I'm trying to help my girlfriend get a simple, short (12 pages) children's book published on Amazon as a Kindle ebook for sale, and I have it laid out in book format (all pages in one file) in ID CS5.5. I downloaded the Amazon Kindle Plugin for Adobe InDesign, as well as the Amazon Kindle Previewer. After finally figuring out how to format the book using the plugin and seeing it the way we want in the Kindle Previewer, I'm noticing that the page numbering in the previewer says it's 77 pages, even though the actual book is only 12. I also read that the Amazon Kindle Previewer is meant to be used in conjunction with KindleGen, a command line tool that is the only tool officially supported by Amazon to convert files to Kindle format. If that's the case, what purpose does the Kindle Plugin for InDesign serve? The documentation I have for the plugin is "Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines for Kindle Plugin for Adobe InDesign... How to create books for the Kindle platform from Adobe InDesign". So I'm a bit confused here.
I guess my question is, once the ID file is converted to MOBI, how is it previewed to test for formatting on the various Kindle platforms?
Or am I headed in the wrong direction trying to use ID for laying out an ebook for Kindle format? I'm totally new to this and would appreciate some input from those who have experience creating Kindle ebooks for Amazon.
Does your book look good in Kindle previewer? As you know, page count doesn't matter in ebooks because each reader can change font size and other appearance variables at will. What you are looking is probably "screen count" not pages. The Kindle previewer in lack of having an actual Kindle, is the best tool to preview your Kindle ebook.
The Kindle previewer allows you test in the different Kindle versions: Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle HD, etc. You just have to choose the version you want.
Thanks so much for your input.
Yes, it looks great in Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and Kindle Fire HD 8.9". The Paperwhite kind of breaks things up on some pages, forcing text onto the next page. The regular Kindle (which I guess is the old original Kindle), and Kindle DX look terrible. Both the Kindle for iPhone and iPad don't seem to recognize page breaks, and break things up. But the Fire, Fire HD, and Fire HD 8.9" look very good.
So I'm guessing from your response that once we finalize the books (it's in five languages), they'll work fine once uploaded to Amazon?
When you submit your Kindle book to Amazon, they will check it for any issues. If everything is OK, you still have a chance to review it one more time before it goes public. I have no experience with other languages. I'm about to publish one in Spanish, and plan to do it in a few more languages. Regarding looking good and not so good in some of the previews, I had the same experience. But when I submitted it to Amazon, and received the OK, everything went smooth.
Children's books should usually use the fixed layout Kindle format. The InDesign Plugin doesn't do that. The book needs to be hand coded in html and css. It's discussed in Chapter 4 in the Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines and on this page: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000729511. You might be able to use the Amazon sample -- there is a link that lets you download the actual files on the page I just linked to -- and modify them to suit your book.
For regular books, I never use the InDesign plugin as I want more control over my ebook formatting. I use the epub output and then convert from epub to mobi using KindleGen. It's actually just as easy and it gives you the opportunity to tweak the html after you output which I like.