Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Problem on Kindle conversion 
Author Message

Joined: 2013-12-06 21:39:51
Posts: 10
Hello. My first post.. I am a writer, published mainly on Kindle, and, until very recently, I worked perfectly happily in Pages '09. As I am sure you know, Apple has just 'updated' (actually downgraded) Pages with a new version, which is barely more capable than Google Docs. Therefore I took the step of investigating alternatives, arriving finally at Nisus Writer Pro. I took out the free trial, was greatly impressed with what I saw, and paid the money for it yesterday.

Initial impressions? It is, by some margin, the best word processor I have ever used - and I have used a fair few in my time. I have encountered a problem, however, and would appreciate some advice.

I have begun the task of transferring my existing books from their original Pages files to Nisus and republishing. The conversion, itself, was straightforward enough. I made a new table of contents in the traditional ebook manner of bookmarks and hyperlinks. First I uploaded the default .rtf file to Kindle Direct Publishing for conversion to their own Mobi format, then downloaded it back to my own Kindle for checking. The book converted perfectly well and looked exactly as it should on my Kindle. The table of contents, however, did not work. It worked on the original file on my Mac, but not on the Kindle. Trying again, I saved a copy of the original file as Html and uploaded that. On downloading back to my Kindle, I discovered that the table of contents now worked, but the font had become absolutely minute, and virtually unreadable.

Obviously something is amiss somewhere, but I have no idea what it is. I have looked through the Help documentation with no success. Either it is a setting that needs to be changed (in which case somebody on these forums might know the answer), or it is a bug and Nisus will need to update the software. My version of NWP is the latest one (2.0.7). My computer is a three year-old quad core iMac i5, running Mavericks. My Kindle is the original keyboard type, now approaching three years of age.

Can anybody help?


2013-12-06 22:07:40
Profile

Joined: 2013-12-06 21:39:51
Posts: 10
What? Nobody? Am I the only user to have experienced this?


2013-12-07 13:30:24
Profile
User avatar

Joined: 2006-06-16 16:17:50
Posts: 124
Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
DavidW wrote:
What? Nobody? Am I the only user to have experienced this?


I think that anticipating a response within 14 hours of your original post is probably a bit optimistic. Maybe someone who has addressed this issue will be along but not necessarily as quickly as that.

The most likely source of knowledge on this is from Nisus themselves but I don't know if there will be a response from them at the weekend.

If you don't get any joy here at the forum then you could just email Nisus directly, however why not wait until the beginning of next week first.

_________________
Patrick


2013-12-07 13:52:42
Profile WWW

Joined: 2007-03-03 09:55:06
Posts: 494
Location: Europe
Hello, DavidW

I think the problem with your font is that its size is measured in pixels. 12 px, for example, is too small for reading on a kindle. I would use ems instead, 1 em being the normal size, for example the size of the main text in a novel. All other sizes are relative. For example, if you set a title to 1.2 em it will be 120% the main text. You can use calibre for your conversions and experiment with it. You can start with its default settings and then make some changes here and there until the outcome suits your needs. I think calibre converts pixels into ems, but I'm not sure. Calibre is freely available.

Greetings, Henry


2013-12-08 01:38:10
Profile
Official Nisus Person
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-11 17:14:10
Posts: 4251
Location: San Diego, CA
Hello David– welcome to Nisus Writer Pro (NWP) and the forums! We're glad you like it so far, and hopefully we can help you workaround your publishing issues.
DavidW wrote:
First I uploaded the default .rtf file to Kindle Direct Publishing for conversion to their own Mobi format, then downloaded it back to my own Kindle for checking. The book converted perfectly well and looked exactly as it should on my Kindle. The table of contents, however, did not work. It worked on the original file on my Mac, but not on the Kindle.

The first thing I'd recommend that you try is using NWP to export an EPUB and submit that to Kindle Direction Publishing. Or you might use Amazon's KindleGen tool to convert that EPUB to Kindle's Mobi format yourself if you like.

If you have any questions about that, or still have trouble with the TOC or font, please let us know. If so, it might help to see an example snippet (eg: a chapter or two) of the file you're working on. If you do need help, you could email it to us privately and we'll delete it when we're done testing.


2013-12-09 17:42:45
Profile WWW

Joined: 2013-12-06 21:39:51
Posts: 10
Since making the original query, my Kindle has unexpectedly died on me. It seemed fine in the morning as I did a bit of reading during my coffee break, but it had given up the ghost by lunchtime, and has remained inert ever since. I must, therefore, consider the possibility that the issues I raised may have been caused by a Kindle that was in the process of breaking down and not by the Nisus software at all. I have no way of knowing, of course, because I no longer have an operational Kindle to check it. A very kind old gentlemen - a Mr. S. Claus - has offered to give me a brand new one during some big celebration that is due to happen next week. When I get it, I will try again and report back.


2013-12-19 12:24:46
Profile

Joined: 2007-03-03 09:55:06
Posts: 494
Location: Europe
I don’t think it has to do with your Kindle. A digital device is either fully functioning or downright broken. As I said, NWP converts font sizes into pixels from typographical points. If your text is, e.g., 12 points, it will be converted into 12 pixels. This is pretty small for a Kindle reader. Converting pixels into ems, and using 1 em for the main text generally produces a good outcome.

By the way, even if you can’t rely on your Kindle anymore, you can download a reading application for free.

Best, Henry


2013-12-20 01:27:31
Profile

Joined: 2013-12-06 21:39:51
Posts: 10
Thanks, Henry. I already have the Kindle App for Mac on my computer. Ironically, the conversion looked all right on that, and it looked all right on the online previewer as well. It was only on my Kindle that the text was microscopic. I don't understand it at all. I know you can vary the font size on a Kindle, but it was at the central position used by people with reasonably healthy eyesight. When I uploaded a .rtf version of the book, the text displayed at the right size, but the hyperlinks in the table of contents would not work even though they worked properly on the original Nisus document on my Mac. It was several weeks ago now, but I can't remember whether the hyperlinks worked on my Kindle App. I will check it all when the new one arrives.

I am not familiar with ems. I have looked through the manual, but I can't find any mention of them - unless I have missed it, of course. How do you set them?


2013-12-20 23:13:56
Profile

Joined: 2007-03-03 09:55:06
Posts: 494
Location: Europe
DavidW wrote:
Thanks, Henry. I already have the Kindle App for Mac on my computer. Ironically, the conversion looked all right on that, and it looked all right on the online previewer as well. It was only on my Kindle that the text was microscopic.

That’s because a computer screen’s resolution is generally lower than the screen of an eInk device like a Kindle.

DavidW wrote:
When I uploaded a .rtf version of the book, the text displayed at the right size, but the hyperlinks in the table of contents would not work even though they worked properly on the original Nisus document on my Mac.

That may depend on the rtf-to-mobi conversion engine used by Amazon. Maybe it drops links. I can’t be more specific. I’ve never used Amazon conversion service. Note: As recommended by Martin, the best path to a .mobi file (the one used by a Kindle) is through .epub. Open your .rtf document and select File>Export as…, then pick EPUB from the File Format drop-down menu. Then submit the resulting epub to Amazon, or, better, convert it using Calibre. Calibre will convert font units for you. I followed this path when I published my ebooks on Amazon and all went smoothly. Calibre is the best tool, as far as I know, when it comes to converting into ebook formats. Besides it’s free.

DavidW wrote:
I am not familiar with ems. I have looked through the manual, but I can't find any mention of them - unless I have missed it, of course. How do you set them?

Em’s are a relative size. E.g. if you set the main text in a novel to 1 em and the headings to 1.4 em, the latter will be 1.4 times, or 140% the size of the main text. On a Kindle, 1 em is the text size you see when you activate the Change Font Size pane. NWP uses typographical points, not em’s.

I hope I have been clear. Any trouble let me know.

Best, Henry.


2013-12-21 02:56:32
Profile

Joined: 2013-12-06 21:39:51
Posts: 10
At the moment, the NWP master documents of my books are saved as Word (.doc) documents, then resaved as Html and converted to ePub in Sigil. This works perfectly (ToC included) and I could stick with it if I have to. Ideally, however, I would like to be able to do the whole lot without leaving NWP, especially as saving as Html or ePub are already present in the program. In Word, the body text is simply set to 12-point, with headings at 14 (for chapters) and 18 (for the title). I have used Calibre in the past to make Mobi versions of my books for upload. KDP have started to reject books made with Calibre, however, because it is not an officially approved program (the same applies to Scrivener, apparently). Now I only use Calibre to make a Mobi version to put on my own Kindle, for use in proofreading. The actual upload is an ePub, which KDP themselves convert.

I am happy to try ems, Henry, but I have no idea how to set them. I have searched all over NWP and can find no reference to them. Is it something that I need to do outside of NWP? I have also googled point size to ems conversion and came up with a range of charts, but no indication of how to actually achieve it. Any advice would be appreciated.


2013-12-21 23:03:45
Profile

Joined: 2007-03-03 09:55:06
Posts: 494
Location: Europe
First of all, I suggest starting from a .epub file. Use NWP to convert whatever document into epub. Epub and mobi files are very similar inside. To be true, I never understood the difference.

Duplicate the epub and open it with Sigil. Go to the Book Browser pane on the left and double-click on a chapter file with some text in it. File names default to something like Ch1_Introduction.xhtml, Ch2_First_Chapter.xhtml, and so on. That’ll show the content of the file in the center pane. Switch to code view (View>Code View). Now you see the html code of the same page. See what tags are used for the main text, headings and other parts. These will be something like <p.p1>, <p.p2>, etc. if you exported from NWP.

Double-click on the sylesheet in the Book Browser pane, inside the Styles folder. Usually it’s called sylesheet.css. Now locate the styles with definition. You will find something like this:

Code:
p.p1 {
   font-size: 12px;
   text-align: left;
}


Sometimes definitions are in single line, like this:

Code:
p.p1 {font-size: 12px; text-align: left;}


Other times, there is a single definition for fonts, like this:

Code:
font: 12.0px 'Galliard BT'


12.0px being the font size.

If p.p1 is the tag that defines the main text, substitute font-size: 1em; for font-size: 12px;. Go on changing the other definitions. Remember, ems are relative. So, 1.2 em is 120% the size of the main text if this is set to 1 em. 1.x em means 1.x times the size of 1 em. You will need to make do calculations. No rocket science.

When you are done changing sizes, save the file. Now you can convert the epub with KindleGen, or Calibre. I published four books without KDP ever spotting a glitch.

I hope that helps.

Henry


2013-12-22 02:15:34
Profile

Joined: 2013-12-06 21:39:51
Posts: 10
Thanks, Henry. Santa delivered my new Kindle early, but I won't get my grubby paws on it before the big day. I will definitely give it a go as soon as I can, though.


2013-12-22 23:12:59
Profile

Joined: 2013-12-06 21:39:51
Posts: 10
Hi Henry. The sleigh hasn't passed over yet, but I followed your instructions to the letter and got a copy of my newest book (still unfinished) to display perfectly on the Kindle Previewer and the Kindle App. That being the case, presumably it will display perfectly on my new Kindle Paperwhite when it arrives. The difference seems to lie with the use of Calibre because it tried it without, and the text was still too small. Although I have read that KDP have been rejecting files made with Calibre, if I remember rightly, they were poorly formatted to begin with, so that may have triggered the rejection. I will just have to wait and see whether it gets through when the time comes, I suppose.

There is an alternative to Sigil, called Alkinea. I will also give that a try and report back.


2013-12-24 22:34:23
Profile

Joined: 2013-12-06 21:39:51
Posts: 10
Alkinea was short-lived. It needs a .odt document to work from, but this is easily achieved. Less easy is the fact that it uses Kindlegen to make the conversion and, try as I might, I cannot get Kindlegen to run on my Mac. So It is back to Calibre and keep my fingers crossed.


2013-12-24 22:46:22
Profile

Joined: 2007-03-03 09:55:06
Posts: 494
Location: Europe
Kindlegen has no GUI. It requires Console. Kindle Previewer both converts the file and shows what it looks like in any Kindle device.

Feliz Navidad,
Henry


2013-12-25 02:29:37
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Designed by ST Software