Troubleshooting eBooks | Vellum Help

Troubleshooting eBooks

Here are some common issues you may encounter when testing or uploading your eBooks:




I don’t see all formatting when I load a .mobi file onto my iPhone/iPad

Unfortunately, when you directly load (or sideload) a mobi file into the Kindle app for iPhone/iPad, the app will display your book using Amazon’s older mobi7 format. This format does not support advanced formatting like drop caps and ornaments.

This is not the case for eBooks sent to a reader by Amazon. When the book is purchased, a reader will see the same (KF8) formatting that you saw in Vellum and that you’ll see on other devices.

If you want to test your book in the format that will be sent by Amazon, you can follow the set of instructions for proofing via the Kindle iOS app.

My book’s Look Inside doesn’t show all of the formatting

When the Look Inside for your book is initially created, Amazon may use its older mobi7 format, which cannot display features like drop caps or ornaments.

It may take some time — anywhere from a few days to a few weeks — before Amazon upgrades the Look Inside for your book. You may be able to expedite this by contacting KDP Support.

Regardless, readers who download your book from Amazon (the full book or even just a sample), will see the advanced formatting that you saw in Vellum.

The KDP Online Previewer isn’t working for my .mobi file

As of March 2016, the KDP Online Previewer has stopped working for many .mobi files generated by Vellum. More details can be found in our blog post: Problems with KDP Online Previewer.

This bug is limited to the KDP Online Previewer and does not affect books seen by readers. We have filed a bug report with Amazon, but do not know when they will fix it. In the meantime, we recommend previewing your books using any of the methods described in Proofing your eBooks.

My book’s start page is in the middle of its Table of Contents

The start page that is declared by Vellum (which will typically be the first chapter of your book) can sometimes be modified in the Preview version of your book from KDP. To test the start page that has been declared, it's best to load your mobi file directly. More details can be found in Start Page.

The sidebar in Kindle for Mac doesn’t show all of my chapters

Older versions of Kindle for Mac won’t show chapters within Parts (or Volumes) in the Table of Contents sidebar.

This bug has been fixed in current versions of Kindle for Mac, only available directly from Amazon (they have not submitted new versions to the Mac App Store).

My .mobi file is much larger than my EPUB file

Because a .mobi file actually contains multiple versions of your book, it will be larger than an equivalent EPUB file. The size of this file is not used for computing delivery costs, however. More details can be found in File Size Considerations.


I receive an error about version when uploading via iTunes Producer

If you’re uploading an updated of your version of your eBook, you may see an error like the following:

itms-4171: Provided asset version is not greater than the existing live asset version.

To address this, increase the version number (e.g. 1.1) specified in Book Info.

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