With the adoption of Amazon’s Kindle, eBooks can be available for immediate viewing on a large number of computing devices. If only it was as easy as pressing a “Make Kindle eBook” button in  Adobe InDesign CC or Microsoft Word. Exporting to EPUB and using unsupported third-party tools won’t produce the quality results customers expect. Ken can help with Kindle book (and iBooks) transformation from your InDesign book files.

InDesign to Kindle EBOok Production

The Magic of Kindle eBooks


The process is a combination of automation and manual intervention. Ultimately, the entire manuscript needs to be converted to a Kindle Create project. Kindle Create can then publish the book as a KPF file for uploading into your KDP account for posting on the Amazon Kindle site. Once uploaded, users can purchase it for instant reading on a variety of systems: Mac, Kindle, Windows, and iPad.


There are manuscript issues that can be difficult to resolve: inline graphics, special characters, lists, and tables. If you aren’t familiar with front matter and back matter, a Kindle book won’t be easily searchable by interested purchasers.


And what about the quality of a converted book on the Kindle? As you have probably seen, there are plenty of customer reviews yelling about the poor quality of Kindle eBooks. This includes odd page formatting, fuzzy graphics, or a book layout that is nothing like the original printed book.

Converting InDesign Books


A Kindle book requires adherence to paragraph styles that give the user flexibility when they read an eBook. If your book incorporates graphics, Kindle requires specific minimums for bit-depth resolution and size.


To make matters worse, the Kindle Create app can only import Word document documents (DOC/DOCX). As a result, InDesign (INDB) and Acrobat (PDF) documents can’t be readily used by Kindle Create for text-oriented eBooks.


That’s where Ken’s conversion process takes over:

Converting Word Manuscripts


For a book written completely in Microsoft Word (DOC/DOCX), import it into the Kindle Create app and place all documents and images into a subfolder. Kindle Create organizes the eBook into a Kindle project consisting of all of the assets (frontmatter, backmatter, chapter text, images, and so on) to be referenced in a KCB document. Once the eBook has been edited and modified, the entire manuscript is exported as a KPF for upload into KDP. The cover is uploaded separately.

The Kindle Playbook


Ken has developed a 100-page internal playbook that serves as a step-by-step “cookbook” to follow in order to produce a professional Kindle eBook using the Kindle Create app.

Getting Help to Publish


Once your book is completed,Ken can help convert it to Kindle format for uploading to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) system.


The real work is in the planning and cleaning up of your InDesign book so that it can be properly imported into the Kindle Create app. Since unforeseen issues can occur during the process, Ken always proposes a min/max range of effort (calendar effort and cost). For example, a recent 64-page InDesign book project was estimated to be completed in the range between 20 and 30 hours of work:

(This specific project actually took 24 hours to complete from beginning to end.) When a consulting project has completed, you’ll receive a reference guide on how to use the Kindle Create app.


The Kindle Create import feature is a one-way conversion. The project is packaged into a logical subfolder structure based on the sequence of steps used in the conversion. You can then update the book using Kindle Create yourself for future editions.

A Sample eBook


The thumbnail below represents sample pages of a converted InDesign book on a Kindle Paperwhite reader. This eBook was produced using the Kindle Create app from a book originally created with InDesign:

To view a a completed eBook that has been successfully produced for the Amazon’s Kindle store, click the mockup below:

Verifying the eBook


Just because an eBook was successfully converted and uploaded, doesn’t mean that the eBook will look professional to the user. A Kindle eBook should be visually verified on a variety of platforms:

What About Print On-Demand Paperbacks?


KDP also offers an on-demand printing capability to print paperbacks of your book. For that to happen, your book must comply with Amazon’s stringent guidelines: bleeds, text outside of safe zones, poor graphics rendering, and so on.






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