With Vellum 2.6, you’ll find generation for Kindle to be more secure, more reliable, and much faster. That’s because Vellum no longer relies on Amazon’s KindleGen utility to convert files to the mobi format.
Instead, Vellum will now generate a Kindle-specific EPUB file.
Ready for Catalina
If you’ve been using macOS Mojave, you’ve likely seen warnings that KindleGen is not optimized for your Mac, and won’t work with the next version of macOS. That version is Catalina, and it’s coming next month.
With Vellum 2.6, you won’t see any of these warnings, and you’ll be ready for Catalina.
Questions & Answers
Here are some answers to questions you might have about this change:
How do I publish my Kindle ebook?
You can upload the Kindle.epub file straight to KDP. No additional conversion is necessary. Your readers won’t see any difference in the books they receive from Amazon.
How can I check my ebook beforehand?
The best way to proof your Kindle ebook is with Amazon’s Kindle Previewer, and it’s the only way to view your book with Enhanced Typesetting before you publish. You can open a Kindle.epub file directly in Kindle Previewer.
How do I send an advanced copy to readers?
To manage your ARCs, we recommend using BookFunnel. BookFunnel can accept the Kindle.epub file generated by Vellum and will automatically convert it if necessary.
If you don’t use BookFunnel, you can export a mobi file from Kindle Previewer and send this file to your readers.
If you’ve installed Mojave, you’ve likely seen warnings about Amazon’s KindleGen utility, which has not been optimized for current versions of macOS. As those warnings inform, older 32-bit programs like KindleGen won’t run in Catalina, the forthcoming version of macOS.
We’ve received many questions about whether Amazon will publish an updated 64-bit version of KindleGen in time for the release of Catalina, due this fall. We don’t know the answer to that. What we do know is that KindleGen hasn’t received an update since 2013, and shows many signs of being abandoned by Amazon.
Given this, Vellum will soon move away from using KindleGen entirely. Instead, Vellum will produce a Kindle-specific EPUB file.
You should find this makes little difference to your workflow. When you’re ready to publish, you’ll be able to upload this file to KDP without any extra conversion; your readers won’t see any difference. To proof your book beforehand, you can open this file directly in Kindle Previewer. And in situations where you do need a mobi file (to send an ARC, for example), you can make use of the Export command in Kindle Previewer.
By avoiding KindleGen, you’ll find generation to be much faster, more reliable, and free of any warnings about 64-bit compatibility.
This change will be released in the next update to Vellum, due in early September, and well before the release of Catalina. We’ll have more details at that time.
Announcing Large Print and more trim sizes!
Here’s what’s new in this free update:
Now, you can create a Large Print Edition of your book with just a few clicks. Select a Large Print option and Vellum will configure everything for your book: font size, headers, page numbers and more!
With larger, more legible text, these special editions can help you reach new audiences of readers.
Prefer something on the smaller side? Choose from Vellum’s new Mass Market trim sizes. Your readers will love taking these portable, pocketable paperbacks on their next vacation.
International Trim Sizes
If you’re publishing outside of the US, you’ll appreciate a new set of international trim sizes. Options like B-Format, 12 × 19 cm, and A5 allow you to use European print-on-demand services, and create paperbacks in familiar sizes.
If you’ve updated to macOS Mojave, you’ll likely see a warning the first time you generate for the Kindle platform:
Vellum makes use of Amazon’s KindleGen tool to convert ebooks to their proprietary mobi format. When running Mojave, your Mac will warn about this program because it has not been built in a 64-bit format, something Apple will require in future versions of macOS.
Until they do, you will periodically see this warning when you generate for Kindle. This does not affect your generated books. We recognize it can cause concern, though, so we are investigating ways to create ebooks for Kindle without triggering this warning.
Update 9/19:Vellum 2.6 is now available and no longer uses KindleGen.