Breaking News: Vellum 2.8 is Here!

Vellum 2.8 is here! With this release, you can insert page breaks, create an ebook call-to-action, and choose from updated options for Kindle output.

Page Breaks

With Vellum 2.8, you can now insert a Page Break within a chapter. Use page breaks to start each section on a new page, or end a chapter with a page of discussion questions or items for reflection.

In some cases, you may only want to keep a section title from the bottom of the page. If you’ve used an Alignment Block for the title, you can now enable Keep With Next Paragraph to ensure the title stays on the same page as the text that follows (just as a Subhead will).

Selecting Ebooks Only for a call-to-action at the end of a chapter

Ebook Calls-to-Action

If you end your final chapter with a quick call-to-action (like a newsletter signup or a request for a review), you may want to restrict this to your ebook edition. You can now mark text like this as Ebook Only using the new Include In menu for Alignment Blocks.

Options for EPUB Only and EPUB + MOBI Kindle generation.

New Kindle Output Options

To help you follow Amazon’s new recommendation for an EPUB file, Vellum now offers these updated options for Kindle output:

  • EPUB Only
  • EPUB + MOBI

With either option, Vellum will provide a Kindle-specific EPUB file that’s ready to upload to KDP. If you need to sideload onto a Kindle, Vellum can output a MOBI file as well.

If you’ve generated ebooks before, you’ll see the prompt above the next time you generate. You can also select from these options in Generation Preferences.

Also in Vellum 2.8

  • A new prompt to confirm chapters reordered via drag-and-drop
  • New commands to add chapters to Parts and Volumes
  • A fix for cases when Chapter 1 did not appear on the right side of a spread
  • More compatible ornament images for Kobo ebooks
  • Improved compatibility with the upcoming release of macOS Big Sur

Vellum 2.8 is a free update. This version requires macOS Mojave or newer.

To get Vellum 2.8, use Check for Updates in the Vellum menu. Or download and install Vellum from vellum.pub.

Coming Changes to Kindle Ebook Generation

Recently, we wrote that Amazon now recommends uploading an EPUB file to KDP. In that post, we wanted to share the news of this change, and make sure you knew how to use Vellum’s Generation Preferences to choose between generating a Kindle-specific EPUB and MOBI file.

Because of Amazon’s new recommendation, we’ve decided to make a small change to these options. In a coming update, Vellum’s options for Kindle output will be:

  • EPUB Only
  • EPUB + MOBI

With these new options, Vellum will always generate an EPUB file that is designed to be uploaded to KDP. If you need a MOBI as well — for sideloading or sending out an ARC — Vellum will generate one at the same time, giving you a file for each use case.

To keep things simple for new users, Vellum will default to EPUB Only. If you’ve generated books before, you’ll see the following prompt when you next generate for Kindle:

A prompt offering options for EPUB Only and EPUB and MOBI.

These options will also be available in Generation Preferences.

Again, these changes will be in our next update to Vellum, coming soon now available.

Amazon Would Prefer an EPUB File

If you’ve recently uploaded an ebook to KDP, you may have noticed a change. Amazon now recommends providing an EPUB file for publishing instead of a file in their MOBI format. MOBI files are still supported, but if you open one in Kindle Previewer, you will see the following warning:

We imagine there may be some questions about this change. Here are some answers:

Q. Can Vellum produce an EPUB file for Amazon?
A. Yes! 🎉 You can change the format used for Kindle in Preferences. Vellum will produce an EPUB file that is designed for Kindle, and won’t result in any warnings from Kindle Previewer. Generating an EPUB file is also much faster than relying on Amazon’s conversion tools.

Q. Can I just send a Generic EPUB file to Amazon?
A. No! 😱 Don’t do that! Any Store Links will likely be wrong, and you may see issues in Amazon services like Look Inside and Kindle Cloud Reader. 

Q. Can I still upload a MOBI file?
A. You can. Though they recommend providing an EPUB, Amazon still lists MOBI as a supported format.

Q. Is Amazon now sending EPUB files to customers?
A. No. Files delivered to customers use Amazon’s format for Enhanced Typesetting. Amazon converts your ebook to this format after you upload to KDP.

Q. Can I load an EPUB file onto my Kindle?
A. No. Unfortunately, you will still need a MOBI file to sideload onto your Kindle or to send to a reader with a Kindle. (If you make use of BookFunnel, they can take care of this conversion for you.)

Q. Will Vellum stop producing MOBI files?
A. No. Don’t worry. But given Amazon’s new recommendations, we are considering solutions such as generating both Kindle EPUB and MOBI files. As long as Amazon keeps the necessary conversion tools available, we will continue to provide MOBI as an option.

Have a question not answered here? Contact us.

Update 10/22/20: More about coming changes to Kindle generation
Update 10/27/20: Vellum 2.8 includes options for EPUB + MOBI

Vellum 2.7.3

Vellum 2.7.3 is a minor update with the following improvements:

  • Links within endnotes are again imported
  • Fixed excessive spacing for some blockquote attributions
  • Fixed potential crash when deleting an element
  • Paste now clears any explicit underlining from links

This release is a free update, available now.

Vellum 2.7.2

Vellum 2.7.2 is a minor update with the following improvements:

  • Previews of eink devices are now high resolution on Retina screens
  • Addressed a potential issue with generation after duplicating a Volume
  • Superscript and Subscript labels are now correct in the Text Editor toolbar
  • Fixed problems creating and editing certain Web Links

This release is a free update, available now.

Create Internal Links with Vellum 2.7

Announcing Internal Links! You’ll find them in Vellum 2.7 with a whole lot more:

Internal Links

You can now create Internal Links, which direct a reader to a different section of your ebook. Use an Internal Link to refer to another chapter, to provide quick access to a glossary or a map, or even to build an interactive narrative.

You can add Internal Links within Vellum, or import links you’ve established in your Word file.

New Options for Your TOC

If you’ve organized your chapters using Subheads, you can now list them in the Table of Contents. Include Subtitles for your Chapters, Parts, and Volumes as well. And if you’re creating an anthology, you can now credit story Authors in the TOC.

Also in Vellum 2.7:

Vellum 2.7 is a free update. This version requires macOS High Sierra or newer.

To get Vellum 2.7, use Check for Updates in the Vellum menu. Or download and install Vellum from vellum.pub.

Vellum 2.6.7

Vellum 2.6.7 is a minor update with the following improvements:

  • Files saved in iCloud no longer scroll to the top after an autosave
  • Fixed a bug that could cause text imported from Scrivener to appear in bold
  • Corrected potential layout problems for Large Print books using the Iowan font
  • Fixed a problem with inaccurate page numbering in Draft mode
  • Addressed an output mismatch for books with Block Quotes only in a Prologue

This release is a free update, available now.

Push Your Images to the Edge with Vellum 2.6.5

Vellum has new, powerful options for a Full Page Image in your print edition.

You can now make your image extend all the way to the edge of the page with Full Bleed. Use this to fill a custom title page with beautiful artwork:

Custom Title page with a Full Bleed image
A Full Page Image can also be set to span a whole Spread. That means you can easily include a map that fills two pages:

Map spanning both pages of a Spread
Or, combine these two features for a dramatic, full bleed, title page spread:

Custom title page spanning both pages of a Spread
As with most everything else in Vellum, you can configure your Full Page Image with just a few clicks. If you enable Full Bleed, Vellum will automatically adjust the layout for your entire book.

Also in this Update

  • Reduced size of generated ebooks, especially those with many images
  • Kindle ebooks now avoid image size issues in Kindle for Mac
  • Ebooks now include additional information for accessibility

All of this can be found in Vellum 2.6.5, a free update, available now.

Vellum 2.6.4

Vellum 2.6.4 is a minor update with the following improvements:

  • Athelas and Iowan print edition fonts are again available on macOS Catalina
  • Fixed centering of a Trace chapter heading in Apple Books
  • Corrected inset of a Verse style on Kindle
  • Fixed importing manuscripts with a capitalized DOCX extension
  • Hyphenation is now disabled within a Dedication
  • Added translations for the Endnotes (“Notes”) element

This release is a free update, available now.