Kindle Books Become Variable Files

I was poking around and came across some interesting posts at the Kindle forum discussion about Kindlegen.

Forum member Mika Säkene asks:

Is there something wrong with kindlegen 1.2 for Windows?

I’m building book with about 200 images. All images are small, less than 60KB, together they take about 5MB space. If I build book without images, kindlegen creates file that is about 1.5MB in size with -c2 compression. But if I include images, final book will be over 11MB! If kindlegen does not alter images, how 5MB+1.5MB can be 11MB?

I didn’t find older kindlegen to test for comparison, but I found old mobigen. It produced book that is only 5.5MB in size. Without images it was less than 800KB. This new Kindlegen seems to produce exactly twice as big files, regardles of the content. So there must be something wrong with this kindlegen.

Forum member Thomas Kurz replies:

It looks like kindlegen adds your source files to the .mobi. More info can be found here http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96903

Forum member Mika Säkene replies:

Thomas: “It looks like kindlegen adds your source files to the .mobi.”

But why? Why would Amazon do such a stupid thing? Where do they need my source files? And if I publish my book, do they strip it off before putting it on web? Or do they just want to harm both publishers and customers?

And if I want to convert files for my personal use, I have to rely on some 3rd party softwares to make my files normally sized?

Finally a member of the Kindle Publishing Team jumps in:

Hello from Amazon Kindle Publishing Team,

When you create a Mobi using Kindlegen we create and store multiple versions of the content in order to provide the best customer experience. Eg. The image needs for the Kindle device are different from the image needs on iPads. This is the cause of the file size increase. When we fulfill your book to customers, we only send the content version that is most appropriate for that device. Thus, we try providing the highest quality content to our customers while minimizing costs.

Thanks,
Kindle Publishing Team.

This puts a whole new spin on creating Kindle books, I think.

Before this, most people would scale things expecting a low-res eInk screen. Now that there are tablets in the mix, things are different.

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Filed under Amazon Kindle, Book Creation

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