What Works on What eReader?

by Matthew Cavnar on

One of the biggest questions we get from authors -- after "where did you come up with that name?" -- is: "What is my eBook going to look like on the different devices?" 

It's a hugely crucial point -- the Nook, iPad, Kindle and Kobo devices are all popular with readers. Each device has different screen sizes, multi-media capabilities, and ways of rendering content. Strangely, it's hard to find one place on the Web that compiles this information handily. Because Vook allows you to build really customized eBooks, with unique CSS styling, multi-media elements, images and Internet linking, it's important for authors to understand the output capabilities of the different eReaders. 

So we put together a little guide on the different devices. Check it out below. As for our name? It's like "Book" with a "V". Some would say it's a "V" for video (because we allow multi-media) -- but, much like Winston Churchill,  I like to say it's a V for VICTORY. 


Multimedia enhancements are only supported on some devices. Devices that support multimedia enhancements:

  • iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch with iBooks
  • Nook Color and Nook Tablet
  • Kindle Apps for iOS
Notably, desktop computers enabled with the Kindle reading app and the Kindle Fire do not have access to multimedia enhancements. In fact, until the Vook Reader, there was not a browser based eReader that could play videos in eBooks.

Some retailers also have file size limitations to consider. The maximum file size depends on the relationship you have with the retailer. Maximum eBook file sizes:

  • Apple iBookstore — 2 GB
  • Barnes & Noble PubIt! — 20 MB
  • Barnes & Noble via Vook distribution relationship — 600 MB
  • Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing — 50 MB
  • Amazon via Vook distribution relationship — 650 MB
So, even though the Nook Color supports multimedia enhancements, you won’t be able to upload an enhanced eBook to Barnes & Noble unless you have a Vendor of Record account with them, as we do. 

CSS Styling

Not every eReader supports all of the styling you can control in the Vook Style editor, or create on your own. The Build page in Vook corresponds most closely to iBooks.

Kindle-specific formatting notes:

  • The Kindle indents paragraphs by default. To override this, slide “First line indent” to the right and then back to 0.000 em.
  • The eInk Kindles cannot float images.
  • KF8 supports all margins and borders, while mobi7 supports margin-left, but not margin-right (special thanks to Nicholas Barreto, @nickbaretto)
Renders on: iPad/ePub Nook/ePub eInk Kindle/Mobi Kindle Fire/KF8
Typeface Yes Yes No Yes
Type size Yes Yes Yes Yes
Line height Yes Yes No No
Color Yes Yes No Yes
Background color Yes Yes No No
Highlight Yes Yes No No
Alignment Yes Yes Yes Yes
First line indent Yes Yes Yes Yes
Space between paragraphs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bold/Italic Yes Yes Yes Yes
Above Yes Yes Yes Yes
Below Yes Yes Yes Yes
Left Yes Yes No Yes
Right Yes Yes No Yes
Lines/Borders Yes Yes No No
Effects Yes Yes No No
Text wrapping Yes Yes No No
Drop shadow Yes Yes No No
Rounded corners Yes Yes No Yes

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