Mumble, grumble, PITA, ;oebpa;b/ hkvo… Ok! Now that’s off my chest. I just had fits with a Kindle book for a client. I use to do them first (after the print/PDF versions were complete) because they were such a pain in the a…, but I’ve begun doing them last because they’re just bleah.
Working with Kindle formatting seems like stepping back a decade. For me, the ePUB problems have largely been solved: paragraph shading, anchored graphics, embedded fonts, good lists (with the exception of restarting numbered lists, of course), FXL.
But Kindle continues to bite me.
I get better results in ADE 4 and that’s a low bar
I always feel like I’m on the outside looking in. That’s not true with Createspace or Draft2Digital. iBooks & Kobo work fine. But it is certainly the case with KDP. If I don’t have a “no graphic, no typography, Word file, romance novel”, I always seem to be fighting Kindle all the way. I really do my best to give them what they ask for. But I can never get a clear idea what it is they’re requiring. Worse yet, there’s no one to ask other than a forum—and I rarely get any help there.
Stepping back to 2012-2013
Back in the age of the Kindle export plug-in for InDesign CS6, Kindle was the leader. I could get better results with their plug-in than I could with ePUBs used with Lulu, Smashwords, or the predecessor to Nook Press. Even iBooks still required an ISBN.
Step forward to 2016, and I still have to make a special version of my Kindle books and dumb them down to the requirements of 2013. All graphics must be inline. You really should make all your graphics 600 pixels wide, by adding white space to the sides. Be extremely careful with lists, and you can just about forget using tables. You should even keep your images sizes down below 125K. Though I hear that the size limit no longer matters, images larger than that minimum still seem to show resampling issues, as the conversion process after upload into KDP still chews up images.
When you couple all of this with the need to deal with the old e-ink Kindles, and I start having bad flashbacks of Windows 3, Windows NT, and Explorer 5. In many ways, Kindle reminds me of the old PCs of the mid-1990s. What a horrible thought!!?!
Be careful with Kindle KDP
They sell a lot of books. The Fires seem to do well, and a lot more stuff is working in the Kindle apps on my iMac and iPad. But if you’re looking for quality ebooks and cutting edge abilities, they just don’t seem interested. We seem to be dealing with lowest common denominator, mass market sales here. They don’t even offer a satisfaction survey after you’ve uploaded, like Createspace does.
Ok! That’s my end of the week grumble. Have a good weekend!