloaded it, you can open your image, click the file icon, and select "Convert Document." At the bottom, change the color space to CMYK. This will convert your image from RGB to CMYK.


Changing color mode in Affinity Photo on iPad
Changing color mode in Affinity Photo on iPad

Changing color mode in Affinity Photo on iPad (Step 2)
Changing color mode in Affinity Photo on iPad (Step 2)


In a Nutshell

To sum it all up - choosing the right color mode for your Amazon KDP children's book is important to ensure that your colors turn out as accurate as possible on both digital screens and in print. If you're creating an ebook only, use the sRGB color mode. For a print book only, use the CMYK color mode. And if you're creating both a print book and an ebook, use CMYK for the print version and convert it to sRGB for the ebook.


If you've already designed your book in RGB and need to convert it to CMYK, you can do so in Photoshop by going to Image > Color Mode > CMYK. For Procreate users, you can export your file and use Affinity Photo to convert it to CMYK.

I hope this helped you to better understand color modes for your Amazon KDP children's book! If you have any questions, you can always email me at heather@heathercash.com.


Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy or sign up for something I may earn a commission. Thanks for your support!

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