Calibre breakthrough: Convert e-books to the new Kindle KFX format with enhanced Typesetting

calibre pictureWant to be able to read sideloaded books in the fancy KFX format with your recent-model Kindle?

Craving for dropped caps, hyphenation, better kerning?

Now, even if a book didn’t come from the Amazon store, you can enjoy the above features thanks to a new KFX Conversion Output plug-in for Calibre. Here’s the lowdown from MobileRead:

“The plugin is activated by selecting KFX as the output format when converting books in calibre. It performs the following steps during conversion:

  • Convert from the original e-book format to EPUB.
  • Use the Amazon Kindle Previewer to convert from EPUB to KDF.
  • Repackage the KDF data into a KFX container.

”Because the first step in conversion is to produce an EPUB and since the Kindle Previewer has no configuration options, the Conversion Output Options tab for KFX output is the same as for EPUB output.”

Please drop by the MobileRead posting from jhowell for more information, relevant links and caveats. Alas, the plugin isn’t for the faint-hearted:

enhancedKindleFormat“Unfortunately, the Amazon Kindle Previewer often fails to convert books and provides no guidance on how to correct the problem when this occurs. Getting a book to convert successfully may require trial and error editing of the source format. If a conversion error occurs the plugin attempts to capture the most relevant error message from temporary log files produced by the Previewer. The error messages produced are cryptic, but better than nothing. View the conversion job log after an error occurs to see the messages produced by the Previewer during conversion.”

And still more: “This plugin has only been tested on the Windows platform. Compatibility with Mac OS has not been tested. It is unknown whether or not the Previewer will function under Linux/Wine.

”This plugin only converts from other e-book formats to KFX. It does not convert from KFX to other formats.”

Oh, the fun of the Tower of eBabel! High time for Amazon to abandon its proprietary formats (and really really lean on publishers to drop encryption-based DRM or at least it with the more benign social DRM). Yes, the KFX plug-in is a break-through. But not for everyone. I love Calibre, but must one really have to use it to keep up fully with the latest format changes at Amazon?

If Amazon wants to add formatting capabilities for typical e-books, then it should work within the International Digital Publishing Forum. Amazon can compete very well, thank you, in a number of areas ranging from price to selection, and the last thing we need is for the company to keep inflicting more complexities on users. Bring on the criticism. I’m sticking to my guns. Amazon, as much is ever, needs to do ePub.

(Via The and Nate.)

The post Calibre breakthrough: Convert e-books to the new Kindle KFX format with enhanced Typesetting appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.

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