View Full Version : Need help with font issue please

01-24-2011, 06:59 PM
I have been fighting this for a while. I am working on a book series where the ePubs must have embedded fonts in them. I created book one and it works fine. Then I created book two of the same series (needing the same fonts embedded) and I can't get the fonts to show up correctly. I have copied the code from both the .css file and the content.opf file from book 1 (which works) to book 2 (which doesn't work) but I still can't get the fonts to work right in book 2 even though it is the exact same code as in book one and works fine in book one. The fonts from book 2 look fine in a web browser or Calibre, but not in Adobe D.E., the iPad, or when I upload it to the NOOK website.

Any help on this would be appreciated.



Purple Lady
01-26-2011, 06:09 PM
Can I ask why you want specific fonts embedded? I am asking because I am going thru all my books and removing and references to specific fonts. I am using calibre to change the fonts to ones that are easier for me to read, but if there is a font specified in the book it needs to be removed first. There are a lot of threads where people are looking for how to use their own preferred fonts, so I am not the only one.

01-26-2011, 07:05 PM
Actually, I have finally figured out all of my issues on my own.

To answer your question...

The reason we need to use special fonts is that we are taking a fantasy series we publish traditionally, and moving it into the eBook realm. The author uses different fonts to show the reader when a character is speaking in a different language. The author never spells this out in the narrative, however. And why should he? With the different fonts, the reader understands why some of the characters present understand what was just said and why other characters don’t. Basically, it would be like taking a room full of English speaking characters, and mixing in 3 French speaking characters. When the 3 French Characters say something in French, the English speaking characters would not understand what was said. However, the author wants the “reader” to understand the French that was spoken and he does not want to keep saying, “He/She said in French.” So, using a different font lets the reader know that what was just said was in a different language (French) and that some of the characters do not understand, but you, the reader, understand even if you, the reader, don’t speak French.

Since many eReader program/device ignores our built in code (that follows the ePub standard) then the “special” text shows up as the same as all the text. This will confuse the reader when they can’t understand why a French character said something in what looks like English (because it is in the same font), but none of the English speaking characters reacted to.

Again, after a mere 2 months of digging, I have solved this issue on our side and we can now put out a product that we are happy with. If you, the reader, want to change the font, that is fine. We just want to do our thing and do it the way we feel is right. What you do with it after you get your own copy on your own eReader device is up to you.

Purple Lady
01-26-2011, 07:53 PM
Wow, 2 months sure is a lot of digging. I see why you need the fonts to look different now - could it have been done with italics? Unless you have more than two languages that is.

01-26-2011, 08:12 PM
In this series, and this is probably not the norm with most eBooks, we have normal text, which we use Palatino (a very easy font to read) and default to Times New Roman or the default of the device for those devices that don't use Palatino. This fills the majority of the text in these books. The author uses italic of that same font for stressed words as well as character inner monologue "thinking". Then, there are two additional languages. The two additional languages are used only sparingly, but the author wrote this in a style that needs to be in a different font (which it is in the print books and works great. Without the author continually telling the reader in the narrative what language is being spoken, the font speaks for him.) So, there are three languages - Normal and two additional languages.

My big beef is that the ePub specs allow for embedded fonts. It is the creators of the eReading programs/devices who decide not to follow them. Again, if you purchase one of our titles and feel the need to go in and strip out our special fonts, that is cool. You may not get the full effect of what the author is trying to convey, but it's your book after all. But, the majority of people are not going to go through that trouble. They are simply going to trust that the we the publisher has tried to pick fonts that are easy on the eye and convey the book in a style they feel will be appealing to most readers.

As I said, 99% of all eBooks will contain just one font with normal, italic, and bold. So, changing the font does not change the meaning of the book. This series is just a bit different.