MobiPocket Creator or Not? KDP Amazon Ebook Format

mobipocket creatorIf you plan to sell ebooks online, Amazon Kindle is an e-publishing must do. For many Indie authors, the first step of properly formatting documents to be readable on electronic devices can be a major hurdle. From what they’re saying at KDP Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing), it doesn’t seem to make it any easier.

My theory on formatting is keep it simple, keep it simple, keep it simple. (Actually that’s Mark Coker’s theory from the free Smashwords Style Guide, but it works for me too.)

So should we upload properly formatted MS Word docs directly or go with MobiPocket Creator as they suggest?

This answer at first glance seems to be obvious; go with whatever KDP Amazon suggests. However, it’s quite a few more steps for a product that, in my opinion, results in basically the same thing.

Below is the link to the instructions from Amazon explaining how to format your Word doc to be ready for Kindle. The process involves saving it as a Web Page, Filtered HTML file, then uploading it to MobiPocket Creator (something you’ll need to freely download), then using that to build the book with cover and TOC added, then preview it on the Kindle Previewer (another something to freely download), and then upload it to KDP Amazon. Whew, that’s a few steps.

Or you can simply upload your Word doc (not docx) to KDPAmazon directly. Hmm, yeah, the 2nd method does seem easier.

In my experience, both ways produce basically the same results. The only advantage that seems to lean to the 1st method is perhaps more control over the Menu feature working correctly each time for items like the cover, TOC and where the book “starts” for readers who need the author to tell them that.

However, with a cover image added to the beginning of the Word document and proper bookmarks inserted, the 2nd method still works fine: cover for the cover, TOC for the table of Contents, and start for where the book truly begins for inquiring minds.

Maybe other Indie authors and readers will weigh in on their opinion if it really matters to use MobiPocket Creator or not. Here’s the fairly lengthy description from Amazon on the subject –

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