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Old 06-24-2019, 05:28 AM   #1
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Dual Mobi. How Compatible?

I want to upload mobi to Smashwords.
Amazon now accepts ePub uploads and converts to "mobi". Except what you get downloaded, even selecting "download to PC and transfer via USB", depends on which model of Kindle you have registered, or which you select if you have more than one.

Calibre seems to suggest some models of Kindle don't work with dual format. I've tested here, and I get what looks like "old mobi" on a Kindle Keyboard with last official FW (2.5.8? Though curiously it does display azw3/KF8 format files ending in azw from Calibre, though without the fonts shown on a PW3).

So the question!
Which models of Kindle DON'T work with the Calibre "dual format mobi"? I believe it's Mobi6 and a KF8 in the same file, thus I presume images are not duplicated.

It seems like the solution for mobi upload to Smashwords as their MS Doc conversion can give unexpected results and seems to be to mobi6, no publisher fonts.
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:23 AM   #2
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Questions about Mobi book creation belong in the "Kindle Formats" forum, to where I'm moving this.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:43 PM   #3
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Though more about consumption than creation, but yes, this is a better place.

So do note, dear netzians, the question isn't about making dual mobi files but which kindles don't accept them?
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrustratedReader View Post
Calibre seems to suggest some models of Kindle don't work with dual format.
Even though some KDP authors managed to upload Calibre-generated .mobi files to KDP you should never use Calibre to generate .mobi files for KDP upload.

Quote:
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Which models of Kindle DON'T work with the Calibre "dual format mobi"? I believe it's Mobi6 and a KF8 in the same file, thus I presume images are not duplicated.
If you generate a .mobi file with Kindle Previewer/KindleGen, it'll automatically generate a dual format .mobi file with attached source files. These files can be openend by all Kindle models. (Older models, will automatically read the old format.)

If you upload a .mobi file generated by Kindle Previewer/KindleGen to KDP, Amazon will automatically extract the correct format and send it to the buyer.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:25 AM   #5
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Even though some KDP authors managed to upload Calibre-generated .mobi files to KDP you should never use Calibre to generate .mobi files for KDP upload.
I use epub2 uploads to KDP, more reliable than doc or docx. The dual mobi are for Smashwords own customers mobi downloads. They only distribute the epub to libraries and other retailers.

I think though I've discovered a snag with upload of epub, dual mobi and '.doc' to Smashwords. It means no percentage sample downloads in mobi and epub.
Maybe I should offer the 20% sample downloads on our publisher's site, but they would need more infrastructure for that.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Even though some KDP authors managed to upload Calibre-generated .mobi files to KDP you should never use Calibre to generate .mobi files for KDP upload.
I'd not dream of doing that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
If you generate a .mobi file with Kindle Previewer/KindleGen, it'll automatically generate a dual format .mobi file with attached source files. These files can be openend by all Kindle models. (Older models, will automatically read the old format.)
So you think the dual format file works on all kindles?

I've looked at Kindle Previewer and KindleGen on a win7 desktop a few weeks ago.
1) I only use Linux day to day now for the last 2+ years.
2) I use a Kindle Keyboard and a Kindle Paperwhite 3 to 'Preview', I have used a Kindle DXG and a Kindle Touch (1?) in the past. I also use Calibre ebook viewer. I check epubs on phone apps, 2 x Kobos, a Nook and a Sony as well as the Calibre viewer.
3) The Amazon tools don't seem very good and their own upload processing of doc & docx produces a substandard old mobi and kf8/azw files. I have the two kindles on separate Amazon accounts, on separate browsers to separate countries to test what Amazon deliver, as well as download of the 'preview mobi' file for Kindle from KDP upload page. I'm not sure why they suggest emailing that to the kindle rather than USB transfer.
4) Uploading an epub2 from Calibre gives perfect mobi and AZW downloads. I convert in Calibre via Save As 'MS docx' import from LibreOffice Writer (5x or 6x makes no difference) results in epub files that look the same as original Writer document (edited & saved in odt). The resultant Amazon azw files are looking the same as epub publisher mode, and mobi look like a dumb font version.
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:06 PM   #7
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I'd not dream of doing that!



So you think the dual format file works on all kindles?

I've looked at Kindle Previewer and KindleGen on a win7 desktop a few weeks ago.
1) I only use Linux day to day now for the last 2+ years.
2) I use a Kindle Keyboard and a Kindle Paperwhite 3 to 'Preview', I have used a Kindle DXG and a Kindle Touch (1?) in the past. I also use Calibre ebook viewer. I check epubs on phone apps, 2 x Kobos, a Nook and a Sony as well as the Calibre viewer.
3) The Amazon tools don't seem very good and their own upload processing of doc & docx produces a substandard old mobi and kf8/azw files. I have the two kindles on separate Amazon accounts, on separate browsers to separate countries to test what Amazon deliver, as well as download of the 'preview mobi' file for Kindle from KDP upload page. I'm not sure why they suggest emailing that to the kindle rather than USB transfer.
4) Uploading an epub2 from Calibre gives perfect mobi and AZW downloads. I convert in Calibre via Save As 'MS docx' import from LibreOffice Writer (5x or 6x makes no difference) results in epub files that look the same as original Writer document (edited & saved in odt). The resultant Amazon azw files are looking the same as epub publisher mode, and mobi look like a dumb font version.
I'm not sure you understand what's happening here. And I'm not sure, when you say "MOBI" (the "dumb font version") which version you mean, on what device.

As you seem to know, inside each MOBI are three files, basically; a copy of the source, whether that's an HTML zipped folder, or an ePUB, etc.; a KF7 mobi and a KF8 mobi. When you order a file from Amazon, what is downloaded to your device is what Amazon matches to the device. That's all.

Quite simply, your KK--which was, as far as I know, one of the last generation of eInks (not including the DX) that was strictly KF7 and was not updated to KF8--is showing you the KF7 mobi, period. That's why you don't see fonts or the like.

In terms of what you see, the TYPE of "conversion you see" can also be impacted by the mode you take to get it to the device. If you sideload it, you will probably see a more-advanced appearing file. If you send it via email, there's an excellent chance that it's going through the old PDS system, and rendering a KF7 only MOBI, although I thought Amazon had updated that. I've recently tested and seen differences between the two, still.

Moreover, if you're loading DOCX files to Amazon, you will NOT get fonts, at all. DOCX can't "carry" fonts for processing; to do that, you have to have embedded fonts in an HTML environment, whether that's ePUB or a zipped HTML folder with the font files. You're skewing the results by testing two completely different systems. If you load properly prepared files to Amazon--like an ePUB--you'll get the same high-quality mobis that you want. But loading a docx file to Amazon won't get you that, and comparing a docx-created file, from Amazon, to an ePUB/MOBI created by Calibre, is apples and oranges.

This entire conversation is moot, really. You can't upload AZW or AZW3 files to KDP. You can load docx or zipped HTML or ePUBS or MOBI files. In terms of Smashwords, given that they're already using the Calibre API, they'll process the file just as if you'd made it yourself.

BTW, if your ePUBs do not have embedded fonts, you won't get those, either. Just calling a font, in an ePUB, won't embed it. Same with mobi source files.

So, as I said, your divergent testing method is creating the "dumb font version" yourself. It's not Amazon's doing. It's yours.

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Old 07-05-2019, 05:50 AM   #8
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I'm not worried about Amazon, or the testing method. All I care is that "dual mobi" created by Calibre will work on all Kindles, when downloaded from Smashwords. Amazon does their own magic from the epubs and it's working on paid download from Amazon on PW3 and Kindle Keyboard.

Fonts are not the only problem with doc & docx upload to Amazon. You can actually embed fonts in an MS doc, though I forget if Amazon uses them. Smashwords does for epubs. I wasn't aware that Smashwords use the Calibre API, certainly it's limited, if they do, by the fact that Smashwords don't accept docx, which works better than odt or doc for Calibre. Smashwords conversion from doc certainly doesn't create the same mobi and epub as I get from Calibre.
So I upload epub2 to Amazon (LibreOffice Writer, edit in ODT, Save As docx of final version for Calibre).
I upload dual mobi, same epub2 as uploaded to Amazon and ms doc (Writer Save As) for Smashwords HTML preview, LRF and PDB.
Seemingly Smashwords doesn't create short samples from directly uploaded mobi and ebpub, only from doc and only for those formats if the format wasn't uploaded.

The reason I stopped uploading ms doc or docx to Amazon was their advice to use mobi or epub, because their conversion stopped inserting page breaks. The same docx or doc imported to Kindle Creator on Win 7 (all freshly setup at their recommendation) does give page breaks. So eventually they gave up trying to figure it out and told me to upload mobi or epub from Calibre or Smashwords after they reviewed the ebooks in those formats from those sources!
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrustratedReader View Post
I'm not worried about Amazon, or the testing method. All I care is that "dual mobi" created by Calibre will work on all Kindles, when downloaded from Smashwords. Amazon does their own magic from the epubs and it's working on paid download from Amazon on PW3 and Kindle Keyboard.

Fonts are not the only problem with doc & docx upload to Amazon. You can actually embed fonts in an MS doc, though I forget if Amazon uses them.
No, it doesn't, which is why I said what I said. And to repeat what I said, to the best of my knowledge, the KK of that generation was one of the last of the KF7 Mobi devices.

Quote:
Smashwords does for epubs. I wasn't aware that Smashwords use the Calibre API, certainly it's limited, if they do, by the fact that Smashwords don't accept docx, which works better than odt or doc for Calibre. Smashwords conversion from doc certainly doesn't create the same mobi and epub as I get from Calibre.
Well, Coker could have changed it, but AFAIK, they've used the Calibre API since time immemorial. Ask Kovid, he can speak to that. Surely you noticed that the output options are suspiciously familiar to any Calibre user, no? They've accepted doc since the very beginning. And you can upload ePUB there, too. In terms of eBook formatting, doc versus docx--if you're making an eBook that's so simple that it can be made from a word-processing file, rather than needing HTML to make it work--saving a docx down to doc should not be a problem.


Quote:
So I upload epub2 to Amazon (LibreOffice Writer, edit in ODT, Save As docx of final version for Calibre).
I upload dual mobi, same epub2 as uploaded to Amazon and ms doc (Writer Save As) for Smashwords HTML preview, LRF and PDB.
Seemingly Smashwords doesn't create short samples from directly uploaded mobi and ebpub, only from doc and only for those formats if the format wasn't uploaded.
If you mean that SW is not processing your ePUB or MOBI to make your sample, yes, I think that's right. But I don't know SW very well--I do know Amazon's processes quite well. I'm frankly surprised to hear you can upload a MOBI to SW; I would have thought that was not doable.

Quote:
The reason I stopped uploading ms doc or docx to Amazon was their advice to use mobi or epub, because their conversion stopped inserting page breaks. The same docx or doc imported to Kindle Creator on Win 7 (all freshly setup at their recommendation) does give page breaks. So eventually they gave up trying to figure it out and told me to upload mobi or epub from Calibre or Smashwords after they reviewed the ebooks in those formats from those sources!
AMAZON told you to upload a Calibre-built mobi? Well, that would be a first, since they have repeatedly and consistently told people not to use 3rd-party tools for forever. Tell you to upload an ePUB, yes--but a Calibre-built MOBI?

In terms of page breaks, as I don't know what you used to create those, I can't speak to it. I've seen KDP honor properly-inserted page breaks in MOBI, from docx files, for years now. How were you inserting those?

Kindle Create is a DIY tool for people that do NOT know how to use ePUB or HTML; it works off of Word's built-in Styles/CSS, that's all. Really, there's no good comparison between KC and ePUB or HTML formats. Night and day. Not to mention, a completely different end-result product.

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Old 07-05-2019, 11:54 AM   #10
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Smashwords Mobi upload is only used for Smashwords mobi download.
Smashwords epub upload is only used for Smashwords epub download.
Smashwords "ms doc" upload is only used for anything not specifically uploaded.

I've compared docx, doc (even from MS Word) and odt imports to Calibre. Even for an ordinary novel, docx works best, which is what Kovid says for wordprocessor file imports.

I'd decided ages ago that's what Kindle Create was, a simple toy application. Anyway, the doc (or docx) USED to have page breaks when uploaded to Amazon 2016 to 2019. The same files worked fine on Smashwords or Calibre. The Kindle Create put the page breaks but otherwise was poor as it only uses a set of its own styles for headings and body. Amazon requested copies of the mobi files Calibre and Smashwords created and said as they didn't understand why their conversion was have NO page breaks ANYWHERE and EVERY OTHER tool was, that I should just upload finished eBooks in future, the first time they used Smashwords Mobi and then after I used Calibre ePub because the "first paragraph" wasn't 100% exactly same as other body paragraphs apart from the indent (no indent on a first paragraph after any centred heading or break).

So anyway Amazon is sorted. More than ten titles of the last 3 years.

It seems then that the dual mobi (Mobi6 + KF8 according to Calibre) is fine for Kindles. That's only uploaded to Smashwords and only for Kindle/Mobi download.

The ePub2 100% by Calibre from docx from LibreOffice Writer matches my WP text. A dual Mobi is made in Calibre from the Calibre created ePub.

I looked at Sigil and it has no advantage for me over the simpler to use Calibre.

Testing on Nook Simple Touch, Sony PRS350 (Also T1 for awhile, it's gone back, too flaky), Kobo N905C, Daisy Group ePub validator, Kobo Aura H2O original, three apps on Android phone, Kindle Keyboard (I did have DXG, but gave it away) and Kindle PW3. Occasionally Kindle Touch (any time I want, it's in the family and all the books read on it).

The RTF export on Calibre seems to work best to import epub or mobi from public domain sources to wordprocessor to fix typos, poor proofing, bad formatting, lack of TOC etc.
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:37 PM   #11
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You didn't say how the page breaks were created, so I can't speak to why they mightn't work on the KDP process.

I will say this--unless the files get kicked upstairs, to the "real" tech support, you may as well not ask the question. The people that you'll get, to answer a question like that, know nearly less than you do about making and building MOBI files.

Did you create those page breaks using page-break functionality in Word? Using page-break always or before, or...?

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Old 07-05-2019, 02:09 PM   #12
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Amazon now accepts ePub uploads
And has done for more than seven years!

IMHO you're much better off using Sigil.
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:37 PM   #13
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Did you create those page breaks using page-break functionality in Word? Using page-break always or before, or...?
I checked in Word 2002. I set up a win7 ultimate PC especially and installed the MS Word I used from 2002 to 2016 on my ancient laptop. I use LibreOffice 6.x and 5.x on various Linux laptops and netbooks. I was using LibreOffice & Calibre on XP for some years before switching to Linux entirely.

I was using "insert page before" in "text flow" in "Paragraph Style". Which worked for three years and nearly two years on Linux only platform for Amazon uploads. The SAME file was working with their Kindle Create, Calibre and Smashwords. They had no idea why neither doc, docx, from LibreOffice or MS Word 2002 was giving ZERO page breaks on their upload but working on everything else.

Yes, I know how useless tech support is. When I worked in tech only the problems of rich important corporate customers reached us. We rarely had any idea of the insane rubbish the script monkeys gave to the public. Which is why we used to look at 3rd party forums from time to time in case something mysterious got broken. Once it was a local council installing uncertified illegal equipment all over the city!

I DO NOT NEED WHAT SIGIL DOES. I READ WRITE AND EDIT. Actually converting my "docx" file from LibreOffice with Calibre to an ePub works absolutely perfectly.

Maybe if I was doing a "plot your own adventure" or a complex document I'd use Sigil. A Straight novel with chapters, breaks, the odd image and TOC is really simple and once you understand the how paragraph styles, headings and ebooks work, Calibre is FAST and SIMPLE!

Sigil is like the old days of Wordstar 3.0 and dedicated DTP programs that were complicated to use. Or making webpages before WYSIWYG editors or CMS like Wordpress and Drupal. It's a niche product for specialist full time epub "editors" making complex ebooks. I have Sigil for ages and have spent considerable time on it. I also looked at the epub plugin for LibreOffice 5.x and the built in epub export in LibreOffice 6.x.

Sorry, but I've been doing WP, DTP, Webpages, programming, writing, SQL, etc for over 25 years and teaching it too and I'm fed up with people telling me to use Sigil or Kindle Creator (sublime to ridiculous) when Calibre does exactly what I want. You can even edit the epub in Calibre epub editor if you are clueless about how to use Styles in LibreOffice (I do use that to debug when the unexpected happens). If you need to edit the ePub your'e using the Wordprocessor styles wrong.

Last edited by Quoth; 07-05-2019 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:54 PM   #14
Quoth
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Originally Posted by Notjohn View Post
And has done for more than seven years!
However only recently obvious on their upload page.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:09 PM   #15
Hitch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrustratedReader View Post
However only recently obvious on their upload page.
AND, after all this sturm und drang, I still don't think you can upload a MOBI, or PRC, or AZW or AZW3 to Smashwords.

At this point, I'm not sure if there are any questions remaining. You already know that the more-advanced KF8 MOBI, as Calibre-users call it, can't be used by millions of older devices. That's why the dual mobi exists--so that the older content can be used by it. The Kindle, K2, DXes (of which there are a huge, huge number), the KK, the original K3, and I think that's all of them, not counting variants that came and went for the first 5 or so years.

I don't believe that you can upload a KF7 MOBI to SW, so...your best path seems to be, upload an ePUB and what happens, happens. I presume that people buying MOBI files at SW are pretty accustomed to the crappy API output anyway, so, what the heck.

You are aware that when people say that the older Kindles "can't use" the dual MOBI, that what they mean is, it can't SEE the more-advanced coding? It doesn't mean that they literally can't use the file. I load full-tilt-boogie, made from ePUB3 MOBI files onto my K2 all the time; it simply renders what it can and ignores the more-advanced stuff that it can't see.

The trick is to make sure that the KF7 version is correctly made, using HTML for the formatting, not CSS. If you were to upload a KF8 MOBI, only, not dual (one that had been parsed from a dual, for example), THAT would be problematic, but KF7 Kindles read the KF7 content from a dual just fine.

Does that answer your question?

Yes, we're all clear on what you want. You don't care what the code looks like, you just want it done. Sure, that's what programs like Calibre are for. Many of us, like Notjohn, care about the code, and that's why we use Sigil, rather than Calibre. It has nothing to do with complexity or lack thereof; it's about control and ensuring that the coding is right and clean. That's why he suggested it to you. No need for any excitement over it.

(Doing that also allows you the SAME results across the board--not variable results, based upon what one "converter" does versus the other, etc. You wouldn't have these "this docx does that" but "this ePUB does this other thing" sort of results in your experiments. That's the other reason, no doubt, that he suggested it.)

But, as you like the convenience, I can see why you prefer it.

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