- Marianne Calilhanna
Amazon No Longer Supports MOBI Format for Reflowable eBooks
After June 28, Amazon will no longer support the MOBI format for reflowable ebooks on its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform. Rather, EPUB, KPF (Kindle Create Files), or Word files are the accepted format when publishing reflowable ebooks on KDP. This does not affect any existing content that is already on Amazon but going forward it is not necessary to deliver reflowable MOBI files, because the reflowable EPUB format now suffices for all platforms.
This change comes based on Amazon’s efforts to simplify the ebook production as well as the fact that EPUB 3 supports reflowable text and additional accessibility requirements:
“A major goal of EPUB is to facilitate content accessibility, and a variety of features in EPUB 3 support this requirement. This section reviews these features, detailing some established best practices for ensuring that EPUB Publications are accessible where applicable.
It is important to note that while accessibility is important in its own right, accessible content is also more valuable content: an accessible Publication will be adaptable to more devices and be easier to reuse, in whole or in part, via human and automated workflows. The EPUB Working Group strongly recommends that Authors use EPUB tools that generate accessible content.”
- From W3C EPUB 3 Overview
Reflowable vs Fixed-Layout eBooks
It’s important to understand the distinction between reflowable and fixed layout ebooks. A reflowable ebook allows for the reader to resize the text, change the font, and adjust margins all with the text properly realigning itself. A fixed layout ebook presents the content to the reader as is and allows for no changes to font size or selection.
Here’s a brief sample of a reflowable ebook. Notice how you can resize the text or select a new font and the text “magically” realigns.
Here’s a brief sample of a fixed layout text. You can see that there is no option to select another text size in the Kindle app for this type of ebook.
Fixed layout ebooks were popular with certain types of content in which maintaining the text design was important. For example, children’s books are often heavily designed with text alongside images. Fixed layout became popular because designers did not like the loss of control for the designed text across different platforms. However, as reading on mobile devices became more ubiquitous, reflowable text is the more practical format for most ebooks.
There’s no doubt, keeping up with content structure across the multitudes of platforms is daunting. We’ve compiled a list of FAQs related to ebook conversion and the ereading experience—DCL’s ebook FAQs.
DCL continues to offer conversions to any format your content requires for your ebook project. We’re happy to discuss this with you and ensure you make the best selection for your ebook and your budget.