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Guide to Kindle Content Quality
Note: Since Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) aims to provide the best possible tools for independent publishers and the best experience for readers, we have a zero tolerance policy for any book content meant to advertise, promote, mislead, or that doesn't accurately represent the contents of the book. Please follow the guidelines below to ensure your book's content, including cover art, metadata, and product description do not result in inaccurate or overwhelming search results, or impair readers' ability to make good buying decisions.
- Identifying errors
- Reviewing your eBook
- Metadata issues
- Unsupported characters
- Cover issues
- Image quality
- Formatting issues
- Duplicated content
- Missing content
- Wrong content
- Content unsuited for reading on Kindle
- Disappointing content
- Companion guides
- Multi-work books
Identifying errorsIt's very important to search your eBook for errors before uploading the original file or prior to uploading a new file after fixing problems post-publication. Some errors may cause a book to be considered incomplete or unusable. We refer to these as Critical Issues. Because Critical Issues significantly impact the reading experience, any Critical Issue will result in the book being removed from sale until corrections are made.
Other errors can prevent the reader from understanding the author's intended meaning. We refer to these as Destructive issues. The most common type of errors are Distracting Issues, which briefly remove the reader from the author's world.
The combined impact on the reading experience of a book with excessive Distracting or Destructive Issues can lead to the book being removed from sale until the corrections are made. A moderate amount of Distracting or Destructive Issues can result in the book remaining available for sale, but with a temporary quality warning displayed on the detail page until corrections are made.
Reviewing your eBookWhen you review your eBook for quality issues, we highly recommend that you use Kindle Previewer. This free program allows you to see how your file will look on various Kindle devices and apps. If you're using Microsoft Word to format your eBook, check out our step-by-step formatting guide.
TyposTypos are among the most common quality issues customers report. To produce a high quality eBook, please ensure your book is free of typos. Typos may be caused by a variety of issues: mistyped words, poor optical character recognition for scanned texts, copy/pasting across source documents, or multiple conversions of a source file. Here are some examples of common typos to look for:
|Numbers in place of letters||5arasota||Sarasota|
|Letters in place of numbers||1o66||1066|
|Incorrect punctuation||The dog ran,||The dog ran|
|Missing letters||Nothi g||Nothing|
|HTML tags in place of characters||< sup >®||; ®|
Preventing and fixing typosIf there's typo in your eBook, it's important to search for the term throughout the text to ensure all occurrences are corrected. It's also important to review your text for errors of a similar nature. The search function of Kindle Previewer can help locate all instances of a repeated typo that need to be fixed. Sometimes improper or dialectic spellings are intentionally used by the author. These are not considered errors. Common examples would include character dialogue. Spelling differences between US and British English aren't considered errors.
Metadata issuesMake sure your eBook's metadata doesn't result in inaccurate search results or impair readers' ability to make good buying decisions. Here are common issues with metadata:
- The title, series name, edition, subtitle, volume, or contributor in your file don't match the metadata you entered.
- The title, series name, edition, subtitle, or volume in the metadata contain a URL, keywords, genre descriptions, promotions, references to other books within the category, or spelling errors.
Unsupported charactersIf your text appears in Kindle Previewer as strings of jumbled characters or boxed question marks, this usually means your book contains an unsupported accent mark or character. To ensure your book doesn't contain unsupported characters, review your book in Kindle Previewer and look for square boxes or jumbled characters like these:
Preventing and fixing unsupported charactersIf an unsupported character is present in your book, it's important to look for this issue throughout the text, as one unsupported character usually indicates others. Use the search function of Kindle Previewer to locate all instances of an unsupported character. Learn more about supported characters. For detailed guidance, see section 3.1 of the Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines.
Critical issuesContent uploaded in unsupported languages won't display properly on Kindle devices and will be removed from sale. See the languages we support.
Cover issuesA high quality cover image may have an impact on a reader's decision to purchase an eBook. Here are some of the most common issues with covers:
- The cover either has extra space in the margins or is too large and doesn't fully display
- The cover image is blurry
- The cover is missing
- The cover image is inserted into the manuscript file, causing an error
- The cover includes references to advertisements or promotions (e.g., "free")
Creating and adding a coverCheck out our guidelines for creating eBook covers. You can also find information in Section 3.2 of the Kindle Publishing Guidelines.
Image qualityHaving clear, readable images in your book is an important part of the reader experience. Images with text can be a problem if the source quality is poor, so make sure the text is readable on Kindle by previewing it in Kindle Previewer. Also make sure that the images in your book aren't blurry. It could be annoying for the reader and may impact their understanding of your content for images that require high levels of detail.
Critical issuesDo not make an eBook composed of scanned pages of a physical book. Books that are entire scans will be removed from sale, as they become unreadable on Kindle devices and the reader won't be able to change text size. Manga, comics, children's picture books, etc. are excluded from this requirement. Other quality issues include blurry images and images with illegible text.
Ensuring high-quality imagesThe best way to ensure your book has clear images is to choose the highest possible quality in your source images. Learn about guidelines and best practices for image formatting. Please see section 3.5 of the Kindle Publishing Guidelines
Formatting issuesFormatting issues may affect the visual or layout level of an eBook and can include problems like extra spacing between paragraphs or forced text justification. Formatting errors in your eBook may prevent readers from customizing their reading experience to their preferences, and also may include issues that cause text flow to be unintelligible or confusing. To produce a high quality book, please ensure your book has proper formatting. For the best reader experience, we recommend uploading your book content in a reflowable file format such as DOC, DOCX, or HTML.
Ensuring correct formattingAn effective way to view your eBook's formatting is to preview it with Kindle Previewer. This tool can help you identify formatting errors before you make it your available for sale. Please see our step-by-step formatting guide for tips on formatting in Microsoft Word. Check your whole manuscript for similar issues because formatting errors tend to occur throughout the book. For example, incorrectly set left or right margins would appear on each page.
- Body text rendered as bold, italicized, underlined or hyperlinked text
- Extra body text margin padding that is more than 1/4 of a screen wide
- Primary content is oriented in landscape mode without any detail page disclaimer
- Body text not set to default color
- Forced white text or forced black background that causes text to be unreadable. For example, forcing a code such as Font = white will cause text to be unreadable while reading on a white background mode or on an e-ink device.
- In-line page numbering is present
Here are some examples of other formatting issues:
- Forced alignment of body text
- The size of the body text is forced, causing it to be larger or smaller than standard text sizes
- Body text incorrectly changes size
- Bullet points missing from a bulleted list
- A list has bullets which appear on a different line that the list contents
- Missing list formatting
Lists without proper formatting can be unintelligible to the reader.
- Incorrectly added line break
- Missing indication of paragraph separation (indentation or single line spacing between paragraphs)
- Missing line break that indicates a section or scene change
- A hard page break in the middle of a section or chapter
- Extract or block quote not differentiated from body text
- Sidebar text interrupts a sentence, paragraph, or section
- A footnote interrupts a sentence, paragraph, or section
- An image interrupts a sentence or paragraph.
- Extra body text margin padding that is less than 1/4 of a screen wide
- Double spacing between each paragraph
- Consistent incorrectly added line padding between section/chapter headings and first paragraphs
- Split monograms; the first letter of each chapter in your book should appear on the same line as the rest of the word.
- Individual paragraph incorrectly rendered as bold, italicized, underlined or hyperlinked text
- Forced black text or forced white background that causes text to be unreadable. For example, forcing a code such as Font = black will cause text to be unreadable while reading on a black background mode on color devices.
LinksAll links in your book should navigate correctly to the place where the reader would expect them to go. The reader should also be able to navigate to the locations listed in your book's Go To menu (such as cover image, beginning, and Table of Contents). Please test links, including Go To items, on your Kindle device to ensure the links in your book navigate to their intended places before making your book available for sale. If you don't have access to a device, Kindle Previewer is a helpful tool that will reproduce how content will appear on a device.
Preventing Linking IssuesBroken or incorrect links usually occur when a mistake has been made in the link URL or an incorrect link location has been pasted in. Check the HTML or inserted links in your text to correct this problem. Below are some examples of linking issues we see in books.
- A Go To item link that does not work
- A link in the Table of Contents (TOC) that does not work
- A link at the beginning that takes readers to a TOC at the end of the book
- A link outside the TOC that takes readers to unrelated content at the end of the book
- A link in the TOC that does not follow the chronological order of content appearing in the book
- An unlinked footnote
- A prohibited external link
- An external link that does not work
- An internal link (TOC, Navigational Control File from XML (NCX), or other) that does not link to the correct location
- Reference to an unlinked page number
- Missing Logical Table of Contents (NCX)
For more information regarding the Table of Contents and NCX, please see section 5 of the Kindle Publishing Guidelines.
Critical issuesDo not frontload bonus content (e.g., other stories, or previews of other books) at the beginning of a book or use a link that takes readers to the actual book at the end.
TablesA common complaint we get about tables is that part of the table is cut off, which usually happens when tables are used for formatting non-tabular data (e.g., sidebars, lists, large chunks of text, etc.). It's best to avoid using tables to format text or to try to make book elements appear in a certain way.
Critical issuesAny table with content cut off at bottom of screen when viewed at font size 3 (the default). This causes content to be inaccessible for the majority of readers. Other issues we see in eBooks include tables consisting of non-tabular data and tables that require the reader to pan right over non-tabular data. Tables with non-tabular data often force readers to take additional action to be able to read plain text content, for example, a table with forced line breaks or a table with a word in a cell split across two or more lines. If the data absolutely must be displayed in tabular form and you still see the error, try breaking your table into more cells so that there are more available break points. For more information on table guidelines, see section 3.6 in the Kindle Publishing Guidelines.
The Previewer and Kindle for PC will not always reproduce table display very accurately. If possible, make sure to check table formatting on a Kindle device, especially if it appears to be a critical issue.
Duplicated textThis refers to any text which repeats in the book when it is not intended to repeat. Usually this is the result of a copy-paste error and can be fixed by removing the duplicated text.
- A repeated chapter that is also mislabeled
- A repeated chapter
- A portion of text that is repeated within a chapter or section, excluding single words
Missing contentMissing content issues occur when some intended part of the book is either mistakenly removed or includes references to a portion of the book that isn't included in the book.
- More text is missing than just a short phrase
- Missing image section that the product description or the contents of the book indicate should be included
- Main book content that is only accessible through external links
- Product description indicates book includes CD, DVD or other ancillary content that is not accessible
- Missing or unplayable audio/video content in a Kindle Enhanced with Audio and Video
Other missing content issues include:
- A short missing phrase
- A missing image
If you are experiencing missing images and provided your book in Word format, especially with the fill-in camera icon, please see the following excerpt from Building your Book for Kindle for a common path to fix the issue:
Useful image formatting tip: Avoid pasting in images
Images should be inserted in JPEG (or .jpg) format with center alignment (don't copy and paste from another source).
- Click "Insert" at the top of the screen in Word
- Click "Picture", which brings up a dialogue screen to locate the picture that will be inserted in the document
- In the dialogue screen, locate and select the file
Wrong contentBooks with wrong content are always removed from sale. Wrong content occurs when a customer receives something other than what is advertised. This is most commonly caused by uploading an incorrect file, but can sometimes also occur if updates are made to the product information or copy/paste issues make the description incorrect. The easiest way to fix it is to upload the latest version of the correct file.
Content unsuited for reading on KindleBooks that are not suited for Kindle are removed from sale.
Some books are simply not well suited to the Kindle format. These include any kind of book where the main purpose is to allow the reader to write or color on the pages. These books are better suited to publishing in a physical form.
Examples of books not suited to the Kindle format include the following:
- Puzzle books
- Blank Journals
- Pattern books
- Coloring books
- Facing page translations (left page in one language, right page is same content in another language)
Disappointing contentWe do not allow content that disappoints our customers or creates a poor shopping experience, including but not limited to:
- Content that is either marketed as a subscription or redirects readers to an external source to obtain the full content
- Content that is freely available on the web (unless you are the copyright owner of that content or the content is in the public domain). For more information, you can refer to the sections titled "Illegal and Infringing Content" and "Public Domain and Other Non-Exclusive Content" in the Content Guidelines.
- Content whose primary purpose is to solicit or advertise
- Content that is not significantly different from content in another book available in the Kindle Store
- Content that is too short
- Content that is poorly translated
- Content that does not provide an enjoyable reading experience
- Bonus content that appears before a book's primary content
- Content that is excessively reused, recycled, or repeated within or across books
- Content that is rebranded or re-released with significant changes to the metadata, resulting in a confusing reader experience
Companion guidesCompanion guides, or books that are based on a different original work (including summaries, study guides, or analyses), that confuse our customers aren't allowed.
To ensure that customers don't confuse your work with the original source material, we ask that books of this type meet all the following criteria:
- The title must begin with Summary, Study guide, or Analysis (for example, Summary and Analysis of Pride and Prejudice).
- The cover image must prominently indicate the content is a summary, study guide, or analysis before the title of the original book and in a font that is at least as large as the rest of the title, and cannot resemble or echo the original work in any way.
- The contributor(s) of the original book don't appear in the contributor field.
- The content is categorized in the Study Aid category (The content cannot be included in any category outside of the Study Aid category (for example, Study Aid | Book Notes).
We don't allow companion guides based on copyrighted works to be published outside the U.S. without written permission from the copyright holder.
Multi-work booksIf you're publishing multiple stories as one book, ensure the contents of your book are accurately reflected both in the title field and on the cover, by including terms such as "Boxed Set," "Bundle," "Collection," "Compilation," or "Series." Stories that are part of a series must be in sequential order within a book and collections of individual stories must have all stories listed in the metadata.
Collections of works and numbered series may include content you've previously published in your catalog. However, in order to provide an optimal customer experience, the same content may not be excessively reutilized across multiple books. We consider "excessive" any amount of content repetition that would create a poor shopping or reading experience.
Multi-work books must meet all program guidelines (e.g., you must have exclusive publishing rights for all content enrolled in KDP Select). For more information, see our content guidelines and Terms and Conditions.