Since I last uploaded a book to the DTP, Amazon has come out with a utility called KindleGen. I've seen it several times referenced here, so I decided to download it. Shades of 1991! It's as though Windows and Mac OS had never been born. I can't remember the last time I ran a program from the command prompt, but it was not in this century.
So ... who's using KindleGen, what's your take on it, and is there any advantage to it as opposed to MobiPocket Creator? From what I see, it doesn't convert from Word, but only html, so what does it do, actually? What's the advantage of processing the html file through KindleGen as opposed to uploading it to the DTP?
Is it only a means of viewing one's book in the Kindle reader before uploading it? And if so, does it work as well with Kindle for PC?
I see one reference to KindleGen as intended for "large publishers." I'm reasonably sure it was never announced here.
For those interested in the subject, here's a thread about it, sponsored by Kindle Publishing Team:
It's pretty clear that KindleGen is not intended for DTP "one-off" publishers like most of us, but for those who want to convert hundreds or thousands of titles by chaining them together. The conclusion seems to be that if you want to do this on a Windows basis, one book at a time, you are better served by Mobipocket Creator.
Okay, here's another perhaps-useful reply on the Mac thread for KindleGen:
[i]Two wonderful, intuitive, shareware (I will send generous donations) Mac programs do the trick: Sigil http://code.google.com/p/sigil/ and Calibre http://calibre-ebook.com/.
Step 1: Prepare a clean version of your book in Word (use the Sigil guidelines). Save it as a Web Page (which puts it into .htm format).
Step 2. Use Sigil to convert that to .epub format.
Step 3. Use Calibre to convert the .epub version to the Kindle format. Calibre can also convert to the Sony Reader format and just about any other format you can imagine. Forget KindleGen. [/i]
I know that some posters here have used Calibre. Haven't heard of Sigil before; have you?
No, it is to say that, according to the Amazon Kindle Guidelines, KindleGen is a command line tool intended to be used by large publishers and conversion houses to publish many books at one time, and that the publishing platform of choice for them is eBookBase.
The Amazon Kindle Guidelines also state that individual authors and small publishers can, instead, use Mobipocket Creator, and that the publishing platform of choice for them is the Amazon Digital Text Platform (DTP). That is what is supported right here.
This forum is for the purpose of supporting individual authors and small publishers, and the Amazon Digital Text Platform (DTP). Most people here are authors and small publishers, and if they have read Amazon's guidelines and instructions, they know they need not be concerned with KindleGen.
rfingwriter is right on this one. I don't know why but I found kindlegen before DTP and have been using it to create all of my ebooks. It's a pretty simple commandline tool which accomplishes the same thing as DTP - that is to say, it converts a html files to the .mobi format read by the kindle. It can convert a single html file or you can parse resources and link an external table of contents into separate files that are controlled by a single opf file. With kindlegen you are looking a little more at the nuts and bolts of the ebook creation process. Unless you get your jollies by doing that kind of stuff I'd recommend you use Calibre or DTP. There's a lot more community support and how to's (plus it's just downright easier Cheers.
So how does one invoke the specific OPF file? By a specification within the book HTML file, or via KindleGen, or other? I have not found anything on that yet in my searching. Nothing in the DPT Guide. Any help is appreciated.
When you open a new File in MobiPocket Creator, it creates an OPF file in the folder for that publication, based on your input for files, cover image, and so on. When you click Build, it uses information in the pubtitle.opf file it made. When you go back and open an existing publication, the link you click is a link to its .opf file.
If you use KindleGen, you navigate to the folder that contains your publication files, including the filename.opf file you created and put there. Then you specify that OPF file in the kindlegen command. That is, if KindleGen is installed in the C:\KindleGen folder, and you have the pub folder open in the Command Window, the command would be:
Unfortunately, I think the KG readme file is misleading. It says to invoke kindlegen on an .html file, such as book.html. Doing so will create a .mobi file, but it will not create an OPF file, include your cover image, separate toc.html file, or info in your .ncx file. Using the .opf file in the command line worked perfectly with my test files. Screenshot attached.
If you have Vista or Windows 7, run the cmd window as administrator. Hope this answers your question.