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Old 11-05-2019, 04:54 PM   #1
jhowell
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Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines 2019.2

Version 2019.2 of the Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines is now available. (Refresh the web broswer if an old version is shown.) Listed changes are:

Quote:
  • Updated the following sections to add accessibility guidelines:
    • 2.1.1 Kindle Create
    • 3 Comparing Formats
    • 6.1 Constructing Well-Formed HTML Documents (XHTML)
    • 7.2 External Link Guidelines
    • 8 Accessibility Guidelines
    • 9 QA Standards
    • 9.1 Testing Kindle Books
    • 10.3.8 Using Embedded Fonts
    • 10.4.1 Use Supported Input Formats
    • 10.4.7 Image and Font Size Requirements for Line-Art and Text
    • 10.4.11 Use Supported SVG Tags and Elements
    • 10.5.1 Avoid Large Tables
    • 10.5.2 Create Simple HTML Tables
    • 10.5.4 Table Features with Enhanced Typesetting
    • 11.3.2 Including Specific Fonts
  • Added 2.4 Markdown Authoring Tools.
  • Updated 4.1 Marketing Cover Image Is Mandatory and 4.2 Internal Content Cover Image Is Mandatory to clarify that they don't apply to KDP.
  • Updated 5.2 NCX Guidelines to specify that Kindle devices and applications support two levels of nesting.
  • Updated 7.2 External Link Guidelines to recommend archiving links.
  • Added 11.3.1 Minimum Text Size.
  • Updated 12.6 Text Guidelines to specify minimum text size in graphic novels.
  • Updated 13.2 Text Guidelines to specify minimum text size in fixed-layout books without pop-ups.
  • Updated 17.1 Supported Attributes to change background-size entry.
It will take a bit of reading to see if any of these changes are really significant.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:51 PM   #2
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It's interesting that they mention markdown, but insulting that they imply that only blind people would find it less cumbersome than wysiwyg.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:29 PM   #3
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The changes revolve around accessibility features. I wonder if they updated the Guidelines in order to claim that they have met some accessibility mandate. It seems to be mostly about paying lip service to accessibility without actually doing anything.

For example the Guidelines says to use MathML, but as has been pointed out in other threads here, Amazon's implementation of MathML is broken to the point of being unusable.

It says to make sure that source files pass external accessibility checks. For EPUB source files it says to use the the ACE Accessibility Checker from the DAISY Consortium. But does not indicate which accessibility features, if any, will be made available to readers on the Kindle platform. I know that Amazon's conversion to KFX format for Enhanced Typesetting ignores almost all non-visible HTML content in the source document so added accessibility markup won't actually make it to reading apps and devices.

It states that books should be tested using the Kindle Previewer and discourages testing on actual devices, but as far as I can tell the Previewer provides no method for testing of accessibility features. For example, use of alt text for images is encouraged in the Guidelines, but I don't see any way to view them in the Previewer.

Listing markdown as an accessibility option for authors is really grasping at straws.

(Unrelated, but I noticed that the Guidelines has lots of broken links to EPUB specs at the now defunct idpf.org site.)
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