Mobileread
Look Inside kills SVG and Embedded Fonts
#1  GreggBridgeman 05-11-2020, 10:47 AM
I have formatted books for kdp for more than 10 years. I mostly stick to Sigil and hard code everything as an epub then upload directly.
For testing, I will either use KindleGen or KindlePreviewer to ensure quality.
The last series of books I uploaded I noticed that though the SVG formatted images and embedded fonts render perfectly in KindlePreviewer and via the KDP previewer, when you access the "Look Inside" feature on the book's product page, the SVG images do not properly render, nor do any embedded fonts.
I suspect this is because the "Look Inside" previewer is unable to handle HTML5.

Has anyone else encountered this? I have reported the issue to Amazon but I am not holding my breath.

(Attachments are screenshots in each of the various previewers. Note that the book title, in this case "A Carol for Kent" is an SVG image and the cursive font is embedded for the letter at the beginning of Chapter 1.)
kdp-previewer-01title.PNG previewer-01title.PNG online-01title.PNG previewer-03chapter1-cursive.PNG online-03chapter1-cursive.PNG 
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#2  jhowell 05-11-2020, 02:43 PM
The "Look Inside" feature has some quirks. It uses its own SITB format which is akin to the KCR format used by the Kindle Cloud Reader. Both SITB and KCR allow for the rendering of Kindle books within a web browser.

SITB format has MOBI7 and MOBI8 variants, corresponding to old-style MOBI and more full-featured KF8. But MOBI8 SITB implements only a subset of KF8. Since your book uses a feature that MOBI8 SITB does not handle, Look Inside instead uses MOBI7 SITB format as a fallback.** So what you are seeing is how the book will render in MOBI7 format, which is also how it will look on the oldest Kindle models and in the Kindle Cloud Reader.

MOBI7 does not support SVG and embedded fonts so those features are missing in your Look Inside view. You can improve on this by using media queries to enable simplified fallback formatting on MOBI7 devices.

It is a bit of a catch 22 situation in that Amazon expects you to build your book so that it renders well on the whole family of Kindle apps and devices, but the Kindle Previewer only shows how it appears on the newest ones.


(** = I do not know the actual reason why this book did not allow MOBI8 SITB. Instead of an unsupported feature the failure might have been induced by the trimming process that produces the sample-sized book.)
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#3  JSWolf 05-11-2020, 02:48 PM
Quote GreggBridgeman
I have formatted books for kdp for more than 10 years. I mostly stick to Sigil and hard code everything as an epub then upload directly.
For testing, I will either use KindleGen or KindlePreviewer to ensure quality.
The last series of books I uploaded I noticed that though the SVG formatted images and embedded fonts render perfectly in KindlePreviewer and via the KDP previewer, when you access the "Look Inside" feature on the book's product page, the SVG images do not properly render, nor do any embedded fonts.
I suspect this is because the "Look Inside" previewer is unable to handle HTML5.

Has anyone else encountered this? I have reported the issue to Amazon but I am not holding my breath.

(Attachments are screenshots in each of the various previewers. Note that the book title, in this case "A Carol for Kent" is an SVG image and the cursive font is embedded for the letter at the beginning of Chapter 1.)
You do realize that your SVG images and embedded fonts will not work with Mobi. So how are you handling Mobi for those with older Kindles?

Also, the header font with shadows doesn't look good. Second, most people won't even see your embedded fonts on a Kindle because Publisher Font is not the default when there are embedded fonts. So do you really want embedded fonts that don't wok for the preview and won't be seen by most who read your book?
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#4  jhowell 05-11-2020, 03:12 PM
Quote JSWolf
Second, most people won't even see your embedded fonts on a Kindle because Publisher Font is not the default when there are embedded fonts. So do you really want embedded fonts that don't wok for the preview and won't be seen by most who read your book?
How embedded fonts are handled depends on the book format. Devices that support KF8, but not KFX will only show those fonts if the reader selects the "publisher font". However all Kindle devices released in the last five years along with the Kindle apps support KFX format and that will show the embedded fonts for secondary content even when the reader has selected a different primary font. So most readers will actually see the embedded fonts.
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#5  jhowell 05-12-2020, 07:58 AM
One other thing that should be mentioned is that the use of images to contain text is frowned upon because they limit accessibility for those with vision problems. Amazon's Kindle Publishing Guidelines say to "avoid using images of text" for this reason.

Also your images do not appear to contain "alt" attributes. Those are also important for accessibility. Again the Publishing Guidelines state, "Ensure all meaningful images have text alternatives or are described by the surrounding text."
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