Originally Posted by cybmole
I like simple chapter headers but for me the other stuff detracts - maybe because some of it is taken from hardback paper layout & does not scale well into e-reader space.
And as the thread has shown there is no robust cross platform solution for epub & mobi. I'm also pretty sure that an epub-to-epub conversion in calibre - when done for other clean-up reasons, sometimes garbles the ornamental stuff.
I don't mind being the minority view here.
Excuse me--but our coding does work for ePUB and MOBI both. We have an ePUB + K8 stylesheet and a K7 stylesheet, and our ePUBs convert without problem.
I, for one, have no objection to a book looking like someone gave a crap about it. I find "ebooks" that look like Word files a complete turnoff. I don't think that they have to look like medieval foofery, but I see nothing wrong with a nicely styled dropcap; or some smallcaps as incipits, or even, tastefully, some first-line bolding. I don't want books to look like "web articles" or, worse, blog articles, god knows, we're inundated with enough bad blog articles as it is. When I see an ePUB or a MOBI made by someone like Jellby, I know that some TLC went into that book--somebody gave a rat's ass about it, and it's less likely that the content is the utter CRAP that is flooding the market.
And I wouldn't know what an "epub to epub" conversion in Calibre would do to coding, nor what it has to do with proper coding of styles for an eBook.
I don't claim that stylistic effects will make a bad book good--they don't, we all know that--but a beautiful book is a joy to behold, whether it's in print or digital format. Jellby's work should be an inspiration to all the wanna-be's that come along here, simply because the care and precision are worth emulating, and the books are lovely to the eye. The idea that some "digital revolution" has to embrace an unattractive stark austerity, when we now have the freedom to embrace artistry at ever-more affordable rates, is utterly confounding to me. The point of much of the print layout techniques is to facilitate the reading experience for clarity--A dropcap for a new chapter, or smallcap incipits for scenebreaks, coupled with vertical whitespace and a flush-left paragraph--to clearly indicate to the reader that the scene or POV or timeframe has changed. It's not mere foofery. I most definitely would really rather see that than three bloody ASTERISKS in a row.
I personally do NOT like all the nonsense that gets crammed into very short books with little content (primarily a print crime) in an attempt to make the books look bigger--extra-large fonts, too-large vertical whitespace, fleurons, silly text boxes for no reason other than to take up space, and every other geegaw under the sun--but those are vastly different than something as simple and attractive as a simple dropcap or first-line incipits.