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