Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is an incredible tool that writers and creators can use to get their work out into the big, wide world. However, there are nuances to using KDP that can cause issues to some people.   

One of these issues is that of file types, and knowing which ones are, and are not, supported by KDP.

While this might not be something that you think of immediately, it will be good to consider as you get started with your manuscript. 

If you would like to find out more about the files that are accepted and supported with Amazon KDP, keep reading! We will cover everything you need to know on the topic.

What Is A File Type, And Does It Matter?

The file simply refers to the type of file you are using, or where the file has come from.

For example, a file from a Microsoft Word document will be saved as DOC or a DOCX. Similarly, documents and manuscripts can be saved as plain text documents (TXT), rich text formats (RTF), and more. 

Some software will give you the choice of how you want your document saved.

For example, if you were to use Google Docs, you will have the option to download your files in DOC, ODT (OpenDocument Format), RTF, PDF, TXT, HTML, ZIPPED, and ePUB formats. 

While personal file or document use might be okay as being saved as anything, there are standards to uphold in publishing.

The file type does matter when it comes to KDP, and various other publishing options you may want to consider such as Sony, iBooks, and Google.

There are various files that Kindle Direct publishing will recommend, and others that it will not. 

It is important to note that the preferred file types might change over the years as tech advances. A few years ago, the preferred files for KDP were MOBI.

However, as of the summer of 2022, there was a drastic change.

This has resulted in MOBI files, while being accepted in some cases, not being the go-to option. In this case, the ePUB file format took over and is the popular option. 

What Files Are Supported With Amazon KDP?

Knowing which files will definitely be supposed by Amazon KDP can help to relieve some pressure as you work on your e-Book.

Luckily, there is a list of accepted and commonly used file types that are accepted by KDP, which we have put below.

However, this is not a complete list of the file types that could work on your e-Book. If you prefer using a program that has not been mentioned below, feel free to continue using it.

You may want to find out if the file is accepted before you continue, or simply find out at the end. Either way, there may be other formats that are accepted by KDP besides the ones mentioned below.

Some of the most popular files used for Amazon KDP that are supposed include the following:

  • Microsoft Word (DOCX/DOC) – compatible on Fire tablets, Kindle E Ink, and Kindle App
  • Kindle Package Format (KPF) – compatible on Fire tablets, Kindle E Ink, and Kindle App
  • MOBI** – compatible on Fire tablets, Kindle E Ink, and Kindle App
  • EPUB – compatible on Fire tablets, Kindle E Ink, and Kindle App

Bear in mind that the above formats are the ones that are suggested by KDP. However, there are other options available that you may prefer to use to put your eBook together. 

**NOTE: MOBI used to be the go-to format for KDF, but this is no longer the preferred format for Kindles. In some cases, these files might still be accepted and altered.

However, for the best results, all MOBI files should be converted to one of the other more supported file types – with ePUB being the best option. 

Other Options For KDP Files

There are other options that you can look into if the suggested formats do not, for some reason, work for you.

However, we should make it clear that these are not the recommended files to use when working with Kindle Direct Publishing, but they should still work, even if they are more difficult.

A few other options that are accepted by KDP include these:

  • HTML (ZIP, HTM, or HTML)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • Plain Text (TXT)
  • Adobe PDF (PDF)  

PLEASE NOTE: It should be mentioned that Amazon will only accept PDF files in specific languages. These languages include English, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Galician, Spanish, Catalan, and Basque.

There may be other limitations in place depending on the file type you choose to go with.

Continue reading to see which of the aforementioned files we would strongly recommend going with, and the ones we would recommend avoiding at all cost. 

Which File Is The Most Popular For Amazon KDP?

With the fairly recent changes made by KDP, the recommended file format is ePUB (ePUBlication). This format is actually used by several different sites, including Google, iBooks, B&N, KoboBooks, Sony, and more.

This means that it is widely accepted, and therefore much easier to work with than other files. 

You can still use DOC/DOCX, and the other recommended options for the majority of manuscripts you wish to publish through KDP.

However, by sticking to the recommended file and format, you will have a much easier time navigating the whole process with KDP. 

What Files Are Supported With Amazon KDP? (1)

Which Files Are Not Recommended For Amazon KDP?

We would not recommend trying to upload a PDF for an eBook. While this file is supported, it does not usually give very good results.

There are many other preferred options that you should stick to, like the ones that Amazon KDP recommends (the first list mentioned in this article). 

Although MOBI used to be the preferred file before summer 2022, it is no longer the preferred option for KDP and other publishing software.

You might have an easier time using MOBI with other publishing software. However, it is overall a smarter option to opt for a file that will be widely accepted – then you only have to do everything once!

Final Thoughts

Kindle Direct Publishing’s rules and recommendations for files and formatting will change as time goes by – as do all things.

Their preference recently switched from MOBI files to ePUB, and it is likely to change in the upcoming when better options arise. 

However, as it stands, there are a number of different files that Amazon KDP will accept and support. There are also potions that, while they work, may not be the best option. 

The most popular files used for Amazon KDP that are supposed include the following:

  • Microsoft Word (DOCX/DOC) 
  • Kindle Package Format (KPF) 
  • MOBI** (used to be preferred, but is no longer the favorite file format for KDP)
  • EPUB (has recently become the go-to and recommended file format option for KDP)

Other options that still work on KDP, but may not always get the rest results, are the following:

  • HTML (ZIP, HTM, or HTML)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • Plain Text (TXT)
  • Adobe PDF (PDF)  

We would strongly recommend following the guidelines and recommendations given by KDP. As such, using ePUB files would be the smartest option. 

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