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How do I Get an in design CC epub file into Amazon's kindle?

Participant ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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It used to be so easy to upload an epub file from indesign to amazon kdp, and the conversion to mobi would happen right there, within amazon. Now, apparently, Amazon is making one use kindle create, which makes one upload word docs, and use one of their templates. One has to recreate much of the styling, as well as place images anew. Don't even get me started on footnotes with hyperlinks! I used to be able to create an entire indesign book for print, and then save another copy of that book, and save it as an e-book. Now, one can't do that. It seems I have to create a whole new book just for kindle. Has anyone mastered this, or can set me straight?

 

 

 

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EPUB, Import and export, Publish online

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Guru , Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021
You need Kindle Previewer: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202131170Open your epub file with this app, It will be converted automatically to mobi file. Save it and upload it to KDP.

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Guru ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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Is your epub reflowable or fixed layout?

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Participant ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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Flowable.

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Guru ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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You need Kindle Previewer: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202131170

Open your epub file with this app, It will be converted automatically to mobi file. Save it and upload it to KDP.

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Participant ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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I had tried that. But the Kindle previewer gives me fuzzy text. Just
awful. I read other people had the same complaint.

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Guru ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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Is the text live? Or is it part of a picture? What font are you using?

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Participant ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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Its just text within a book document, laid out in InDesign cc. There's nothing live about it, except for links within footnotes, which are copious. Lots of images are included within the body of the text, and they're anchored. There's no image with embedded linkage. As for fonts, I'm just using Times New Roman font, regular and italic. Nothing fancy. I did see in the fuzzy kindle previewer that my italicized words did retain their italization. If I can understand better how styles will be preserved in KDP kindle book, then I may use a different font for chapter heads. In previous ebooks I've created, I had plenty of "styles."

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Guru ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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Are you working on a Mac or PC. Can you share a file with a sample of pages where you see the fuzzy text?

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Participant ,
Jan 06, 2021 Jan 06, 2021

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I'm working on PC. Apparently kindle create only allows uploads of word
docs.
Meanwhile, here's a screenshot of the fuzzy text, from when i opened an
epub in the kindle previewer:

[image: image.png]

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Participant ,
Jan 06, 2021 Jan 06, 2021

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Never mind. I am just going to use kindle create and manually apply the
style changes I want. If one uses Kindle Create, and then select the
preview, the text looks fine.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 16, 2021 Jan 16, 2021

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At Amazon's site, there is an InDesign-Kindle plugin, but it does provide an Export to Kindle command as it says it should. It must not work any longer.

 

When I saved it to Flowable Epub, it did very little correctly. It sounds like I need to see if I can save it as Rich Text into Word.

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Participant ,
Jan 16, 2021 Jan 16, 2021

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KindleGen used to work. Not any more. I finally surrendered, gave up on
export to epub from InDesign, and started using Kindle Create. First I copy
all the indesign chapter text and paste all of that, all the chapters, one
after the other, into one long Word doc, then remove all the images, but
keeping the photo captions in, The photos, even when anchored in the
indesign file, do not carry over into KC. In a whole separate step, find
the photo captions to see where to insert the photos. *aaaargg!* I did
discover one can change font sizes, font face, to some extent, and color. I
don't think one can do it globally, just one element at a time. Hugely
painstaking and time-consuming, as is photo insertion. Also, one has to
manually insert page breaks. One thing that surprised me - Kindle Create
puts all the footnotes at the very end of the book, regardless of how many
chapters. But at least it works with the footnotes function, so the
footnotes get renumbered within the text as well as in what are now "end
notes," and they actually match. Imagine that!! One cannot click, with the
kindle previewer, on the hyperlinked urls and have those go anywhere. So
impossible to test until and unless one has "published." Then, if it
doesn't work, I guess one has to *un-publish* and go back to ground one.
What were they thinking???

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New Here ,
Jul 06, 2021 Jul 06, 2021

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Have you found any other solution yet to this issue?

 

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New Here ,
Aug 19, 2021 Aug 19, 2021

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How is this a "correct answer"?   As per the many replies, this approach  renders an unusable result, and is unacceptable.   Is it possible to use some other Adobe product, such as dreamweaver, to produce content for kdp?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 19, 2021 Aug 19, 2021

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You might find this useful (this is the latest creator from Amazon): https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Create/b?ie=UTF8&node=18292298011&fbclid=IwAR1KsvAseooxRnsM_wUFWWtuUdT...

 

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Participant ,
Aug 20, 2021 Aug 20, 2021

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Thanks, Derek. I had discovered this, awhile back. I'll keep on file, in
any case.
~Karen McChrystal

--
*Karen McChrystal, MA*
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Hidden Springs Press
Santa Monica, CA
www.hiddenspringspress.com
https://mcchrystalmedia.wordpress.com/
www.sustainablelivinginstitute.org
Karen McChrystal | Facebook
www.amazon.com/author/karenmcchrystal

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Engaged ,
Sep 23, 2021 Sep 23, 2021

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You really don't need to jump though all these hoops to get an InDesign book into Kindle. You most certainly don't need to export to Word and then rebuild in that terrible novice's-tool Kindle Create, not if you're a reasonably skilled ID user.

 

Also note that Amazon has dropped the MOBI file, so all forms of conversion to it or from it are obsolete. (And good riddance!)

 

Getting an InDesign layout from ID to Kindle is four basic steps, but there are little pitfalls all the way through and far too many variables.

  1. Make sure you have a really clean layout, free of as many overides and local patches as possible. Use clean, unmodified styles for everything (and reduce complexity as much as you can; use one "Heading 1" and not several variants; use a few well-defined body styles, etc.) If you aren't a clean, skilled layout type — if you brought rough, local-format skills from Word or similar — you're going to have a long, hard time getting a good Kindle result.
  2. Export to reflowable EPUB v3.0x. Don't use fixed pages except when your pages are all images anyway, such as a children's book or other graphics-based layout. For text, you want to use reflowable. And v3. Period. There are, unfortunately dozens of settings within this export (that build on that clean layout from step 1), and it can take some tinkering to get them right for your styles and layout.
  3. Download the latest version of Kindle Previewer, and open the EPUB file with it. For simple books like novels and other layouts with mostly flowing text, few fancy bits like lists and footnotes, etc. you may be done at this point.
  4. Adjust the ID styles that didn't come out the way you liked, and repeat steps 2 and 3. Note that you may have to make the ID/print version fairly ugly to get the EPUB/Kindle results you want; this is not a case where "pretty becomes pretty." In particular, images may end up very oddly positioned, even hanging off the bottom of pages.
  5. And in the end, if you can't get ID style changes to reflect as desired in the preview, you're going to have to edit the EPUB's CSS file. This is the thoroughly expert mode; once you learn to access and tweak the export CSS, you can accomplish almost anything. Or at least, far far more, with far far better options and finer control, than anything you can do in any visual designer or builder, be it ID, Word, Kindle Create, Calbre or any of the other "easy" e-book creators.

 

Some basics that have worked for me, up to and including very complex layouts like the most complex textbook you've ever seen, include:

  • Anchor all images in between relevant paragraphs.
    • With few exceptions, you have only one setting for all images in the EPUB export, with one global top/bottom spacing and one position option (left, right or center... and nothing but center really works very well).
  • Any caption should be tagged as a dedicated format and be the paragraph immediately following the image anchor.
  • You can use a page-break version of heads to minimize breaks between heads and following text, but by and large, "keep together" is a very difficult and unreliable process in EPUB/Kindle. Plan for flow with breaks wherever they occur based on screen size, font, font size and all other factors controlled only by the end reader.
  • My preference for footnotes is to make them a small boxed paragraph, set right, immediately after the paragraph. There just aren't many other good options; having to flip to the end of the section or book seems clumsy to me.
  • In the EPUB export settings, I suggest the following as starting points:
    • General
      • Version EPUB 3.0
      • Cover: use a separate, optimized image file, not a rasterization of your first page.
      • TOC: Multi-level, Default
      • Order: based on page layout
    • Text
      • Remove forced line breaks is a good idea; you shouldn't be using them in a "clean" layout.
      • Place footnotes after paragraph, and define an appropriate format to make them stand out/away from the body text.
      • Map to ordinary lists if you are using ID bullets and numbered lists.
    • Object
      • This gets VERY tricky if you are using images; experiment one setting at a time if these don't do what you want.
      • Uncheck all three boxes (Preserve, Use Existing, Ignore).
      • CSS size Fixed.
      • Layout: Align Center (sometimes Left might suit your layout better, but Center almost always looks/works best).
      • Space before/after: start with 10 and 10 pixels. 20 and 5 to zero works with captions but will probably need tweaking.
      • SVG: embed code.
    • Conversion settings: leave defaults (Automatic, 150 ppi).
    • HTML/CSS
      • All the real tricks are in here. If you don't know how to write CSS formats, you're going to need to learn at least the basics if you don't want to be at the mercy of the ID-Kindle handshake.
      • Generate CSS.
      • Leave page margins at zero
      • Usualy preserve overrides — but in general a clean layout shouldn't be using them.
      • Do not embed fonts. Kindle is best when left to using its own fonts. If you're doing something really arty or demanding, expect further hurdles getting text to look right in your final production, and plan to master CSS formatting.
      • And the big one... include Additional CSS. This is where you link in a CSS file that contains your own format tweaks. Doing so is the key to a truly "perfect," professional result for anything that uses more than body text and default headings.

 

The other settings are very advanced and don't need to be bothered with unless you really understand how Javascript is used by EPUB.

But step one — maybe step zero — is to abandon all the old, crude, novice-centric tools and methods. You're an InDesign user: it and CSS have everything you need for professional Kindle results. You don't need to go through multiple conversion, rebuilding, using Amazon's crummy tools, etc. Learn to jump these hurdles the right way, and your publication skills will take a huge leap upward. (As will your marketability!)

.
||| Word & InDesign to Kindle: A Professional Guide. (It's on Amazon.) |||

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Participant ,
Sep 23, 2021 Sep 23, 2021

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Excellent! Much thanks.

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Engaged ,
Oct 07, 2021 Oct 07, 2021

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Or you can look up my new book on professional Kindle publication, which is the above post x1000. 🙂

 

I should release it (on Kindle, duh) this week.

.
||| Word & InDesign to Kindle: A Professional Guide. (It's on Amazon.) |||

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Participant ,
Oct 07, 2021 Oct 07, 2021

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Thanks, Mr. "Nitro." Perhaps you'll give us a link to the kindle book when
it's "live."

--
*Karen McChrystal, MA*
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Hidden Springs Press
Santa Monica, CA
www.hiddenspringspress.com
https://mcchrystalmedia.wordpress.com/
www.sustainablelivinginstitute.org
Karen McChrystal | Facebook
www.amazon.com/author/karenmcchrystal

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Engaged ,
Oct 08, 2021 Oct 08, 2021

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Never sure how much TPTB tolerate self-promotion, but as it's based on Adobe use...

Pre-sale until the 15th, probably sooner.

.
||| Word & InDesign to Kindle: A Professional Guide. (It's on Amazon.) |||

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Participant ,
Oct 08, 2021 Oct 08, 2021

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I just purchased it!

--
*Karen McChrystal, MA*
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Hidden Springs Press
Santa Monica, CA
www.hiddenspringspress.com
https://mcchrystalmedia.wordpress.com/
www.sustainablelivinginstitute.org
Karen McChrystal | Facebook
www.amazon.com/author/karenmcchrystal

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Engaged ,
Oct 08, 2021 Oct 08, 2021

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Hey, I'm a buck richer! 🙂

Doing the last tedious touch-ups now, it may drop over the weekend.

.
||| Word & InDesign to Kindle: A Professional Guide. (It's on Amazon.) |||

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Participant ,
Oct 08, 2021 Oct 08, 2021

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Uhhh... I purchased your book and saved it in my Kindle library, but I
never got the title of the book from you nor the name you are using as an
author. Nor was amazon any help. Ergo, I cannot find the book in my Kindle
library. Can you give me the title , maybe even your name? Ain’t technology
grande?--
*Karen McChrystal, MA*
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Hidden Springs Press
Santa Monica, CA
www.hiddenspringspress.com
https://mcchrystalmedia.wordpress.com/
www.sustainablelivinginstitute.org
Karen McChrystal | Facebook
www.amazon.com/author/karenmcchrystal

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Engaged ,
Oct 08, 2021 Oct 08, 2021

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Well, that's crazy, but I've never pre-released a book before, so maybe it's normal behavior. (As if anything KDP does can be called normal... insert rant about the awful system for writing the book description!)

 

It probably won't show up in your account/library until it drops. All of the other info should be at the other end of the link above (or, here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HZB4NQS.

 

The title is InDesign & Word to Kindle: A Professional Guide. I try to avoid linking my name and user name when I can (to keep my search results tidy, more than anything else) so the curious will just have to go look

.
||| Word & InDesign to Kindle: A Professional Guide. (It's on Amazon.) |||

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