I know I’m not the only one to have these problems with Amazon’s Look Inside, from what others have said here. But, to add to the fire, here’s my story…
I’m using Scrivener for Mac OSX 2.8.0, with KindleGen V2.9, on a mid-2012 rMBP running MacOS Sierra 10.12.1.
I published an ebook on Amazon Kindle on Saturday in mobi format. I downloaded (AKA, bought) a copy of my book to check out its looks, and the formatting was exactly how I wanted it. I don’t do wild things in my ebooks, just text.
The I looked in Look Inside, and saw that the formatting there was crazy. Some text was upsized, some was downsized, some was not centered, some was centered when it should have been justified. Some was underlined when it shouldn’t have been. And so on. These, I think, are familiar problems to people here. I know Look Inside is a separate environment from ebooks, and that they just scarf up the first 10 percent of the ebook file to use. And that they are more stringent on HTML usage and so on. But frankly, from a user perspective, that isn’t relevant. Look Inside should exactly match the ebook.
Then I checked my other 2 books I’ve published, which were put up in 2014. The Look Insides for them were also crazy, and I know that wasn’t the case when I published them because I checked them.
I know Amazon just went through an update with Look Inside and that’s had an impact on many books, so maybe that’s a factor, too.
So, here’s my point…
I’ve seen posts here and on Amazon about how to fix these kinds of things, including adding CSS type sections to the mobi file before uploading. But none of these suggestions are really what I’d call a true “fix”. These are patches which may or may not work to resolve the issues.
I’m a good techie and I can do these things. But I have to admit, I object to this. I didn’t pay good money to have issues like this, or to have to do patch management to get around them. There is a problem someplace between Scrivener and Amazon that needs to be fixed. I can’t do that. None of us users can. The Scrivener team has to get with Amazon to get this fixed. There has to be some coordination between Scrivener and Amazon to prevent formatting or other issues in Look Inside. These problems kill sales.
I can’t debug or scaffold around formatting issues like this, nor should I have to. The onus is on Scrivener to run this problem to ground with Amazon and get it resolved. It doesn’t matter if the problem is in Scrivener or KindleGen or someplace else. If the Scrivener team wants to keep its customers, they have to take the lead on getting this problem resolved.
Honestly, as much as I love Scrivener (I have it on Win10, too), if the Scrivener team doesn’t do whatever is needed to get this fixed, whether the fix is in Scrivener, or KindleGen, or some place else, then I’m going back to Word. I’ve used it with CreateSpace and that worked just fine. Overall, though, for my meager writing purposes, I like Scrivener better. But I’ll regress and go back to Word and let Amazon do whatever conversions they want to my uploads. I figure their own tools would at least work with Look Inside.
Please, Scrivener team… get this problem fixed.