Update: As though from our lips to the ears of some digital publishing deity in Seattle, Amazon has (just today) chosen to release the Kindle Format 8 specification and software tools. Apparently “very soon” meant today!

We still wonder why they were so cagey about it, and why, when giving big publishers a 3-month head start they didn’t just say, “we’re giving big publishers a three month head start because that’s what they demanded in order to release their content in this new format” (to which we, and everyone else, we imagine, would have said, “huh, okay, I’ll mark my calendar,” and promptly stopped fretting). Regardless, the tools are out. And now we dive into them. More to follow.

Here, incidentally, is Amazon’s actual announcement.

Update 2: Amazon, you’re killin’ us. From page 24 of the new guidelines (emphasis ours):

3.13 Authoring Fixed Layout Graphic Novels/Manga/Comics

Graphic Novels/Manga/Comics, while similar to Children’s books, require additional instructions which will be released shortly. If you are interested in publishing this type of content for Kindle, you’ll find updated guidelines (when available) at www.amazon.com/kindleformat.

In Amazon-KF8-ese, “shortly” seems like it would take longer than “soon,” which was three months. We hope otherwise. Nevertheless, some spec is better than no spec, and allows us to start work on or illustrated books. More to follow.

Original post:

We periodically write to Amazon’s KDP team requesting whether there is any new information on Kindle Format 8. Yes, yes. Knocking on the same door, and all that. But there’s still the hope that our emails will flit across the desk of some sympathetic soul, or coincide with the exact moment that Amazon decides it’s ok to let the hoi-poloi into the party. (Springs eternal, right?)

Alas, the weird lockdown continues. Here’s the latest:

Thanks for your interest in the Kindle Format 8 Guidelines and Publisher tools.

At this time, we are unable communicate a release date; however, we’ll notify our Authors and Publishers very soon via e-mail. Please keep checking our forums periodically for an update:

Thanks for your patience.

So, it’s encouraging that “soon” has become “very soon,” and there’s at least lip service paid in the form of “thanks for your patience.” But no news. We do note, with some amusement, that the only discussion of KF8 in Amazon’s forums is someone griping about how it hasn’t been released to anyone but the major companies thus far. Very informative, thank you!

For those who’ve been following this issue here and elsewhere, with very little idea about how Kindle Format 8 works, it’s potentially weeks of time we’d need to invest converting our illustrated books to the new format. In the meantime, we continue to eagerly await news.

(Anything, Amazon? It’s three months since the announcement of the new format, two months since the Kindle Fire came out, and new titles from major publishers continue to appear while the rest of us wait.)

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