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Old 01-11-2020, 08:17 AM   #1
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Amazon objecting to page breaks

A client just forwarded this to me. Haven't seen anything like this before. Book was made in Sigil, converted to mobi in Kindle Previewer 3.

I suspect it was because I'd used some section headings with a distinctive css style but not tagged them as a header style.

Alright, so I won't do that in future. But this book had been in the Kindle store for a year. Are Amazon tightening up their standards retrospectively?
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:01 PM   #2
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>I suspect it was because I'd used some section headings with a distinctive css style but not tagged them as a header style.

So the heading is a paragraph style? I do that regularly, including the title page, with a large, medium, and small class for title, sub-title, and author/publisher respectively. They don't cause a page break. I also us the medium class occasionally (it's the exact equivalent of a chapter title) when I have two major subjects within a single chapter/file.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:37 PM   #3
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Sorry, I wasn't clear. The headings didn't cause the page breaks. I chose to add a page break before some of the headings.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post

Alright, so I won't do that in future. But this book had been in the Kindle store for a year. Are Amazon tightening up their standards retrospectively?
YES. I have a book in right now--DANGER, DANGER WILL ROBINSON!--that has been KQN'ed for, wait for it, ONE, repeat, ONE expired link.

ONE EXPIRED LINK. ONE!

I have another customer with 253 images in his non-fic book (a war memoir), and he's now received KQNs tht his images don't meet the "guidelines" for "Great for Kindle" because they're not the specified GFK sizes, being 1200px wide, 600px wide, 300px wide, etc. "at 300DPI." (Yeah, right, because DPI makes SO much sense when you're matching pixel height and width calculations, right?)

We still don't know if their issue is that the images aren't quite the "right size" (many of the images are 60+ years old, you understand) or that we coded them appropriately to their native size and rez, like 33% wide or 64% wide or what-have-you. We've been unable to get clarification, because their tech team seems unable to tell us what the hell the KQN MEANS.

Both of these, this week.

Suffice to say, I'm raising my file-modification and fixing prices and battening down the hatches. We've done >5,000 eBooks, at least half of which are laden with links and images. RETROACTIVE requirements. I'm sitting here with my hair on fire over it. I mean...I can't fathom what's going to happen as this pervades the self-pubbing universe of existing ebooks.

I mean, here's a question--will they ask print publishers to go back and redo the book, because their links are expired?????????

Mother of God.

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Old 01-15-2020, 12:34 PM   #5
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Should the client simply have clicked all the 'not an issue' boxes?
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
Should the client simply have clicked all the 'not an issue' boxes?
For the "Great on Kindle" thing, that was my argument.

His argument back to me was that he makes most of his money in KU reads. He's afraid--and it's hard for me to say "oh, no, that won't happen" that his ability to promote the book in AMS and some of the other promo programs, which have very, very specific requirements, will be lost if he doesn't comply and the book no longer qualifies for "Great on Kindle."

The link thing? That wasn't OPTIONAL, btw. They didn't give her an option to say can't/won't.

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Old 01-15-2020, 04:10 PM   #7
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And yet how many people actually click the links in an eBook on an eInk Kindle? It's not a nice experience plus you have to have WiFi on.
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:42 PM   #8
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And yet how many people actually click the links in an eBook on an eInk Kindle? It's not a nice experience plus you have to have WiFi on.
Wolfie, dear:

Can we not forget that there are millions of readers out there that have Fires, smartphones, etc.? I am the first, truly, to agree that the usefulness of links in eInks is limited, but I feel compelled to point out that they--links--are not without some purpose and use. Righty-o?

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Old 01-17-2020, 10:15 AM   #9
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>Suffice to say, I'm raising my file-modification

I first read that as "file-medication"....

>ONE EXPIRED LINK. ONE!

I wonder when they'll get around to my books?
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:40 PM   #10
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>Suffice to say, I'm raising my file-modification

I first read that as "file-medication"....

>ONE EXPIRED LINK. ONE!

I wonder when they'll get around to my books?
I dunno, but all ya'lls are going to have to become butt-buddies with Archive.it.

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Old 01-19-2020, 08:43 AM   #11
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Suffice to say, I'm raising my file-modification and fixing prices
Why? You set a price for file-modification. Now some file-modification business may be coming in, you won't stand by that price?
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:39 PM   #12
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Why? You set a price for file-modification. Now some file-modification business may be coming in, you won't stand by that price?
Nope, because our file-mod rates have been the same since 2010, and basically, they've been to enable our customers to fix MINOR mistakes (one-two typos that they find post-publishing) at about our cost. I've been intending to revisit the rates for the last 5 years, but have been so busy racing from fire-to-fire that I haven't had a chance. Given the likelihood that this new focus by Amazon means that we'll be doing a lot of this, I quite literally can't afford to not revise the rates.

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Old 01-20-2020, 05:41 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
I suspect it was because I'd used some section headings with a distinctive css style but not tagged them as a header style.
Definitely should have marked them as proper headings in the first place.

And then using page-break-before on lots of strangely formatted <p>s? Could probably see why an automated check might complain about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
Are Amazon tightening up their standards retrospectively?
Seems like it.

In a single swoop, ~30 of my conversions got hit with KQNs. And the craziest is the TOC being multiple levels deep:

Quote:
Few items in your Logical Table of Contents (NCX) is not visible in certain kindle devices such as tablets, E-ink devices and IOS platforms. This issue is seen because those items are set in Level 2. Please change the label entities from level 2 to level 1, so that all the NCX label entities are visible to customers.
Code:
- Part 1
-- Chapter 1
--- Subchapter 1.1 <---- KQN Issue!!!!
Our most illustrious user, Hitch, told me it's most likely because "Kindle for PC can't display <h3> or deeper"...

Getting a KQN hit over that is absolutely absurd, especially with Non-Fiction works. <h3> is EXTREMELY common (and while <h4> and <h5> are much more rare, they're still possible).

Mangling the levels up the chain would completely defeat the purpose of a properly nested TOC!

(And how much do you want to bet... five years from now, you'll get hit with KQNs for having a wrongly nested TOC after you "corrected it".)

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Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
I mean...I can't fathom what's going to happen as this pervades the self-pubbing universe of existing ebooks.
Absolutely no idea, especially if they are going through books pre-high-DPI and insisting on higher resolution images.

As you've said, in many cases there aren't higher quality sources.

What are they going to do next, crack down on lower resolution covers for old books... when their old standards insisted on resolutions like 600x900?

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Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
YES. I have a book in right now--DANGER, DANGER WILL ROBINSON!--that has been KQN'ed for, wait for it, ONE, repeat, ONE expired link.
While it's a good idea to try to correct this sort of thing if/when you can, it's insane to strictly enforce it.

Link Rot is natural, and a large percent of all URLs die each year.

Back in 2017, I linked to the fantastic article "When Nothing Ever Goes Out of Print: Maintaining Backlist Ebooks" discussing that...

* * *

Tip: Calibre Editor's Tools > External Links > Check External Links is absolutely fantastic for quickly checking for dead links.

Before publishing an ebook, I always try to preemptively squash all dead links. (And since many books I work on a pre-publication... we can take care of it in Print as well.)

But once it's out in the wild... the amount of working URLs can only go down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
I mean, here's a question--will they ask print publishers to go back and redo the book, because their links are expired?????????
Similarly, I linked to the fantastic talk from ebookcraft 2019 "Building Ebooks that Last" (actually given by the same woman who wrote the above article!).

She used to work as an editor for Houghton Mifflin, and she explained they do get QC reports from across all retailers. At 7:30 + 12:00, she shows pie charts of flagged reports:
  • 69% typos
  • 12.8% navigation
  • 6.7% punctuation
  • [...]

but if you remove the 2 huge typo categories, then this is all the non-typo errors reported:
  • 52.9% navigation
    • (At 13:00: she says "sometimes these are an error in a TOC file or a cross-reference... but the vast vast vast majority of these are Link Rot")
  • 16.7% metadata
  • 14.9% formatting
  • 4.6% image quality
  • 4.0% missing content
  • 2.3% redundancy
  • [...]

... I doubt Amazon would force them to pull their books down though. (They would probably let the big guys slide, while self-pubbers get crushed under mass automated checks.)

And these big publishers have the capability to fix a lot of this stuff... self-publishers who ran through the disgusting Word->MOBI workflows? You think they'll be able to dig through the technical innards and fix some of these issues on a years-old ebook?

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 01-20-2020 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex2002ans View Post
In a single swoop, ~30 of my conversions got hit with KQNs. And the craziest is the TOC being multiple levels deep:

Quote:
Few items in your Logical Table of Contents (NCX) is not visible in certain kindle devices such as tablets, E-ink devices and IOS platforms. This issue is seen because those items are set in Level 2. Please change the label entities from level 2 to level 1, so that all the NCX label entities are visible to customers.
...
Our most illustrious user, Hitch, told me it's most likely because "Kindle for PC can't display <h3> or deeper"...
Version 2019.2 of the Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines (November 2019) added a new guideline:

Quote:
5.2 NCX Guidelines
...
Important: Kindle devices and applications support two levels of nesting.
So, this is a new requirement and they consider it to be important.

The statement about two level of nesting is not exactly truthful. I took a look at a book published long ago that I know has three levels of NCX TOC (Legends B005LVO6FS) on various apps and devices running the latest software. Only two levels show on a Kindle Oasis and Kindle for iOS. However, all three levels show using Kindle for PC, Kindle for Android, a Fire tablet, and Kindle Previewer 3.

Last edited by jhowell; 01-20-2020 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex2002ans View Post

In a single swoop, ~30 of my conversions got hit with KQNs. And the craziest is the TOC being multiple levels deep:



Code:
- Part 1
-- Chapter 1
--- Subchapter 1.1 <---- KQN Issue!!!!
Our most illustrious user, Hitch, told me it's most likely because "Kindle for PC can't display <h3> or deeper"...
Yes, we're having to fix some of these, too and my clients are screaming like stuck pigs.

Quote:
While it's a good idea to try to correct this sort of thing if/when you can, it's insane to strictly enforce it.

Link Rot is natural, and a large percent of all URLs die each year.

Back in 2017, I linked to the fantastic article "When Nothing Ever Goes Out of Print: Maintaining Backlist Ebooks" discussing that...

* * *

Tip: Calibre Editor's Tools > External Links > Check External Links is absolutely fantastic for quickly checking for dead links.

Before publishing an ebook, I always try to preemptively squash all dead links. (And since many books I work on a pre-publication... we can take care of it in Print as well.)

But once it's out in the wild... the amount of working URLs can only go down.
Amazon's error message to the customer/us is now saying that we should be using link archives to prevent link rot. Link archives! I went to Archive-it.org and my teeth are already grinding. First, there's no way to simply "join" or create an account. Then they want you to sit through a webinar, before you do ANYTHING else, and so on.

So, they suggested archiving using The WBM or The Internet Archive,which would give you an archived page link, yes, but it also means, for longer/bigger/more complex books, doing this one page/url at a time...rather laborious. I can't WAIT to see what self-pubs and authors will say when I start telling them THIS stuff. Oy....


Anyway...honestly, I have a lot of other crap on my plate and this is just making my damn head hurt.

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