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extradimensions

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Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 5, 2017 9:43 AM
 
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Has anyone checked out the new Kindle Create (it's still in beta mode): https://kdp.amazon.com/help/topic/AIEDQZJ8TVWZX?
Click the "So how does it work?" link for some important info.
I also noticed the new Kindle Previewer 3.0 (also in beta) on the KDP tools and resources page, which emulates enhanced typesetting. Has anyone played with this?
There is also a new Amazon Authors Insights page (that's in beta, too).
Notjohn

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Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 5, 2017 1:16 PM   in response to: extradimensions in response to: extradimensions
 
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This will puzzle the many posters who argue that uploading a Word doc is all one needs do to get a perfect e-book!

Most of my books (though not all) have Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled. The only change I've noticed is auto-hyphenation, and that of course only on the newer Kindles and Fire tablets. The KFX format does a pretty good job at this, and I don't suppose there are many readers left who would actually notice when a word is hyphe-
nated incorrectly.

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to E-Book Formatting (and print as well!)

The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
William Thompson

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Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 5, 2017 6:12 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Notjohn...Once again you haven't checked it out properly. You have no reason whatever to be puzzled or fear using Kindle Create because hyphenation and Advanced Typsetting have nothing to do with it. If you had even bothered to the click on the So how does it work? link, as suggested above by the OP, then you should have noticed that, at top right of the Kindle Create display, is an icon that would test your newly created file using Kindle Previewer 3.8 Beta -- which is a Kindle test app that displays Advanced Typsetting for Kindle testing. That would suggest to me that Kindle Create therefore fully creates a mobi/azw with full Advanced Typsetting capability.

So if Kindle Create already converts your doc using Advanced Typesetting then where's the problem ?

Once again Notjohn, you hastily warn and bleat against using an app for reasons that drown so hopelessly in their own obvious irrelevance.
William Thompson

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Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 5, 2017 7:33 PM   in response to: extradimensions in response to: extradimensions
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I have just tested the Kindle Create app and have to admit that it is a breeze to use. It has the same look and feel as the other Kindle Creator series of apps -- KKBC, KTBC etc which is clever.

Here is a quick pros and cons evaluation of the Kindle Create app:

Pros:
*Very easy app for Wordsters to use.
*You can use a Word doc, docx or a PDF file in Kindle Create.
*Automatically detects and splits chapter heading styles according to heading layout.
*Easily and manually allows you to create a TOC, add chapter subtitles and add separators to your Kindle ebook.
*You can also restyle your ebook text just using point and click.
*You can also directly edit your text in the app in Text View. This is a huge plus!!
*You can test your ebook in-app using their modified version of Kindle Previewer 3.8 Beta.
*You can also use their Template to create your ebook from scratch.
*Gives a reliable and quick conversion using Advanced Typesetting.
*Kindle Create Help documentation is fairly thorough and easy to follow.
*When I converted my Word doc without cover(its an old ebook on amazon now) to kbc -- the total file size was 1.2 Mb. When I converted the same ebook as a pdf doc with cover to kbc -- the total file size was 1.4 Mb. So this Kindle Create app has a converter that also uses efficient file compression.
*It's a fast app -- no waiting.

Cons:
*Does not create a Kindle mobi. This means you cannot edit the html. But I can understand why they did it this way-- see reasons below.
*KC has varying capability depending on whether you import a Word doc or a PDF file. Some people might find this confusing.
*Will Kindle properly update the Kindle Create app whenever the KDP converter is changed or updated? Kindle app history says no.

Some might think that Kindle have created this new app to help the users more easily create a Kindle ebook from Word docs or pdf. Yes, that's part of the reason. But I would really like to further suggest that Kindle is doing this more to help Mac Word users get over all the significant barriers imposed by Apple against people trying to convert their Mac Word doc to Kindle mobi on OSX. As most already know, both Apple and Kindle have been having their king-of -the-heap ebook retail war for years. It's also apparent to me that Apple are much more ruthless in their strategy against Kindle because Kindle was generous with their conversion and test software and Apple was greedy(you can't use any Apple conversion or test software unless you own a Mac). As I see it, Kindle won that war hands down long ago mainly because of their hard work and generosity. Apple, on the other hand, has great difficulty accepting this and continues its ongoing war against Kindle(...and Samsung and Google!!) -- apparently to the great detriment of their own Apple users.

And that's really why the Kindle Create app has to use its own proprietary format -- kcb -- in order to prevent Apple back-engineering this new app to make it as difficult as possible for any Apple Mac users to create a Kindle ebook using this new app.

All in all I reckon Word users will be thrilled with Kindle Create because it makes conversion from Word to Kindle even easier now. And Mac Word users will absolutely love this app because it seems to solve all their Mac associated problems in one stroke !! Here I'm reminded of that old adage -- "You get what you give...". Apple gave nothing away for free whereas Kindle did just that with all there converter and test app software. And that's really why Kindle won the war so easily and so convincingly...it's called value for money and it doesn't get any cheaper than if it's free.

Why not try my new and free Sigil plugin now available on MobileRead?

OpenDocHTMLImport

This plugin gives a full OpenDoc HTML(Writer) conversion to epub format.

man2010

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Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 6, 2017 1:27 AM   in response to: William Thompson in response to: William Thompson
 
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interesting, thanks for testing.
Notjohn

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Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 6, 2017 3:05 AM   in response to: William Thompson in response to: William Thompson
 
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William, you don't seem to be a very happy person.

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to E-Book Formatting (and print as well!)

The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
writerbn

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Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 6, 2017 4:50 AM   in response to: William Thompson in response to: William Thompson
 
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William Thompson wrote:
Apple, on the other hand, has great difficulty accepting this and continues its ongoing war against Kindle(...and Samsung and Google!!) -- apparently to the great detriment of their own Apple users.
I've been using Macs since 1986, and I haven't noticed anything "detrimental" as result of Apple's occasional admittedly myopic policies. However, if Apple didn't vigorously defend its IP rights, Kindle would have a monopoly on e-books and Microsoft would have one for operating systems.

The real blame for people having issues with Word on the Mac is not Apple's, it's Microsoft's. Although the new Kindle Create tool sounds interesting, it doesn't affect me, since I prepare my own ePubs anyway. I'm sure it will be helpful for Word users in general, though, not just Word for Mac users.
William Thompson

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Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 6, 2017 4:50 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Notjohn said:
William, you don't seem to be a very happy person.

I'm as happy as a lark because the KC app now makes it even easier to convert Word docs and pdfs to Kindle format within seconds. Gosh, why wouldn't I be happy Notjohn? I have no rub. I couldn't care less how someone converts their doc to Kindle as long as it makes sense and they are happy with their own method and workflow. You, of course, are utterly biased towards the unnecessarily complex and very lengthy method you describe in your own ebook which I regard as outdated, passé, inefficient and a pile of doodah. I really pity you Notjohn.

Why not try my free Sigil plugin now available on MobileRead?

OpenDocHTMLImport

This plugin gives a full OpenDoc HTML(Writer) conversion to epub format.

extradimensions

Posts: 4,140
Registered: 05/19/09
Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 6, 2017 8:37 AM   in response to: William Thompson in response to: William Thompson
 
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I played with it for a while yesterday myself. Thank you for testing it out and sharing your thoughts.
A few things I noticed were:
  • Simplified, intuitive paragraph styling (and re-styling). This makes paragraph styling friendly and simple, which is a plus for authors who are intimidated by learning how to use Word's paragraph styles.
  • A user-friendly way to format and convert a Word file to a Kindle-ready e-book.
  • There are a few noteworthy limitations, especially regarding images (unable to modify or even delete). You also can't edit hyperlinks, and may not be able to edit lists or tables. I hope they plan to improve this with a future version.
  • Lack of portability, as it's only for Kindle format. For those enrolling in Select, this won't matter. (And maybe a few more authors will choose Select as a result.)
William Thompson

Posts: 1,029
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle toolndle Create:
Posted: Apr 6, 2017 3:22 PM   in response to: extradimensions in response to: extradimensions
 
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I've been tinkering with KC. Here's some other significant differences between using a pdf or Word doc in Kindle Create:

If you import a Word doc into KC

*Uses html in KC
*Smaller file size
*You can directly edit your KC doc in Text View
*Automatically preserves all links including the Word TOC
*You can insert ebook images
*You can insert section breaks or page breaks manually.
*You can easily add or alter text styles.
*Your Word doc will automatically be spit into page sections according to how you use heading styles in Word.

If you import a pdf into KC then:

*Uses jpeg images for all pages
*Larger file size
*Choice of preserving links or not.
*You can manually create a TOC
*You can insert images, pdf, audio and video

Overall, I think importing a Word doc into KC is the better way to go -- not least because you can do more and you will get a much smaller file size than if you import a pdf file.

Why not try my free Sigil plugin now available on MobileRead?

OpenDocHTMLImport

This plugin gives a full OpenDoc HTML(Writer) conversion to epub format.

William Thompson

Posts: 1,029
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 6, 2017 6:24 PM   in response to: extradimensions in response to: extradimensions
 
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Another benefit of Kindle Create is that if you use OpenOffice or LibreOffice to create your ebook then you can just export it to Word doc format and import that directly into Kindle Create. This will give OO or LO users a good intermediate stage to enable them to reliably check, format or change their ebook. This further means that you will not need to buy Word to check your Word export from LO or OO. Money saved !!

By bringing out Kindle Create, it also appears to be the case that Kindle have, unwittingly, made the use of MS Word even less relevant and less of a necessity to the KDP upload process.

Why not try my free Sigil plugin now available on MobileRead?

GoogleZipImport

This plugin gives a full Google Doc HTML conversion to epub format.

extradimensions

Posts: 4,140
Registered: 05/19/09
Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle toolndle Create:
Posted: Apr 6, 2017 7:52 PM   in response to: William Thompson in response to: William Thompson
 
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The PDF option makes it work more like the Kindle Textbook Creator.
That's a great point about OO. I hadn't thought about that.
William Thompson

Posts: 1,029
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle toolndle Create:
Posted: Apr 6, 2017 8:21 PM   in response to: extradimensions in response to: extradimensions
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If, as you say, using a pdf with KC is virtually the same as KTBC then using this route will have the same problems which are:

*Every single page will be rendered as an image, so the file will be large and you will be "taxed" by Kindle at $0.15 per Mb over the 5 Mb file size limit.
*Usually the image text in your Kindle will be tiny and you will therefore have to double the font size of all text and headers to make it readable.
*A Kindle ebook made with images as pages cannot be read on any mobile phone. It can only be read on tablets and PCs.
*Zoom will not work properly on your Kindle device because its an image and not an html file.
*You cannot search text on your Kindle device because all the text is embedded in images.

...That's why using a Word doc in KC is probably the best way to go. In KC the Word doc appears to be rendered as an html file -- not an image file -- with all the usual advantages that brings to the table for the user.

Why not try my new and free Sigil plugin now available on MobileRead?

OpenDocHTMLImport

This plugin gives a full OpenDoc HTML(Writer) conversion to epub format.

man2010

Posts: 2,048
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 6, 2017 11:57 PM   in response to: extradimensions in response to: extradimensions
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I tested this app today. Took one of my .docx test files containing some pictures and a table and tried to import it. Kindle Creator produced an error message "We're sorry. An error occurred during import, and Kindle Create is not able to open your book at this time. You can still publish your book with Kindle. Just submit the document to Kindle Direct Publishing here"

I deleted all pictures, bookmarks, and the table and tried to load the file. Got the same error message. This beta version is too buggy for my taste. I would not recommend this app for publishing even if you do not get error messages. Amazon is not showing this beta app on the Amazon.com/kindleformat page for a good reason.
Notjohn

Posts: 22,954
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Kindle Create - Amazon's new Word to Kindle tool
Posted: Apr 7, 2017 3:44 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
 
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Thanks for that. Are you on Windows or Mac OS?

It would be great if this proved to be an option for Mac users, who otherwise seem to have a struggle coping with KDP publishing (a struggle that seems to get harder as time goes on!).

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to E-Book Formatting (and print as well!)

The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
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