To Other Self-Publishers: Kindle Paperwhite Glitch May Make Your Ebooks Unreadable

Courtesy of Amazon

Unless you’ve had your self-publishing head beneath a rock lately, you’ve probably heard about one of the most infamous glitches to come from the new Kindle Paperwhite: depending on the coding of your ebook, it may be completely unreadable on the device. Specifically, users cannot change the font type or sometimes size of the ebooks they buy and download, and the ebook itself will be coded into TINY print. This doesn’t just affect books published through KDP either – users are reporting the same issue with Big 6 (5?) trade published books as well. As you can imagine, this leads to unhappy readers and many returns.

What does this mean for authors? If you’re self-publishing, make sure that you or whoever is formatting your ebook does not specify font size or type. Now, don’t look at me. I haven’t coded anything in yonks. Not like that, anyway. If you want more information on how to get started, I recommend starting with this thread at the Kindle Boards.

If you’re like me, then you use Scrivener to compile your mobi files. I discovered that we may be affected as well (from the same thread I linked above). In order for your mobis to turn out correct for Paperwhite, you must download and replace your Kindle Gen with an older version. Specifically, this one.

Finally, for everyone else, or for anyone reading this and wondering if their books my be affected by this glitch, I can’t recommend enough downloading the latest version of Kindle Previewer (that includes the Paperwhite) and making sure your books work as they sure re: changing font size and type. When I did this, I saw I suffered from the same cold fate, and have been fighting with Amazon KDP all day to update my files. Every time I see a buy today, I worry that the buyer has a Paperwhite! Noooo!

I hope this post may have helped you, or anyone you may know. And for others, have you heard of this happening? Did it happen to you? What lengths did you have to go to in order to fix your issues?