View Full Version : Embedding fonts for epub & mobi output.


Nigel Flanagan
02-21-2011, 12:13 PM
Hi,

I've just joined as I'm a writer with little technical experience in th ebook conversion field. I have a novel which I want to convert to epub & mobi, but it uses 5 different fonts (all standard in Word) which need to remain intact (i.e. so the reader cannot change them).

Can caibre do this? If so, how?

If it can't, is there any other way to keep the fonts styles?

Ideally, I'd like to keep the function so that the reader can change the font size, but not if that means they can change the font style.

Thanks for your help.

Nigel.

kovidgoyal
02-21-2011, 12:21 PM
MOBI does not support font embedding at all. EPUB does, but many epub readers dont support it.

I would suggest you rely only on font styles, not embedding. So specify your font families as monospace/sanserif/serif and fonts styles as bold/italic. These will be visible in ebook formats as well.

pollito pito
02-21-2011, 03:46 PM
As adviced, MOBI is out of question.
For epubs, I find easiest to load the doc in the OpenOffice writer and export
it to epub using the wrter2epub extension; it allows for font embedding,
besides producing a very well behaved ebook.

Nigel Flanagan
02-22-2011, 06:44 AM
kovidgoyal,

Thank you for your reply. Are Amazon likely to adapt their file format to allow font embedding?

Nigel.

Nigel Flanagan
02-22-2011, 06:47 AM
pollito pito,

Thank you for your advice. I haven't instyalled OpenOffice, but having looked at its features & you comment regarding its epub export facility, I will download & see if it can help. If it produces well behaved books, then it may be the answwer to my problem.

The next step is to get Amazon to adopt epub & I'll have access to the whole eBook market!

All the best.

Nigel.

wallcraft
02-22-2011, 12:51 PM
The next step is to get Amazon to adopt epub & I'll have access to the whole eBook market! Overall, Amazon practically is the entire ebook market in the US (perhaps 70-80% of the total). Some authors get more sakes at other sites, but you really have to sell to Kindle owners.

Nigel Flanagan
02-23-2011, 04:34 AM
Wallcraft,

The Kindle market is one that I don't want to miss out on, but because of the way my book is written, the only way it really works is with the different fonts. I've tried a couple of other methods, and while they're OK, they're not as effective as the font method of differentiating between characters in the book.

While having a platform which only supports 2/3 fonts is OK for most fiction books, I can't see how that would work for comics, text books, children’s books etc. which use different fonts/pictures/artwork. Amazon will surely want to have a dominant presence in those arenas as well.

I think that as colour becomes more common in eReaders, more possibilities will be explored and the limitations of Kindle's file format will become even more obvious. As soon as Amazon realise that it's holding them back, they'll look into it.

My hope is that rather than reinventing the wheel, they'll just adopt epub as that seems to be evolving in a more rapid & flexible way than any other format.

Thanks again for your advice.

NIgel.

Manichean
02-23-2011, 05:04 AM
While having a platform which only supports 2/3 fonts is OK for most fiction books, I can't see how that would work for comics, text books, children’s books etc. which use different fonts/pictures/artwork.
Just as a side comment: The comics I've seen are all single image files per page, so there's absolutely no need for font embedding there. The textbooks I have are all just a single font, and I honestly don't see how having multiple fonts in textbooks would help anything.

Nigel Flanagan
02-23-2011, 06:05 AM
Manichean,

Thank you for your comment.

The only point I was making is that if a writer/publisher is able to use multiple fonts (embedded or therwise), then it offers more creative possibilities. I've read hard copy books which use a different font style/colour/size for things like headings, footnotes, quotes or for highlighting a particular point, but with Kindle's format I can't see that is possible.

With comics, I take your point that they are images, but simply taking a paper format (such as a comic) and then making it electronic seems to miss some of the possibilities which ePublishing could offer (things like animating the individual frames, having dialogue appear in the order it is spoken etc). Whilst some of these ideas may not work with the current hardware technology (such as Kindle devices), if the file format doesn't allow this kind of expirimentation, when the hardware catches up we'll never be able to find out if it works.

All the best.

Nigel.

Manichean
02-23-2011, 06:37 AM
Hm. I guess I'm more conservative than I previously thought... I don't think that what you propose for comics is a good idea. If I want to see moving pictures, I go to the movies. If I want to read a story presented in pictures, I go read a comic (I like the term graphic novel better, by the way ;) ). I don't think a hybrid would be very comfortable to read. Similarly, I dislike the idea of embedding video clips into books (with the possible exception of text books to illustrate something). Reading a book, for me, is about using my imagination to create the world described by the author. If I get presented with ready-made imagery of something, it reduces the imagination to that single image.

As for using multiple fonts in a book, I dislike that for the simple reason that it disrupts reading flow. One may get away with it for things like chapter headings, but if font changes occur in the main body of the text, I feel it's like a speed bump breaking the reading flow.

Those, at least, are my thoughts on the subject. I couldn't hold my feet still any longer ;)

Nigel Flanagan
02-23-2011, 08:30 AM
I agree with a lot of what you say, particularly about comic's/graphic novels (I still use the term comic as my uncle, now in his 70's & a collector, them & still uses the term).

I think that ePublishing opens up a host of possibilities, some of which (as you say) may not me good or even work, but until someone tries it we'll never really know.

The point I was highlighting is that some file formats (particularly Kindle's) operate as a barrier to some of those experiments. Your point about convergence of media (film/books/animation) is one that I agree with, so I wouldn't necessarily want a book to have animation or films in, but I'm open to be convinced by someone that it could work.

However, that's not going to happen on Kindle unless they change their file format.

Hope your feet are now still!

Nigel.

Coop42
02-23-2011, 03:33 PM
As for using multiple fonts in a book, I dislike that for the simple reason that it disrupts reading flow. One may get away with it for things like chapter headings, but if font changes occur in the main body of the text, I feel it's like a speed bump breaking the reading flow.



Multiple fonts can work is used sparingly, esp if they are used for specific purposes. Replacing small inline graphics with an embedded font is a good example; doesn't happen in "novels" but is useful for technical documents.