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Old 01-01-2017, 11:41 PM   #1
heulwen.jones
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Kindle preview version not including font but 'live' version does

Hi there,

I am having the following issue with a couple of epubs I've uploaded to Kindle Direct Publishing which I'm really hoping someone can help me with?!? The bottom line is that the publisher fonts appear stripped out of the preview version but not stripped out of the version that is available for purchase?

Basically once I've uploaded these epubs to Kindle Direct Publishing they are converted to Kindle format and I am given the option to either preview them with the online viewer or download them and preview them using Kindle Previewer or Kindle Previewer v3. I've heard the online viewer is not very accurate so I always download the Kindle book and preview in both Kindle Previewer and Kindle Previewer v3.

However in this Preview version the Publisher Font (Times) is not available in either of the Kindle Previewers - so it reverts to Georgia. I spent hours and hours finding fonts that were 'Amazon/Kindle friendly' so was pretty much tearing my hair out! But then I discovered that the version that had 'gone live' and was available for purchase DID have the fonts embedded. So I thought there must be a bug in the way the 'Preview' version is generated and decided that going forward I would just check the 'final/live' version instead. This works fine EXCEPT when I make updates to a book because I cannot see the updated version of a book on my Kindle device. I can only see the original version on my device, see this article for details on how its only in special circumstances that people who have already purchased a book can get updates of that book: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A1RGGPBKDR1BPZ

So, has anyone else had this issue where the preview version on a Kindle book strips out the fonts but the 'live' version doesn't? If so how do you check your books? Especially if its an update to a book as there seems to be no easy way to view an update of a book if you've already purchased it - you just keep getting the original version?

Many many thanks in advance to anyone who can help at all with this issue!

Heulwen
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:40 AM   #2
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Amazon customer service will update a book on your account to the latest version when asked. I have done this several times.

(I don't know the answer to the question about embedded fonts.)
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:54 AM   #3
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Well, I have tried to update "zen of ebook formatting" to 2nd edition and failed.
Amazon customer service copy/pasted

"We're glad you took time to write to us. Please take this as an isolated incident, I assure you that this will not repeat in the future.
Thank you for being a great customer. We value your relationship with us.
We'd appreciate your feedback. Please use the links below to tell us about your experience today."

and did nothing.
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:18 PM   #4
heulwen.jones
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I will try contacting Amazon customer service and see if they will update the book for my account.

Also i have discovered that the Preview version of the ebook does display the fonts correctly if I sideload the mobi file onto my Kindle Fire or Kindle e-Ink. So it seems its just an issue with the Kindle Previewer applications on my desktop. So I think this means as long as I check the Preview version on my standalone devices rather than the Kindle Previewer I can be pretty confident its an accurate representation of what will appear 'live' on the Amazon Kindle store? Pol
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by najgori View Post
Well, I have tried to update "zen of ebook formatting" to 2nd edition and failed.
Amazon customer service copy/pasted

"We're glad you took time to write to us. Please take this as an isolated incident, I assure you that this will not repeat in the future.
Thank you for being a great customer. We value your relationship with us.
We'd appreciate your feedback. Please use the links below to tell us about your experience today."

and did nothing.
You can't get your book, "The Zen of eBook Formatting," to work, at the KDP? Is that right?

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Old 01-03-2017, 02:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heulwen.jones View Post
Thanks everyone for the responses. I will try contacting Amazon customer service and see if they will update the book for my account.

Also i have discovered that the Preview version of the ebook does display the fonts correctly if I sideload the mobi file onto my Kindle Fire or Kindle e-Ink. So it seems its just an issue with the Kindle Previewer applications on my desktop. So I think this means as long as I check the Preview version on my standalone devices rather than the Kindle Previewer I can be pretty confident its an accurate representation of what will appear 'live' on the Amazon Kindle store? Pol
As I mentioned to Pol, at the KDP, the KDP online previewer and the preview files have been downright weird for the last two weeks. We usually dissect any MOBI files that we're having issues with on the font front, to see if
  • The font is being stripped, out of the file, or,
  • The font is still in the file, but not displaying (which obviously, seems to be what's happening here); or,
  • The CSS has been altered. <--THIS seems to be the most-frequent scenario, now.
  • Or, both--the CSS is altered AND the font has been removed from the file.

The most vexing is the alteration of the CSS. At least, it is to my mind. We wasted a ton of time this past week, troubleshooting a book with a simple serif body font and ONE paragraph in (sigh) Rage Italic. This book would not function, font-wise. We finally got it to work, but we ended up jumping through all kinds of hoops--changing the source (experimenting with zipped HTML, ePUB, MOBI as the upload mechanism) and the coding.

BTW, as an aside, we never were able to get the MQ's to remain in the processed MOBI. We ended up getting too cute by half with a creative, "normal" CSS call, not using MQ's to make the KF7 portion work--we relied on fallbacks in the font-call to make this work as expected across the devices. But seeing altered or bastardized CSS, in which MQs are changed, from "amzn-mobi" to "all" is pretty damn annoying.

As Pol is able to view his/her fonts, in the downloadable Preview MOBI, I think we all have to agree that they are obviously there. (n.b.: I'm assuming that the UTM Times is demonstrably different enough from TNR or the TNR clones so that working versus not is easy to see.)

Y'know, Pol, just for s&g's, you should unpack that preview mobi, and see what it says for the font display. Who knows? Maybe you'll find the WHY.

It's just...it's that time again. The biannual "Amazon changed the PW at the KDP, so...viola!, fonts are not doing what's expected."

{SIGH}

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Old 01-03-2017, 04:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
You can't get your book, "The Zen of eBook Formatting," to work, at the KDP? Is that right?

Hitch
it works. can't download 2nd edition. it was rant about how "good" is amazon customer support.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by najgori View Post
it works. can't download 2nd edition. it was rant about how "good" is amazon customer support.
I find Amazon's customer support to be pretty remarkable. They are responsive to my clients, in every possible way.

Back to your comment: you've uploaded an updated eBook, in MOBI or ePUB format, and for whatever reason, you aren't able to download the Preview MOBI, right? That's been an intermittent issue there for the last 2.5-3weeks. (It's been discussed in detail on the KDP forums.) Just keep trying. Also, presumably, you're using something like Chrome as your browser; the KDP seems to really choke on Exploder.

So, it's not you. It's everyone, although most of us have stopped seeing that as an issue about a week ago. You're still having the issue now?


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Old 01-03-2017, 02:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heulwen.jones View Post
Thanks everyone for the responses. I will try contacting Amazon customer service and see if they will update the book for my account.

Also i have discovered that the Preview version of the ebook does display the fonts correctly if I sideload the mobi file onto my Kindle Fire or Kindle e-Ink. So it seems its just an issue with the Kindle Previewer applications on my desktop. So I think this means as long as I check the Preview version on my standalone devices rather than the Kindle Previewer I can be pretty confident its an accurate representation of what will appear 'live' on the Amazon Kindle store? Pol
Hi, Pol:

There's one thing that I forgot to mention, in all our back-forth, because I assumed, from the content of your posts, that you already knew this, but: you're not talking about the FIRE emulation, are you? I mean, when you say, you can't see your font, you're opening Previewer and switching over to the Voyage view, right?

Because the Fire emulation on Previewer has NEVER shown properly-embedded body fonts. If you code the book "improperly," (according to Amazon's lights), and put the body font on an overall tab that supercedes the body tag, like, say, "booksection" as a div, then, yes, you can force the Fire to display the body font--but Amazon will strip the font, at the PW (publishing workflow), because doing the body font that way makes it not adjustable by the end-buyer.

If you put the font on the body tag, then it won't display on the Fire, but it does display on the voyage emulation, and, as you've noted, in the real devices. Because your posts have sounded so knowledgeable, I assumed that you knew this, but-did you?

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Old 01-03-2017, 05:11 PM   #10
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Like Hitch, I have always found KDP Support to be, um, supportive. Perhaps the problem is with the language being used. I always ask for the revised book to be PUSHED to my KINDLE ARCHIVES, and it has always been done. In the first few years, it took two emails, because Support wanted to be specifically assured that, yes, I understood that this would wipe out my highlights and notes, and, yes, that was okay with me. More recently they have done it on the first request. And I do this a lot. I buy each of my books when it is first available on the Amazon store, and if I update it in any significant fashion, I ask for the revision to be sent to me. I'm sure I've done this fifty times, maybe a hundred times altogether.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by najgori View Post
it works. can't download 2nd edition. it was rant about how "good" is amazon customer support.
I'm truly not clear on what your issue is. I can't tell if you mean that you can't download the PREVIEW Mobi from the KDP (which is an issue which has plagued the new version of the KDP for a few weeks now), or if you mean that they didn't push the "2nd edition" to your own device, or...?

If it's the former, as I said, that is a bug/glitch that has plagued the KDP for some weeks now. There are a number of posts about it on the KDP forum.

If you mean the latter, it's common knowledge that if you update your book, either with ONE change or 5,000 changes, or make it a "second edition," you will ALWAYS get the same version that you had, when you first downloaded the for-sale book, on your device. That's normal. That's because if Amazon downloaded or pushed the new editions to everyone who had the original, it would overwrite the existing--including any notes, bookmarks, annotations, etc. THAT is why they don't just push your new edition to your device.

All you have to do is email customer service and ask them to PUSH the new version to your device. That's it. As nj mentioned, perhaps Amazon didn't understand your email. I've seen that happen any number of times.

I realize that your complaint is about Amz. customer service, rather than the actual technological glitch, but...it's likely done already, now, yes?


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Old 01-03-2017, 06:13 PM   #12
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Oh Hitch I feel like such an idiot! This is exactly what the issue was - the fonts look fine if I switch to Voyage view!! So sorry to waste your time. I had a lot of experience with ebooks about 12 months ago but have not done much in last 12 months so completely forgot about this and in the rush before xmas I was only checking in the "fire view".

I've just linked here to same/main discussion you had going with my collegue about this on Amazon KDP site:
https://kdp.amazon.com/community/thr...08185&#1108185
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heulwen.jones View Post
Oh Hitch I feel like such an idiot! This is exactly what the issue was - the fonts look fine if I switch to Voyage view!! So sorry to waste your time. I had a lot of experience with ebooks about 12 months ago but have not done much in last 12 months so completely forgot about this and in the rush before xmas I was only checking in the "fire view".

I've just linked here to same/main discussion you had going with my collegue about this on Amazon KDP site:
https://kdp.amazon.com/community/thr...8185􎣙
Pol:

Don't be silly! Listen, we do this ALL. DAY. LONG, and it tooks us...hell, I don't know how long it took us to weasel out that duh, the Fire emulation would NOT show up as having the embedded font, IF we did the coding the way that Amazon asks for, the body tag bit. And you know what? In the middle of the Jólabókaflóö, losing your mind is absolutely NORMAL.

Hell, do you know how many times I'll pick up a book, (speaking metaphorically, here), on Previewer, in Fire mode, and tell the bookmaker that the font's not working? STILL? Sheesh. The bookmaker has to call it to my attention ("...look at the Voyage, boss.")

I'm just glad that it's bloody SOLVED. You can stop getting ulcers. Hell, if anyone should be embarrassed, it's Stupid me--I should have thought to ask about this, and it took one of my guys saying 'uh, Hitch, you DID remember to say..." and I was really mortified, that I'd forgotten, completely, to ask. (There you go, those old sayings from mom, about assumptions...)

You're all set!! Remember: Voyage View Is Your Friend. {SMILE}

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Old 01-04-2017, 10:48 AM   #14
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@hitch

sometimes when pubilisher updates a book on amazon you can choose to update book on kindle.
this worked on kawasakis "ape. author, publisher, enterpreneur" until 1.1 version of the book. now i cannot update to 1.2 version.
i could never update henkels book to 2nd edition.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
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@hitch

sometimes when pubilisher updates a book on amazon you can choose to update book on kindle.
this worked on kawasakis "ape. author, publisher, enterpreneur" until 1.1 version of the book. now i cannot update to 1.2 version.
i could never update henkels book to 2nd edition.
Assuming that I understand your quandary, don't you think that it's most likely that this is the doing of the publisher?

My other observation about that topic is, hell, if I were Amazon, I wouldn't just leap through hoops, pushing out updated books whenever an author decides that s/he needs to issue a new version. I have no idea what bandwidth costs at a company like Amazon--certainly cheaper than I'd get it, for sure--but still, it's a cost. As is the personnel time to make it happen, and then answer all the questions and complaints from buyers who didn't get the updated version (or, who did, and didn't want it.)

Given what I see daily, and the thousands of posts I've seen over the years, with authors talking about how they have updated and republished their books 2, 3, 5, or more, times, I'm frankly surprised that Amazon is willing to push out updates at all. It's of no benefit to them, really.

FYI, I own APE, purchased through Amazon in October of 2013, and I've never received an update indication. So...I didn't notice that Kawasaki said, in your linked page, that former purchasers were entitled to updated copies at no cost--did you? Anywhere? Do you have factual knowledge that we are entitled to those updates on APE?

Kawasaki is a very, very clever marketer. Perhaps the update tracking is simply a way of telling potential buyers that the book is still relevant, rather than, "oh, here, we've updated it and the content is all yours."

Just an observation. Given that I've received zero notification on updates for that book.

In Guido's case, initially, he incorrectly told people that all they had to do was delete a book from their device, and then redownload it, and they'd magically recive the updated copy. That information has been wrong since 2014. Then, his post on 6/2/2015 indicated that

Quote:
Amazon responded that I will have to provide exact details about the changes for them to consider pushing information of the update to owners. I just sent them the info and hopefully they agree with me that it is really important to let people know about it, because, after all, it addresses things that are constantly in flux, and because it is in their best interest as well to make sure people stay aware of the formatting issues and learn how to get around them.
on June 12th, he then added:

Quote:
Amazon refuses to notify my "Zen of eBook Formatting" readers of the revised edition, so would you please help me spread the word?

Owners of the book can get the revised version of the book by contacting Amazon Customer Service or by calling 1-866-216-1072 and requesting the update.
Going forward, it may just be best to sign up to my newsletter so I can keep readers informed about "Zen" updates to the book in the future.
...and the discussion continued in that vein until it was resolved that you had to email and/or call Amazon CS to get the new version.

Presumably, you did that, right? And you still can't get the 2nd edition of Guido's book? I'd just email them again. {shrug}. And if you can't get it from them, why not email Guido for a copy?

My attitude about the whole kerfuffle with updates--when I read posts from authors complaining about Amazon, as if they are entitled to that service--has always been that Amazon is doing Indy pubs a favor, spending the time and money to "push" out new versions of books that have already been published and then bought.

I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't start to monetize that process, if for no other reason than it might force authors to be a little less cavalier about proofreading, etc. From what I see on the KDP forums and other places, there are FAR too many "Indy Pubs" that treat Amazon's customers like their critique and proofreading group.

My $.02, for what it's worth.


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