The Kindle Previewer is a program provided by Amazon for ebook designers to proof their work.
Kindle Previewer is a graphical user interface tool that emulates how books display across Kindle devices and apps. Kindle Previewer makes it easy for publishers to preview the layout of a book and make sure its text displays properly for any orientation or font size to ensure publishers produce and submit the highest quality Kindle books.
As a best practice we recommend you use the Kindle Previewer to review how their books look across all Kindle devices and apps.
How accurate is the Kindle Previewer?
In my experience the Kindle Previewer is 90% accurate. I use it extensively when formatting ebooks; however, use actual devices for the final proofs. And you should, too. While the Kindle Previewer is close — it is not perfect. Viewing your file on an actual device or app is your best avenue for the most accurate file.
If you do not own a device, someone you know must have one. A friend, your high school, etc. I personally use the following before I sign-off on my projects:
Kindle Reader for Mac
Sony Reader for Mac
Adobe Digital Editions
Mobi versus KF8
Even though Amazon Kindles and Apps display the MOBI format, you may notice your ebook designers starting to format for MOBI and KF8. The Kindle Fire allows a lot more flexibility in coding (HTML5), while the older Kindles and Apps do not. For this reason it is important to design your book to display well on the Kindle Fire, but then “dummy down” the code to display on all the other devices and apps.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This DOES NOT means you create two different files for upload. Amazon only accepts one file format. They take your ebook and convert it into two different formats – one for MOBI (older Kindles and Apps) and one for Kindle Fire. Both files contain the .mobi extension.
Because Amaozn only takes one file for both displays, this requires some very creative formatting using the @media Query.
Here is a two-page spread form a recent book I designed. See the difference between the Kindle Fire, the Kindle for Ipad App and the Kindle for Mac App.
Note: the Fire and iPad are screenshots from the Kindle Previewer and are 90% accurate.
Kindle Previewer: Kindle Fire
Kindle Previewer: Kindle for iPad
(This is the first and third page of Chapter 1)
Kindle READER: Kindle for Mac
You can see the dramatic differences between the two Kindles. Unfortunately, until Amazon updates their older Kindles and apps to use HTML5, you will need to do be creative in your formatting to produce acceptable files for both formats.
Know Your Digital Options
@media Query for Kindle Mobi ebooks