Kindle Formatting Troubleshooting
Kindle Previewer Won’t Compile!
The Previewer might say “failed to compile!” after converting your opf file. If this happens, there’s usually something wrong with the .opf file or the toc.ncx file. Make sure the file names exactly match each other and don’t just assume the file names are spelled correctly. Notepad++ can be mind-numbing to read. Look closely. Are there any typos when writing it out? It’s dangerously easy to be careless in typing. Sometimes, I don’t even see the typo until I actually concentrate at what’s wrong. It could sometimes be as simple as numbers switching the wrong way like 12 becames 21 or .html is .htlm or part4.html is written as part 4.html (notice the space between the word and number). So check closely or even have someone help you out.
Check your metadata too. If you don’t list every part of it, the Kindle Previewer will fail to compile. One time, I forgot to put a title in the opf file where it says <dc:title> and <dc:title>, and the Kindle Previewer failed to compile so check the metadata sections of your opf and ncx files.
You also might want to look over your other folders. Check the file names there too and see if they all match. A single typo can wreak havoc when formatting especially when it’s a file name. For example, the doctype declaration could say href=“../styles/styles.css.” If the folder is named “style” instead of “stylesheet” then the Previewer won’t see your stylesheet. So if there’s something wrong, check for typos.
Cover Won’t Show Up!
If the cover doesn’t show up, then there is something wrong with the image file name or the file names on the opf file usually a typo. Make sure the image file name in the image folder match up exactly in the opf file. That’s usually the culprit.
The opf file might also have mismatches. Make sure to use “cover” as it’s easily replicable but if not, check the slots on the manifest that they all match. Carefully look over your work because like I said, a single typo can ruin everything. This isn’t Microsoft Word where you’ll just get a squiggly line under a misspelled word. If they don’t match, then the Kindle Previewer won’t know you’re referring to the same thing.
Another major culprit could be your relative links. Make sure your relative path to your cover leads to the right folder. Again, check for typos. If you need a refresher on relative paths, re-watch this youtube video to master this critical skill.
Kindle Previewer says I have errors or says compiled but with warnings.
When you see that message after compiling, it means there is something wrong with your HTML, which could mean a file may be missing or links don’t work. The Kindle Previewer will tell you where the problems are by stating what html file the error is located in. Click on the drop down menu under the message and see what’s up. You also should have gotten a validation check before compiling. If the validation has errors, then the Kindle Previewer most likely has them as well.
One of the major culprits for warnings are missing images. Make sure your relative links or spelling is correct for images.
Images won’t show up!
When perusing your ebook, you might see blank boxes with little picture frames in the middle or a big X where a picture should be. Once again, check your relative paths to make sure you led the program to the right folder where the image is or check your spelling on the html file. There is something wrong there. That or there are typos.
My formatting doesn’t look right!
Check your html. Something messed up with your html either with a typo or a lack of an end tag etc. Also, check your CSS. Are there semi-colons separating each desired modification? Check the stylesheet and then look at yours. Is anything amiss?
The Validator is spitting out gibberish error messages saying I have mistakes!
If you’re using the Validator and it’s sending out bizarre error messages like “end tag for “p” omitted but OMMITTAG NO was specified,” then that means there’s problems with your HTML. In this case, you forgot to put </p> at the end of a line. Check out this link of the 10 most common validation errors. Chances are, one of them is yours. You can also google the specific Validator complaint like what I quoted (“end tag for ‘p’” etc. etc.), and there will be message board forum answer that will most likely solve your specific issue. Quora.com is also a good place to ask your question, but most likely, you won’t need to go that far.
The Validator will also tell you exactly where exactly the error is located all the way to the specific HTML document, line, and location (using Notepad++).
Uploading on Amazon Failed!
If the Kindle Previewer converted correctly without any errors or warnings, you will not have this problem. Make sure you converted correctly in Previewer before trying to upload on Amazon.
I’m doing the HTML right! Why is it not rendering on the screen properly?
Check again. Your eyes can play tricks on you. Once I was trying to put a nonbreaking space in front of a divider entity (|) and I couldn’t get it to show up onscreen. I thought for sure that I did the HTML right. Two hours of wasted time later and lots of frustration, I found out I misspelled the nonbreaking space from the incorrect &nbps; to the correct . So if you think you’re really sure, your html is right, try looking at it again really carefully.