• Cheyenne Saturday - Richard Jessup
  • The Bloody Medallion - Richard Jessup writing as Richard Telfair
  • Chuka - Richard Jessup
  • The Cincinnati Kid - Richard Jessup
  • The Branch Will Not Break - James Wright
  • Roadmap Through Bullying: Effective Bully Prevention for Educators - Julie Nicolai
  • The Definitive Brother Juniper - Father Justin 'Fred' McCarthy
  • Portrait of an Artist with 26 Horses: Empty-Grave Vanilla Edition - William Eastlake
  • The Tales of Yot - Adam Nicolai
  • The Shaggy Man of Oz - Jack Snow
  • The Magical Mimics in Oz - Jack Snow
  • The Silver Princess in Oz - Ruth Plumly Thompson
  • Armchair Locomotion - Jen May
  • Grin and Bear It - George Lichty
  • The Strange World of Mr. Mum - Irving Phillips
  • Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • Brother Juniper at Work and Play - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • Brother Juniper Strikes Again - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • Battle Cry - Jen May
  • Inside Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • More Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • Well Done, Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • The Whimsical World of Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • The Ecumenical Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy

Decrease Kindle File Size With Calibre to Lower KDP Delivery Fees

by Nicolai on April 12, 2012

Amazon’s delivery fee (cost) is applied to all eBooks published in the KDP 70% royalty program. The fee is a flat $.15/MB of the size of converted content files and it is taken out of each royalty payment whenever an eBook is sold. Your calculated file size and delivery fee are shown on the “Rights and Pricing” tab during the eBook setup process.

Amazon KDP 70% 35% Royalty Delivery Fee / CostOne of the methods I use to drastically lower the KDP delivery fee is to optimize my graphics and then convert my EPUB to a MOBI using the new “do not convert images” option in Calibre version 0.8.43 and later. This option forces Calibre to use your optimized .gif or .png files instead of converting them all to .jpg — which is the Calibre default. I had requested over on the MobileRead forums that  this feature be added to Calibre and Kovid Goyal really delivered. That discussion thread is located here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171866. I have pledged to donate half of the money he is saving me on my picture-heavy eBook sales for the rest of 2012 to Kovid and Calibre.

Calibre Version 0.8.43 and Later "Do Not Convert JPG" Feature

Summary: Use optimized graphics and Calibre’s “do not covert” option to drastically lower you Amazon KDP delivery fees.

In a future post I will go over how to cut your delivery fees in half using KindleStrip** to remove the full EPUBs from MOBI files that were created using Kindlegen.

**NOTE– Jean-Christian posted in the comments that KindleStrip is now unnecessary as the newest version of Kindlegen has a command line parameter to exclude the source file, which cuts the file size of MOBIs generated through Kindlegen in half. The command line parameter is: -dont_append_source

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Nate May 9, 2013 at 1:19 am

How do you ‘optimize’ the comic, as you say?


Nicolai May 9, 2013 at 2:56 am

Hi Nate. Thanks for stopping by! Optimization of the graphics depends on what type of graphics you are dealing with. Mine were, for the most part, black/white line drawings. To optimize those I chose to save as .GIF files and forced it to save with just two colors (black/white). GIF files typically have a nice low file size so they were perfect.

For color it’s a different story though. You would have to tinker with your Photoshop (or equivalent program) “save for web” options and see what works best for you. You can try .GIF and decrease the color-cap until just above where your image starts to look noticeably worse, then compare that file size with a .JPG that you slide the quality down on. If you have a bunch of color images that you want to look sharp (high-rez) on tablets you are probably just going to have to bite the bullet and choose the 35% royalty option–at least until Amazon changes that idiotic policy.

If you want to email me a high-quality example of what you’re working with (or upload on a Google cloud drive or website) I would be glad to tinker with it to see how low I can get the file size in GIF JPG and PNG formats.

If you are using Calibre to convert your ebook format to Amazon’s MOBI type just make sure you check the box I noted in the post above as well.




Nate May 9, 2013 at 3:23 am

Thanks, Adam!

I’ll tinker with it and see what I can get. Is Calibre better than Amazon’s Comic Creator? I have never used Calibre before.

I did a test with the Comic Creator and I like the panel zoom function but 3 pages made a 2.25MB file which would cost more for delivery than I’d sell the comic for!

Yea, that seems like a stupid, rip-ya-off policy. Are you a comic artist? I’m looking to network with artists and authors, glad I found your blog, very nice and informative! Love the graphics.




Nicolai May 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Hey Nate.

I haven’t used Amazon’s Comic Creator before, primarily because it wasn’t out when I was doing all those cartoon strip books. It probably wouldn’t have done much different for me just because all of my cartoons were single-panel and filled the screen already. I’ll have to check it out when I get back to publishing–been on kind of a hiatus while I’m tinkering with app programming.

I can draw about as well as a turnip but I am pretty good with Photoshop and can create some nice covers and interior graphics that way. I may have future work for a real comic artist though. If you are interested just shoot me an email (address on contact page and my profile) with some links to, or samples of, the type of art you do and maybe we can work something out for later this year.



Jean-Christian Imbeault April 30, 2014 at 6:10 am

kindlegen now has a parameter t not include the source in the generated .mobi file. This reduces the file size by at least 50%.

The parameter is: -dont_append_source


Nicolai April 30, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Thanks for the info Jean-Christian! I’ll add your note to the page.


Jean-Christian Imbeault April 30, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Update: in my case even I used that parameter to shrink size of the .mobi file I upload to KDP. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have changed the size that KDP says my file is after ‘processing’. I have a suspicion that KDP already uses that parameter when ‘processing’ whatever file you upload.


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