View Full Version : Figured out why a lot of ePub isn't well formatted


JSWolf
07-12-2012, 02:19 PM
I've figured out the main reason that a lot of ePub is poorly formatted. This is because the publishers give the job of converting books to eBooks to people who do not know what they are doing.

Just read some of the posts in this forum and you'll see people get the job of converting and they don't know what they are doing.

I would expect that these people would learn about making eBooks before talking the job and doing it wrong. But no, they jump in and get botching things up from the get go. It's like trying to run in a dessert with flippers on. Yes, it can be done, but not well enough.

Please don't take on the job of making eBooks if you don't know how to do it. This isn't something that should be learned on the job. This is something you should know. You should know what makes a good looking eBook and then do it. Tell your boss you can't do it so maybe someone who can will do it. But if you have to do it and you don't know how to do it, first, figure out proper formatting so you can strive to make the eBook look that way. Then you can proceed to learn on the job as long as you know what the output should look like. Don't just do it and make it look half-assed like a lot do because of incompetent employees doing the job.

Toxaris
07-12-2012, 04:49 PM
amen to that!

mrmikel
07-12-2012, 05:34 PM
Maybe you're getting what publishers are willing to pay for!

It takes a lot of work and some knowledge to get it right and it is not easily automated.

DiapDealer
07-12-2012, 06:28 PM
I agree completely with your sentiment, but I'm not sure what you hope to gain by starting a thread about it. People aren't going to suddenly start telling their bosses; "No sir. I don't know the first thing about birthin' no ebooks, sir. You'll just have to pass me over and give someone else this outstanding opportunity to make themselves more valuable to you."

twowheels
07-12-2012, 06:40 PM
Most people doing most jobs don't know how to those jobs.

JSWolf
07-13-2012, 05:25 PM
Maybe you're getting what publishers are willing to pay for!

It takes a lot of work and some knowledge to get it right and it is not easily automated.

A lot of books don't need any sort of complex formatting. So it's really not that much work. Yes, it does take some knowledge. And true that you cannot automate things.

JSWolf
07-13-2012, 05:26 PM
I agree completely with your sentiment, but I'm not sure what you hope to gain by starting a thread about it. People aren't going to suddenly start telling their bosses; "No sir. I don't know the first thing about birthin' no ebooks, sir. You'll just have to pass me over and give someone else this outstanding opportunity to make themselves more valuable to you."

I know it's not going to change how people botch eBooks. But I just wanted to get it off my chest (so to speak).

mrmikel
07-13-2012, 06:06 PM
How much work it is depends on whether you are working through a publisher's OCRed back list or stuff downloaded from Google or Archive or you have an original computer file.

If I had an original computer file, I think I would have to check my pulse, because I would surely have died and gone to Heaven!

StoryEnthusiast
07-13-2012, 09:18 PM
JSWolf, you have at least one reader taking your advice seriously. Even though I don't have a boss and I'm just doing it as a hobby, I'm spending time to learn how to do it properly. I have many stories I want to produce ebook version. I also follow Steve Jobs advice of simple design. Make it easy for readers to enjoy your work.

JSWolf
07-13-2012, 10:58 PM
JSWolf, you have at least one reader taking your advice seriously. Even though I don't have a boss and I'm just doing it as a hobby, I'm spending time to learn how to do it properly. I have many stories I want to produce ebook version. I also follow Steve Jobs advice of simple design. Make it easy for readers to enjoy your work.

Thank you! That will make your work much nicer when it is done.

Overall, the best formatting (IMHO) is no spacing between paragraphs (except for section breaks) and proper indents (I like 1.2em). Don't go wild with the space at the top of each chapter. I use 1em space, chapter title, 1em space, paragraph with no indent.

If you disagree with that, what do you think is good formatting?