New Kindle Fire 8 Guidelines, KindleGen, KindlePreviewer, ID Plugin

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After more than a month of waiting, Amazon has finally announced the release of its guidelines for their new format, Kindle Fire 8 (KF8) today. While Amazon’s Kindle Fire 8 format is not ePUB of any kind, Amazon does take ePUB, and now ePUB 3, for conversion through their site and through KindleGen. Since Amazon is still the biggest eBook retailer and most ePUB producers are probably also responsible for uploading files to Amazon, I’m sharing this information here.

Amazon has a page up titled Kindle Publisher Tools with KF8. There is a List of Supported HTML Tags and CSS Elements. There is a revised Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines PDF.  KF8 guidelines are available as a PDF.

You can now download new versions of KindleGen and Kindle Previewer that support KF8.

If you use InDesign to produce your ePUBs, you may also be interested in the new Kindle Plugin for Adobe InDesign (Beta) with KF8 support.

The Kindle Direct Publishing site has also been updated to support KF8.

As I have a chance to review the guidelines and use the new tools, I’ll let you know what I discovered.

By the way, my new Kindle Fire arrived yesterday, so I am excited to see what KF8 can do.

What do you think of KF8? Are you excited by the new format? Have you found anything interest in the new documentation or tools?

 

 

10 thoughts on “New Kindle Fire 8 Guidelines, KindleGen, KindlePreviewer, ID Plugin

  1. I quickly perused the KF8 PDF before work today, and it’s definitely a step up from the old MOBI format (of course, anything’s better than the old MOBI format). Hopefully a lot of the bugs on the old MOBI (screwed up margins) have been rectified. The ability to do drop caps and floating images is certainly a step in the right direction. As Tom mentions above, the removal of the proprietary mbp tag is certainly a plus.

    Under the list of CSS3 properties, I was bit surprised that there’s nothing about hyphenation control, which is a nice feature on the iBooks app to avoid pesky headings getting hyphenated. It’s a bummer that there’s no JavaScript allowed and no support for the canvas HTML5 element. Hopefully things will evolve over time so eBooks can become more interactive.

  2. I’m pretty happy with KF8 for my current purposes — technical writing. That might be because I’ve tweaked my html to be super pre-KF8 friendly. It seems like the new KindleGen actually generates better mobis for pre-KF8 devices as well. I was single source for epub, mobi and pdf before, but this should just eliminate the mobi debugging headache and apparently randomly generated irregularly nested html generated by previous KindleGen versions.

  3. Hello. I downloaded KF8 for Mac yesterday and have been trying to format my fixed layout children’s ebook (all art, no copy) so it works specifically for Kindle Fire. Does anyone know if there are specific size dimensions I should use? For iPad, it is a simple 3:4 for spreads.

    When I view the ebook in Kindle Previewer, it looks like it does not fill the screen the way I was hoping for.

    Any suggestions are much appreciated!

  4. Amazon has now added fixed layout graphic novel specs using Kindle Panel Views to their Kindle Publishing Guidelines (KPG). Here’s the details: “We are happy to announce an update to our Kindle Publishing Guidelines (KPG). As mentioned in our previous KPG, this update includes details on how to create great looking fixed layout books graphic novels with Kindle Panel Views. Along with the KPG update, we have included a KF8 example file illustrating usage of reflowable KF8 functionality. This sample file also demonstrates media query usage in providing more fine grained control over the reading experience across devices and apps.”
    More information about Kindle Format can be found at http://www.amazon.com/KindleFormat.

  5. I’m using the plugin in InDesign CS5. Everything was going smoothly, much easier to use than wrestling with ePUB files where the character styles do whatever they feel like in terms of size. I was generating a .mobi file, checking to see what characters I needed to adjust, making those changes, generating a new .mobi file.

    But then the .mobi files started adding an indented left margin to some paragraphs and not others. I couldn’t figure out why these paragraphs and not those. I’d generate it again with a different filename, and more paragraphs would have the ghost indent.

    Since someone mentioned the “screwy margins” up above, I’m guessing this is a problem people have encountered in the past? Any suggestions or fixes out there?

  6. As an author aged seventy five I found Amazonkindle kdp was a great option for publishing books that were gathering dust.For my first book I used Mobipocket Creator and found it ok,plus I was able to delete Mobi after usage if I wished.i am thinking of using the new kindle gen and the kindle previewer for my latest book but wonder if after using them I would also be able to delete both from my computer if I wished,or would they stay on my computer is possibly slowing it down?. Thanks for replies.

    • Robert:
      You should not have any trouble delete Mobipocket Creator, KindleGen, or Kindle Previewer from your computer after running them. If your are on a PC, look through All Programs by clicking on the Windows icon on the far left of your screen. Go to the Amazon folder, then click on Kindle Previewer. You will see an item that says “Uninstall Kindle previewer.” Click on that and it will uninstall. Since KindleGen is a command line program, you will need to find it in your program folders to uninstall in. You should also be able to easily uninstall it on a Mac if that is what you are using. Hope that helps.

  7. RE: ID plugin not supporting KF8. This from the Amazon Web site (http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=amb_link_357613502_3?ie=UTF8&docId=1000765271&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=right-4&pf_rd_r=0R7KBKJW903CVZS02ZNC&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_p=1343256942&pf_rd_i=1000729511)

    Kindle Plugin for Adobe InDesign® (Beta) is a plug-in designed to make it easier for publishers to convert documents or books created in Adobe InDesign to Kindle Format 8. Kindle Plugin for Adobe InDesign® converts the InDesign source content to a single file which supports both KF8 and Mobi formats enabling publishers to create great-looking books that work on all Kindle devices and apps.

    Highlights of Kindle Plugin functionality:

      Seamless integration into InDesign
      Direct conversion of InDesign file to a single file which supports both KF8 and Mobi formats
      Easy export for most InDesign text formatting
      Ability to adjust image quality
      Adding and editing of metadata for Kindle books
      Formatting for table of contents
      Auto updates for future enhancements

    I haven’t tested it yet, but Amazon says here that it does support KF8.

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