Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) rejects print file for book with Adobe Font

Community Beginner ,
Sep 06, 2022 Sep 06, 2022

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My design studio designed and formatted a book for a self-published author using InDesign and two fonts, one being an Adobe Font (Linux Libertine and Aaux Next). We provided the author with a print PDF in CMYK to upload. We have an active Adobe Cloud subscription for anyone using the files. We've designed and had dozens of books printed and never ran into this issue Amadon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) presented

 

The author has spent the last several weeks going back and forth with KDP support about the proper file format they need and the Adobe Font used. KDP support told the author they couldn't print his book because KDP doesn't hold the license to the Adobe Font. 😡

 

Amazon KDP support responses seem to contradict Adobe documentation on font licensing for printed books unless they're considered a print bureau. Even if they are that, we didn't provide packaged files so that wouldn't apply to this situation right?

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/fonts/using/font-licensing.html#act-comm

https://helpx.adobe.com/fonts/using/font-licensing.html#act-pdf

 

1. Amazon KDP claims that fonts that say "Embedded Subset" aren't actually embedded and may not print correctly. In Acrobat when viewing the Properties > Fonts panel, all fonts show as "Embedded Subset".

https://www.adobe.com/uk/acrobat/resources/embed-fonts-in-pdf.html

 

ill-show-you-embedded.png

 

 

1-amazon-kdp-claims-Adobe-Fonts-arent-usable.png

2. Amazon KDP claims they are a print bureau and referenced this page: https://helpx.adobe.com/fonts/using/package-font-files.html. They claim they must have the license to the Adobe Fonts to print the book. We did not provide packaged files from InDesign. Only a PDF.

 

3-embedded-doesn't-mean-what-you-think-it-means.png

 

3-embedded-doesn't-mean-what-you-think-it-means.png

 

 

 

3. Amazon KDP mentioned the PDF x/1-a format and a flattened file. We provide a file in that format.

 

In Acrobat we used the Print Production Tool > Flattener Preview to convert all text to outlines using the '100' setting for raster. Is changing that to 0 so all text is converted the only way to use a custom font with Amazon KDP? Rasterizing the entire book? It is just black text on the interior and very few images, but still, it seems ridiculous to have to do that.

 

Has anyone else run into this issue with Amazon KDP for a print version of a book? This book is scheduled to release later this month and right now won't print with the custom fonts.

 

The author gave up and changed the fonts (every designer's nightmare) instead of attempting to use a fully rasterized PDF made from Acrobat with the raster setting on '0'

 

I also love KDP's resources that all reference how to use MS Word to format your book... 🙄

 

Help!

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Community Expert ,
Sep 06, 2022 Sep 06, 2022

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To start with, KDP is almost impossible to resolve problems with. You fly through the keyhole, or you don't get past the door. Knocking will do no good. All you will get, in nine responses out of ten, is an AI-generated cloud of fog that something isn't good enough. And KDP documentation ranges from the six-pages-on-one-trivial-point to two paragraphs summarizing a complex procedure to links that no longer go anywhere to clear, concise and detailed guidance that is five years out of date.

 

If this is for a print book, type licensing should be absolutely irrelevant. The font will be dead letters on a page. It becomes a lot more significant with e-books, where some live form of the font is embedded and must meet licensing and encryption requirements. I don't think I've ever heard of a PDF for print being rejected because of font licensing issues. It also doesn't really matter whether KDP has the font or not; that's the whole freakin' point of PDF, or one of them, anyway.

 

Even as a very experienced dancer with KDP, I can neither determine what the actual problem is nor suggest any good way to resolve it, other than by changing to a similar font and re-flowing the book.

 

ETA: Try not subsetting any fonts. It may be that the preview is finding a (phantom) glyph that is not in the subset ones, and since they don't have the font, they can't fill in. Embed all of the fonts and try again.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 06, 2022 Sep 06, 2022

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quoteIt also doesn't really matter whether KDP has the font or not; that's the whole freakin' point of PDF, or one of them, anyway.

 

ETA: Try not subsetting any fonts. It may be that the preview is finding a (phantom) glyph that is not in the subset ones, and since they don't have the font, they can't fill in. Embed all of the fonts and try again.

By @James Gifford—NitroPress

 

I was screaming with rage the same about PDFs as I replied to each email my client forwarded me from them. Thank you for the suggestion on not subsetting fonts. Will look into that.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 06, 2022 Sep 06, 2022

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"In an Amazon warehouse, no one can hear you scream."

 

I once had a battle over some copy on the back page of a paperback. Their arguments made no sense whatsoever. I finally submitted a cover with a 'post it note' stuck across the image saying, "Hey, Humans, this word is not being misused here."

 

I got back an AI-generated rejection that "extraneous objects appeared to be covering part of the layout."

 

I gave up and deleted the back cover text.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 06, 2022 Sep 06, 2022

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LOL. I like your style.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 14, 2022 Sep 14, 2022

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quote

ETA: Try not subsetting any fonts. It may be that the preview is finding a (phantom) glyph that is not in the subset ones, and since they don't have the font, they can't fill in. Embed all of the fonts and try again.

 


By @James Gifford—NitroPress

 

By this, do you mean unassign and reassign all the fonts from the character and paragraph? If not, how would one not subset a font in InDesign?

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Community Expert ,
Sep 14, 2022 Sep 14, 2022

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By default, PDF export will subset all fonts, and thus embed only the glyphs that actually appear in the document. My TWAG is that this process is missing some phantom glyph somewhere, and KDP is detecting it.

 

Change this setting:

JamesGiffordNitroPress_0-1663166620318.png

to, say, 25%, or even 5%, so that any font used will not be subset. This will considerably increase the size of the PDF, though.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Sep 14, 2022 Sep 14, 2022

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You might also try the Big Hammer on this file: save to IDML, reopen as INDD, try the export and upload from that. The only effect this might have is to clean out junk content somewhere and possibly take away the "phantom glyph" or whatever is confusing the KDP evaluation.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 15, 2022 Sep 15, 2022

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Thank you for those suggestions. I've had ideas of taking BIG HAMMER to something ever since this began.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 15, 2022 Sep 15, 2022

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Yes, we've all certainly been there. The export-reimport process solves a lot of frustrating issues without too many fragments around. 🙂

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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LEGEND ,
Sep 06, 2022 Sep 06, 2022

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"In Acrobat we used the Print Production Tool > Flattener Preview to convert all text to outlines using the '100' setting for raster. " That is not what this tool is for, though it will SOMETIMES by good luck do that. It is a transparency flattened, and it outlines fonts ONLY IF that is necessary to flatten transparency. Very risky.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 06, 2022 Sep 06, 2022

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The third or fourth time you get a "Sorry... Dave... we can't... do that" response from KDP, risk becomes a very minor factor. 🙂

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 06, 2022 Sep 06, 2022

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It felt super sketchy doing this like it was some up-down-left-right-b-a-start Nintendo hack to get it past the preview mode. KDP support had mentioned flattened and I had seen a post of someone trying that. Good to know it was as risky and odd as it felt.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 14, 2022 Sep 14, 2022

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Wow, @v2theg, such a crazy experience you've had. Thanks for sharing it with us. I've uploaded countless PDFs to KDP, a book with these embedded subset fonts being the most recent one. I've never had a rejection. Unless this is something brand new with them, “Embedded Subset” has never been cause for a rejection. AFAIK, a subset tag means only those characters that are actually used in the document are stored in the PDF. The instruction to “Print to PDF” instead of Export is also very strange, and I've never done that. I do export using PDF/X-1a compliance and check that in Preflight. I'll be uploading a new book in a month or so, and I'll let you know if I experience any problems!

 

JainLemos_0-1663184806604.png

 

(Another somewhat related issue is that Acrobat shows these as Type 1 fonts when they are clearly not. I've asked for an explanation on why this is happening, and hopefully we'll see a fix one day.)

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Community Expert ,
Sep 14, 2022 Sep 14, 2022

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As I noted, I suspect it's the intersection of (1) a font that KDP for some reason does not keep available/licensed [and thus depends on the embedded version], and (2) a glyph is used somewhere that's not included in the embedded subset, and therefore the KDP system can't handle it. But I'm reaching right to the limit, here, from my understanding of similar/prior faults and rejections.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Sep 14, 2022 Sep 14, 2022

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Yea, it's a head-scratcher for sure. I was thinking, maybe it's a UK vs. US policy conflict?

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