Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Convert with Kindle Previewer, part of InDesign CC 2018: EPUB.
- [Instructor] Now let's look at the latest version of Amazon's free software to convert EPUBs to Kindle format books, called Kindle Previewer 3. And it's probably one of the most stable versions they've released. I've been using it, for the past 10 years, they've had versions, and it does a really good job. It works on Mac or Windows, and we saw in the previous video that you just download it from the KDP portal. Go to kdp.amazon.com and look for Kindle Previewer and install it. So I have it installed, and I'm running it, and what do we do here? Well, you open up the EPUB and it will convert it to a Kindle device.
And it'll let you preview what it's going to look like on a Kindle device, right in the program. Thus the name, Kindle Previewer. So go to file, choose open book, and locate an EPUB that you want to open. Now you can also locate a MOBI file, if you want to test to see what an already converted file will look like on different devices. But one of the main reasons for us to use it is to take our valid EPUBs that we took so long in creating and convert them to MOBI. So I select it and choose open.
And it converted it on the fly, and here's what we're looking at. On the right-hand side is what this e-book would look like on a Kindle device. Which Kindle device? It's up here, under device type. We're looking at it on a tablet in portrait orientation. If you wanna see what it looks like on a phone, you choose phone, and it gets smaller. And then you can flip through it by using these arrows at the bottom, to make sure that it works okay. In the middle, we have little previews of every single page in the book, because if you're dealing with a really long book, it can get very tedious going page to page to page or screen to screen to screen, I should say here on the right.
So on the left, you can just quickly go through and make sure that chapters are starting at the top and that images are appearing in the correct place. You can even turn on, over here on the left, auto-advance view, and it will just put the device right in the center of the screen, while you sit there drinking your coffee, and let it go ahead and click through every single page to make sure it works fine. I'm gonna click here to exit out of there. You can move to certain locations here on your navigation. And here's the nav ToC, under table of contents here, so we can jump, ornamental planting, healthy paths, and outdoor garden spaces and so on.
You can see what it looks like, this is the publisher font, the font that was embedded in this e-book. But we could switch to a different font, maybe our readers are gonna switch to Helvetica, for example, and this is apparently what Helvetica's gonna look like here. It looks like it kept our publisher font in the headline, but it's using Helvetica in the body, which is kinda interesting. Let's try some other devices. Try the tablet again, only this time, we'll go to landscape orientation. I often read Kindle e-books on my iPad, in the Kindle software, in this orientation.
So this feels really natural to me. Another device type that you can choose is the Kindle E-reader. So this is using the actual Kindle device that's branded with Kindle, as opposed to just a Kindle format, which I think is kinda cool. Now there's other commands up here, you can go to show the conversion log, so when it converted the file from the e-pub to the Kindle, this is all of the scary stuff that happened in the background, and things that it threw out, and things that it found.
If you have any kinda issue here, this could help you troubleshoot it. And then there's navigation tabs to go back and forth. One of my favorite things is to use the view menu to change the color mode. So I'm gonna switch to tablet, and under view, go to color mode, and choose black. So this is what the e-book would look like if somebody switched it to night vision. And it's a good way to proof what your images are gonna look like. I'll go back to view and go to color mode white.
There's also sepia and green, I don't know who uses green. But there you go, so you can preview your book after it's been converted, without actually having to hook up a Kindle. Though again, I strongly recommend you get an actual Kindle. This is a simulation of what it's gonna look like on a Kindle, and it does help a lot, because sometimes you can quickly catch problems, such as missing drop caps or things like that, that you can go back, redo the EPUB, and then reconvert. Now to get the actual MOBI file out of here, you just go to the file menu and choose export.
And your formats are MOBI, which is the usual one, or if you want to test this on an iOS device using the Kindle app, the only really good way to do that is to use this format called azk, so you can do that as well. I'm just gonna leave it as MOBI and then click export, and it says it's right there. Here is the MOBI file, there's the log that we were just looking at. Now that we have a MOBI file, we could sideload this onto the Kindle, or we could just even open it up with the Kindle app that's on Windows or the Mac.
It's one of the most useful utilities for any EPUB developer is to get the Kindle Previewer 3 downloaded from Amazon's KDP portal.
- Fixed-layout vs. reflowable EPUB
- EPUB workflow, from manuscript to final upload
- Preparing the InDesign file for EPUB conversion
- Using styles for text formatting
- Mapping styles to HTML and CSS tags
- Adding a TOC
- Embedding fonts
- Optimizing images
- EPUB export options
- Previewing and testing EPUB files
- Converting EPUBs to Kindle format