Can you include video in ebooks? Yes, you can.
There are many ways you can add video in ebooks. If you want to include a lot of videos, you will be creating an interactive ebook.
But this type of ebook, or flipbook, is not suitable for publishing on Amazon.
If you want to add videos to an ebook when self-publishing on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you can do it. But there are limitations.
Interactive ebook or Kindle ebook?
Many online platforms specialize in publishing interactive or enhanced ebooks.
Some are free or free to try, but most are by subscription.
You can create interactive ebooks to include more than videos with these services.
You can add images, audio, quizzes, calculators, or games.
While you can create stunning ebooks or flipbooks, it’s not easy to sell these types of ebooks.
For years there has been a lot of talk about interactive ebooks being the future of ebooks.
But as yet, this hasn’t happened.
For most authors, the best place to sell ebooks is on Amazon.
But adding videos in ebooks with KDP is quite restricted.
You can do it, but you need to understand what works and what doesn’t.
Kindle Editions and KDP
Occasionally you might find ebooks of the Kindle Store that are Kindle Editions.
Here’s an example of an ebook by Stephen King that includes audio and video.
However, it’s not easy to search for these ebooks. But you can try this link to take you to the list.
While it looks promising if you want to add a video to your ebooks, there are restrictions.
The KDP support page about video content says this:
Supported devices. Kindle Edition with Audio/Video content is available on Fire tablets (2nd generation and later), iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Audio and video content is not supported on Kindle E-reader devices (customers can read the book, but any audio or video is replaced with a message that it is not supported on this device).
A later entry is where the bad news is for KDP self-publishers.
Kindle Direct Publishing. KDP doesn’t currently accept Kindle Edition with Audio/Video content. This format does not currently support Enhanced Typesetting.
From this, you can see that publishing Kindle ebooks with audiovisual content is only available to large publishers and Amazon imprints.
But there is a way you can include a video if you use KDP.
Adding a video in ebooks with KDP
The first step is to produce and publish your video on YouTube. Once you do that, you are ready to add it to your ebook.
You probably know that you can add URL links in ebooks.
If you know how to add text and image links, you are ready to add a video link to your ebook.
You might think that the easiest way is to embed the video using the YouTube embed code. But don’t do this.
Firstly it doesn’t always work, and if it does, the video file size will reduce your royalty earnings.
The only two methods that work are text links and image links.
To get your link, go to your YouTube video and click Share.
Copy your link, and you are ready to add your video to your ebook manuscript file.
You can add the link as it is, but it’s usually better to add it to some text. Perhaps something like, “Here is a video you can watch.”
But a more attractive and meaningful way is to add an image of your video and place your link in the image.
You can take a screenshot of your video on YouTube to create your image.
Then add your image in Word, or use the Kindle Create app to add your image links.
You have three options to add a video.
Use a raw link: https://youtu.be/kisezjxx4L8
Add a text link: Here is my video about links in text and images.
Use an image link:
If you are not sure how to add links, the video above should be helpful for you.
Restrictions to keep in mind for video in ebooks
The primary problem is that not all ebook readers will be able to access your video.
It will only work for readers using the Kindle app on a desktop or Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
Your links will not work for readers using a Kindle ereader device because it doesn’t have an Internet browser.
Another point to add is if you want to include videos that you didn’t produce.
If you want to use a video that is not yours, you should ask the publisher for permission.
While many videos on YouTube might seem free to use, it is not always the case.
Very few fiction authors will want to add videos in an ebook.
But it might be useful for self-help or nonfiction authors from time to time.
If the case arises for you, it is possible. However, be aware of the restrictions.
If you want to use a lot of videos, it would be better to consider publishing an enhanced or interactive ebook and forget about using KDP.