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Adobe InDesign can now make Kindle ebooks

Just a second while I check to see if hell froze over.

Kidding aside, this is actually good news. Amazon just announced on one of the Kindle blogs that they have released a plug in for in Design. Once you download and install it, you can generate a Kindle ebook from an .indd file.

Having personally used the InDesign plugin for Kindle, I can honestly say it’s one of the easiest ways to create a Kindle-ready file.  It’s literally just a few clicks from an .indd document to a Kindle book.   You select “Export to Kindle”, pick a TOC option and a cover image, and save the file.  Simple as that. The plugin is best suited for books that are comprised of text (it’s perfect for novels) and other linear content.  (if there are occasional graphics, that’s ok too).  And while most formatting is easily preserved with character and paragraph stylesheets in the InDesign file, things like custom fonts aren’t yet supported.  The best way to optimize your book files for Kindle is to convert a document with the plugin and then view it with the free Kindle Previewer, which provides a one-to-one experience with what your readers will see.

You can get the plug in here.

Do you know what just occurred to me? A few days ago Mike Cane wrote a post called "Amazon declares war on All Fronts". This plug in was another volley of fire at the Epub crowd.

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Mike Cane September 30, 2010 um 2:30 pm

Good freakin god! How to explain this when they have people keeping the ePub in book files?!

Nate the great September 30, 2010 um 2:40 pm

They like messing with our heads?

Alexander Inglis September 30, 2010 um 4:52 pm

I have suggested elsewhere that Kindle could find a way to support Adobe DRM ePub at the customer choice level, rather than on a platform level.

By this I mean: non-DRM ePub could be added to the base product, and DRM ability added as a purchasable add-on — $15 one time fee per Kindle. This would enable Adobe’s engine to work on the specific device allowing the Kindle to download library books and purchase non-English content that happens to be in ePub from vendors other than Amazon.

Such a scheme means Amazon doesn’t need to hand Adobe a royalty on every device — just the ones customers pay extra for (covering the royalty and handling). It means Amazon doesn’t have to sell DRM ePub (or any ePub) files but, like PDFs, simply make the device capable of playing them. It would be a brilliant move: opening ePub to the Kindle without Kindle format being available on Nook, Sony or Kobo.

Lots of folks complain that Amazon doesn’t "support" ePub. Be careful what you wish for.

fjtorres September 30, 2010 um 6:34 pm

Microsoft’s iPod support (until Apple blocked it) worked via a free downloadable plug-in. That way, MS’s royalties to the outfit that actually coded it were on a per-user basis rather than per-console basis.
It also allows MS to know who has an iPod attached to their XBOX.
Amazon *could* do this for ePub support.
But I doubt they *will* do it; it buys them nothing *they* need.

Moriah Jovan September 30, 2010 um 8:37 pm

That would be nifty until ADE decided it needed to force an upgrade and make you reauthenticate. (You know, like it does every 63 days.) And hell if you forgot your key.

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