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Christia Harrane

Posts: 7
Registered: 12/01/17
Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 3, 2017 4:40 AM
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Look inside the Book broken

So I had to go back and forth until I find a format that actually keeps everything on the original design. I ignored the online previewer as per the support I got from amazon. And to be honest the book when tested and downloaded looked fine. In my mac previewer but also when published. Now I have a problem with the look inside the book content, that again is like someone threw a bomb to the content.

Could someone help me figure this one?

I designed the book on indesign cc. Fixed flow. Created an ePub and uploaded it.
Amazon suggested I download the kkbc and export from their a mobi file from an InDesign PDF. I havent done that since the book looks great apart from the Look Inside Feature.

Any suggestions?

Thank you
Christia
writerbn

Posts: 5,645
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Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 3, 2017 4:53 AM   in response to: Christia Harrane in response to: Christia Harrane
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A) InDesign creates terrible ePub files, unless you know exactly what you're doing.

B) The Look Inside uses a stricter interpretation of HTML than the e-reader, so it tends to expose errors in the formatting that might otherwise slip by.

I'd recommend opening the ePub in Sigil (free) and cleaning it up. You'll need to know some HTML and CSS, but it's well worth it to learn.

Edit: I missed the part about fixed format. Why are you doing a fixed-format book? If you truly need one, then an ePub is not the right solution. Upload a PDF to KKBC, as KDP support recommended, but be aware that you're cutting out a significant percentage of readers who either can't or won't (like myself) read a fixed-format book.

Edited by: writerbn on Dec 3, 2017 4:53 AM
Notjohn

Posts: 23,767
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 3, 2017 8:54 AM   in response to: Christia Harrane in response to: Christia Harrane
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I designed the book on indesign cc. Fixed flow. Created an ePub and uploaded it.

InDesign is a poor choice for ebooks.

Fixed flow? Does that mean fixed format? Also not a good idea.

Problems with Look Inside usually result from uploading a Word doc, with its generally poor and often just plain horrible html, which is disguised when you look at the Word doc on the screen but which Look Inside faithfully displays. A lot of us had to rebuild our Word-generated books when Look Inside came to live with us, about 2010.

If you upload an epub, you should validate it first. See http://validator.idpf.org/

Fix any errors in Sigil, which is free and powerful. In fact, simply openin your epub in Sigil and looking for unclosed tags in the first 10 percent of the book might solve your problem. It's impossible to know what those problems are unless you give us an ASIN so we can look at what's on the Amazon page.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

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

Posts: 1,135
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 4, 2017 1:17 AM   in response to: Christia Harrane in response to: Christia Harrane
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If you are concerned about the Look Inside version of your ebook, then perhaps you should do as Amazon has suggested. First export your ebook in InDesign to PDF then just load that into KKBC which will then be convert to mobi on upload to KDP. Going this route usually works to give you a properly formatted Look Inside version.

Unless you really know all the how-tos for curing Look Inside problems in html/epub then you will always have problems with the Look Inside, especially if you use InDesign to generate your epub/mobi. In InDesign, conversion to mobi or epub does not care one hoot about formatting the separate Look Inside file for Kindle(there were no specific upgrades to InDesign's epub export or mobi export capabilities that would ensure a faultless Look Inside version after Kindle's Look Inside was introduced). That's why, in InDesign, your only choice is to manually implement correct Look Inside formatting at the html level in epub format after conversion to epub from InDesign. I always use Sigil(free epub editor) to ensure that my ebook's Look Inside version(an html file, not a mobi) is correctly formatted in my epubs. And I only ever format epub 2 novels and would therefore expect even more problems with fixed format versions of the Look Inside due to its greater complexity.

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

OpenDocHTMLImport - converts ODT HTML(Writer) docs directly to epub.

NormalizeScrivEpub - reformats, finishes off and normalizes Scrivener-generated epubs

LogicalTOCStyler - allows users to easily style the Logical TOC(Device TOC) as they prefer

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

Christia Harrane

Posts: 7
Registered: 12/01/17
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 4, 2017 2:47 AM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
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Actually I am very new at this so have been going back and forth trying to find solutions.

I don't have a lot of html knowledge but will def look into it and try to fix it through that path.

Fixed format, sorry I meant flow.

The only reason I am doing this for my client is because is a recipe book and so I need a lot of structure with images and how she vision this. It is not an all text book.

Thank you for the recommendations and all you help I appreciate it :)
Christia Harrane

Posts: 7
Registered: 12/01/17
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 4, 2017 2:58 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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Hi Notjohn,

thank you for the reply and all the help

Fixed flow yes. The reason is because the book is not only text based but as a recipe book has lots of images and my client was a specific format.
I am new at this so please bare with me :)

I wont be printing this. I have an ebook and we are now in need for a kindle version for amazon. What would be your suggestion to create the kindle version? Considering this as a recipe book? KKBC?

ASIN is: B07842QT76

Thank you again for all your help, highly appreciated :)

Cheers
Christia
Notjohn

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Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 4, 2017 3:45 AM   in response to: Christia Harrane in response to: Christia Harrane
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I think you mean "fixed format."

I don't do fixed format books. William has shown you the way, I think.

Your book looks okay -- it's just tiny! It's also gigantic, in file size, but that goes along with fixed format. I hope your client chose the 35 percent royalty, or the download fee will eat up the royalties.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

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

Posts: 7
Registered: 12/01/17
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 4, 2017 10:07 AM   in response to: William Thompson in response to: William Thompson
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Thank you William for all the help I highly appreciate taking the time to reply to me. I am creating recipe books for my client so lots of images involved
Christia Harrane

Posts: 7
Registered: 12/01/17
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 4, 2017 10:10 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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Ah thank you for letting me know. Will try to create smaller size images. Maybe that will help.

Thank you also for the suggestion for my clients royalty. Can you see the broken inside look?

Will definitely be working on all your suggestions for this.

Thank you again so much :)

William Thompson

Posts: 1,135
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 4, 2017 3:39 PM   in response to: Christia Harrane in response to: Christia Harrane
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The text in your ebook is very small when you use KKBC. As a general rule, whenever you use a pdf in the Kindle Creator apps, then you must always make the text/heading fonts larger. You can do this by doubling the normal font size that is normally used in Word i.e. for reading fonts use 24pt, for heading fonts use 32pt etc.

If your client's book is a recipe book, then I would also advise that you should either be using Kindle Text Book Creator or Kindle Create. With these two apps you will simply load your ebook as PDF. Then all your fancy image formatting will be preserved in KTBC or KC as pages that are all just jpeg images.

Here is a useful tutorial on how to use/optimize Kindle Text Book Creator:
https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/optimizing-amazons-free-kindle-textbook-creator-publishing-tool/
William Thompson

Posts: 1,135
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 4, 2017 3:40 PM   in response to: Christia Harrane in response to: Christia Harrane
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By the way, KTBC will also be able to give you a Look Inside version of your ebook(since 2015):
https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/new-look-inside-at-amazon-for-fixed-format-books-kindle-textbook-creator-kids-book-creator/
Christia Harrane

Posts: 7
Registered: 12/01/17
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 2:26 AM   in response to: William Thompson in response to: William Thompson
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Hi William,

I made some changes, font is bigger, pages more simple. I even just duplicated the pages that look good on the Look Inside feature and edited them in case there was something wrong with them. But still I get a weird format on the look inside. Basically I only need the four or so pages of the book to work out for the Look Inside. The rest of the book when downloaded looks fine.

Let me know if you have any suggestions

here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07842QT76
Theresa M. Moore

Posts: 3
Registered: 11/03/17
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 30, 2017 12:21 PM   in response to: Christia Harrane in response to: Christia Harrane
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I don't understand why you created a fixed-format file, when KDP specifically calls for flowable format. I use a Word file, one font, no images. So far Look Inside looks fine for me. In future I would advise you to read the formatting instructions provided by KDP first before publishing in another format. If you don't have the time to learn html or css I suggest you use a word processing program instead of In Design. Word is perfectly acceptable and is the simplest to use.
Ralph E Vaughan

Posts: 3,448
Registered: 12/01/12
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 30, 2017 2:47 PM   in response to: Theresa M. Moore in response to: Theresa M. Moore
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Theresa M. Moore wrote:
I don't understand why you created a fixed-format file, when KDP specifically calls for flowable format.

Some books are better in a fixed format, even with the drawbacks. KDP does not require reflowable. That's a choice made by the publisher, which is not KDP. As for using Word, that's fine if the publisher knows how to use Word as a formatting tool. Unfortunately, most people don't.
booknookbiz

Posts: 4,194
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: Look inside the Book broken
Posted: Dec 30, 2017 4:54 PM   in response to: Christia Harrane in response to: Christia Harrane
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Christia Harrane wrote:
Hi William,

I made some changes, font is bigger, pages more simple. I even just duplicated the pages that look good on the Look Inside feature and edited them in case there was something wrong with them. But still I get a weird format on the look inside. Basically I only need the four or so pages of the book to work out for the Look Inside. The rest of the book when downloaded looks fine.

Let me know if you have any suggestions

here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07842QT76

OK. So, all in, you have a couple of problems. Firstly, unfortunately, there's a canned response, that the KDP Customer Support staff use, telling people to use KKBC when they ought not. I'm not saying that your book can't or shouldn't be made in fixed-layout--more on that below--but you most certainly should NOT have used KKBC. KKBC does not allow zooming. You're correct, in thinking that your pages are too small, and on my First-gen fire, while they're readable, I shudder to think of someone with a smaller Fire, or, heavens forfend, a smartphone, trying to read it.

You can do several things here. You can use KTC (Kindle Textbook Creator), which gives you more devices upon which your book can be bought and viewed, and more importantly, your pages can be zoomed. You can sell the book on any device, and those who buy it can read it. I would strongly recommend against leaving it as it is now.

Alternatively, in viewing your book file, there's no compelling, overweening reason, really, that your book has to be in fixed-layout. I see, with the columnar layout, like the Introduction, why you wanted to try to keep the original layout--you can't, for example, float that chocolate-hazelnut (?) confection to the left of the introduction text, in reflowable. But--and this is a choice that all publishers have to make, when dealing with more-complex layouts than mere fiction--you have to decide, do you want usability? Do you want the maximum possible return on your investment (ROI)? Or do you want to keep the layout exactly as it is?

You can revamp the content, if you decide to go with reflowable. It's not hard. A bit painstaking, yes, but it's not undoable. OR, you can choose to use KTC, instead (upload a PDF, and it's nearly done), and you'll be in a much, much better position than you are now. We (my business, I mean) have made hundreds, maybe even thousands of eBooks from INDD files, and I understand why you wanted to pursue the original layout, but...if it were my book, I'd give some thought to changing the layout so that you can sell on all the devices. Recipes are pretty easy to revamp, with title at the top, image, then followed by ingredients and the instructions. You can put the ingredients in a simple two-column table, or a bulleted list, and you can put the directions in a numbered list, and bob's your uncle, as they say. One reflowable eBook. ;-)

As I said, though, alternatively, you can use KTC, and you'll have a fixed-layout ebook that at least zooms, making it readable on MORE devices than it is now.

Hope that helps!

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