Kindle Formats – Fixed vs Free Flow

When you opt to create a Kindle version of your book there are two forms of your end product that you must consider.

Unfortunately for me, after reading several how-to’s and being a newbie to most things kindle, outside of owning a few e-books and having read them on my phone and Amazon Fire HD 8 — I opted to follow the advice of using the Kindle Textbook Creator Tool which creates an e-book almost identical to the printed version of my book with a table of contents which allowed the reader to accurately move within the text via the Kindle application itself.

Seemed to make the most sense at the time.

Unfortunately this  tool does exactly what you ask it to and you get an e-book which on the surface looks like it will work on most any Kindle device that you might opt to load it on.

After purchasing the e-book and downloading it, all things looked good.

Which proved not entirely to be the case.
Although the e-book loaded fine on my Amazon fire and Android phone, it would not show as available for my Wife’s Kindle Paperwhite which in turn led me to discover through an
e-mail response from KDP support that my e-book was in a fixed format while the Paperwhite and many devices like it are free-flow only.

This in turn led to some research and the discovery of yet another Kindle tool: KindleGen

Once I took my original manuscript that I had formatted for e-book reading and ran it through the Reanimus Nuclear Assistant tool, I was able to rebuild the file with proper page breaks and a table of contents which also allowed for it to become a template for publication on Smashwords as well with the proper ISBN so that both e-book products have the same look and feel.

In the end, I now understand what both tools are and how they work along with what output they will give you should you opt to use them.

The next step was to unpublish my initial e-book and republish as a new version using the
mobi formatted file and it has a much better look and feel as a free-flow book on both my devices and my Wife’s Paperwhite which also accepts it now.

Once Amazon re-links the printed book with the new e-book and the data from the old, things will be much better.

So there you have it, yet another thing to consider if you choose to publish your book and an example of how I’ve learned what and what not to do.

About admin

Bob Sellers and his family live in Southern Minnesota (USA) where he is employed as a Senior Programmer Analyst who enjoys bleeding purple and gold while cheering for his Minnesota Vikings of the NFL. As part of his many hobbies, he is also an avid motorcyclist and enjoys competition barbecue whenever possible. Many years ago, he ventured into fan fiction while he participated in several events that were organized by fans of the Forever Knight television show and further went on to enjoy the hobby while as a member of the on-line writers groups once offered by Kelley Armstrong. With the discovery of Wattpad and his more recent involvement as part of the Rochester MN Writers Group, he has enjoyed learning much to take his stories to the next level, both in content and design. A long time fan of the supernatural, he’s always been interested and enjoyed the darker tales of things that go bump in the night.
This entry was posted in Author, How-To, Tips and Tricks. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *