I'm taking up the task of publishing some content to Kindle. I've been reading up on their documentation and been trying to get something to show up in the Kindle Previewer App, using a combination of Microsoft Word for Mac, Pages, and KindleGen, but without any luck so far.

Even when using Pages to export simple text (Body format, Times New Roman, 12 point size) to ePub, then using KindleGen to export ePub to .mobi, Kindle Previewer says "An unknown error occurred." I've also tried having Kindle Previewer open the ePub, but I get the same error.

I'm trying to find some good resources for publishing to KDP and thought that this community would have some experienced people.

  • I released a free software to help authors convert odt files (OpenOffice and LibreOffice) to mobi (kindle) and epub (nook, kobo). It is available on OS X. It's very easy to use and has a couple of features to enhance the look of your ebook. You can try it here: soft.alkinea.net Of course, it's free. I used it to convert and publish my fantasy novel on Amazon: amazon.com/dp/B0093F9P1I
    – Alki Nea
    Aug 30, 2012 at 7:39

2 Answers 2


Your best bet in uploading to KDP would be to leave your file in Word format and upload that. KDP usually does a pretty good job at converting Word documents, as long as you didn't get too carried away using different styles. Your problems are probably coming about as a result of you converting to ePub, especially since the Kindle doesn't read that format. Even though you are converting that to a .mobi file, it is possible that something got left behind in the conversion process and that is messing up KindleGen.

I don't use Mac, but this process should work just as well on a Mac as it does on a PC. I convert my Word document to an html file (web simple), and then I do some formatting in the html file. I found a great site from Guido Henkel that takes you step-by-step through this process, and it gives you much more control over your final format. His instructions assume you know nothing about html, but if you do, then you can skip some of the primer. He uses a Mac, so pretty much all of his instructions would apply to you. You will need to download the free Calibre software, but otherwise, you should be good to go by following this guide.

I would recommend also that you download the Kindle reader software for your computer. Once you have created your .mobi file, you can open it in the Kindle reader software on your desktop and it will give you a pretty reasonable view of what your readers could expect to see in the actual Kindle. I use this to do my final proofing before publishing.

  • Thanks Steven. This blog entry was exactly what I was looking for. The one tackle that I'll have to face is that the content I have now has a lot of tables. Guido didn't really address tables, but I guess I'll just code it by hand and see how it looks.
    – Miles
    Nov 7, 2011 at 20:18
  • If you do your tables in html, make sure that you are careful about defining the width of your cells. If you specify a fixed width on any columns you may have a problem with certain readers. More and more people are reading Kindle books on their phones (myself included), and that screen size is a whole lot smaller than the basic Kindle! Nov 7, 2011 at 20:57

Word's "Save as Webpage (HTML)" option worked for me.

Regular Word format (.doc and .docx) could have you working into the night: I wrote a picture/caption book and uploaded it, following all the recommendations 4 times; it was still splitting page one into pages, page three was blank, page four perfect, page five had a picture and no caption, page six had a caption and no picture.

Well, so, i saved as webpage html, and it was perfect.

But, you must save as html, which creates two more files: an image file and document file. Then you need to compress them both into one file - in mac, this is an "archiver" file. Then upload that, and it should be just fine.

Note: Zip or compress the .htm and the _files... Not the word document file.

  • 2
    Hi, welcome to Writers.SE! Your original answer was all in caps, and some of the phrasing wasn't entirely clear. I've cleaned the post up for you. I hope I understood everything correctly - feel free to edit if I've made any errors.
    – Standback
    Jul 18, 2012 at 15:42

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