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InDesign to Kindle Format

  • Published on April 12, 2016
InDesign to Kindle Format

Why Convert InDesign files to Kindle format

Converting InDesign files to Kindle format is important for publishers because Amazon leads the e-reader market. While many companies have tried their hand at selling e-readers, there are few real competitors to the Kindle. The Amazon Kindle remains the market leader as the company has been willing to sell the ebook readers for little or no profit, instead focusing on earning revenues from digital books that they sell. The kobo and nook tablets are examples of products that have tried but failed to make inroads against Amazon in the ereader marketplace. This makes Amazon a critical outlet for publishers selling digital books. Digital book publishers need to learn to convert an InDesign file to Kindle format along with how to format ebooks for Kindle.

Steps to convert InDesign to Kindle format

There are four steps in converting files created using InDesign to Kindle format:

  1. 1. Format the file for eBook publishing using InDesign.
  2. 2. Export the files from InDesign to the ePub format.
  3. 3. Style the ePub for the digital reading devices.
  4. 4. Convert the styled ePub to the Kindle mobi file format using KindleGen software.

When completed the InDesign file can be shared with Kindle readers or sold on the Amazon Kindle store.

InDesign to Kindle Ebook conversions

Digital books that are sold to Kindle users need to be in a special file format that is used exclusively by Kindle devices known as the mobi file format. InDesign does not export directly to the Kindle format, but instead creates digital book files that follow the open ebook standard known as ePub. These ePub files must be converted to the Kindle mobi format using KindleGen.

Resources for converting from InDesign to Kindle format

For those just starting with digital publishing, learning InDesign is the best place to start. Learning in a classroom with InDesign classes or online options provide a foundation necessary for creating digital books, as InDesign is widely used as the starting point for digital book publishing.

There are various eBook training courses available for those with different knowledge levels regarding how to work with files after they have been created using InDesign. Those who are already familiar with InDesign but are new to creating eBooks, the eBook publishing course provides a starting point for understanding digital book publishing. Publishers that are unfamiliar with how to control the appearance of an ePub, consider the ePub course focused on formatting and styling. This course teaches ways to control how to format digital books on Kindle and other devices.

InDesign to Kindle Plug-in

For many years Amazon has been experimenting with the InDesign to Kindle plug-in that would allow publishers to export directly from InDesign to Kindle. This InDesign plug-in has never reached a final, completed status, and is not a reliable way to convert from InDesign to Kindle.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.