Amazon Kindle ebook preview problem

UPDATE: November 7, 2011. Amazon/KDP has informed me they are working on correcting the preview problem related to my ebooks for children and other ebooks.

October 5, 2011. Changes to formatting corrected only “A Christmas Tree For Santa”. The forced preview limit of 10% by Amazon is a real pain in the butt.

I will make further changes to my ebooks for children on Amazon in the hope that readers will be able to preview a sample of an ebook. While I try to fix the problem with Amazon’s preview restrictions you may read a free online sample of any of my ebooks on Smashwords here.


Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing system limits the preview of an ebook to 10%, no more, no less. This creates a problem for writers of picture ebooks for children, such as I, in that the Amazon enforced preview limit doesn’t allow readers to actually preview any part of the story.

All of my $0.99 picture ebooks for children are 32 to 43 pages in length; Microsoft Word pages. My free ebooks for children are about 12 pages, or 1/3 to 1/4 smaller than my $0.99 ebooks.

Amazon and other retailers each have their own strict rules for formatting an ebook and the front matter, the front matter being the part of the book before the actual story starts.

During October I’m going to change the front matter of my ebooks for children on Amazon. According to Amazon “Front matter is the beginning pages of a book, which may include a Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication, Preface, and Prologue. For a stylish and professional presentation, you should add a Title Page at a minimum.”

I would expect authors would want to include both a Title Page and a Copyright Page at a minimum.

A Christmas Tree For Santa

The first book I changed is “A Christmas Tree For Santa”. Readers can now see the first picture and a few lines on the story here, but that’s all, thanks to Amazon’s limited preview.

I wish Amazon was more like Smashwords in regard to previewing a book. Smashwords allows authors to set the amount of preview, Amazon limits preview to 10%. Amazon’s limited preview hurts authors and readers and should be abolished.