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Old 03-15-2020, 02:40 AM   #1
Kyriosity
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Neophyte question on KFX format

I'm trying to get my head around KFX, having just discovered its existence for the first time. My interest is in allowing continuous scrolling in the ebook files I create. I've read through this post, and it looks like the KDX plugin for Calibre serves the purpose of creating sideloadable files. But if the book is actually going to be sold on Amazon, it sounds like that's not a route I want to go. Am I correct so far? If so, any suggestions on where to turn next to figure out how to incorporate the continuous scroll feature?

And I'll probably be back with more questions, as I do have one client that sells his ebooks directly, so I'll want to move into KFXs for him. Also, I am an old dog, so learning new technological tricks is not my strong suit. So far, I think I prefer KFC to KFX.

Thanks!

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Old 03-15-2020, 04:29 AM   #2
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if sold on amazon, KFX will be the default book format, for all devices that can handle it. so you don't have to do anything special, just upload your book for sale in any acceptable format

KFX is an amazon exclusive, so your clients cannot have it for selling in other (epub) stores
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Old 03-15-2020, 05:09 AM   #3
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The best format to upload to Amazon is oddly epub2 (not so odd really as AZW/KF8 is a sort of proprietary version of it).
Amazon then offer customers a mobi, azw or kfx download depending on if you use "Whispernet" or "Download to PC and transfer via USB". Also depends on which eink model/firmware you have or if a Fire or if an App (iOS, Android, MacOS and Windows may differ slightly?).

KFX is ONLY a delivery format and a NASTY one as it adds DRM even when publisher requests DRM free. If a customer has an eink Kindle currently they are best to avoid it by using ""Download to PC and transfer via USB" aka sideload. They they can also have a backup that doesn't rely on the Amazon Cloud or the Internet.

Create an epub2 that passes epub check for all the non-Amazon stores and upload that exact file to Amazon KDP.

I'm curious, why do you want a scroll instead of a codex? Personally what I love about real ebooks is the autoflowed to fit screen pagination vs endless scroll of a webpage. I'd love a pagination plug-in to make my laptop browser and tablet browser like the prehistoric Kindle DXG browser, which paginates. Also scrolling is VERY poor on eink compared to paging set to refresh every page.

Maybe if scrolling is very important you should distribute as HTML.
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Old 03-15-2020, 09:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyriosity View Post
But if the book is actually going to be sold on Amazon, it sounds like that's not a route I want to go. Am I correct so far?
If the book is being sold on Amazon all you have to do is make sure that it is listed as having Enhanced Typesetting enabled. You do that by avoiding markup in your source file that is not supported by Amazon. See the Publishing Guidelines for details. You can test your book for Enhanced Typesetting support before uploading to Amazon using the Kindle Previewer.


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And I'll probably be back with more questions, as I do have one client that sells his ebooks directly, so I'll want to move into KFXs for him.
I strongly recommend against this. KFX has evolved over time with new features being added to it. KFX support varies greatly across Kindle apps and devices. For books sold by Amazon they only deliver KFX when a device is known to support all of the KFX features used by that particular book. A book you provide in KFX format will work on some devices and have problems on others. It will be a support nightmare.

Also, non-Amazon KFX books must be side loaded. That eliminates many useful features of the Kindle platform that customers expect, such as syncing of reading position and annotations across devices.

Last edited by jhowell; 03-15-2020 at 12:28 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-15-2020, 10:49 AM   #5
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ALL our titles have Enhanced Typesetting enabled. Most used the SAME epub2 file uploaded to Amazon KDP and Smashwords.

There are a few things not relevant to ordinary ebooks possible in epub3 and KFX, but almost all ebooks are fine being first in epub2.

KFX should generally be ignored by ebook fiction publishers. It's a thing primarily for Amazon to optimise delivery, "improve" DRM and only secondarily add "features" for specialist books not possible in epub2 or azw3/KF8.
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Old 03-15-2020, 03:50 PM   #6
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ALL our titles have Enhanced Typesetting enabled. Most used the SAME epub2 file uploaded to Amazon KDP and Smashwords.

There are a few things not relevant to ordinary ebooks possible in epub3 and KFX, but almost all ebooks are fine being first in epub2.

KFX should generally be ignored by ebook fiction publishers. It's a thing primarily for Amazon to optimise delivery, "improve" DRM and only secondarily add "features" for specialist books not possible in epub2 or azw3/KF8.
Not possible in ePub2? ADE since 2.0.1 has had kerning and hyphenation. Kobo's have kerning and hyphenation when reading ePub. What's being done with KFX (other then forced DRM) could be done with KF8 if Amazon wanted to do so. It's being done with ePub so no reason it cannot be done with KF8.
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Old 03-15-2020, 04:41 PM   #7
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Yes, my point. KFX isn't really about features for real ebooks. EXISTING azw/KF8 could do kerning and hyphenation like epub2 simply with Kindle FW updates. KFX is about more DRM, more control and optimising whispernet a little to reduce Mobile network costs. Also KFX is contrary to Publisher DRM choice as there so far is no DRM free version.

I'll continue downloading AZW3 versions from Amazon and reading on my Kobo Libra.

Select "Transfer via PC" and buy physical Kindle if you only have an app.

Last edited by Quoth; 03-15-2020 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 03-16-2020, 12:09 AM   #8
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Thank you all very much! Superhelpful info!

Quote:
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I'm curious, why do you want a scroll instead of a codex?
I think if it's enabled, you can choose either way, right? I personally like the option because it's easier to read one-handed. Your mileage may vary!
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Old 03-16-2020, 05:09 AM   #9
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How does it make it easier to read one handed unless it's running on its own like an autocue, and then there is the issue of scroll speed and eink ghosting?
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Old 03-16-2020, 08:25 PM   #10
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How does it make it easier to read one handed...?
Reading on my phone, I just find it easier to swipe upward with my thumb rather than sideways.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:49 AM   #11
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Most (all?) ereader apps and eink readers will work with a thumb tap or side swipe But what has that to do with scrolling?
I've always read one handed on everything from Palm Z22, phones, 5" Sony, Kobo, Kindle 6" to Kindle DXG, 10" Android and Windows tablets. Even laptop, which I used for Gutenberg texts before I got an ereader.
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:01 AM   #12
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Yes, my point. KFX isn't really about features for real ebooks. EXISTING azw/KF8 could do kerning and hyphenation like epub2 simply with Kindle FW updates. KFX is about more DRM, more control and optimising whispernet a little to reduce Mobile network costs. Also KFX is contrary to Publisher DRM choice as there so far is no DRM free version.

I'll continue downloading AZW3 versions from Amazon and reading on my Kobo Libra.

Select "Transfer via PC" and buy physical Kindle if you only have an app.
AZW is Mobi and that's not going to get any new features. So please leave that out.

Amazon could have written the KF8 renderer to do hyphenation and kerning and all KF8 eBooks would have "enhanced typesetting" instead of just those able to be converted to KFX.

I agree 100% that KFX was most likely developed to have a format with forced DRM. The enhanced typesetting is smoke and mirrors so most people will want it because of hyphens and kerning.

In the case of downloading KF8, in most cases, you can use KindleUnpack to shift the KF8 to ePub. You then use the Calibre editor to fix any errors. In most cases that I've had, fixing the errors is very easy to do. In some cases (mostly self-published from what I've seen as the big 5 start with ePub that also works on other devices), the code can be a right mess and a full conversion to ePub is the easiest solution.

Last edited by JSWolf; 03-17-2020 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:11 AM   #13
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How does it make it easier to read one handed unless it's running on its own like an autocue, and then there is the issue of scroll speed and eink ghosting?
I would thing scrolling would make it more difficult to read. You would have to hold it in a way that would allow you to scroll the screen. It would take a number of flicks of the thumb to scroll the screen vs a single swipe or tap to move to the next screen. Also, scrolling can be harder to read as you then have to find where to continue reading. When you change the screen, you will always continue reading at the top of the screen.
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:16 AM   #14
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Reading on my phone, I just find it easier to swipe upward with my thumb rather than sideways.
Scrolling is not the same on eInk as it is on LCD. eInk is not clear while scrolling so when you stop scrolling, you have to then find where to continue reading. It's not as easy as you think with eInk.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:13 AM   #15
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Scrolling is not the same on eInk as it is on LCD. eInk is not clear while scrolling so when you stop scrolling, you have to then find where to continue reading. It's not as easy as you think with eInk.
The scrolling feature applies only to the iOS, Android, and Fire apps. It is not available for e-ink Kindles since the screen technology would make it a bad experience.

In the latest releases the Kindle apps include an optional reading ruler that helps to keep your place in the text when scrolling.
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