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Old 10-12-2011, 12:50 PM   #1
photoluminations
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epub to mobi/kindle for FIRE: issues-best practices?

This concerns a heavily illustrated kids' book of 130 "pages" for publication via Kindle system, specifically for the not-yet-seen FIRE color reader. The book depends on color for effect so the FIRE is the only target platform in Kindle universe.

I assume (perhaps foolishly)--OK, I hope-- that if a book reads OK in the KINDLEGEN, it will read on the FIRE.

I recognize that Calibre is NOT designed as a publishing tool, but what else is there? Sigil doesn't quite do the job. And Calibre does most of the needed conversion nicely.

I generate a well-formed epub from html and CSS. I feed the epub to KINDLEGEN using the Calibre settings for the KINDLE DX output profile; that succeeds to generate a MOBI file. The file reads well on the KINDLE VIEWER (but not so well on Kindle for PC).

QUESTION ONE: @rules, what is happening here, does it matter?

KINDLEGEN says this numerous times:
"Info(cssparser): @rules other than @import and@charset are not supported"
I assume these are rewrites of CSS rules to html??

QUESTION TWO: Adding additional metadata and guide info. I propose this method, will it work? other methods?

After I add the html file to Calibre, Calibre creates an OPF file and FILE.ZIP. I can open the OPF and do the following:

identify the cover in the metadata and the manifest.
reference in the guide: the html TOC, the cover, and the start reading location

QUESTION THREE: Best practices for images?

Since every time a jpeg image is modified it loses quality, some experts advise replacing all images with well-formed, pristine images in the final package. I think this can be done by giving each image the identifier name generated by Calibre and replacing the images in the Calibre output.
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Old 10-12-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
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You're using some terms that don't make any sense.

Calibre != Kindlegen

If you're using Kindlegen then you're not using Calibre - just use your ePub output from Sigil and convert using Kindlegen.

If you want to use Calibre then use Calibre to convert from ePub to mobi.

Calibre had some issues in the past creating mobi files that allowed Amazon to add DRM, but that's been fixed for many months. Depending on the specific formatting of your ePub either Calibre or Kindlegen might do a better job. In general I've heard more positive feedback for Calibre.

Regarding previewing the book, traditionally Kindle Previewer was the best way to get an accurate preview of how the book would look on a Kindle. This is probably no longer the case with the Kindle Fire, and you'll probably need to ask around on the Kindle forums or other places to find out what the best way to view these are - my guess is it would render identically as the Kindle App on Android.

Lastly, Amazon has a history of trashing images in ebooks to save their whispernet costs - I'm not sure where in the distribution process this happens, but every mobi I've ever gotten from Amazon has always had massively/horribly compressed images compared to the original ePub sources - not sure if they're going to relax on this stance with the Kindle Fire.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:16 PM   #3
photoluminations
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Idolse, thanks for your input. Kindlegen can accept html or epub. Calibre does a good job of converting html to epub. Sigil has a lot of problems that make it not as good for editing as Calibre--for example, it revises files without asking. I am building the book in html & CSS. I don't feed the html direct to Kindlegen because I would then have to do a huge amount of conversion--breaking the html into 130 files, making carefully coded lists, etc. to meet epub or mobi specs.

Calibre conversion has some problems which I pointed out, but may be OK--reason for posting is to get input on this.

No way to know if/how FIRE will handle files, can't get one to test. I'm hoping that Calibre will update the output options when the information is available.

Amazon specifies images must be JPEG no larger than 127Kb @ 300 dpi. JPEG loses every time it is modified.
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