Kindle Create: A New Ebook Conversion Tool
Kindle Create: beautiful Kindle books with Enhanced Typesetting, automatic table of contents and templates. https://t.co/8hlAQoDtiU #eprdctn
— Palanidaran C (@palanidaran) April 5, 2017
Via an innocuous tweet yesterday, #eprdctn was introduced to a new MOBI/KF8 creation tool called Kindle Create. It is one of a suite of Amazon’s ebook creation tools (Kindle Kids’ Book Creator, Kindle Textbook Creator, and Kindle Comic Creator). This one seems to be aimed at the indie author audience and will likely serve that audience well.
Kindle Create automates the ebook process by importing a Word file, auto-detecting the structure of the book, and pouring into one of two formatting templates – modern and classic. There are some formatting menus that try to predict some basic common elements of many books.
The default templates are not likely to be accused of being typographically sophisticated but they do serve a purpose. As in other Kindle ebook tools, you can customize the font but you have three choices – Bookerly, Ember, and a monospace font – and no option to import fonts. The advanced font options are a basic dashboard of options, including allowing for some blessed drop caps.
There doesn’t appear to be any way to edit the template defaults so if you, say, wanted to fiddle with the line spacing, you would have to do it to the entire document or on a paragraph or page-by-page basis.
Images, tables, lists and other complex elements should be edited and sized before import as there is no way to change them once the file is imported. Endnotes and footnotes that are hyperlinked correctly in Word will retain their functionality via Kindle Create, which is a pleasant surprise.
Unlike other Amazon ebook creation tools, the packaged source files aren’t useful. With Kindle Kids’ Book Creator, for example, you could access the HTML and the TOC to edit as required if you were comfortable doing so.
Another important note: if you’ve added alt text to images in Word, there is no evidence of it post-ingestion into Kindle Create. I tried to preview an image using voiceover on my iPhone in Kindle iOS, but the app didn’t recognize the .kpf format.
Users can opt to import a PDF at the start of the process instead of .docx or .doc files. This will render a fixed-layout ebook without live text, that won’t work on Kindle e-readers.
This isn’t really a tool designed for the seasoned ebook developer. I imagine that independent authors with uncomplicated content who were looking to get a conversion done cheaply will find this free tool will suit their needs. A major downside for indie authors, however, is that Kindle Create produces a file that will only work on Amazon devices and/or within their ecosystem. There doesn’t seem to be a way to squeeze anything resembling an EPUB out of this tool.
A nice idea but useless to because the product is delivered straight to Amazon without the author being able to test a MOBI files on his/her own devices. I complained to Amazon about this, but go no response.
Thanks for the information. I have written a novel and would like to publish it as an e-book. I am a rookie playing my first game.
I write on a Mac and wrote my book with OpenOffice Writer. The Kindle Create User’s Manual says to upload a Word document. So, for the sole purpose of publishing an e-book with Kindle Create, I was prepared to purchase and download MS Word 2016 for Mac. Before I did, I read several poor reviews averaging 1.7 stars out of 5.
Must the document I upload to Kindle Create be Word, or is a .doc or .doc(x) file composed with OpenOffice Writer compatible? Thank you, in advance.
Yes atleast as an Author we should be allowed to test our book first and then submit to Amazon to sell. I think its better to go for manual ebook conversion.
This is my third day trying to figure out what´s going wrong, but in vain. My attempt to create a kindle format to publish failed and keeps failing. The fact that kindle create centers the text gets the dialogues in the text to be messed up. Sometimes three words are spread along a whole line. Why? The fact that I am a novice would not explain the whole issue. Many other people encountered the same problem.
I have been experimenting with this tool and the KDP previewer is a good option. But, I’d rather be able to get and then submit a .MOBI file as an output instead of a .KPF file.
You should try saving it as a kpf on Kindle Create and then upload it to Calibre to convert to a mobi file as a test 🙂
You can use the preview option.
I have been using Kindle Create for about 4 months and it is a complete disaster as an editor. The implementers of Create do not understand the difference between the text cursor and the mouse pointer which results in many unexpected actions, so of which cause changes to the document in unknown places. It takes at least five times longer to do anything because of the constrained ways you have to operate to avoid these issues. It is also missing a number of functions on the Apple version. These include ‘Replace’ and most of the shortcut keys. If you upload a clean Word document and only use Create to insert jpeg files it gives you very crisp images compared to going direct from Word. I have submitted over 50 problems on Create, gone through 5 versions and have yet to see any substantial improvement. It is 6 years old and is not a good as a text editor I wrote in two months.
I exported a .docx from LibreOffice and Kindle Create was able to import the document fine.
I uploaded my complete Word file to Kindle Create for the first time. It takes a bit of getting use to but now my Kindle Create e-book file looks perfect. Clean, readable, well spaced. I had to replace the vectors I used at the top of each chapter, but now the images are crisp. My only problem is that there is a map in my book but because KDP won’t let me download a Mobi version I cannot check if it is pixelated or not when a reader zooms in.
I would be happy to use Kindle Create to do the last minute clean up for all of my books, but I need to be able to download a Mobi, so it’s very frustrating.
James, are you using .doc format or .docx format?
I’m just starting to try out Kindle Create (getting frustrated!), so I’m no expert. But I know that .doc format (at least when created by MS Word 2003) creates little .gif versions of all your images, and adds them to the document, and they are awful. But if you create a .docx file, it doesn’t do that. So I suspect that Kindle Create might do better with a .docx file.
I totally agree!
I thought Kindle Create would let me create an eBook file, which I could view on my Kindle Paperwhite. But it apparently won’t. It will only create a .kpf file, which isn’t compatible with the Kindle.
I’m going to see if Calibre will do the needed conversion, per Rute Pereira’s suggestion (above).
Thanks for the tip. I wish I had known that and stayed with Word and Grammarily until the book was done and then use Kindle Create to publish.
Does the previewer not show all pages?