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RMA Training

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Registered: 11/04/17
Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 2:54 PM
 
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My book uses hyperlinks in different colours and list paragraphs with hanging indents. I made the epub using Sigil and uploaded it to KDP. I then downloaded the .mobi and opened it with Kindle for PC and everything looked good. The hyperlinks were the right colours and the list paragraphs were acceptably neat. However when I bought the published version the hyperlink colours were mixed up and the paragraph formatting was not nearly as neat as it was in the mobi.

I experimented by creating a new book and uploaded the mobi as the source code. I thought that might create a better published format. It didn't, exactly the same problems.

Any ideas?
William Thompson

Posts: 1,068
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 4:08 PM   in response to: RMA Training in response to: RMA Training
 
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You only checked your epub on Kindle for PC? You should really be testing your ebook using the Kindle tools. You should download both Kindle Previewer(KP) and Kindle Previewer 3 Beta(KP3) from Amazon.com. The older KP app can be used to check displays on mobi7 device displays and you should use KP3 to check the KF8 displays.

It's also quite unusual that anyone would want to use multi-colored link displays in Kindle ebooks. I'm not really sure that this is possible although it's certainly possible to display links in standard blue but I'm not so sure about other colors.

As for hanging indents, well I think that you might be in for some formatting hell if you continue with this. Kindle really does not like hanging indents(float left etc) because outcomes will always vary(and look different) between KF8 and older KF7 devices.

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

GoogleZipImport - converts Google Doc HTML directly to epub format.

CustomCleanerPlus - an epub-specific custom cleaner for both html docs and epubs

StyleBender - manipulates, moves or removes html styles and inline styling at block level for epubs and html docs

You can download all these free plugins from The Sigil Plugin Index on the MR Forum

Notjohn

Posts: 23,240
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 4:14 PM   in response to: RMA Training in response to: RMA Training
 
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Since all Kindles have e-ink screens, they show only grayscale. Color is available only on the apps, including the Fire tablets, which are basically just a Kindle app on an inexpensive tablet computer with multiple other uses.

The proof of formatting is in the published version. If it doesn't look professional, then you didn't format it correctly, so there's no point in saying your "mobi" was right and the published version is wrong. Sigil is a wonderful tool for building ebooks, but it won't do all the work for you.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

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

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Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 4:49 PM   in response to: RMA Training in response to: RMA Training
 
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dup
William Thompson

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Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 4:51 PM   in response to: RMA Training in response to: RMA Training
 
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If I were you I would download the new Kindle Jumpstart Companion Guide which is a detailed description of how to upload your ebook and imprint book to KDP using Word. The link is here:

Kindle Jumpstart(PDF)
RMA Training

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Registered: 11/04/17
Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 6:13 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Kindle for PC is actually the best platform for this type of text book because it allows for a wide screen double page layout with room for the ToC on the side, and the hyperlinked documents can be kept open for easy reference. Reading the book on a tablet or e-reader is only a secondary use (helpful maybe for checking notes and highlights just before going in to an exam).

If KDP can produce a mobi that formats correctly, why not an azw?

I think Amazon is not doing all it can to service a potentially lucrative online textbook market.
William Thompson

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Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 6:24 PM   in response to: RMA Training in response to: RMA Training
 
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RMA Training said:
Kindle for PC is actually the best platform for this type of text book because it allows for a wide screen double page layout with room for the ToC on the side, and the hyperlinked documents can be kept open for easy reference.
I would agree with you that Kindle for PC is useful -- but it is only useful to check your ebook for mobi7 device displays.

So, unless you can side-load your mobi(as azw) to a KF8 device then how can you quickly and easily check that your ebook is correctly formatted for KF8 devices? Just because your ebook looks good in Kindle for PC(mobi7 fomat) why do you automatically and incorrectly assume that it will also look good on KF8 devices? Mobi7 format uses older HTML v3.2, KF8 uses HTML 4.01 and also has Advanced Typesetting. As you can see, there are some major differences between the older mobi7 format and KF8 format which is why you are getting different displays for each.

That's why you should always properly test your ebook on both KF8 and mobi7 device emulations before upload as advised above.
booknookbiz

Posts: 4,072
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 16, 2017 8:05 PM   in response to: RMA Training in response to: RMA Training
 
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RMA Training wrote:
My book uses hyperlinks in different colours and list paragraphs with hanging indents. I made the epub using Sigil and uploaded it to KDP. I then downloaded the .mobi and opened it with Kindle for PC and everything looked good. The hyperlinks were the right colours and the list paragraphs were acceptably neat. However when I bought the published version the hyperlink colours were mixed up and the paragraph formatting was not nearly as neat as it was in the mobi.

I experimented by creating a new book and uploaded the mobi as the source code. I thought that might create a better published format. It didn't, exactly the same problems.

Any ideas?


Yes, loads. (of ideas). For one thing, there are link color defaults, which WILL override your work, if you don't have expertise in coding-fu, particularly for eBooks (which are a subset of HTML and HTML 5). Secondly, list paragraphs only work if the coding is the standard default ul and ol coding--if you've tried to alter it, using special characters for list icons, or special hangs, etc., they won't work properly in the final product.

William is right when he tells you that solely proofing the book in K4PC is a mistake. K4PC won't show you a lot of the errata that is in your coding. Moreover, how many people, seriously, do you think are using K4PC to read with? Not very many. So you're ignoring the vast majority of buyers, and their devices/tablets. You'd be far better off focusing on how the book looks/works on the devices--which are the way that most people really will be seeing it, not in some idealized huge-screen, IMAX-kind of way. We've made over 3500 ebooks--and I don't know anyone--anyone--who actually reads in K4PC/Mac. Not ONE, in thousands of authors/clients.

As NJ mentioned, the "Kindles" are eInks--your colored links won't be worth anything there. They'll all look the same. Moreover, on the older devices--the Kindle, K2s, early K3's, KTouches, etc., will all struggle with various types of formatting that would work in ePUB--but not in KF7.

Download Kindle Previewer 2.94 (not KP 3.15). Preview the books there, in all the devices--the 3 Fire tablets, the DX (KF7) and the Voyage. That will give you a decent idea of how the book will really look. Don't use KP 3.15, because the line-heights and some other things are utterly wrong.

Lastly, eBook formatting is very specialized. More than half of what works on a basic website will not work in an eBook. I don't know how au fait you are with HTML, but if you do have familiarity with it--write your own websites, etc.--bear that in mind. If you don't--if you used Sigil sort of like a word-processor, putting your HTML from a Word file in there, build the TOC, hit save, and done--yeah, it's hardly likely that that coding will work, either.

Good luck.

Hitch
We produce eBooks
An Amazon Professional Conversion Service : http://amzn.to/29pWZSg
www.Booknook.Biz
Notjohn

Posts: 23,240
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 17, 2017 2:42 AM   in response to: William Thompson in response to: William Thompson
 
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I downloaded that Jumpstart PDF and gave up when I saw this information toward the beginning:

You have two trim size options when using the add-in: 6” x 9” (the most common paperback size in the U.S.) and 8.5” x 11”.

Amazon actually SELLS books, and it thinks that most paperbacks are 6x9? I own a lot of books, including paperbacks, and the vast majority are smaller. I would venture that a more common size is 5.5x8.5 inches.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

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

Posts: 23,240
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 17, 2017 2:51 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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A search on the Amazon store for best-selling paperback brings up the category best-selling paperbacks of 2017, of which Number One is something called The Hideaway by Laurent Denton: Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches

Number two is a James Patterson, of which the full-sized paperback is Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches.

Number three is The Orphan's Tale, which, yeah, okay, is 6.1 x 1 x 9 inches.

Number four is The Summer That Made Us, 5.4 x 0.9 x 8 inches, and I will quit while I'm ahead.

QED.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

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

Posts: 574
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 19, 2017 12:22 PM   in response to: RMA Training in response to: RMA Training
 
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RMA Training wrote:
Kindle for PC is actually the best platform for this type of text book because it allows for a wide screen double page layout with room for the ToC on the side, and the hyperlinked documents can be kept open for easy reference. Reading the book on a tablet or e-reader is only a secondary use (helpful maybe for checking notes and highlights just before going in to an exam).

If KDP can produce a mobi that formats correctly, why not an azw?

I think Amazon is not doing all it can to service a potentially lucrative online textbook market.

Few people read e-books on their computers. Most have e-readers or smaller mobile devices.

booknookbiz

Posts: 4,072
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 19, 2017 6:54 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Notjohn wrote:
I downloaded that Jumpstart PDF and gave up when I saw this information toward the beginning:

You have two trim size options when using the add-in: 6” x 9” (the most common paperback size in the U.S.) and 8.5” x 11”.

Amazon actually SELLS books, and it thinks that most paperbacks are 6x9? I own a lot of books, including paperbacks, and the vast majority are smaller. I would venture that a more common size is 5.5x8.5 inches.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

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


NJ:

I suspect that they mean the subset of self-pubbed/vanity-pubbed books. Taht's the number we keep seeing: 6x9".

Hitch
We produce eBooks
An Amazon Professional Conversion service: http://amzn.to/29pWZSg
www.Booknook.biz
Notjohn

Posts: 23,240
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Mobi formatting better than published version
Posted: Nov 20, 2017 2:39 AM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
 
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So if all the lemmings jump off the cliff, Amazon will recommend jumping off the cliff as best practice?

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

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