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Kindle Create App Out of Beta

Amazon’s app for making Kindle ebooks, Kindle Create, is out of beta.

Originally launched in April, Kindle Create is Amazon’s 4th Kindle ebook making app (the other three are  Kindle Kids Book Creator, Kindle Textbook Creator, and Kindle Comics Creator).

Kindle Create is a Windows and macOS app that helps you transform your manuscript into a project file that you can upload to Amazon and sell as a Kindle ebook. (It doesn’t actually make an ebook you can read directly on your Kindle or smartphone.)

The app works with DOC or DOCX files, and automatically identifies details like formatting and headers, turning them into chapter headings, a TOC, etc.

It comes with 4 default templates for formatting a book, and they can be customized to suit your preferences.

I’ve been playing with it for a few minutes, and once I figured out how to change the default formatting I found it really easy to use. It automatically handles reformatting all chapter headings, or subheadings, etc, saving me from having to make sure that I missed just one of seventeen chapter titles.

Edit: No, I was wrong. I thought it was changing the formatting on all examples of, say, a chapter heading but that did not happen.

It’s a shame that this app can’t make a Kindle ebook, though. While it does have a simulator which is supposed to show you what an ebook looks like on a tablet, Kindle, or smartphone, it is better to test on the real thing. I have heard too many horror stories from developers about ebooks that break in just one Kindle app – and nowhere else – to trust simulators. (Plus, I need tools I can use for myself, not as free labor for Amazon.)

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Comments


Bob Luedtke 4 December, 2017 um 6:02 pm

Can you run the resulting project file through Kindlegen or Previewer to create the ebook?

Nate Hoffelder 4 December, 2017 um 7:31 pm

Not with KindleGen (I tried).


Sirjoh 5 December, 2017 um 5:42 am

The worst shame is to be locked to close platforms. E.g. Microsoft and Apple.


Will Entrekin 5 December, 2017 um 8:35 am

"It doesn’t actually make an ebook you can read directly on your Kindle or smartphone."

That seems like a really weird way to do this. I remember trying KC, and I liked it a lot, but I don’t remember if I tried generating anything; I must not have, because if I had and discovered that the end result wasn’t a .mobi or .prc I could just upload to KDP, I would have scratched my head. It’s odd they wouldn’t just bake Mobipocket Creator’s generation into this.

But then, I’m happy with Vellum. Wicked great piece of software.

Nate Hoffelder 5 December, 2017 um 9:10 am

Amazon is closing its ecosystem

Will Entrekin 5 December, 2017 um 9:21 am

How do you mean? Not accepting anything besides these project files for upload to KDP?

Nate Hoffelder 5 December, 2017 um 9:41 am

They are making tools which can’t be used to make ebooks to be sold elsewhere. It’s an incremental step toward closing their ecossytem.

Sharon 5 December, 2017 um 3:06 pm

Unless you don’t have a Mac. Yeah, yeah, go ahead and tell me I’m not a 'real' writer if I don’t have a Mac. I’ve got my fingers in my ear and a curse on my lips.

Will Entrekin 5 December, 2017 um 7:23 pm

It’s great software whether you have a Mac or not. I use a Mac because I like them, and it’s happy coincidence that Vellum and iTunes Producer (which enables direct upload to the iBookstore) are Mac-only software. I used to have to run a Windows virtual machine to use Mobipocket Creator to generate PRC files.

I’m glad those days are over.

Nate Hoffelder 6 December, 2017 um 9:21 am

I don’t think there is a Vellum Windows app.

Will Entrekin 6 December, 2017 um 6:14 pm

I think you’re right. It’s great software. Just runs on Macs only. (For now? Scrivener started Mac only, too, didn’t it?)


Susan K. Stewart 14 December, 2017 um 10:49 am

I’ve been playing with Kindle Create for a few days. You mention customizing the templates. Are you referring to the formatting options in the text options column? I didn’t find a way to tinker with the template itself. I had to go through and change each element, say a sub-head, throughout the document.

Nate Hoffelder 14 December, 2017 um 11:15 am

I think you’re right. It doesn’t work the way I thought.

my mistake

Susan K. Stewart 14 December, 2017 um 11:28 am

Thanks, Nate. I thought I missed something. This app is not really ready for prime time.

Nate Hoffelder 14 December, 2017 um 11:40 am

No, it’s not ready. This is a basic feature.


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