Amazon has long been the odd man out in the world of ebook files for their requirement of MOBI files. All other platforms use EPUB. But yesterday, Amazon sent out emails to authors to let them know that they have finally listened: to simplify the uploading process, they will begin using EPUB files on June 28, 2021. You won’t have to worry about changing your existing files, unless you upload a new version, but for all new books and any updates, you’ll want to make sure you have an EPUB handy.
What This Means for Authors
If your books are wide, this will mean less work for you, but if your books are solely on Amazon, you’ll have to change up the way you create your file. But doing so is usually as easy as changing a setting in your ebook creation software. There will likely be a short learning period, but we think this is a good direction for everyone.
Authors who have picture books and other fixed format MOBI files will still be able to continue using and creating MOBI files. This is good news because MOBI does create a better fixed format book than the older EPUB files accepted by some retailers. (Once all retailers update to the newest EPUB format, this shouldn’t be an issue, because newer EPUB file are capable of beautiful fixed format books.)
Amazon is also still accepting KPF (Kindle Create files) and DOC/DOCX (Microsoft Word files), along with other non recommended formats (HTML, RTF, TXT, and PDF). Note: we recommend creating your ebook with EPUB or KPF so you have more control over the final product, rather than uploading one of these other file formats.
What Happens on the Kindle Side
Even though Amazon is now accepting EPUB files instead of MOBI files from authors, Amazon will still be delivering MOBI files to Kindles. This means that the EPUB file will be converted by Amazon on the backend into a MOBI file. Because of this conversion, it’s important to double-check your ebook in Kindle Previewer 3 to be sure everything looks correct after it is converted.
How Does This Affect Subscriber Magnets?
Another implication of this is that although you, the author, may be uploading an EPUB to Amazon, if you want to offer a book on a separate website, such as for a subscriber magnet, you’ll still need to provide the MOBI file to readers, so they can sideload it onto their Kindle. So this change may end up making offering subscriber magnets a bit more work (although if your book is only on Amazon, it likely is in KDP Select, which means you can’t offer it as a subscriber magnet anyway, unless it’s only a sample), but perhaps future Kindles will change to using the EPUB format. Time will tell!
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.