Kindle Publishing: Using Mobipocket Creator

Using Mobipocket Creator Quick Summary:

See previous lesson about Mobipocket Creator/Reader. If you haven't yet downloaded it, get it here:

Mobipocket Creator Download

Be sure to get the Reader as well as the Creator... and be sure to get the "Publisher Edition".

With Mobipocket Creator loaded:

Just below and to the right of the Mobipocket Creator logo, you will see Import from Existing File.

Click the second item, MS Word document.

Browse to your file and open it

Towards the center of  your screen is an Import button.  Click that.

Mobipocket Creator will start to import your file, all the while displaying a progress bar.

If  Mobipocket Creator encounters bad HTML code, it will stop and tell you it can’t continue.

(It can't find all errors, but it will find some.)

After your file has imported,  Mobipocket Creator will create the HTML code, save it as an HTML file and display its name and size under the title, Publication Files.

At the upper left, is a Menu titled View.

Under View is  Cover Image.  Click that.

Add a Cover Image button appears

Click Add a Cover Image,  then Browse to get your cover image.

When your image is loaded, it will display, quite possibly larger than life, at the center of your screen, with  an Update button just beneath it.

Click Update.

Choose Build (icon with a couple of gears) from the blue ribbon at the top of your screen.

Towards the center of  your screen you will see some blank progress bars, with a Build button above them.

After you click Build this time,  Mobipocket Creator will go to work, then if you have been very good and are very lucky, you will see Build Finished near the top left of  your screen.

If  Mobipocket Creator finds errors, it will complain, and show you a list where you can look for your errors.

If you get the Build Finished message, you will be given the opportunity to review your eBook with   Mobipocket Reader.

If all is well, you are now ready to upload  your file (filename.prc) to your Shelf at your Amazon Dashboard at Amazon DTP.

To find the eBook  you and Mobipocket Creator just created, look for this folder (named with your file name, of course)

 My Documents\My Publications\YourFileName

Inside the YourFileName folder (whatever  you named your file), you will find several files, among them, “ yourfilename.prc”.

Be sure to get the file with the PRC extension.

That’s the file you upload at your Amazon Shelf at your Amazon Dashboard at Amazon DTP.


  1. I wanted to thank you for this series. I published my e-book on Kindle and was disappointed that I did not have a TOC that was linked to the headings and that I had to remove my jpegs. But your series helped me fix all that. My book is being republished, but I did the see TOCs and the jpegs in the DTP previewer. Thanks for all your help.

    I expect that the updated version will be available to the public on Monday or Tuesday.

    Tony Eldridge
    Conducting Effective Twitter Contests

  2. Thanks, Tony!

    I've only recently begun to realize that Twitter can be useful to professionals, so will be interested in your book.

    Please post a link so we can all see it, OK?

  3. I just want to thank you so very much for this. I have been trying for four days and nights to format my book. I tried everything - even a "how to" kindle book I purchased. Nothing would get my images to show up. This worked. You are double-dipped in awesome!!!

  4. --Double-dipped awesome, huh!

    That's awesome, itself!

    Thanks for making my day.

    Did you buy that "how to" Kindle book at Amazon... and did you post a review of your experiences with it?

    I really think you should.

    I don't know which one you are talking about, of course, but I know there are some being offered that are entirely wrong.

    That is extremely unfair to new people who buy it, expecting to learn how to format for the Kindle and get only confusion and wasted time.

  5. Hey CJ, thanks for your site, it was a huge success. One question, the metadata, do I fill that out in this file, or just on the Amazon kdp site, it appears to be a duplicate of what I've already done.
    thanks again.

  6. Hi Jim,

    No, just ignore everything except what's in the steps I've outlined.

    Remember, this software was developed before the Kindle even existed, so it doesn't always match up exactly.

    I'm glad it worked for you!


  7. CJ:

    I have followed your advice and stripped all the old code from my MS Word 97-2003 file and completely reformatted but when I then save as Web Page Filtered and build with Mobipocket Creator I wind up with a document that overruns the margins. Any thoughts? Bill

  8. Bill,

    I've heard other people report that margins looked off when viewing with Kindle Previewer when it was the fault of the Previewer.

    Why not try this... don't save your Word file to HTML, filtered... Just feed your Word file directly to Mobipocket... then look at the result right there with Mobipocket Reader.

    I'm guessing it will look ok.

  9. I noticed that the font appears kind of big in the Mobipocket Reader. Is that normal, or is it actually a problem with the font size I'm using?

  10. Ryne,

    It's probably not a problem, but it should reflect to some degree, the font size you are using.

    We don't have a lot of control over the actual font that the Kindle will display, but we can control the font size.

    I've found that a smaller font size... even as small as 8 pts for body text, will result in the neatest Kindle display.

    The user, remember, can change the font size to meet individual choice.

  11. Thanks for the response. I was mainly interested in figuring out if my font would look normal and be the normal size starting out.

    I know some indies have a different looking font right from the start, which is harder for me to get into with my Kindle.

    And I have had experiences with reading books that have an unusual standard font size, which meant I had to change the font size before and after reading that book.

    Out of curiosity, is there a certain font that you recommend using. The older version of Word have Times New Roman as the stock font, whereas the newer versions use Calibri(sp?).

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

  12. Ryne,

    Yes, I think your font will look fine on the Kindle as long as you use a font that looks good to you on your computer screen.

    It will never, of course, look like a typeset print book, because the text flows and readjusts to fit the display and font size chosen by the reader.

    Yes, it is true that, because it is POSSIBLE to upload just about any old font, some people do just that, sometimes leaving the reader wondering what's going on.

    But I think that is just carelessness, and one more reason we should be careful to make our books look as "normal" as we can.

    Concerning Times New Roman (the default font for Word 2003 and before) vs Calibri (default font for MS Word 2010 (and I think MS Word 2007):

    I've done tests of full pages of exactly the same text to compare those two fonts... and when viewed on the Kindle, they look exactly the same.

    So, I think if you use anything between 8 to 12 pt in either Times New Roman or Calibri, you will get good results.

  13. Thank you for your assistance. Your blog has really helped me. I've gone through it, and the seemingly difficult process has become much easier. I've already played around with making tables of contents and found it to be incredibly easy with your guides.

    And I agree about the carelessness part. One of the e-books that had the unusual font- it looks kind of like Courier New as opposed to Times New Roman- was actually done in blue. I noticed that when I used the Kindle for PC app.

    Anyways, thanks again.

  14. Thanks so much for the walk-through. I don't know what I would have done without you. I think I even got my earlier question resolved already after a little tweaking to my MS document. Thanks again. You're a life-saver!

  15. MPC creates a bunch of folders and files and then makes a PRC file. Is the PRC a standalone file?

    Also, the TOC generated by MPC is lame. Is there another way to implement the TOC to respond to the Kindle button? (And the Cover button?)


  16. Hi tplarkin,

    The PRC is your Kindle format file... the one you upload to Amazon Kindle publishing.

    Yes... the place to create the Table of Contents (TOC) is in the MS Word file, where it is very easy and efficient.

    This article is one of a series, and you should already have prepared your MS Word file and inserted the Guide Items to make the Kindle button work, by the time you get here.

    (I'm sorry, as I read back over this article, I see that the error is mine... I did not make that clear.)

    Please click the Birds on a Tight-Rope picture to go to the beginning of the series of articles to prepare your MS Word file.

  17. Hi CJ!

    You are always the man to go to for answers, and (without doubt) I could never have been able to publish my ebooks to Amazon without your help and patient instruction here :-)

    About a month ago, I discovered an interesting problem concerning Mobipocket Creator, which I have been unable to rectify. Though the program worked fine for the first month or so, now whenever I open Creator, the welcome screen is a disjointed mess and there's no way to create files using the program now. I've uninstalled it 3 times, and redownloaded the program more times than that, and yet the screen and the program continues to open corrupted.

    So, have you heard of this before? And do you know of a solution to rectify this problem so I can upload more book files (and revisions to existing ebooks) to Amazon?

    Given Creator is behaving so badly, is there perhaps another program we can use instead that works just as well?

    Thanks for you help (both past and present). You are indeed the best!

  18. Michael,

    I've never heard of any Mobipocket Creator behavior such as you describe, but I do know that Internet Explorer 9 causes trouble even if it is not loaded, but is simply installed on the same computer.

    I certainly can't explain it, but more than one user has gone back to IE 8 or to another browser, and the mysterious problems solved.

    None of the problems sounded like yours, but it's possible this could be a clue for you.

    Otherwise... the program, Calibre (free download... just search for the name) does a good job.

    It has a bit of a learning curve and help files are not totally helpful, but it is still being developed, so I have hope that it will be the perfect solution in the future.

  19. Hi CJ,

    This is a very useful series of information about mobipocket creator and ebook upload that I found in your website! Thanks :) But I am facing a difficulty while uploading a word.html file into the mobipocket creator and converting into prc format. My word.html file contains coloured images in some pages. I first built my book with the colour images in word.doc format, then saved it as word.html so that mobipocket can import the file easily. It did, but when it built the ebook publication, I saw the following problems:

    1. Formatting-- first line of each para not in line with the rest of the body text. There was also problem with spacing between paragraphs, although in MS Word doc, the para and line spacing got generated properly by default.

    2. No colour images got converted, as a result only captions showed in the publication file without the images.

    How do I succeessfully integrate the coloured images in the book that I am trying to build through mobipocket creator?

    Thanks :=)

  20. Hi Wonderworld,

    Everything you describe is pretty much every-day stuff that we much correct in almolst every MS Word file.

    My suggestion is that you go back to your MS Word file, then follow the little birds through each step of the process.

    As I describe often, just because it looks good in MS Word doesn't mean it will look good in Kindle format.

    Also... try importing your MS Word file directly to Mobipocket Creator, to see if you have better luck that way.