To start with, there are some basics:

  • No backgrounds or background images can be used on any eBook that will be converted into Kindle (Mobi) format. While this feature/formatting is supported in what's called "KF8" formatting (the more-advanced formatting that was introduced with the Kindle Fire devices), the restrictions still hold for the older devices.  See below about how this can be addressed.  
  • Text boxes or pull-quotes will have to be formatted (generally) differently than in print.
  • Images in Kindle e-ink volumes can't be wrapped inside paragraphs, but can have this in ePUB format.  Again, this is now supported in KF8 format, but not KF7 (for the older e-ink devices, and the Kindle for iPad/iPhone reader).  
  • You can’t put text over an image in an Amazon eBook.  This is true unless a book is being made in "Fixed-Format," see our article about this:  Fixed-Format eBooks
  • You can only use tables that are about 3 columns wide, and very few rows.  This is still true, as of 2015.  
     

For most things, you can only have a single column of text.  No “newspaper-like" columns.   (see the Figures below:  Sample of Kindle e-ink device text, Font Size 1 and then the same exact book "page" in Font Size 8)  Some small areas with two column items can sometimes be made to look right by using tables, but this formatting trick needs to be used sparingly. 

Many graphic elements, like characters from foreign languages, can’t be used.  Generally, we recommend that most indices be omitted, or simply entered without page numbers.  Almost every eBook reader out there has a great search function.  This makes it better for your readers and less expensive for you!

 

Prince and the Pauper, Font Size 1
Prince and the Pauper, Font Size 1
Prince and the Pauper, Font Size 8, on a Kindle e-ink device.
Prince and the Pauper, Font Size 8, on a Kindle e-ink device

Phone Call Alert! 

(Please read, thanks.) 

Old Timey Switchboard Operator Cartoon

 

Due to the COVID-19 onslaught, we currently cannot take incoming phone calls.  

 

A notification about phone calls:  due to the COVID-19 plague, we've significantly increased our incoming inquiries--nearly double our usual volume--and the number of incoming inquiries by phone has been literally overwhelming.  Although most writers will say that their call "will only take 15 minutes," the truth is, that after 10 years of doing this, most author inquiry calls take an hour.  45 minutes at best. I'm currently receiving 7-10 calls/day, and due to that, I've had to stop accepting incoming phone calls, which my voicemail will tell you. You can leave a message--I can't call you back without one--and if a call is needed, I will of course call you.  But we have very complete and extensive email replies, handouts and our website is very informative. Almost all the questions that I receive during a call are actually already answered on our site, or are, in fact, publishing questions, not questions about our services, what we do, what we offer, or the like.  I already handle between 90-130 emails/day, as it is. I can't handle that many emails and take 7-10 hours of calls each day. I can't. So, in order to be able to answer this huge email volume, to help the greatest number of people, with my time, I've had to stop accepting calls.  I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. I'm in the process of setting up a call-appointment function, for free 15-minute calls to answer questions from new prospective customers and longer paid sessions for folks who generally want consulting on "publishing," generally (and for prospective kids' book publishers, as a special category of paid consulting).  But that functionality isn't yet set up. I hope to get that working the 3rd week of July, sometime.  

Thank you for your understanding.