HomeBook ProductionePUB3Kindle book designThe Kindle fixed layout software moves books


The Kindle fixed layout software moves books — 4 Comments

  1. Very interesting remarks. I’ve already tweaked my print book design, giving all pages the same left and right margins, so they won’t look weird when Amazon converts the PDF version to their fixed layout. I do have some questions:

    1. I’m intrigued by the ability to go Select with that PDF/fixed layout version while selling other versions elsewhere. Is it enough to satisfy Amazon to just note the separate format and give it a different ISBN? After all, a PDF fixed layout generated by ID and sold by Amazon and a fixed layout in epub for the iBookstore will look almost identical. Also, I checked for your book on Amazon. Did you add “Textbook” to the title page of the fixed-layout version to make it distinctive and thus OK for select?

    2. Did you leave the PDF such that left- and right-hand pages have a different header/footer as is common in print? Or did you turn off Facing pages in Document setup, so the left- and right-hand pages are the same?

    3. Is there an easy way to change the master pages in a print version to a different set of master pages for Amazon’s fixed-layout version? That’d let us tweak the digital version to look better on tablets. Instead of having the book title on left-hand page headers, for instance, and the chapter title on right-hand ones, the header could contain both. That’d look better. But resetting all the master pages by hand would be a pain.

    4. I’m already created 300 dpi b&w images for print and 150 dpi color images for digital versions. Should the latter do well, exported as PDF, for the Kindle’s fixed format?

    6. Does Amazon allow readers to get the Print Replica (I hate that term) fixed layout version for tablets and the reflowable version for smartphones in the same purchase? As best I can tell, they don’t. That’s been my gripe with the iBookstore. Customers have to buy the same content twice. Not fair.


    Sorry to hear about those outrageous download fees eating into your income. No other major retailer charges them. I’ll be delighted to see the day come when Amazon can’t get away with that any more.

  2. 1. I have no idea. They haven’t flagged it though.

    2. I left it as is. I could redo it by turning off facing pages and adjusting the masters, but I’ve felt no need for that.

    3. As long as you are using the Primary Text Frames (PTF), the PTFs on the master pages will change PTFs in the layout (most of the time). It’s not flawless.

    4. I would assume that would save you a lot of file size, but I didn’t bother with most of that. I imagine 150 dpi RGB would be best (as long as you have them available, and they are easy to relink).

    5. ??

    6. No they don’t. In fact, I believe they warn the purchaser. The only option is a free ebook when they buy the print version.

    Download fees are a pain, but they are nothing like the cut taken by print production. So, I don’t worry about them much.

  3. Hi,

    I just came across your post and also the reply. I’m new to epublishing, infact I’ve never had anything published on Kindle or Amazon, but I am an author I wrote and had a book published in 1983 on fly-tying one of the first of its kind in England anyway! I want to republish this book and naturally make some money. I have the manuscript which needs updating and also the images. First question is should I set this up as a print book in Indesign and save the images at 300dpi or lower? These are colour images originally trannies which were scanned. If I set the book up as if I were getting it printed will it work on Amazon or Kindle. I note the problem about download fees and I guess I need to resize to avoid this. I’m also making a version available on Blurb would this be an issue?
    I also have black and white images and I’m considering a smaller book (in size and content) a simple guide to ‘test the water” Can you give me any advice on starting out and are there any free guides (or inexpensive ones) to publishing ebooks including setting your books up? I’m getting in to this as a second living while I work in print publishing myself. I’m also a graphic designer so it will help to showcase my skills.

  4. Hi Kevin,

    Blurb is good for top-quality production, but it’s quite expensive. In addition, I would publish with Createspace and get the print version available on Amazon and the rest of the online world. The download fees are not a real problem. You just price to covert that. The black and white version might work best for that as full-color is about six times as expensive.

    The advantage of ebooks is that they are all full color. It is likely that you can export your print version to a fixed layout ePUB3. The iBookstore and Kobo distribute them. Or you can upload your print PDF to Kindle’s free Kindle Textbook Creator”.

    The conversion to a “normal” reflowable ebook (ePUB and Kindle) can be a bit tricky. An ebook is very long, single-column, single page story. All graphic have to fit within that column. They all need to be 72 dpi and a maximum of 600 pixels wide by either 500 pixels tall ( Kindle) or 800 pixels tall (for everyone else).

    Now that we can export ePUB3 and get it distributed by everyone, we can choose the fonts we wish to use to have some typographic control. With fixed layout, all we need to do is make sure the fonts read well when the page is reduced to the size of an iPad or smaller.

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