Guidelines to create Amazon’s Kindle Publishing in InDesign

Guidelines to create Amazon’s Kindle Publishing in InDesign

Sep 05

Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines for Kindle Plug-in for Adobe InDesign 0.93Amazon has released a document called the Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines for Kindle Plug-in for Adobe InDesign 0.93. It has detailed guidelines, with screenshots and clear instructions, on how to optimize your InDesign files for the Kindle file format (MOBI) prior to uploading to the Kindle store for sale.

Technically, the Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines for InDesign document is actually a how-to guide for using their free and recently updated Export to Kindle plug-in for InDesign, which works with CS4, CS5, and CS5.5. The plug-in appears in the File menu as Export for Kindle and also in the Books panel menu, if you want to export an entire InDesign book (INDB) to Kindle format.

The plug-in is smart enough to convert InDesign page breaks (the special character you insert from the File > Insert Break Character menu) to chapter breaks in the Kindle book it exports. The guidelines even suggest that you use the Keeps setting of “Start on Next Page” in a paragraph style so you don’t have to enter the break character manually, and the plug-in will follow through. InDesign’s own EPUB export can’t do that.

It’s the same plug-in for CS4 through CS5.5,  so other than the special tricks added by the plug-in itself, it uses the lowest common denominator of CS4’s INDD > EPUB features for the heavy lifting. For CS5.5 users that means the Export to Kindle plug-in ignores the Articles panel and Object Export Options settings. If you want to use those features, you’ll need to export to EPUB first, then use other free software from Amazon (KindleGen or Kindle Previewer, links below) and third parties (such as Calibre) to convert the stand-alone EPUB to MOBI.

But remember, the Export to Kindle plug-in is still in beta, and you are most welcome to chime in to the Kindle Direct Publishing forums with your thoughts about its feature set and usability.

To get more information from Amazon:

• Kindle Direct Publishing portal (for authors and small-medium publishers)
• KDP Forums• Discussion thread about the new 0.93 Export to Kindle plug-in• Kindle Publishing Guidelines (general), a PDF
• Kindle Publishing Guidelines for InDesign/the Kindle plug-in, a ZIP file
• Bookmark this page: Kindle publishing software downloads (includes links to the plug-in)

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