Mobileread
Accurately Previewing a Kindle Book Pre-Sale
#1  Rand Brittain 09-11-2022, 11:17 PM
I'm helping a friend with the ebook version of her novel, which is going to be for sale, among other places, on Amazon, and we're having some trouble with the testing phase. When I send the book to Kindle via email, the process introduces errors that don't make sense and aren't present in the ePub (like, paragraphs that just aren't indented for no reason I can see). Converting it in Calibre and sideloading it introduces different errors that I don't feel like fixing since nobody is going to be sideloading it. In Kindle Previewer, they look fine.

Is Kindle Previewer the accurate choice for figuring out what the book will look like when someone actually buys it?
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#2  Quoth 09-12-2022, 05:03 PM
The accurate preview choice is to have 2 or 3 eink Kindles or different eras and make old mobi, azw3 and KFX with Calibre.

Check you have one Kindle with NO "Publisher" option on Aa menu, that only uses old mobi.
The other kindle should be newer and have "Publisher" option in Aa or Theme menu. Make sure that the azw3 "works" in Publisher mode and also with a local default option.

The only 100% test now is to publish, then buy a copy. Select download to PC for USB transfer for each kindle (old and newer) which will give mobi/azw for old and azw3 for newer.
Whispernet (WiFi) direct delivery to a newer Kindle or PC app or Android App will give KFX. The iOS app may get old mobi.

"Send to Kindle" is worthless compared to USB transfer and the Amazon "preview" download from KDP upload is just an epub in a zip. If you upload an epub rather than docx, it's basically what you uploaded!

The "Send to Kindle" doesn't do the same as epub upload to KDP.
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#3  jhowell 09-13-2022, 10:39 AM
Quote Rand Brittain
(like, paragraphs that just aren't indented for no reason I can see)
If spaces and/or tabs are used for indentation the result may sometimes look ok in preview but it wonÂ’t work properly. That may be the case here.

The KDP eBook Manuscript Formatting Guide has formatting tips.
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#4  Quoth 09-13-2022, 11:46 AM
In general:
Never more than one space together.
No spaces at start or ends of lines.
No tabs ever.
No empty lines.

Use styles that map 1:1 to CSS to do indents, margins, spacing between paragraphs or whatever.
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#5  Hitch 09-14-2022, 01:25 PM
Quote Rand Brittain
I'm helping a friend with the ebook version of her novel, which is going to be for sale, among other places, on Amazon, and we're having some trouble with the testing phase. When I send the book to Kindle via email, the process introduces errors that don't make sense and aren't present in the ePub (like, paragraphs that just aren't indented for no reason I can see). Converting it in Calibre and sideloading it introduces different errors that I don't feel like fixing since nobody is going to be sideloading it. In Kindle Previewer, they look fine.

Is Kindle Previewer the accurate choice for figuring out what the book will look like when someone actually buys it?
Rand:

It sounds as though the HTML or CSS is inconsistent. The PDocs method will usually work adequately well, certainly for a novel, but if you're seeing paragraphs that are not indented, that says to me that they don't have the same coding as their "peers," so to speak. Presumably you've checked? And can't see any coding reason for those that are blockstyle to be that way?

As far as then turning around and putting it in Calibre..I mean, at that point, you ARE introducing other errors. You say you're sideloading it, but are you sideloading a MOBI? An AZW? Or...? Are you making an ePUB with Calibre, dropping that on KP3, and building a Mobi for sideloading? Too many variables and unknowns here.

And most importantly, neither of these scenarios should be happening, if the paragraph coding is right. Something, somewhere, is amiss. Do you have samples of the HTML/CSS for those that produce correctly and those that do not?

Hitch
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#6  j.p.s 09-14-2022, 02:34 PM
I'm surprised nobody has yet suggested epubcheck to get hints of what might be going wrong and/ot kindlegen to see whether its log messages are clues.
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#7  Hitch 09-14-2022, 05:09 PM
Quote j.p.s
I'm surprised nobody has yet suggested epubcheck to get hints of what might be going wrong and/ot kindlegen to see whether its log messages are clues.
What? Wow, I'll bet you're no fun at parties, either, you killjoy.



Hitch
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#8  Rand Brittain 09-14-2022, 06:44 PM
I'm really quite confident that there are no errors in my formatting. The paragraphs in question are just bare <p>, and sometimes one of them, exactly alike to the one before and after it, doesn't indent for no apparent reason. The book passes epubcheck and renders normally as an ePub and in Kindle Previewer.

My friend the author tells me that opening the book she receives after emailing it to her Kindle, making a meaningless alteration, and reading it again makes the problem go away, presumably because the checksum changed and Kindle no longer recognizes it as having come from Amazon, or something.

At this point I am just forced to hope that everything goes all right on the night, because I don't know that there's much I can do about it.
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#9  jhowell 09-14-2022, 08:31 PM
I doubt that anyone will be able to help without an actual example. If you have an EPUB that exhibits the problem you could post it here after running it through the ScrambleEbook plugin for calibre to remove the content while preserving the formatting.
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#10  Hitch 09-15-2022, 11:15 AM
Quote Rand Brittain
I'm really quite confident that there are no errors in my formatting. The paragraphs in question are just bare <p>, and sometimes one of them, exactly alike to the one before and after it, doesn't indent for no apparent reason. The book passes epubcheck and renders normally as an ePub and in Kindle Previewer.

My friend the author tells me that opening the book she receives after emailing it to her Kindle, making a meaningless alteration, and reading it again makes the problem go away, presumably because the checksum changed and Kindle no longer recognizes it as having come from Amazon, or something.

At this point I am just forced to hope that everything goes all right on the night, because I don't know that there's much I can do about it.
What do you mean, a "meaningless alteration?" S/he can't make an edit on the fly inside the Kindle, so do you mean that she...what? Takes the original source file, makes an edit on her desktop/laptop/whatever and then what--emails herself a new copy of the book, or...?

You say that perhaps the Kindle no longer recognizes it as "having come from Amazon," but there's still a difference between Amazon-sold/acquired ebooks and PDocs books.

Hitch
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