Amazon just released a plugin for InDesign that allows you to generate Kindle books from your InDesign files. Coincidentally, I’m in the process of proofing a fantasy novel that I typeset using InDesign, and I’ll be creating the Kindle version of the novel next week. So when Amazon’s press release arrived in my inbox, I thought, “Perfect timing! Maybe I can generate the Kindle book from within InDesign, instead of using eCub.”
I downloaded and installed the plugin, and then generated the Kindle book. It’s easy—you just select “Export to Kindle,” specify whether to include the Table of Contents you’ve built in InDesign (if you have one), provide the cover image, and fill in the title. Press OK, and voila—you have a .mobi file.
Well, things are never that simple. The plugin is currently in the beta state, and it clearly needs more work. My title, copyright, dedication, and acknowledgement pages were all squished together with no blank lines between them. Worse, none of my paragraphs were indented. The text was all left-justified, making it really difficult to tell where one paragraph or line of dialogue ends and another begins. If there was a blank line between each paragraph, that would be okay, but there isn’t.
So I guess I’ll be using eCub next week after all.
It’s a promising start, though, so perhaps I’ll use Amazon’s InDesign plugin for future books. Definitely something to keep an eye on.
Update: My fantasy novel is organized as an InDesign book, so each chapter is in a different file. When I saved to Kindle, I saved using the item on the Book menu. I just tried saving an individual chapter to Kindle using the menu item on the File menu, and that went much better. My paragraphs were indented (yay!), but my chapter heading wasn’t centred. Still, that’s not the end of the world
Conclusion: how your book is organized may make a difference. If you’re saving a single file, the generated .mobi looks okay. If you’re saving an InDesign book, the generated .mobi might not look so great.