Amazon DTP Publishing Tip: PDF Conversion to HTML

This article, by Michael R. Hicks, originally appeared on his site,


If you have a PDF that you want to convert to HTML to upload to Amazon’s Digital Text Platform (DTP), Adobe has a free service to do just that!

Head over to the Adobe Online PDF Conversion Tools page. You have the option of e-mailing the PDF as an attachment, or uploading to the system from a web URL. Before you get started, you should probably read the FAQ page so you’ll have a better idea what to expect.

Adobe gives you two conversion options by email: one to make your PDF file into a plain text file, the other to convert it to HTML:


For our purposes here, converting the PDF for upload to Amazon DTP, you’ll want to use the HTML option.


For the URL conversion,  just type in the URL of the PDF, click the button for the format you want (HTML or text), and click Convert.


I tested both routes – email and URL – using the sample of In Her Name, with the following results:


  • The email conversions worked fine, but you need to make sure you send the emails in plaintext format (not rich text or HTML). Any files I sent that weren’t plaintext format got kicked back.
  • The URL conversion didn’t work for me and gave me an unspecified error, so you may or may not have better luck with that.

As for how the resulting HTML file looked, it was generally quite good. However, the big downside for anyone who has files with images is that no images were returned from the conversion process, only the text.

Also, don’t think that this (or any other PDF conversion) will result in clean copy: you’ll almost inevitably have to go in and tweak the HTML a bit to get it formatted the way you want. But that’s generally not too big a deal, and the conversion definitely gets you moving in the right direction!

Credit for this tip goes to [Amazon] DTP user booksdontchange.


Please visit for many more posts on the subjects of self-publishing and Kindle formatting and conversion.