Kindle Publishing Guidelines: Preparing Text-Heavy Books

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The term “reflowable” refers to e-books that are text-heavy. Basically, the content of reflowable e-books “reflow” when the users change the text settings. Creating a reflowable e-book is easy if the text and images are separate. Obviously, separating the text from the images of an image-heavy book (e.g. manga) is extremely difficult.

Here are the things to keep in mind when publishing a reflowable e-book:

· Don’t use absolute positioning to align the text.

· Make sure that the text is set in single columns.

· By default, Kindle tags eBooks as “reflowable”. That means you don’t have to do any complex trick to publish a reflowable book.

· Avoid excessive styling when preparing the book’s body. Creativity is great when used on the book’s footnotes, headings, TOC, etc. However, keep the book’s text as simple as possible to ensure great legibility and reading experience.

· Never set entire chapters in italic or boldface. These font settings are not ideal for Kindle books.

· Use the default line height and font size for Kindle books when appropriate. Don’t use CSS attributes.

· Some Kindle users change the background color of the books they are reading. Consequently, do not use font colors that are too dark or too light. These colors may cause contrast-related issues when viewed on Kindle apps and devices.

· Do not use a white or black background for your text. These colors ruin the reading experience of your customers when they switch the device background to another color.

· Don’t use forced typefaces in your books. If you will ignore this rule, your readers won’t be able to choose their preferred font for reading Kindle e-books.

· If you are using KindleGen, the first line of each paragraph will be indented automatically. You can fix this by adjusting the book’s

</p> <p> tag.

· Use the margin-bottom style and/or margin-top style on your book’s

</p> <p> tag to adjust the spacing before and/or after every paragraph. It would be best to use ems as the units of measurement.

· The Kindle platform sets a default typeface for e-books that don’t have one. Also, Kindle is compatible with monospaced typefaces. Note that Kindle uses a monospaced typeface for the contents of certain HTML tags (e.g.

<tt>, </p> <pre>, <code>, etc.). You can provide specific typefaces for your books. Amazon will check whether your chosen typefaces are good for the customers' reading experience.

· Don't use fixed values (e.g. pixels) when setting your book's CSS properties (e.g. padding, line-height, text-indent, etc.). Use ems to make sure that your text will look nice on different resolutions and screen sizes.

· Use percentages when specifying the padding and/or margin properties of the book. This way, the said properties won't grow too large when the readers choose a large font.

· Prevent content overlaps by setting margins at zero or higher.

· Use relative units or percentages when setting the drop caps of your book. Make sure that the apex of each drop cap is aligned with your book's text.

· Avoid using blank lines to separate pages. Use CSS attributes (e.g. page-break-after) to insert page breaks.

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