Don't miss a freebie, deal, or new release.Join Now!
banner with headshot and name

No more MOBIs

Did you get the email from Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) about their accepted file types for ebooks? In case you missed it, or were confused by the changes, here’s what you need to know if you format your ebooks in Scrivener.

  • For “reflowable” ebooks (see explanation below), Amazon no longer accepts MOBI files. They are asking for an EPUB or DOCX file, unless you’re using their Kindle Create program.
  • “Reflowable” books are those like you’re probably used to reading on your Kindle or iPad. They allow the person reading to resize or change the font and spacing, and the text just adjusts (reflows) to fit the screen without distorting the layout. The opposite of this would be a fixed layout file like a PDF, where if you enlarge the text, it extends off the edge of the screen and you have to scroll around to read it. Scrivener’s EPUB format creates reflowable text.
  • Any books you uploaded to KDP in the past are fine. Leave them alone.
  • Any books you plan to upload (or upload again to update) to KDP in the future should be in EPUB or DOCX format.

Bottom line: This actually makes your life easier! EPUB is one of the simplest file types to compile in Scrivener, so I recommend this route. In fact, KDP has accepted EPUB files for a long time, and I’ve been uploading them instead of MOBI for years now.

If you want to get better at compiling for EPUB, DOCX, or any other file type, I have classes for that at ScrivenerClasses.com. 😉

I’m also working on a video-only version for Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula (SPF) that should be out later this summer. The video-only Scrivener 3 overview is already live at SPF.

Scrivener and Amazon play nice

EDITOR'S NOTE: As of 2023, Amazon now asks for an EPUB or DOCX file when uploading ebooks. They will then convert your file to their in-house format themselves.

You may have read that Amazon is no longer accepting MOBI files created by third-party software like Calibre. In which case, you might have panicked and wondered if their pronouncement affected Scrivener.

I’m happy to report that it does not. Scrivener uses Amazon’s KindleGen software to create MOBI files, which is the same software Amazon puts your files through on their own site. That means you can continue to use Scrivener to format MOBI files for upload.

And just to be sure, I checked with the awesome folks at Literature & Latte, and they confirmed that MOBIs created in Scrivener still work.

Happy Thanksgiving. 😉

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.