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Old 06-14-2015, 11:08 AM   #1
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How many mobi readers vs. kf8?

I'm struggling with making all kinds of advanced layout reasonably nice-looking for mobi-only devices, and started wondering if it's actually worth the effort? How many readers will be left out in the cold if I decide not to bother? Does anybody have any numbers about how many "live" ancient Kindles are out there?
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:27 AM   #2
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Amazon doesn't release that sort of information, so we only guess. Kindles are very durable, but the batteries on the K1, K2, and early K3s are getting old. I have a K3 Keyboard of the second generation, however, and it is still working as good as new. (It only gets occasional use.)

Amazon still sells the DX, and that too is Mobi 7 only.

The things I would worry about are two: if the Mobi 7 conversion makes a hash of your book, aren't you risking one-star reviews? And then too, there's a world of e-readers out side the Amazon universe. Right now, my July sales are divided 3 to 1 in favor of Amazon. Overseas, I suspect it's more like 1 to 1. I wouldn't give up those sales for anything, and fancy KF8 tricks probably won't export very well.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:18 AM   #3
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The K3 has had a firmware update that supports KF8. That only leaves the K1, K2, and KDX models that have no KF8 support.

IMHO, Mobi is obsolete and it's not worth the effort to support it. If people find that they need KF8, they can buy a newer Kindle and be done with the old ones.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:18 AM   #4
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I agree with Jon. The number of mobi-only devices that can't do ePub is now vanishingly small. They're not worth worrying about.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:33 AM   #5
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I think Amazon should allow uploaders to indicate that a book is unsuitable for mobi-only readers. That way, in the case of advanced formatting, the book would show up as incompatible with their older device (if they have one).

I agree that there may not be enough left out there to warrant the extra work, but I also don't like the idea of leaving paying customers in the lurch either. If someone CAN buy your book for their mobi-only device, a part of me believes there's an obligation to make sure it works adequately on that device (though Amazon's generous return policy does mitigate that obligation a bit).

Allowing content providers to flag their products as "not suitable for K1, K2, DX" would be ideal I think, but alas... that's probably not in the cards.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:47 AM   #6
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I think a warning would be good to give only if the advanced formatting completely messes up the mobi format. Often it will just get ignored and the content will remain readable, just not pretty.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:51 AM   #7
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I am not exactly surprised that JSWolf (who is highly critical of Amazon and religiously believes all Kindle owners should switch to Kobos and possibly set fire to their Kindle on the way out) is advocating to leave older Kindle owners out in the cold.
Because as he said, it is their fault if they are stupid enough to use a device that isn't cutting-edge.

Not sure why you agree pdurrant.



All I can say is, @Hitch works in the biz. And she still goes to efforts to make sure there are decent MOBI fallbacks.

Probably because her livelihood depends on creating working products, and she can't afford to be lazy on top of dismissive of whole swaths of her clients' customer base.
Apparently it is worth it for her.


Diap -- return policies don't save you from one-star reviews...


Now, if all you are doing is making books as a hobby, perhaps to upload to the Patricia Clark Memorial Library, then by all means, don't do any more work than is useful for you personally.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:57 AM   #8
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There could be situations where you just cannot format the eBook in Mobi the way you want because it's just not possible. Mobi is old and Amazon supporting older devices is a good thing, but there can be times when the Mobi version just isn't all that great because it cannot handle the more advanced formatting of KF8.

There are more people with KF8 compatible Kindles than non-KF8 Kindles. It's not a good idea to dumb down your eBook just because of Mobi.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:10 PM   #9
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Who said anything about dumbing down the KF8 section?
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
I am not exactly surprised that JSWolf [snip] is advocating to leave older Kindle owners out in the cold.
Because as he said, it is their fault if they are stupid enough to use a device that isn't cutting-edge.

Not sure why you agree pdurrant.
Please don't mis-represent people's posts. Jon did not say that people using older machines are stupid.

I agreed with Jon that there's not a lot of point in spending a lot of time making sure a book looks really good as a mobi.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:26 PM   #11
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I think a warning would be good to give only if the advanced formatting completely messes up the mobi format. Often it will just get ignored and the content will remain readable, just not pretty.
I agree. But I meant more than just an ignorable warning. I meant if the uploader marked it as unsuitable for mobi-only devices, then one wouldn't be able to download the ebook to/for that mobi-only device.

A "You don't have a device registered to your account that's capable of reading this book--turn back now." warning.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I agree. But I meant more than just an ignorable warning. I meant if the uploader marked it as unsuitable for mobi-only devices, then one wouldn't be able to download the ebook to/for that mobi-only device.

A "You don't have a device registered to your account that's capable of reading this book--turn back now." warning.
Amazon do already have a mechanism whereby some content is only available on certain devices. So technically, they could do it easily.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:49 PM   #13
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Please don't mis-represent people's posts. Jon did not say that people using older machines are stupid.
Correct, he merely recommended screwing them over.
In the common vernacular "the stupid saps are old-fashioned, so who cares about them".

Quote:
I agreed with Jon that there's not a lot of point in spending a lot of time making sure a book looks really good as a mobi.
Well, unless it's your job...

Hitch for one seems to disagree with you -- in her official capacity as someone who does this for a living.
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:00 PM   #14
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Amazon do already have a mechanism whereby some content is only available on certain devices. So technically, they could do it easily.
I've run into those in the past. Often comic books, if I remember correctly. I'm sure they could do it. I'm just not certain they're prepared to give KDP uploaders the power to veto a fallback version of their ebook.

It would solve a lot of problems IMO, though. For those who don't want to take the time to make sure their book degrades gracefully on older devices, they can simply make the choice to not have a mobi-only version of their book available. They may lose a few sales, but they won't have angry customers complaining about the horrible formatting of a version of the book (that "I paid good money for!") the content-provider couldn't be bothered to make nice.

Something about just letting the mobi chips "fall where they may" rubs me the wrong way, I guess. If it's there for sale, then I believe it needs to be right(ish). If it wasn't available for those devices ... then so be it. That's a different kettle of fish.

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Old 06-15-2015, 11:27 PM   #15
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I just wish Amazon would let us gracefully degrade the content ourselves instead of trying to degrade it themselves. Kindlegen's translation of CSS to HTML is abominably bad, resulting in really nasty, hackish workarounds. I'd be a lot more likely to recommend that everyone produce MOBI fallback content if kindlegen let me provide a separate, bare-bones EPUB for the MOBI7 slice. As it is, supporting MOBI7 is painful enough that I tend to agree with the folks saying "It's just not worth it."
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