I posted this question question yesterday, but received a message telling me that it would have to be approved by a moderator. It hasn't appeared, so I suppose they haven't approved it, although I can't imagine why. I write full length novels, so there is a fair gap between uploads for me and things may have changed since I last did one. I uploaded my latest book yesterday only to discover that my italics (which I use sparingly) had disappeared. The text was still there, just no longer in italics. I also uploaded versions (made from the same master file) to CreateSpace and Smashwords and they both kept the italics. I used to convert my books to MOBI format with Calibre before Amazon started rejecting such uploads, and there was no problem with italics then. These days, I make an Html file from the Word original and upload that. Having seen what happened, I uploaded a straight Word version for conversion and the result was the same as the Html version - no italics.
Has Kindle changed so that it no longer supports italics, or have I missed something? Anybody have any ideas?
Not supporting italics would be on a par with not supporting capitalization, so I'm sure KDP hasn't done that. My last book was uploaded on April 3rd and it has plenty of italics in it. I used a Microsoft Word 2010 doc that was saved as HTML Filtered. Unfortunately, my knowledge of formatting is pretty basic, so I don't know why your italics disappeared but I'm sure someone far more knowledgeable will respond.
May be you are using a very old version of Word, like 2000 or 97, which don't have the "web page, filtered" option. You can download a free 30-day trial of the latest Microsoft Office ( http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/try/ ), open your book in Word 2013, save it as the latest Word document (.docx), then save it as a "web page, filtered" and upload to KDP (create a zip file if the book contains pictures). The same goes for Word for Mac, you need the latest version (the link above). Then save it as a "Web page (.htm)" and select the option "Save only display information into HTML". Italics work fine with the latest versions of Word.
I think the "moderation" thing is purely random and is probably some glitch that's being worked on. It has affected several of my posts -- they tend to show up hours later, which often makes me look like I'm ignoring the posts that already answered the OP's question but those posts weren't there when I sent mine.
I'm not a very long-time user but I do try to behave myself and except for having that other word for Hades changed to a bunch of stars when I commented that I think Hades is a world without libraries, I don't think I've ever broken rules or posted offensive material. I'm sure I've annoyed a few people but I don't think I've insulted any.
I write my books on a Mac in Pages because that is my preferred word processor. When all the creating and editing is done, I save a Word (.doc) copy and use Word 2008 for Mac to make the Html version for upload. This doesn't have the latest 'Save as Web Page (filtered)' option, but does have 'Save as Web Page', whereupon you make sure that the encoding is set to 'Western European (Windows)'. Either way, you end up with a .htm file. In the past, it has not been a problem, so I am wondering whether KDP have changed something at their end.
If Microsoft made Word available as a separate program, I might be tempted to invest in the latest version, but I have no desire to fork out over £100 for the full Office suite when I am unlikely to make much use of it.
Alternative thoughts: (1) perhaps it is a glitsch in KDP's software that will be sorted out in due course, enabling me to upload again in a few weeks without problems. (2) Pages will output an ePub file directly, and KDP now accepts ePub for conversion. I tried it once, but was unimpressed with the results. Almost every line terminated in a hyphenated word instead of wrapping the full word to the next line. I will give it another try and report back.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
Oh, I have no idea why my original posts (both of them) went to the moderator. It isn't as if there is anything inflammatory in either. Like everyone else in this thread so far, I behave myself on these forums.
For some reason, my posts do not seem to be appearing immediately, and I cannot think why they should not. Anyway, what I wrote in my original reply was that I work on a Mac in Pages. When all the creating and editing is finished, I make a Word (.doc) copy and use Word for Mac 2008 to make the Html version. This does not have the modern 'Save as Web Page (filtered) option, but it does have 'Save as Web Page' and set the encoding to 'Western European (Windows)'. Up to now this has worked perfectly well.
Recently I learned that KDP accepted ePub files for conversion. As Pages has the facility to output an ePub file, I gave it a try a few months ago. The results were not encouraging. Almost every line ended in a hyphenated word instead of the entire word being wrapped to the next line. Nevertheless, I have just tried it again and it was much better. The italics were there and the words wrapped properly. The only thing that wasn't right is that the page breaks at the end of each chapter were not recognised, so Chapter Two followed immediately after Chapter One and so on. If need be, that is a compromise I am prepared to make, however, as I have seen plenty of Kindle books that do exactly the same. Having written that, if somebody knows how to make KDP recognise the page breaks in an ePub file, please pass the information on.
Overall, this is good news for me because it means that I don't need to go via Word at all. No offence to contented Word users, but I have never got along with the program. I find Pages altogether more in tune with the way my brain works and, as it does everything I need, it is my word processor of choice. It can also output a Pdf file that uploads directly into CreateSpace without problems. That means I just need to use Word for the Smashwords edition (ironically, their Meatgrinder converts a Word file into - among other things - ePub).
Thanks to everyone for their help and suggestions.
I took your advice, Notjohn and opened the Html file in my browser. Sure enough, the italics had disappeared somewhere between .doc and .htm. Fearing a corrupted file, I went back to the original document and saved it as plain text to strip out all the formatting and start again. Having reassembled the book, I made a new Html file and, lo and behold, the italics had disappeared again, so it obviously is not a problem at KDP's end. The only thing that I can think of is that, since uploading my previous book, I have upgraded OS X to the latest version, Mountain Lion. Perhaps there is some slight incompatibility with Word for Mac 2008. As I see it, I have two choices: either spend more than £100 on a brand new edition of Microsoft Office (and hardly use it) or spend nothing at all and stick to ePub for KDP. I think I know which I will choose.
The problem is most likely that you are not selecting the option "Save only display information into HTML" when saving as a "Web page (.htm)" in Word for Mac 2008. You don't have to pay a cent to Microsoft to use the latest Word for Mac, it's a free 30-day trial, sufficient for formatting your Kindle book and uninstalling MS Office.
I don't recommend the Pages-->EPUB-->KDP route because it produces screwy results.
I tried that and it made no difference. I take your point about the 30 day free trial, but what happens after 30 days? This isn't my only book, it's my eighth and I am about 35,000 words into Number Nine (Ten and Eleven are already taking shape in my head). I need a long term solution that doesn't cost me heavily for something that I will barely use. If Toad still manages to upload files made with Calibre, I might give that another go. Otherwise I think I will have to stick with ePub for the time being. Thanks anyway.
Stick with epub? IMHO epub is the ideal solution compared to which all these other systems are just wild grabbing at the paper moon. You create a single file that you can sell on Amazon, B&N, Apple, Kobo, and any lesser light that comes along.
I checked out the Word trial but decided it was not worth it even at $100 or so for the student-teacher edition. (I have an *.edu email address courtesy of my college alumni association, and it works in every case I have tried.) I assume you can buy the new Word outright rather than renting it, which is the case with the trial edition (first month free).
Epub, html, these have nothing to do with italics falling out of your book.
Eureka! It is sorted. It seems that the original file was slightly corrupted after all. I took a leaf out of Mark Coker's (of Smashwords fame) book and adopted the 'nuclear' approach. I saved the original Pages file as plain text, then copied and pasted that into a blank Word document to make the Html file. The italics are back and each chapter starts on a fresh page.
I think the problem was caused inadvertently by my wife's university course (not to mention my own stupidity). She required access to the Mac to write her dissertation, which relegated me to the old PC in the spare bedroom on occasion. Some passages, therefore, were actually created in Google Docs, which proved to be so compliant that I could copy and paste whole chapters back and forth between Docs and Pages with nothing untoward apparently happening. By the time I got round to bringing Word in, however, it became apparent that something had happened, but only slightly because the Smashwords and CreateSpace versions are fine. Lesson learned for the future.
Thanks to everybody for your help.
I have now republished the book and (fingers crossed) all will be well.