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Old 11-09-2012, 12:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cybmole View Post
surely a blockquote would look better if centred i.e. with left and right margins both the same, or am I out of step with the universe here ?
For what it's worth I center them with left/right margins, and that's not gonna change

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Originally Posted by cybmole View Post
I see , in lots of retail epubs, a blockquote setting of left 2em, right 0em.
Related, about units: I currently do blockquotes with ems, but thinking about it percents might make more sense for catering to phone readers. Visually a very small distance (I guess about 1.5 physical mm) is enough to make the block stand out, on the other hand something like 2em is significant on a mobile phone held in portrait. Maybe about 5% left and right margins would be better?
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:07 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by theducks View Post
Sorry Hitch

I keep hearing a repeating theme: small, 3" Screen

Grab your Pica stick and a mass market paperback.

Measure a line of text in a normal chapter (margin to Margin): 3.375" inches
If you don't Add extra Margins (the device Bezel/mask, is the 'built in' margins).
That is not much difference in width from Billions of dead tree books sold here in the USA
Ducky:

You know I (heart) you, but for crying out loud, yes, that's true--with approximately 52-56 chars per line. Grab any ePUB, slap it on ADE (or whatever blows your skirt up) and tell me where, exactly, you get 52 characters per line. I'll tell you: nowhere. I generally see ~34 chars per line on a Nook at a medium font size. If I take a typical, simple mobi, and change it to a font-size of "1," I'll get that, on a Fire, and roughly that on an e-ink device--and that's font-size 1. Once you move up to the default of 3, you lose ~10 chars per line. When we were young, it was far more common to have an even greater number of characters per line, but as we all know, the lower common denominator starts to rule the day, and now we have larger print, more whitespace, etc.

My point being, that to me, teeny indents for bq's look odd on lines that are "fatter" in terms of font-size. Yes, we use % or ems, but with screenspace, in my opinion, at a premium, I just think using the visual equivalent of 2chars or 3 chars for an indent for a bq looks odd.

Moreover--and this is what, to my mind, drives the discussion, more than aesthetics, and perhaps I have to be more sensitive to this than many other folks who have the luxury of making books for themselves--readers complain if they think you've wasted space. They either leave bad reviews, or complain to B&N or Amazon. And (me) trying to blame the publisher never works. We are seeing a larger number of people reading on smartphones--to the extent that, if a larger Publisher puts up kids's books, without region magnification (aka "pop-up text"), Amazon will not promote the book because readers can't read it on their smaller tablets and smartphones. So...it's something I'm very aware of, vis-a-vis space.

Regardless, no matter what you do, you're stuck with the "lopsided" indents if you have an older Kindle. It's possible that I've just become so accustomed to looking at one-sided bq's that I don't give it adequate thought, any longer. I'll think about it, since my peeps are giving me crap.

@Man Eating Duck: doesn't using L/R margining with a center give you some odd-looking results? Or did I misunderstand what you meant?

@cybmole: I, too, don't love ragged-right margins, but we get two arguments about it...due to lack of hyphenation in many e-readers, you can get some super-funky looking "rivers of white" when justification is forced; and then many of our authors really want their books to look like print, and desire the full-justification. I think that's a publisher's decision, but we end up changing it about half the time...from what a publisher thinks s/he wants to what they then decide they want after viewing it. {shrug}. As everyone here knows, I mostly like books to look like books, so my personal leaning is toward fully-justified, but I have seen some mighty fugly justification on a Kindle in my day. ;-)

H.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:51 PM   #18
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@Hitch your numbers are 'on' at my zoom level (3), 41 chars

If I don't Zoom 61 chars and that is with my standard Right margin of 16pt (So the text does not land on 3 digits of those block numbers Adobe puts there )

Nook may have a larger default font the my 5" PEz
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:55 PM   #19
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I can see Hitch's point about spacing issues for some (although it doesn't bother me in the least and I'm on a 5" reader with a larger font because of my craptastic eyes). I still don't like the look of indenting on just one side though.

What I've done in a few books that I think is a very acceptable alternative, such as for a note that should be split apart from the rest of the text, is just add a space before and after the note, and change the text to italics. Then it can stay full justified width as the rest of the book and it still stands out as it should, and you're not losing margin space at all no matter how long or short the note is. I'd much prefer this to seeing lop-sided indents.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripplinger View Post
I can see Hitch's point about spacing issues for some (although it doesn't bother me in the least and I'm on a 5" reader with a larger font because of my craptastic eyes). I still don't like the look of indenting on just one side though.

What I've done in a few books that I think is a very acceptable alternative, such as for a note that should be split apart from the rest of the text, is just add a space before and after the note, and change the text to italics. Then it can stay full justified width as the rest of the book and it still stands out as it should, and you're not losing margin space at all no matter how long or short the note is. I'd much prefer this to seeing lop-sided indents.
It doesn't bother my eyes to see it on a 3" screen, but we have had comments from readers about lines with 8 words on them, so...I juggle a lot. ;-) I mean, we're getting books back, "Kindle Quality Notices" sent to the authors, about sometimes as few as 4 typos (copyediting/proofing errors, to be clear--not our work). I really don't want to get any back for blockquotes. I think my head would explode. The "four typos" notices are aggravating enough.

I don't think it's particularly fair on the authors, either, as I've seen tons of books on Amazon that are rife with typing, spelling and grammar errors...so it seems to be those authors that are popular that get these notices, because their helpful "fans" sent lists of typos to Amazon. The irony of a NYTimes Bestseller, or Macavity winner, or Edgar-winner, getting this type of notice when you can see some of the dreck that's up there...that's mind-blowing.

This goes back to a discussion we had here some time back; the "immediacy" of ebooks. Even a few years ago, readers would send their "errors" list to a publisher, who would stick it in a file, and maybe some 2-3 years later, if another print run of a book was done, maybe they'd fix the typos--maybe not. Now, the expectation seems to be that everyone just "hop to" and fix the ebook. Personally, unless it's a spoiler, I think that's errant nonsense.

Sorry, I digress. Surprise!

I don't see anything wrong with using a very small em or % space on both sides of a bq, although, as I said, we've had some comments from readers, usually people with smartphones, that it wastes space. {shrug}. Ya can't please all da peoples all da time, I guess.

H
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:50 AM   #21
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Even in printed books, adding margins on both sides for letters and other blockquote-ish material is not a set rule. I've seen many books where these "blockquotes" are given with some top/bottom margin, or with a smaller (or larger) font, or with no different formatting at all.

I suppose that, in a normal novel, where blockquotes are usually few and relatively short, side margins are OK and look nice. In another kind of books with many such fragments, which can be much longer, I'd choose something different, maybe even adding a border (ugh!)
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
I don't see anything wrong with using a very small em or % space on both sides of a bq, although, as I said, we've had some comments from readers, usually people with smartphones, that it wastes space. {shrug}. Ya can't please all da peoples all da time, I guess.
Unless you use Adobe's conditional stylesheets (and the smartphones obey them)
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