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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been submitting my novels to Amazon in HTML format, which is what KDP recommends.  However, I don't like the way it comes out since it has extra lines between paragraphs.  I would prefer no lines between paragraphs.

KDP accepts the mobi format though so I was thinking of converting the doc file into mobi using Calibre and submitting that instead and see if the book looks better after being published. 

So have you submitted books to KDP using mobi format and how did it come out after being published?
 

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I tried to use the mobipocket creator over and over again but I always had formatting issues, which people commented on. Then I finally decided to try it through Calibre since that's what I used for EPUB and it was totally different. All the formatting issues I had were gone.
 

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I've done this for my young adult book, Land of No Angels, mostly because I didn't understand the html way and the epub way didn't convert right. As far as I can tell, the mobi way (which I used sigil and calibre to clean up and create) turned out fine and was formatted exactly the way I wanted.
 

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I compile straight to .mobi or .epub using Scrivener.  I uploaded the two short stories I've put out so far in those formats (for kdp and pubit respectively) and had no issues.  Worked fine.

My trouble is Smashwords.  Writing in Scrivener, and being able to make nice .mobi and .epub files in literally a couple mouseclicks, I find having to compile to .doc and then do all the formatting there for tables of contents and the like terribly tiresome.  If only Smashwords would let us directly upload in those other formats.  :(  Oh well...
 

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I used kindlegen to make a mobi of my book from an html file. I looked at the mobi with an ebook viewer on my pc, and when I got it looking the way I wanted it I sent it to KDP. I haven't bought it myself to see what the whole thing looks like, but I downloaded the sample and it looks the same as the mobi I sent in. I have indented first lines on the paragraphs and no extra space between lines. The only place I had any problems was with the page breaks. The html code for a kindle pagebreak is <mbp:pagebreak />. It's a kindle specific code, not regular html. The pagebreak code sort of works, but not 100% of the time for me.
 

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I submit a mobi file and it always comes out looking just like it did going in.

I format according to Helen Hanson's instructions:
http://www.helenhanson.com/?p=892

Using Guido Henkel's special character instructions:
http://guidohenkel.com/2011/01/take-pride-in-your-ebook-formatting-part-vi/

And run it through kindlegen, the official Amazon .mobi creation program. Comes out perfect every time. Except for creating the table of contents (I write short chapters, ugh), it only takes me like half an hour to format.
 

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1. Output WebFiltered (HTML) from Word.
2. Input HTML to Mobi.
3. Add TOC and internal cover in Mobi.
4. Output prc file from Mobi.
5. USB copy prc file to personal Kindle.
6. When I like how it looks on my Kindle, upload the prc file to Amazon.

7. Input prc file to Calibre.
8. Output ePub from Calibre.
9. USB copy ePub to personal Nook.
10. When I like the way it looks on my Nook, upload ePub file to B&N.
 

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Terence:

Is the prc file necessary?  I haven't played iwth Calibre enough to know about any odd hooks, but I usually put a mobi file straight onto my Kindle.

BTW: I notice that Adobe has a whitepaper on getting InDesign files into mobi. (It involves exporting to epub and converting the mobi in calibre, of course.)  They are adding more and more power to the export command for epub, and I'm going to experiment with creating a layout for print and then seeing if I can cleanly export down to epub and seeing if it properly simplifies.  If so, that could be a nice "one source" situation. (I'm not holding my breath, though.)

Camille
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
I have been submitting my novels to Amazon in HTML format, which is what KDP recommends. However, I don't like the way it comes out since it has extra lines between paragraphs. I would prefer no lines between paragraphs.

KDP accepts the mobi format though so I was thinking of converting the doc file into mobi using Calibre and submitting that instead and see if the book looks better after being published.

So have you submitted books to KDP using mobi format and how did it come out after being published?
I used mobi and it came out fine. :)
 

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I had a good deal of trouble formatting, but that was primarily because I used Word 97 to write the book. Paleotechnology.

After much trial and error, I opened my word doc in Open Office and saved as html (which cleaned up Words peculiarities). Then imported the html with Mobi, which converted the file to a PRC. Then when I saved the file in my publications, the PRC magically became an ebook file. (Camille, maybe this explains the PRC phase.)

Long story short, the Mobi-created file uploaded just fine to the Kindle.

I never did use Calibre, although I came across references to it.
 

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daringnovelist said:
Is the prc file necessary? ...I usually put a mobi file straight onto my Kindle.
PRC = MOBI = AZW. They're all the same format. Just a guess, but I'll assume 'AZW' stands for Amazon Whispernet. Just a way to identify how the file was delivered, versus files that are loaded directly via USB.

As for the topic at hand (submitting to Amazon using mobi) -- I feed cleansed Word HTML to Mobipocket creator and upload the resulting .prc (mobi) file. For EPUBs, I code the HTML and other files in a text editor, assemble and zip, and rename the extension to .epub
 

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"Is the prc file necessary? I haven't played iwth Calibre enough to know about any odd hooks, but I usually put a mobi file straight onto my Kindle."

Probably not. It seems there are a number of paths that work. I like this one because I find it easier to do a TOC and internal cover in Mobi. Then USB copying to my Kindle shows me exactly how it looks with different font sizes.

When I banished all formatting commands except my six STYLES from Word, I found the formatting step was eliminated. It all flowed.

I use the prc file as input to Calibre for the ePub because by that step the prc file already has the TOC and internal cover. So all I do in Calibre is just output the ePub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just bought my last two novels that I had submitted to KDP using mobi instead of HTML.  I think the formating looks much better so I am going to submit all of them using mobi instead of HTML.
 

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The biggest part of getting an ebook to display consistently is to get the html as simple as possible. That's why I like to work with raw txt and markup the html myself. Is it overkill? In some instances, but it means predictability. For instance, Amazon just implemented their "Look Inside" preview feature for ebooks, and it's reacting to the messier html that a word processing program creates differently than a Kindle does. People trial-and-errored for the kindle, not Look Inside.

And I don't think it's really overkill because it doesn't take much time if you're writing standard prose (my play took a bit more time).

First you take your .doc file and in Word/OOo/schwhatevs search for italics and surround it with .

After that you copy it into something like notepad++ that strips all formatting, turning it into raw text, and do a search and replace to surround each paragraph with

After that, you search out ellipses, em dashes, and smart quotes if you want smart quotes. Then you paste the block into the html frame code.

I don't think it's for everyone, but it does have benefits, and it's not as difficult as you might think. The biggest pain in the butt is the ToC if you have a lot of chapters.
 

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Hi all,

I export the file from Word to .doc. (It starts in Word for Smashwords uploading). I load it into OpenOffice Writer. I export it as HTML (I find Writer exports much cleaner HTML than Word.) I load the file into Calibre for conversion. In step two of the conversion process in Calibre (Look and Feel) there is a radio button you can push to remove the extra line spaces. I convert to Mobi (and epub too) in Calibre. I check the output on my Kindle and on the reader apps on my phone then I upload to Amazon. It seems to have worked just fine so far.

All the best,

Bill
 

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I'm getting a lot of good info from this thread.  Thanks Everyone for sharing.
 
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