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Old 09-20-2012, 11:23 PM   #1
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Any reason to create pre-KF8 e-books?

I have a book that does not really take advantage of any advanced KF8 formatting. Would I benefit from creating a “lean and mean” prc file for this book? Or it will be converted to KF8 anyway, once uploaded to KDP?

I tried side-loading prc files to Kindle Fire, and Kndle Fire displays them no problem. Not sure about Fire-HD.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:17 AM   #2
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Well, if your book doesn't need any fancy KF8 things like videos, dropcaps, etc, then I would go ahead and just format it for the old mobi. I use Calibre... epub to mobi conversion (I know, Amazon wants us to use Kindlegen, but if you want an old mobi, why not)... Preview it in KindlePreviewer to make sure it looks good in all Kindle devices, but it's a pretty stress-free conversion. I guess you could use MobiPocket too, but you won't get the TOC.ncx file... although I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:03 AM   #3
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It's not a good idea to create Mobi files for KDP using Calibre - KDP will often reject such files. Use KindleGen for it - it's no harder, and Amazon's official tool.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:56 PM   #4
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Actually I made prc books with (manually created) toc.ncx, perfectly working on Kindle, no problem, using Mobipocket Creator.

The only thing I have not investigated how to do is printed book page number matching, since the last book I compiled was before Kindles supported page numbers.

So, to sum up, KDP still supports .prc books, and it will not convert them to the KF8 format automatically. Is that right?
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:38 PM   #5
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That's correct.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:56 PM   #6
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I just finished the KDP publishing process using a Mobipocket Creator generated .prc e-book.

Everything went fine. Except KDP reprocessed my file, removing my perfectly calibrated cover and replacing it with an automatically generated cover image that has compression artifacts; this is a known issue. If anyone knows how to force a particular cover image file for Kindle, please share.

After KDP processing my e-book became 9 kilobytes larger.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:06 AM   #7
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I kind of wonder if it might be worth considering transitioning to KF8 as standard though.
If the new Kindles support KF8 now, then it may be worth thinking about at some time.

Do Amazon have any plans at all? I'd certainly like to be kept in the loop from them rather than just 'discover' things ad-hoc. What's the official Kindle Developer support email?
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:36 AM   #8
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All Kindles starting from the Kindle 3, also known as the Kindle Keyboard, are now on KF8.

To put it another way, the only ones that don't support it are the Kindle 1, Kindle 2 and Kindle DX. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

There are not many of those old devices, so I would say that it makes sense to make everything KF8 if you can. You might start with only using a few small features, but over time consumers will expect more.

It is well worth downloading the official KF8 sample file and looking at that on your Kindle. Click on the bottom of the right hand column of this useful page:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000729511
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:03 PM   #9
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@Tugger: Yes, that's what I was thinking. I'd already kind of stopped full Kindle 1&2 support by using tables (albeit simple ones) without any complaint from clients or customers.
I've already made some technical test KF8 eBooks and really enjoyed the freedom to format.
Hmmm... I feel a poll coming on!
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:05 PM   #10
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@Tugger: Yes, that's what I was thinking. I'd already kind of stopped full Kindle 1&2 support by using tables (albeit simple ones) without any complaint from clients or customers.
Why do you say that? The Mobi file format has always (to the best of my knowledge) supported simple tables. I've used them in a number of my books (they're good for showing things like business cards, where you want to have a border visible) and nobody's ever said that they don't work.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:30 PM   #11
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Why do you say that? The Mobi file format has always (to the best of my knowledge) supported simple tables. I've used them in a number of my books (they're good for showing things like business cards, where you want to have a border visible) and nobody's ever said that they don't work.
Go grab one of those big old white Kindles - tables don't work on them.
But hey, I think we can all move on from those now.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:10 PM   #12
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Go grab one of those big old white Kindles - tables don't work on them.
But hey, I think we can all move on from those now.
This is simply not true. Not true at all. I'm looking at an example of a working (albeit very simple) table right now, on my big old white Kindle. My big old white Kindle that I read on every single day, and have no immediate intentions of "moving on from."

Besides, even with the new miracle KF8 format, it's pretty easy to break an ill-thought out tabular layout by an end user simply increasing the font size.

While I do recommend upgrading to the newer KF8 format wherever possible, I still think it's important that content creators make every effort to ensure that their ebooks' fall-back MOBI versions function correctly and are formatted consistently with—and at least visually similar to—the KF8 version. Mainly because: it's not really all that hard to do ... so don't be lazy and skip that step simply because you don't think it's going to affect very many people.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 10-04-2012 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:04 PM   #13
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Go grab one of those big old white Kindles - tables don't work on them.
I beg to differ; they work absolutely fine. Simple tables have always been supported by Mobi.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:21 PM   #14
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I beg to differ; they work absolutely fine. Simple tables have always been supported by Mobi.
Quoting from Joshua Tallent's book:

"The Kindle 1 does not support HTML tables, but the Kindle 2 does. Table tags in your HTML file on a Kindle 1 will be completely ignored, and the resulting content will be pretty much unreadable."

This is exactly what I found years ago.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:05 PM   #15
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With the greatest respect to the doubtless estimable Mr Tallent, my experience differs from his, but given the small number of people still using K1s, it's perhaps a moot point.
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