Author Topic: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?  (Read 604 times)  

Offline Jude Thaddeus

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What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
« on: October 23, 2020, 02:15:56 pm »
I just created a print book with 220 remastered black and white photos from the early 20th century. It also has a lot of text.

I'd like to bring this to an ebook format, but have read conflicting things about the best approach.

I've heard that the reflowable text of kindle files doesn't work well with lots of photos. Is this true? Is it worth trying?

I know I can just upload a PDF and create a "print replica" version, but that strikes me as a horrible reading experience. I'd be p*ssed to have to squint at a screen and try to read the text. Do people actually buy these things?

Also, I know Amazon charges by the MB for delivery. If I have all these photos, what should I shoot for in terms of image quality? What are my benchmarks?

Any advice from those with experience with photo-heavy books very welcome. Thanks!



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    Offline Gessert Books

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #1 on: October 23, 2020, 02:51:28 pm »
    If it has lots of text, print replica / fixed format may not be viable at all. Amazon does not like books that could be reflowable but are not. The first time someone complains, they will usually push back on you to go reflowable.

    Reflowability in and of itself doesn't really affect images, though the way pagination for e-readers works may cause you to have some gaps here and there. A lot depends on the way your content is structured and how heavily it relies on specific page layout.

    Offline Jude Thaddeus

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #2 on: October 23, 2020, 06:02:21 pm »
    What sort of standards should we shoot for in terms of image resolution/DPI/file size for an image-heavy book?

    Jude Thaddeus

    Offline Gessert Books

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #3 on: October 24, 2020, 08:17:38 am »
    Youll want them as small as you can get away with, Id start at 150 dpi and dial down the resolution / dial up the compression until you feel the result is noticeably poorer. If youre comfortable on the command line, imagemagick can produce some impressively small files.

    Offline Jude Thaddeus

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #4 on: October 24, 2020, 08:42:51 am »
    Thanks!

    Jude Thaddeus

    Offline nightwork

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #5 on: October 24, 2020, 11:16:40 am »
    the smartest way is not to do it at all

    people want image heavy books in print

    they may also be able to use them in an app format

    example- howell & webb birds of mexico, i own a very large paperback copy

    and i have the merlin app for mexico which tah dah uses howell & webb so i can access the book in digital

    in kindle format this book would be almost useless because of the need for multiple images, range maps, & text & the cost of delivery causes publishers to use these tiny lo rez useless images

    there's nothing more miserable than a kindle ebook with maps & images in it

    if the images are important make an app
    « Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 11:20:03 am by nightwork »

    Online Shane Lochlann Black

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #6 on: October 24, 2020, 06:44:23 pm »
    Quote
    there's nothing more miserable than a kindle ebook with maps & images in it
       

    Yeah. You can make games, animated television, feature films, apps and videos and have full-screen high resolution full-motion HD graphics with stereo sound on phones and tablets all day.   

    But you're a Kindle author. So all you get is text. The Kindle Fire wasn't meant for you. Neither were PCs. Or phones. In fact, you can't even use links because God forbid one of them jump over too many pages. Or it might upset someone at AppleDisneyGoogle enough to reach inside your book and start making changes. People who link to things tend to be uppity and get ideas. I mean, if you want to be a smart-aleck you can put all the pictures in the book you want. We'll just slap it across the mouth with confiscatory delivery fees until you learn your place.

    Pictures don't belong in books anyway, so get back in that little cage and shut your mouth.
    « Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 06:52:22 pm by Shane Lochlann Black »

    Offline jvin248

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #7 on: October 24, 2020, 08:41:42 pm »
    .

    +1 use a Kindle and test a series of image dpi reductions and compression % in the most efficient format (jpg not png, or perhaps there is a better one than jpg like webp?).

    Amazon charges download MB fees. So check the details. Generally not a problem for book covers and a map or two but more than that and you could give away your book in fees.

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    Online Jeff Hughes

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #8 on: October 25, 2020, 02:59:09 am »
    As a reader who buys a couple books a week, 80 percent of which are e-books, I'll just say that image-heavy e-books are usually an instant fail.  They fail for two reasons:  the formatting and "flowability" reasons you mention; and because the photos are often of miserable quality (too low resolution and too much compression).  Actually, there's a third reason - dedicated e-readers usually don't have sufficient screen size, resolution, or quality to render photographic imagery very well... I read most of my e-books on an iPad so that doesn't apply to me... but it would for many.

    With a paper edition, you (the author) can control both those elements. 

    PDF's masquerading as an e-book are not a good reader experience because they're never the right size.  Every time you turn the page you have to pinch and re-size.  (PDF's for quickly referenced works like owner's manuals are terrific, however).

    The first thing I do for an image-heavy e-book I'd like to buy, is run down and check the reviews.  It usually doesn't take long to find one or more speaking to how terrible the imagery is rendered.  At which point I reluctantly click over to the paper version, and buy that.

    Imagery:  do it right, or don't do it at all.

    P.S.  Your book sounds very interesting, Jude (among other things, I'm a photographer).  What's the subject, if I might ask?

    « Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 03:04:10 am by Jeff Hughes »

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #9 on: October 25, 2020, 01:58:27 pm »
    According to Amazon they recommend High resolution (300dpi)

    Just be aware that image heavy books come with a high delivery charge when setting your retail price unless you charge more than 9.99, in which case there is no delivery charge. The only way to find the correct file size at conversion to mobi in relation to delivery charges is to upload(not publish) and it will show the delivery deduction on the royslty page. Note: your ebook can't be set at a higher price than the print book, or they will price match the ebook to the print book.

    Guide to delivery charges. https://www.authorimprints.com/amazon-kdp-royalty-pricing/

    https://youtu.be/mlyzVC_kuVs     You tube  image ebooks

    https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200645710  Amazon's instructions for ebooks with images

    The smartest way is to follow Amazon kindle's advice in the link above and watch the videos on sizing, quality, and placement.

    For children's picture books, use kindles children book creator. It works by uploading PDFs for conversion to mobi. Also, if there is a bulk of text it can be seT up to be clicked, or touched on the device to open it up separately on the screen. Trouble is with this creator, it can only be used via Amazon and not wide.

    « Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 02:38:36 pm by Decon »


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    Offline Jude Thaddeus

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #10 on: October 25, 2020, 02:36:32 pm »


    Just be aware that image heavy books come with a high delivery charge when setting your retail price unless you charge more than 9.99, in which case there is no delivery charge. Note: your ebook cant be set at a higher price than the print book, or they will price match the ebook to the print book.


    So if I charged $10.00 there would be no delivery charge, no matter how large the file size?

    Jude Thaddeus

    Offline nightwork

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #11 on: October 25, 2020, 02:41:48 pm »
    So if I charged $10.00 there would be no delivery charge, no matter how large the file size?

    yes because your royalty is only 35% unless you are working with a publisher who can get you a better deal than indies get

    i have several books where the hardcover & kindle edition are almost the same price (i the reader/collector not i the publisher, i don't do image heavy books)

    ex- sibley's what it's like to be a bird hardcover $21.50/kindle $18.50 (nondiscounted price of both editions is $35 but apparently it's being price-matched somewhere)

    Online Decon

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    Re: What's the smartest way to produce an image heavy kindle book?
    « Reply #12 on: October 25, 2020, 03:59:00 pm »
    So if I charged $10.00 there would be no delivery charge, no matter how large the file size?

    Correct,but your royalty reduces to 35% if you price over 9.99. They only pay 70% from 2.99 - 9.99

    I would imagine download speeds to kindle could take forever and a day for really high file sizes, which could be another disadvantage to producing such an ebook. I've not looked into it, but I also imagine there could be limits to file sizes.

    For some reason they don't seem to charge as per their pricing for delivery.

    I use upto 20 small  bw images at 300dpi in all my books which vary from 2 to 5mb in file size as per the sales pages. The one with the most has a file size of 5442kb or  5.3 mb as per my sales page. (1024kb = 1MB for some reason?) The delivery charge is shown as 9c on my upload pricing page for this book. At the bottom of the scale I have one book at almost 2mb and the charge is 11c - go figure

    What is strange is that my short story collection has 12 color images, which are sort of large cover thumbnails at the beginning of each short story and say 30 small images to denote scene breaks and such, and that comes in at 1107kb, or just over 1mb and the charge is 9c.

    Like I say, none of these bear any resemblance to their pricing for delivery charges. 
    « Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 04:50:04 pm by Decon »


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