Amazon revised its publishing guidelines for Kindle books in August 2010, and has released several minor updates since then. The most significant change is the doubled maximum file size for images, which is now “under 127KB” instead of “under 63KB”. Images that exceed these limits will be reprocessed by KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).
There are specific guidelines for both basic and advanced formatting, as well as the publishing procedure itself. If you are creating a book for the Kindle, read the guidelines to prevent problems before they occur, whether you prepare your own files for DTP publishing or send them to a conversion service that packages the files for you.
Links to the latest Help pages or Guidelines:
- Help Topics for Kindle Direct Publishing. This is the main Help page for Kindle publishers, a good place to start.
- Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines
These guidelines are for publishing with the KindleGen command line program. However, they provide insight into the publishing process for self-publishers using MobiPocketCreator, which is said to be the GUI version of KindleGen. MPC output is a PRC file, while that of KindleGen is a MOBI file. Both are zipped formats that bundle required publication files.
- Download KindleGen 1.1 for Windows, Mac, or Linux
KindleGen is a command line tool. Use MobiPocket Creator instead of you want a GUI (graphical user interface).
- Download Kindle Previewer 1.5 for Windows or Mac
The Previewer is an essential convenience if you use MPC or KindleGen. To preview your book on your own registered Kindle, attach the device to your computer using the USB cable. View the Kindle “drive” and drag your .prc or .mobi file into the Kindle’s Documents folder. Alternatively, send the zipped file to email@example.com. Then, transfer the file to your Kindle via USB cable.
- Kindle Previewer User’s Guide (PDF)
Kindle Previewer User’s Guide (Kindle format).
- Download Kindle Plugin for Adobe InDesign® V0.91 (Beta)
This plugin can be used to convert an InDesign book or document to Kindle format. Requires Adobe CS4 or CS5. For details, see Amazon’s Documentation.
For more Knowledge Base articles about publishing for the Kindle, and the community forum, go to the Amazon KDP Forum home.