Uploading self-published or small press titles to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform has made a tremendous difference in the industry for authors and publishers alike. This somewhat user-friendly system means practically anyone can publish a book to the company’s platform and sell their titles directly to readers on Amazon.
For years, Amazon has had specific formats that they accepted for upload, namely MOBI files, PDFs, and Word documents. PDFs can be problematic though, as the conversion to a reflowable ebook format can get skewed. Now, for similar reasons, Amazon will not be accepting MOBI files as of June 28th. Instead, authors can still upload their Word documents in both .doc and .docx formats, or an epub of their file.
According to an emailed announcement from Amazon’s team at KDP, “We listened to your feedback and are making it simpler to publish eBooks on Kindle. Starting June 28, 2021, we will no longer support files in MOBI, PRC or AZK formats when publishing new reflowable eBooks or updating the content for previously published eBooks. Instead, we ask publishers to use EPUB, KPF (Kindle Create files), or DOC/DOCX (Microsoft Word files) files for reflowable eBooks. Please note MOBI files are still accepted for fixed-layout eBooks.”
For some authors, this is a non-issue. After all, many authors don’t bother with the file conversion in the first place and choose to upload their manuscripts as Word documents. But some authors have long relied on their process and will have to adapt to this new requirement.
“KDP has always been the only platform to require a MOBI, so it makes sense in a way,” said Kristen Oliphant, who writes as author Emma St. Clair, to GoodEReader, “though I don’t know that it will cut down on the delivery fees, which tend to be less on other platforms. I use Vellum to format, so this will be a no big deal transition for me. Other authors who format in Word can continue to do so. Hopefully this will just be a little speedbump of a change for most authors.”
For more on Vellum’s input on this change, see their September 20 blog post here.
What does this mean for authors who already uploaded MOBI files of their books to the KDP platform? Nothing, as long as they’re not making any changes to existing, published books. According to the announcement, “You don’t need to take any action for reflowable eBooks already published unless you are updating the eBook files. If you are uploading new or updated content, see our Kindle Publishing Guidelines: https://kdp.amazon.com/help/topic/G79CTKR8BX79E96L”
Mercy Pilkington is a Senior Editor for Good e-Reader. She is also the CEO and founder of a hybrid publishing and consulting company.