Mobileread
Fonts won't embed on Kindle Fire
#1  NIRC 10-06-2020, 09:29 PM
I have been writing to Kindle (and asking on Forums) for at least 5 years about the problem with embedding fonts in mobi files for the Kindle Fire and later. I have only one proprietary font that needs to be embedded. It is not, and instead, nonsense shows up.
For about a 6-month period a little over a year ago, files uploaded on the Kindle web page actually accepted the font. I was surprised and immediately prepared the book for publication. Then it no longer did and now I cannot update it or add additional volumes requiring the same proprietary font.
I have tried The latest Kindle Previewers as they come out as well as Caliber, but nothing seems to work. The fonts embed fine in epub format and the file I made in 2019 that was accepted displays perfectly on my Kindle Fire. So I know it is not impossible.
Also, no matter whom I talk to at KDP by chat or phone, no one has any answer, and most of them try to assure me that there is no problem. I even sent screen shots of the same page when it did work and when it did not. No answer.
Alas, there is no way to get into a mobi file as there is with epub files, to see what has gone wrong.
I don't see how difficult this can be to fix. At least it would be nice to receive some formal recognition of the problem...

#2  Hitch 10-07-2020, 10:49 AM
Quote NIRC
I have been writing to Kindle (and asking on Forums) for at least 5 years about the problem with embedding fonts in mobi files for the Kindle Fire and later. I have only one proprietary font that needs to be embedded. It is not, and instead, nonsense shows up.
For about a 6-month period a little over a year ago, files uploaded on the Kindle web page actually accepted the font. I was surprised and immediately prepared the book for publication. Then it no longer did and now I cannot update it or add additional volumes requiring the same proprietary font.
I have tried The latest Kindle Previewers as they come out as well as Caliber, but nothing seems to work. The fonts embed fine in epub format and the file I made in 2019 that was accepted displays perfectly on my Kindle Fire. So I know it is not impossible.
Also, no matter whom I talk to at KDP by chat or phone, no one has any answer, and most of them try to assure me that there is no problem. I even sent screen shots of the same page when it did work and when it did not. No answer.
Alas, there is no way to get into a mobi file as there is with epub files, to see what has gone wrong.
I don't see how difficult this can be to fix. At least it would be nice to receive some formal recognition of the problem...
Not all fonts work, embedded in Kindle, but what font, specifically, are you trying to embed? And how are you testing it, exactly?

There's no reason to really "get into" a mobi file for troubleshooting, but you can unpack them, using the Calibre unpack plugin, if needed. It emulates what's occurred, but it's useful for tracking wholly unexpected results.

If you can provide a bit more detail, my firm has been embedding fonts since it was first enabled, so it's something with which we have a lot of familiarity.

Hitch

#3  NIRC 10-18-2020, 09:36 PM
The font is a proprietary font I made to show the stroke order of Chinese characters. It works perfectly in all epub books, but mobi rejects it.

#4  Hitch 10-18-2020, 10:38 PM
Quote NIRC
The font is a proprietary font I made to show the stroke order of Chinese characters. It works perfectly in all epub books, but mobi rejects it.
So, you're saying that when you embed the font, and then try to build the MOBI using Kindle Previewer (?), the font doesn't even work there, is that right? It's not that the font is working at the KP level and then is ripped out, at KDP?

Have you downloaded the Preview MOBI files, and unpacked them, to investigate the code and the files, to see what's been changed?

Hitch

#5  NIRC 10-20-2020, 02:46 AM
I embed the font in an EPUB file (generated with InDesign). It displays perfectly. Then I used Calibre to convert it to MOBI. The font does not display. Next, I tried Kindle Previewer 3 to convert to MOBI. Again, no go.
Franky, I don't know how to check the code in the MOBI files governing embedded fonts for changes from that in the EPUB. But thanks for asking...

#6  Hitch 10-20-2020, 09:56 AM
Quote NIRC
I embed the font in an EPUB file (generated with InDesign). It displays perfectly. Then I used Calibre to convert it to MOBI. The font does not display. Next, I tried Kindle Previewer 3 to convert to MOBI. Again, no go.
Franky, I don't know how to check the code in the MOBI files governing embedded fonts for changes from that in the EPUB. But thanks for asking...
Well, Calibre "MOBI" isn't a KF8/KF7 package, a "dual mobi" and that older format is no longer supported by KDP, so that one is explicable. The MOBI file generated by KP3 is completely different than that which is created by Calibre.

When you say that you 'embedd[ed] the font in an EPUB...generated with InDesign," how exactly are you doing that? Are you opening up the file in Sigil, and adding the font? And ensuring that the font is called correctly, in the CSS?

Or are you assuming that because you call it in InDesign, that it's being embedded correctly in the ePUB? Are you subsetting the fonts, in INDD, when you export them?

If you test an ePUB that you made before, does the font still render, or no? Is the font an otf or ttf file?

Amazon, KDP and the eBook format of "MOBI" is not a static thing. Fonts that worked in, say, 2015-2016 don't necessarily work today and fonts that didn't, do (yeah, I'm lookin' at you, Papyrus!). If you want font embedding to work in MOBI, or for that matter, ePUB, as both are moving targets, you really do need to learn at least enough to read the coding in the ePUB (or HTML source files, etc.) and the resulting MOBI. This isn't a criticism, but we've had to adjust our font embedding more than once, over the years, to change with the altered rendering schema of KDP.

Offered FWIW.

Hitch

#7  jhowell 10-20-2020, 10:34 AM
EPUB supports font obfuscation, a form of DRM. I don't know whether or not InDesign performs font obfuscation, but if it does that might prevent the font from being used by the Kindle Previewer.

Does the Kindle Previewer's conversion log show any errors or warnings?

#8  jhowell 10-20-2020, 11:05 AM
Another question that comes to mind is how are you viewing the converted file?

Are you selecting "Publisher font" instead of one of Amazon's built-in fonts in at Aa menu?

#9  Hitch 10-20-2020, 01:50 PM
Quote jhowell
EPUB supports font obfuscation, a form of DRM. I don't know whether or not InDesign performs font obfuscation, but if it does that might prevent the font from being used by the Kindle Previewer.

Does the Kindle Previewer's conversion log show any errors or warnings?
Ohhh, good one, I forgot to ask about the Obfuscation.

Quote jhowell
Another question that comes to mind is how are you viewing the converted file?

Are you selecting "Publisher font" instead of one of Amazon's built-in fonts in at Aa menu?
And another GREAT question.

Hitch

#10  NIRC 10-20-2020, 10:35 PM
InDesign gives the option to "embed fonts," so that is what I do. The font is not used throughout the whole file, only at certain points, so I would not use the Kindle font-choice option. The font is TIFF, but I converted it to OTF and there was no change.
And no, there are no error messages when I convert the file to MOBI either with Calibre of Kindle Previewer.

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