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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping someone has a better strategy than the one I have in mind.

I've discovered a great deal about what doesn't work as I attempt to convert my wife's graphics-heavy Games on Horses book to Kindle. I originally offered the book quite a few years ago through Createspace as a paperback. The book contains many full page graphics illustrating how equine riding instructors should layout their arenas. The manuscript also contains many partial-page illustrations of the tools and materials required.

Neither the Kindle Create, the Comic Book or the Children's Book apps appear up to the task. The ones that handle graphics well don't provide a table of contents. And I cannot get the Kindle Create to handle graphics and text consistently.

My current thought is to create each page of the entire book, text included, as .jpeg or .png through the paint.net app at a 10:16 ratio. (Thought 9:16 was standard, but apparently not). Then load each page into Kindle Create. Not a trivial effort. I'm also a bit concerned about the combined size if I go with 800 x 1280 px @ 300 dpi as a .png. And I'm not sure I can craft a table of contents.

I hoping there's a better idea.

* Deke's 2-2013 post "Kindle Conversion Best Practices" post last line reads "This is an older thread, ... Please consider creating a new thread."
 

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The best approach will probably be to try and reimagine the layout so that it can reflow. For example, if you have lots of sidebars, perhaps they can be set as framed asides within the text instead. If you have text overlaying an image, maybe the image can follow the text instead for the ebook. Any fixed-layout or text-as-image approach will really limit your reach, will generally offer poor legibility, hinders device features like search, and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is turning the whole book into one pdf file first, and then publishing that an option ?
Thank you NickD. Converting the book into a PDF file first is an option if I re-build in my MS Word 2016 then save as a .pdf. (I do not have an Adobe subscription). I will attempt that approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Gessert Books
... perhaps they can be set as framed asides within the text instead. If you have text overlaying an image, maybe the image can follow the text instead for the ebook.
The terminology / skill set may be a bit beyond my literacy. I'd certainly take a look at any reference on affixing an image to a text so if follows it. Can you recommend a reference?

Using Kindle Create to upload my Word document resulted in inconsistent renderings for image/text pairs. I even tried rendering them in table cells. I tried the Comic and Children's book apps when Kindle support suggested I use Fixed-Layout. I suspect what you suggest is the better option. Just don't know how.
 

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Thank you Gessert Books The terminology / skill set may be a bit beyond my literacy. I'd certainly take a look at any reference on affixing an image to a text so if follows it. Can you recommend a reference?

Using Kindle Create to upload my Word document resulted in inconsistent renderings for image/text pairs. I even tried rendering them in table cells. I tried the Comic and Children's book apps when Kindle support suggested I use Fixed-Layout. I suspect what you suggest is the better option. Just don't know how.
I'm surprised they recommended fixed-layout. I took a look at the Look Inside for Games on Horses, and it does not look like a good candidate for fixed-layout to me. It's worth avoiding fixed-layout for books that could be reflowable, because fewer people can read them, and Amazon will occasionally pull a book for quality issues if it's fixed-layout but shouldn't have been.

I don't know that I can think of a guide for placing text after an image instead of beside it, but for example: in that Look Inside, I see a page describing "Make the Sandwich" that shows a couple images for materials needed, and to the right a kind of checklist for those materials. For the ebook, you'd instead place that checklist below the images. I am not sure what software you used initially for the print edition, but I imagine you'd set this up in Word rather than any of the Kindle proprietary tools.
 

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... inconsistent renderings for image/text pairs. ...

One possible way to fix that would be to edit the image - add some extra bland background above or below and write the text in there and save as one image file - would only work for snippets of text of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@NickD @Gessert Books I took your suggestions on avoiding fixed-layout and on uploading a .pdf version instead of a .docx with mixed success.
The pdf loads nicely. Creating a table of contents per KDP documentation does indicate how to mark the relative pages for a table of contents, but does not share how to view it, even after compile. A couple of iterations with Kindle Support has the issue escalated, but no result so far.
One thought I have is to generate a table of contents per normal in Word, export as a pdf, upload through Kindle Create then imbed internal links .
What do you think?
 

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@NickD @Gessert Books I took your suggestions on avoiding fixed-layout and on uploading a .pdf version instead of a .docx with mixed success.
The pdf loads nicely. Creating a table of contents per KDP documentation does indicate how to mark the relative pages for a table of contents, but does not share how to view it, even after compile. A couple of iterations with Kindle Support has the issue escalated, but no result so far.
One thought I have is to generate a table of contents per normal in Word, export as a pdf, upload through Kindle Create then imbed internal links .
What do you think?
PDF is a very poor format for conversion to a reflowable ebook. And if used for a fixed-layout book instead, internal links will not work, because internal links are not supported for fixed-layout Kindle books.
 

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Don't upload a PDF for an ebook. It's almost always going to be so bad, you'll just cry. Also, forget about Amazon's stuff, like Kindle Create.

What you want is a basic program like Word, so you can set up styles and get the illustrations and text to flow properly. Then convert to epub, make sure it passes a check, and then upload to Amazon.

There are resources out there for publishing ebooks with illustrations, tables, and graphics. Be aware that such a book is going to have huge delivery costs, even if you compress images.
 

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You might want to have a look at draft2digital for creating your e-book from a Word doc.

I am going to give them a try myself - you do not have to sign up with them if all you want to do is use their conversion software as I understand it.

Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you @NickD @unkownwriter @Gessert Books for your responses. I'm quite surprised at the challenge that creating a graphics-heavy how-to / craft book presents. And, even more so, that the Kindle documentation is inadequate.*

Manually creating a toc in Word, exporting it as a .pdf and importing through Kindle Create with the maintaining links option works on my test document. At least through the simulated viewers in the app.

My niche market is too small to contract the conversion, so I am pursuing this mostly as skill development.

* For example, Kindle documentation specifies how to mark a page to be included in a table of contents, but does not share how to display that toc. Kindle support first ignored the question, then "escalated" it. Still waiting on a response to that escalation.
 

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Thank you @NickD @unkownwriter @Gessert Books for your responses. I'm quite surprised at the challenge that creating a graphics-heavy how-to / craft book presents. And, even more so, that the Kindle documentation is inadequate.*

Manually creating a toc in Word, exporting it as a .pdf and importing through Kindle Create with the maintaining links option works on my test document. At least through the simulated viewers in the app.

My niche market is too small to contract the conversion, so I am pursuing this mostly as skill development.

* For example, Kindle documentation specifies how to mark a page to be included in a table of contents, but does not share how to display that toc. Kindle support first ignored the question, then "escalated" it. Still waiting on a response to that escalation.
Probably the biggest hurdle you have to jump is simply that e-books are made to be read on all sorts of devices, a lot of them like smartphones with relatively small screens.

Imagine squeezing a little kid's heavily illustrated large format book onto a 3" by 6" screen, and then you know there are going to be problems.

I'm not saying you can't make an e-book with large illustrations, but I am not sure if it is worth it because the end product could well be unusable.

I suppose if you can prove me wrong, you will make a fortune.

Good luck - Nick
 
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