How to Preview Your Epub File Before Uploading to KDP/Amazon

Note: As of June 28, 2021, KDP will no longer support the mobi file format for new or updated files. The preferred file format is now epub.

“Thank you for sending me the ebook files. But, if I can’t open the #$%@ things, how do you expect me to approve them?”

Lots of writers mutter this under their breath when their formatter sends them their ebook files and asks for their approval.

I’ve said it myself.

Lots of writers would cross their fingers and tell the formatter that everything was fine.

I’ve done it myself.

Then I figured out I could login in to KDP, wait for my file to load, and use the Kindle Previewer. Every single time with every single file.

Have you tried that?

Such a time-saver and so convenient. Not.

Kindle Previewer screen shot

Now, I use my own stand-alone copy of the Kindle Previewer. So fast, so easy. Here’s how you can do it, too.

The First Time

Before you preview your first file, there’s a bit of setup to be done. Do this on your computer; mobile devices don’t play well with the Previewer.

Step One

Download your own copy of the Kindle Previewer here.

Read information, questions and answers on the linked page above.

  • Tick the little box to agree to the terms of service.
  • For detailed instructions, view the Kindle Previewer User Guide.
  • Download whichever version applies to you.

Step Two

Download the files from your formatter and make a note of where you put them.

Step Three

Open the Kindle Previewer.

  • In the top-left corner, click on File > Open Book > find the epub file in the location noted in step two and click on it.
  • Wait patiently while the epub file is opened and converted for viewing. It can take a few minutes. You’ll be presented with the table of contents on the left, your book’s pages in the middle, and the cover on the right in a Kindle device mock-up.
  • For help with using the Kindle Previewer, click on Help in the menu bar.

What about viewing my ebook on my Kindle?

To view the file on your Kindle, use the Previewer to export a KPF file, (File > Export > Export) then sideload the file to your device. Here are some tips on how to sideload.

What about Other Vendors?

To preview files for all other vendors, use Adobe Digital Editions and follow these instructions.

*These instructions are for Windows 10. For Windows 8, 8.1 go here. For Windows 7, go here.

© 2019 Joan Leacott