First the good news. Amazon released its Export for Kindle plugin for InDesign CS6 as of the middle of July. This allows users to export InDesign documents to ePub for display on electronic devices using the Amazon Reader app. 

The bad news is that the plugin does not support some of the new features for InDesign CS6 such as breaking pages at specified paragraph styles or images. That is, if you rely on Split Document (EPUB only) option for a paragraph style or the Insert Page Break Custom Layout under Object Export Options for an image.

On the other hand, it does recognize enough settings to make your export successful (hopefully) without having to fuss with the HTML and CSS. 

Breaking Pages

The plugin does recognize Keep Options: Start Paragraph On Next Page for a paragraph style. You will be using paragraph and character styles exclusively for styling your text anyway, so the judicious use of this Keep Option can be a life-saver for making sure your headline for a new section will start on a new page.

You can also use Keep Options to make sure an image starts at the top of a page. Here’s the secret, create a paragraph style (call it “centered” or whatever you wish). Set Start Paragraph for the paragraph style’s Keep Option to On Next Page. Add other styling options as needed. I set the font size to 6 pt on a 6 pt leading, with alignment Center. This allows me to anchor the object Above Line and use the Space Before and Space After options as needed. For instance, if I am to follow the image with a caption, no space is added after. The 6 pt leading provides the required space between the image and the caption. To import an image, create a blank paragraph in your document and style it with your “centered” style. Anchor the image to the paragraph.

Exporting for Other Devices

If you want your document to work for other devices such as the Kindle, you need to be aware of one caveat when it comes to images: If your image is not the width of the device’s display, the export can set the image to enlarge to fit the width of the page. If you don’t want this behavior, you have two options depending on the setting you use in the Images panel for Kindle Export Options:

1. Export using Optimized for the Copy Images Setting. Create the image the width of the page to begin with (512 px), and add white space to the sides of the image as needed to fill the width.

2. Export using Original for the Copy Images Setting. Create images the exact size wanted for the page. 

Embedding Fonts

Most users are aware (or should be) that embedding fonts makes your document considerably larger and may not render well on all Kindle readers. Knowing this, when I get a warning to this effect it is somewhat of an annoyance. In fact, I am tempted to ignore any warnings thinking that the problem is about embedded fonts. Consequently, I may fail to check for problems that I should be paying attention to.