Kindle Previewer 3.0 Fail

System error in laptop epic fail. Atomic bomb explosion nuclear, Man manager programmer and bug in the computer
  • Sumo

I had an interesting experience today with a MOBI. In a book with lots of images, many were out of place. They were correctly placed in the EPUB edition, but somehow moved around in the conversion to MOBI. Sleuth time.

Here are the main characters:

  1. Valid EPUB3 file
  2. Kindle Previewer 3.17.1

Here is the workflow:

  1. Drag valid EPUB3’s content.opf onto Kindle Previewer 3
  2. Wait a while
  3. View result in KP3, different views, make adjustments, repeat
  4. Load onto Kindle Fire, scroll through looking for presentation issues, make adjustments, repeat
  5. Send file to client for content check

Here is what client said:

  1. $!!!!??@@$%^W####$#$%#@@*
  2. Why are many images in the wrong places?
  3. Did you use the correct EPUB?
  4. !!!!??@@$%^W###$#$%#@@&^%&*
    *Actually, client was not aggravated. This is just my transference.

Here is what I did to diagnose/solve the problem:

  1. Ascertained that yes, I used the correct file.
  2. Looked at locations in HTML where images were wrong in the MOBI.
  3. Ascertained that correct images were in place in the HTML.
  4. Scratched my head.

Then I went back over my process for the entire job:

  1. I created this job in 2 distinct sections due to client needs.
  2. I exported some grouped images from InDesign using Object Export Options — Rasterize Container
  3. InDesign exported these groups and named them sequentially: 1.jpg, 2.jpg, etc.
  4. Because I created the project in 2 sections, I had 2 sets of identically named images.
  5. To combine the 2 sections of the job, I created image folders for each set (imagesONE and imagesTWO).
  6. The paths were correct in HTML:
     <img src="imagesONE/16.jpg" alt="">
     <img src="imagesTWO/16.jpg" alt="">
  7. I validated the EPUB, client reviewed, approved.

And finally, to get to the MOBI:

  1. I opened Kindle Previewer 3.17.1 and dragged the content.opf over the window (my usual way of creating a MOBI).

$!!!!??@@$%^W####$#$%#@@ ensues.

Here’s what I tried after going over my process:

  1. I opened Kindle Previewer 2.9 and placed content.opf

Images are all in correct places.

So, it’s a Kindle Previewer 3 issue. Then I tried this:

  1. I dragged the valid EPUB itself over KP3.

And there it was, everything in place.

So it’s a Kindle Previewer 3 issue, but only when content.opf is used as the source.

What I learned:

  1. Kindle Previewer 3.17.1 can’t be trusted.
  2. KP3 didn’t follow the paths as written in the HTML; it used “imagesONE/16.jpg” in place of “imagesTWO/16.jpg”
  3. Using content.opf as source may produce different result than using complete EPUB.
  4. I should explore uploading EPUB to Amazon instead of creating my own MOBI
  5. I should avoid using duplicate names for images, even if kept in separate folders.
  6. I should remember that there’s always ice cream.

2 Responses to “Kindle Previewer 3.0 Fail”

  1. I’m aware that some books must have images, but when they don’t, why not leave them out of Kindle editions, particularly those priced between $2.99 and $9.99. Then you not only avoid this hassle, you don’t have to pay Amazon’s grossly inflated $0.15 per megabit charge, one they they misname a “download fee.” That fee is far more than cellular companies charge for their data service and infinitely more than it costs Amazon to distribute Kindle books via the Internet.

    I really cannot understand why publishers and authors don’t kick back at that fee. Apply enough pressure and Amazon will drop it. As far as I know, no other ebook retailer even charges a download fee, much less one that inflated.

    For now, you might just go with option #4, “I should explore uploading EPUB to Amazon instead of creating my own MOBI.” That’s what I do and it seems to work well enough.

  2. Sue Campbell says:

    My experience with KP 3.17.1 is that it is MESSED UP! Won’t convert a valid epub. Log says it converted, though error message says it didn’t. (Log is indecipherable to me anyway.)

    I cannot preview a mobi file before releasing to client to upload to his distributor who uploads to Amazon. According to the distributor, Epub was accepted everywhere else, apparently. Yes, the epub may convert fine on Amazon’s site, but it would sure be better if I can see any issues before this happens. Because this is a complex book with images, and maps, and tables, and an index there well may be issues to say the least. So yeah. Complex.

    I downloaded KP 2.941 again to see if it would work, but now it won’t even run on my Mac. Angry. Grrr.