Author Topic: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.  (Read 826 times)

TimothyEllis

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It seems Amazon did this deliberately but won't say why.

They told me to use Kindle Create for a Mobi file, but Kindle Create has no such function.

We all need to complain to Amazon and get them to put the facility back in.

----------------------------------
Original post.

Quote
Downloadable Preview Options are currently disabled for this book. Please use the Online Previewer to preview your book

Doing final editing on my current WIP, and I get this after uploading, which means I cant send the new mobi to my kindle app.

Not happy Amazon!  :rant

I do not use the online previewer, and won't be shunted into it.

I'm not sure if they are making changes, or someone decided to stop people downloading before release.

Worst case I have to upload to D2D and get the Mobi from them instead.  :HB
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 12:30:44 AM by TimothyEllis »
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Anyone know why the Downloadable previews are not available?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2020, 05:37:23 AM »
It's better to have an actual file to work with because you can use it to preview on various devices. I understand the online previewer doesn't catch everything, though I personally have never had that problem.

And why would Amazon care if an author could download a copy before release?


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Leegreg

Re: Anyone know why the Downloadable previews are not available?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2020, 08:11:42 AM »

Worst case I have to upload to D2D and get the Mobi from them instead.  :HB

Iím curious, why not use Kindle Create or one of the many other programs which turn .docx file into .mobi, then upload the mobi to Amazon? I realize itís too late in this case, though the Kindle Create file should be close to identical to what Amazon produces from an uploaded .docx.

I use Jutoh because I like itís table of contents creator. But there are just so many other options that give you more control than uploading a docx file to Amazon and let you see the mobi before uploading.

On the other hand, my current writing process is a convoluted mess of different programs, so I can see the appeal of one program.
 

RPatton

Re: Anyone know why the Downloadable previews are not available?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2020, 10:11:07 AM »

Worst case I have to upload to D2D and get the Mobi from them instead.  :HB

Iím curious, why not use Kindle Create or one of the many other programs which turn .docx file into .mobi, then upload the mobi to Amazon? I realize itís too late in this case, though the Kindle Create file should be close to identical to what Amazon produces from an uploaded .docx.

I use Jutoh because I like itís table of contents creator. But there are just so many other options that give you more control than uploading a docx file to Amazon and let you see the mobi before uploading.

On the other hand, my current writing process is a convoluted mess of different programs, so I can see the appeal of one program.

Because even Kindle Create doesn't create the same mobi file downloaded from the store. Whatever happens between me uploading a file and Amazon distributing it happens with Amazon and not with Kindle Create. The mobi I test from Create always look fine, I can't say the same for the mobis I download from the dash. I had one book that did something funky with the chapter images - looked fine everywhere except for the file I downloaded from the dashboard. If I never checked that downloaded file, I never would have noticed.
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Anyone know why the Downloadable previews are not available?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2020, 12:08:44 PM »
Iím curious, why not use Kindle Create or one of the many other programs which turn .docx file into .mobi, then upload the mobi to Amazon?

And maybe that is the idea.

First it was ToC, now a downloadable Mobi.

Perhaps this is all about forcing us to use Kindle Create.

I feel no need to use any 2nd program to complete a book with. Word is doing just fine for me.

As the download is still blocked out, I've just told them they are creating a situation where quality will suffer and readers will complain more.
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Jeff Tanyard

Re: Anyone know why the Downloadable previews are not available?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2020, 03:07:20 PM »
Iím curious, why not use Kindle Create or one of the many other programs which turn .docx file into .mobi, then upload the mobi to Amazon?

And maybe that is the idea.

First it was ToC, now a downloadable Mobi.

Perhaps this is all about forcing us to use Kindle Create.

I feel no need to use any 2nd program to complete a book with. Word is doing just fine for me.

As the download is still blocked out, I've just told them they are creating a situation where quality will suffer and readers will complain more.


You could always upload an epub.  I don't know if that will solve your issues or not, but it's an option.
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Anyone know why the Downloadable previews are not available?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2020, 03:16:27 PM »
You could always upload an epub.  I don't know if that will solve your issues or not, but it's an option.

It's not about the upload.

It's the download of the Mobi. I email it to my kindle app, and proofread from there.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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Jeff Tanyard

Re: Anyone know why the Downloadable previews are not available?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2020, 03:51:05 PM »
You could always upload an epub.  I don't know if that will solve your issues or not, but it's an option.

It's not about the upload.

It's the download of the Mobi. I email it to my kindle app, and proofread from there.


Ah, right.  I got confused.

I published today, so I'm a little frazzled.   :dizzy
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Anyone know why the Downloadable previews are not available?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2020, 01:04:18 AM »
Just had feedback from KDP.

They told me to use Kindle Create.

While they didn't say the download facility had been removed to force us to use it, it was pretty obvious this is what is happening.

Not happy Amazon!

I don't want another tool. I don't like being forced to use another tool.
Genres: Space Opera/Fantasy/Cyberpunk, with elements of LitRPG and GameLit, with a touch of the Supernatural. Also Spiritual and Games.



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TimothyEllis

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Re: Anyone know why the Downloadable previews are not available?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2020, 03:01:01 PM »
I downloaded Kindle Create.

What a piece of sh*t!

It defaults in window mode to the entire screen size, and cannot be changed to use part of it. On my monitor, that is a disaster.

It does NOT, repeat NOT NOT NOT have any facility to create a mobi file. It creates it's own custom file, and first requires you to create a project file as well.

So instead of ending up with docx and mobi, you end up with docx, project, book, and still don't have the mobi.

And it doesn't really add in anything I cant already do in Word.
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Anyone know why the Downloadable previews are not available?
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2020, 12:24:45 AM »
I just checked by clicking edit ebook content for one of the titles on my bookshelf. Sure enough, there's no way to download a file anymore.

Maybe we all need to start bombarding KDP support with comments about poor customer experience. Being able to test an actual file in different devices avoids quality issues later. Unfortunately, probably no one will pay much attention unless there are quality issues--and then the readers may take it out on us, not realizing Amazon's own system is partly to blame.

The only way to do it now is to sit around waiting for it to go live, buy a copy the instant it does, check that way, and, if there's a problem, kick it back to draft right away and fix the problem. And to check again, you'd have to ask Amazon to push the new copy to your device each time. Slow and clunky process at best.


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TimothyEllis

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Re: Anyone know why the Downloadable previews are not available?
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2020, 12:28:21 AM »
Maybe we all need to start bombarding KDP support with comments about poor customer experience. Being able to test an actual file in different devices avoids quality issues later. Unfortunately, probably no one will pay much attention unless there are quality issues--and then the readers may take it out on us, not realizing Amazon's own system is partly to blame.

Please do.

As you said, the only way Amazon will take any notice is if they get a lot of complaints.

It smells to me like some management weenie making a decision based on the wrong information. Especially since they told me to use Kindle Create to create a Mobi, and it doesn't have any Mobi creation function at all. Someone has screwed up and screwed up badly.

So the more people who complain about it, the better.
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2020, 12:46:59 AM »
I just confirmed the output from Kindle Create, cannot be sent to you Kindle app. It gets rejected.

The Kindle Create Word add-on also doesn't allow you to save as a Mobi.

...

It occurs to me someone in KDP decided to stop authors from sending free copies for reviews before launch day, and so they removed the download facility.

In fact, they might be trying to stop free copies being distributed completely.

This will impact on being able to send out ARC copies, and also Beta reader copies.
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2020, 01:48:31 AM »
And I just removed the Word add-on.

Damned thing was doing something with every keystroke, and slowing the display speed down.

Not happening! DELETE!
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twicebitten

Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2020, 03:49:23 AM »
Kindle Create was glitchy on my computer and didn't create that nice of a book. I was happy to get it off.

This is a stupid rule. They're pushing people into going wide, and D2D's formatter is much nicer, does more, looks better, and still gives you a .mobi. Also, wide, you're going to have a better chance of getting Bookbubs, and they're hundreds of times more effective than Amazon Ads. So if this is their aim, to make more people jump to wide, congrats Amazon. Ooops, that was not your aim? Change your approach.

This is what happens with behemoths. They think they're so important, they can screw everyone every which way, they don't listen, and they don't care, their cutting corners to drive up quarterly earnings means a worse experience for everyone...which leaves more openings for other, more flexible companies to step in. Trade publishing suffered this way because of Amazon, and Amazon will suffer because they are now the un-turnable Titanic, stubbornly heading toward the iceberg.

I'm looking forward to the next innovation, the next publishing system that undercuts Amazon. This time, I'll be a very early adopter.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2020, 12:19:03 PM »
New response to my last message to them:

Now they are acknowledging it as an actual problem.

Not sure I believe that, yet.  :HB
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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2020, 12:49:49 PM »
New response to my last message to them:

Now they are acknowledging it as an actual problem.

Not sure I believe that, yet.  :HB
I'm going to stay optimistic about this.

I can't see why Amazon would care whether or not we send out copies before release day, and the people involved have to know there are all kinds of ways to create ebooks without going through Amazon to do it. The authors who want copies to send out will just use D2D, Vellum, or whatever. So literally the only thing Amazon is stopping is appropriate quality checking.


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TimothyEllis

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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2020, 12:54:47 PM »
New response to my last message to them:

Now they are acknowledging it as an actual problem.

Not sure I believe that, yet.  :HB
I'm going to stay optimistic about this.

I can't see why Amazon would care whether or not we send out copies before release day, and the people involved have to know there are all kinds of ways to create ebooks without going through Amazon to do it. The authors who want copies to send out will just use D2D, Vellum, or whatever. So literally the only thing Amazon is stopping is appropriate quality checking.

It is possible someone made a decision without taking that into account. They may not even know D2D does a Mobi download. Or whoever made the decision didn't.

And once again, it's possibly a 'the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing' thing. The makers of Kindle Create getting frustrated few people are using it, so make a decision to force people to, not understanding why people want the downloads in the first place.
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Rinelle

Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2020, 04:33:48 PM »
Are you sure you canít create a .mobi with kindle create? It does on my computer, although I do remember it being a little convoluted to find. Admittedly I might not have downloaded the last eat version. That said, the file isnít the same as the final ebook file. The margins are wrong and bug me every time. I only use it for proofreading though.
 

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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2020, 04:49:05 PM »
Are you sure you canít create a .mobi with kindle create? It does on my computer, although I do remember it being a little convoluted to find. Admittedly I might not have downloaded the last eat version. That said, the file isnít the same as the final ebook file. The margins are wrong and bug me every time. I only use it for proofreading though.

Instructions?

I couldn't find how.
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Lu Kudzoza

Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2020, 01:53:56 AM »
Tim, you might want to try Calibre. It's free and works well for converting all types of files. I do all my formatting in Word. Then output word to a HTML file. Upload that to Calibre. Once it's in Calibre I can convert it to .mobi or .epub (and other formats). I use the .mobi to proof it on kindle and the kindle app. I upload the .epub to Amazon and haven't ever had any problems (I used to review it by downloading the .mobi from Amazon -- which I know I can't do now, but the download looked like the Calibre .mobi so I'm fairly confident that a good .mobi from Calibre is proof of a properly formatted book for Amazon).

You can get it here: https://calibre-ebook.com/
 
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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2020, 01:57:36 AM »
Tim, you might want to try Calibre. It's free and works well for converting all types of files. I do all my formatting in Word. Then output word to a HTML file. Upload that to Calibre. Once it's in Calibre I can convert it to .mobi or .epub (and other formats). I use the .mobi to proof it on kindle and the kindle app. I upload the .epub to Amazon and haven't ever had any problems (I used to review it by downloading the .mobi from Amazon -- which I know I can't do now, but the download looked like the Calibre .mobi so I'm fairly confident that a good .mobi from Calibre is proof of a properly formatted book for Amazon).

You can get it here: https://calibre-ebook.com/
You could be right, but part of the problem is that we know the file after conversion is different from the source file. (The size changes alone tell us something is happening once we submit. I've never had the format mutate on mobi files I've submitted, but there is a little anecdotal evidence that issues can arise.)


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natasha

Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2020, 06:27:19 AM »
Have you tried Kindle Previewer?
https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202131170
You can use it to create a mobi
 
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RPatton

Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2020, 08:33:02 AM »
Okay, so I think there's a misunderstanding about how KDP works.

Regardless if you upload a mobi or epub or word doc or whatever, Amazon converts it to its own version it distributes. The file you upload is not the exact same file downloaded from the sight. And the previewer definitely isn't showing you the same thing that others see on their devices.

Part of that final proof is to catch odd words, but also to catch problematic formatting that can't be seen on your own file or the previewer. The file we download from the dash is the file customers get. If I can't proof the same file a customer gets I can't be sure things will work right.

By removing the file download option from the dashboard, Amazon is making it impossible for anyone to see the file that will actually be distributed to customers.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2020, 11:45:03 AM »
Have you tried Kindle Previewer?
https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G202131170
You can use it to create a mobi

And yes it does!  :banana:

But it doesn't put the cover in, so its not a complete file as the customer will see.
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2020, 01:27:50 PM »
And now there is this on FB:

Quote
Amazon is having issues and not allowing any files to be sent to Kindles at the moment - so all Bookfunnel or direct transfers are currently failing.

The other half of a crack down on side loading books, and/or the distribution of freebies?
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RPatton

Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2020, 02:43:06 PM »
And now there is this on FB:

Quote
Amazon is having issues and not allowing any files to be sent to Kindles at the moment - so all Bookfunnel or direct transfers are currently failing.

The other half of a crack down on side loading books, and/or the distribution of freebies?

Side loading is where you transfer a book from one device to another through a USB. Unless they brick the USB port with an update, it will always be possible to sideload books onto a Kindle Device. Emailing a file directly to a Kindle device uses a similar flow as pulling a book from your Amazon account. As far as I know, Amazon has done nothing to curb the sideloading of books.
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2020, 04:07:58 PM »
Just did an experiment.  I went to Gutenberg and downloaded a public domain book to my computer.  Then I tried the "Send to Kindle" app.  After waiting several minutes, the book has yet to appear on my first-gen Kindle Fire.  It usually appears in less than a minute.   :confused:

Not drawing any conclusions about that.  Just FYI.
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RPatton

Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2020, 04:14:43 PM »
Just did an experiment.  I went to Gutenberg and downloaded a public domain book to my computer.  Then I tried the "Send to Kindle" app.  After waiting several minutes, the book has yet to appear on my first-gen Kindle Fire.  It usually appears in less than a minute.   :confused:

Not drawing any conclusions about that.  Just FYI.

Can you download the book and use Calibre to load it directly to your device with a USB cord?
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2020, 04:16:51 PM »
Just did an experiment.  I went to Gutenberg and downloaded a public domain book to my computer.  Then I tried the "Send to Kindle" app.  After waiting several minutes, the book has yet to appear on my first-gen Kindle Fire.  It usually appears in less than a minute.   :confused:

Not drawing any conclusions about that.  Just FYI.

I just saw a Quora question asking why Amazon downloads were so slow at the moment.

Side loading is where you transfer a book from one device to another through a USB. Unless they brick the USB port with an update, it will always be possible to sideload books onto a Kindle Device. Emailing a file directly to a Kindle device uses a similar flow as pulling a book from your Amazon account. As far as I know, Amazon has done nothing to curb the sideloading of books.

Ok, so I'm using side-loading wider than intended. Noted.

I'll note that there is no usb on an Ipad mini, so that method of transfer is not possible.
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Jeff Tanyard

Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2020, 05:59:46 PM »
Just did an experiment.  I went to Gutenberg and downloaded a public domain book to my computer.  Then I tried the "Send to Kindle" app.  After waiting several minutes, the book has yet to appear on my first-gen Kindle Fire.  It usually appears in less than a minute.   :confused:

Not drawing any conclusions about that.  Just FYI.

Can you download the book and use Calibre to load it directly to your device with a USB cord?


Yes, side-loading still works.  I haven't done it in a long time--the Send to Kindle app is so much easier--but I opened up Calibre, converted Ruined Worlds to mobi since it was already there and waiting at the top of the list, and then side-loaded it to the Kindle via USB cord.  No surprises.
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Rinelle

Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2020, 07:28:55 PM »
Instructions?

I couldn't find how.

Oops. Apparently Iím using kindle previewer. Sorry.
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2020, 07:39:05 AM »
Just as an update, my Send to Kindle app is working again.  Hopefully that's a good omen for the downloadable previews in KDP.  *fingers crossed*
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2020, 12:36:21 AM »
And the downloads are back!  :banana:

Just went to upload my final version for the next book, and the download section was live again.

Thank you Amazon.  :tup3b
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Re: Downloadable previews removed by Amazon. Please complain to them about it.
« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2020, 03:45:16 AM »
And the downloads are back!  :banana:

Just went to upload my final version for the next book, and the download section was live again.

Thank you Amazon.  :tup3b
Excellent news!


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