Compiling for Amazon's "Look Inside" feature

I am trying to find the best way via compile to fix some really severe “Look Inside the Book” layout problems on the Amazon sell pages for my ebooks. The errors never show up in the actual Kindle previewer or iBook readers, but only in the Look Inside feature that folks on the Kindle forum say is a stricter HTML.

The biggest problem with troubleshooting is that Amazon takes a week to 12 days to repopulate that part of its website, so you have to wait that long to see if whatever you’ve tried will work. So instead, I’m hoping there are some ways to tweak the compile settings or otherwise format the ebook at inception?

Also, the formatting breaks up in different places in either of the two books I’ve got up. I can supply those urls if that is allowed here.

Thanks! And forgive newbie errors – I think this is my first question that I can’t find already answered here.

I’d be interested in knowing the answer to this as well.

My research in the internet showed me that lots of folks are having this same issue. I’m sure it’s not Scrivener, and am pretty sure that the issue of the Look Inside going wonky are due to changes that Amazon has made.

I reported this issue yesterday when I double checked that the book was uploaded properly. The book was, but the Look Inside on Amazon centers everything and makes it huge.

When I formatted my mobi file, I checked it on the Kindle Previewer and on an online reader and on Calibre. All was well, until I uploaded it.

Nobody is complaining that the book they’ve downloaded is wonky, but I’m sure this Amazon glitch issn’t helping sales any.

Does anybody at Scrivener have a fix, or have they talked to anyone at Amazon about fixing this?

When Scrivener creates a .mobi file, it compiles the original project to .epub format, then hands the .epub file over to KindleGen for conversion to .mobi format.

So no, we have no control over the Look Inside preview. This is not the only report of problems that I’ve seen, but as far as I can tell it is strictly an Amazon issue.


I have uploaded to Amazon in two different ways. First an epib version which the KDP website transformed into mobi, but also as a mobi file created by Scrivener and KindleGen.
Both gave the same result and LookInside works in both cases.

Is there something special in your book, besides simple text?

It would be good to know how Amazon has fixed this problem from anyone who uses Scrivener to write their books.

I have written 22 books and published them at Amazon.

Many of my books are now a mess at the Amazon “Look Inside” feature.

It is doubtful that new customers will purchase any of these books, as they look really terrible right now. The “Look Inside” feature is how many people base their decision to buy or not buy. This problem is hurting us all, tremendously.

If you have had this problem, and Amazon fixed your Look Inside, please post here how they did it and how long it took



I’m currently being driven insane with this issue.

I have published with Scrivener for several years now and it has been relatively stress-free but many of my books have become so unprofessional looking on the Look Inside, despite flawless Kindle files.

I’ve been tweaking and reuploading to see what affects it and it appears that front matter or early folders, if containing centred text or a different font, make things worse. If you don’t have stuff centred in the front matter, then the Look Inside doesn’t centre your main text. Also, if you preserve formatting round some text that appears in the sample, the new Look Inside cannot handle this and messes up the rest of the sample.

Obviously, this is concerning as the Look Inside is a reflection of our hard work and we might be losing sales because of this. I will report back with my findings. (Also Amazon is looking into it for me.) I’d love to hear from others with the same issue.

Okay, my latest upload is the best yet but the first paragraph in every chapter is centred on the Look Inside. ???

I’ve never had any issues with the Look Inside feature, though I only produce text (no graphics).