Kindle Workflow on Mac

So, I’ve published on KDP to get my book on Kindles.  I love kindles, but the mobi file is somewhat touchy.

I recently ran into an issue where Amazon changed how it converted word docs into mobi files.  They change from marking paragraph indents with *px to *.0rem, probably gearing newly created books towards HD devices.  However, the effect this has, on newly created books (such as revisions) is that it almost strips paragraph indents from iPhones, iPads, and old/classic Kindles.  Basically what happens is this:

the old way:  a para indent of 0.25 inches used to become 18px (pixels).  This rendered fine on old Kindle devices.  In late December, Amazon’s conversion engine changed the html tags to have paragraph indents 1.8em.  The old Kindle devices don’t interpret this (nor does their online preview), and you get an effective paragraph indent of 1.8 pixels.  So, there’s an indent, but to the naked eye it pretty much looks like block text.

In the meantime, I’ve seen Amazon tweaking their filters:  now they render a 0.5 inch Word paragraph indent as 3.6rem… and 36pt.  I can’t tell why the difference, but two different files (my novella any my novel) revealed html code with these two different tags.

So, what I’ve taken to doing is uploading the word doc, using their conversion feature, redownloading the converted html file, and using UNIX ‘sed‘ from the Mac’s terminal to recode back to “px” indents until they get this sorted out.

My whole workflow:

Kindle Workflow on Mac

  1. Manuscript in pages.  All paragraphs have no tabs.  1st line indent: 0.5 inches.
  2. No section breaks.  Only page breaks.
  3. Manually created hyperlinks/table of contents
  4. add “toc” tag to TOC
  5. add “start” tag to beginning of book.
  6. export to word file.
  7. open in OpenOffice
  8. use advance find/replace to change all “times new roman italic” font to “times new roman” font, tagged italics.
  9. upload to KDP.
  10. after conversion, open in KDP’s preview.
  11. download HTML “file”.
  12. unzip zip file.
  13. check html file in Chrome, view source code
  14. (each para should be indented 3.6rem)
  15. open terminal
  16. use unix command sed to create new html file, replacing
  17. all instances of 3.6rem, but check in Chrome (view source code–might be 36pt or something different): with 20pxrezip folder
  18. upload zip file to kdp
  19. check in preview
  20. publish

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