With the latest update to Vellum, the commonly used program to generate ebook files, it no longer creates .mobi files. This is causing some confusion with authors and readers alike. They state this is due to limitations with Amazon’s KindleGen service, and instead, they generate a Kindle compatible .epub file, which the author is then required to use another service, such as the free program Calibre, or upload direct to Amazon, which then will generate its own files. However, for ARC and review teams, many readers are seeing the .epub extension and are unsure how to get the file to their device.
Vellum states that the .epub file shouldn’t be sent to readers. And this, to me, makes me very glad that I haven’t switched to Vellum, though to be honest the price point and mac-only environment really puts me off. While there are reasons for the development, I feel as if they’ve in essence written off a large score of their userbase.
So what can an author do? First, be aware of this. Next, use a free program like Calibre to create the .mobi file. In this way, your readers will know that they have a file that they can use and don’t have to utilize another step or website to get the books they want to read.
Next, make sure your book formatters are aware. In my work, I see a lot of bloated books, and books where frankly, the formatter dropped the ball. If your book formatter isn’t providing you with a .mobi file, as them why. Make sure they’re doing their jobs.
Third, if you do need to use software to create your files, make sure that you can create ones that your Kindle readers immediately can see and recognize as being ready for their devices.