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Old 12-18-2008, 04:48 PM   #1
gaudentius
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Baroque Cycle Footnotes . . . UPDATE!

Ladies, Gentlemen,

I have a concern. Years ago I had purchased several if not all the Neal Stephenson books and read most of them. When I got to Cryptonomicon, there were footnotes along the bottom of some of the pages to help clear up or add to the story.

I when finished with Cryptonomicon, I started Quicksilver and noticed the same thing. It was one of those books that was difficult to read if you weren't ready for the language. Those that have read it will understand.

Fast forward several years later and with a fairly new but thoroughly used PRS-505 in hand. I go to Sony Connect and look up the Baroque Cycle. The bundle isn't available, but $30 for three books seems a good deal to me.

I recently started reading Quicksilver again. Imagine my surprise when I could not find a way to get to the footnotes that infest Quicksilver!

I thought that, maybe, the footnotes would be hyper-linked in some way so you could go back and forth from footnote to story. NOPE!

Am I missing something here? Some of those footnotes are what make the books really worth the read! Am I really up Shat Creek? I'm fairly certain that there are other books out there that have footnotes. What has been done with those?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
GD

Excellent News!
So I did what Patricia suggested and emailed Neal Stephenson, his agency, and Sony.

I hadn't checked my email since Monday morning. I open up my email this morning and see that I have an email with the subject heading of "Baroque Cycle series on Sony Reader -- follow up". Contents of the email have been edited to protect the innocent:

[email.]
Dear GD,

Congratulate yourself! Due to your email, the problem with the footnotes on the Baroque Cycle Trilogy are about to be fixed.

“The revised files for QUICKSILVER have been posted to all of our e-book retailers. It may take up to two weeks for some of them to process the corrections, but the issue should be resolved. Thanks for your patience with this.”

Neal’s diligent and incredible editor also deserves credit for her amazing follow through on this issue, but on behalf of Neal Stephenson fans everywhere, thank you.

All best,

Agency Rep
[/email.]

Needless to say, I was completely dumbfounded! I responded with a thank you email as best I could. What a great way to start out a morning.


Last edited by gaudentius; 02-11-2009 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Update
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaudentius View Post
Ladies, Gentlemen,

I have a concern. Years ago I had purchased several if not all the Neal Stephenson books and read most of them. When I got to Cryptonomicon, there were footnotes along the bottom of some of the pages to help clear up or add to the story.

I when finished with Cryptonomicon, I started Quicksilver and noticed the same thing. It was one of those books that was difficult to read if you weren't ready for the language. Those that have read it will understand.

Fast forward several years later and with a fairly new but thoroughly used PRS-505 in hand. I go to Sony Connect and look up the Baroque Cycle. The bundle isn't available, but $30 for three books seems a good deal to me.

I recently started reading Quicksilver again. Imagine my surprise when I could not find a way to get to the footnotes that infest Quicksilver!

I thought that, maybe, the footnotes would be hyper-linked in some way so you could go back and forth from footnote to story. NOPE!

Am I missing something here? Some of those footnotes are what make the books really worth the read! Am I really up Shat Creek? I'm fairly certain that there are other books out there that have footnotes. What has been done with those?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
GD
Usually footnotes are hyperlinked to the end of the book (they're basically like endnotes). Keep in mind though that creating an e-books with footnotes takes much more time and is a lot more expensive: the publisher probably took the decision to remove them based on this.
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:32 PM   #3
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I would be tempted to email Sony with a mild complaint that the lack of hyperlinking is spoiling the reading experience. You may get a refund or, just possibly, a better version.
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:13 PM   #4
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I would be tempted to email Sony with a mild complaint that the lack of hyperlinking is spoiling the reading experience. You may get a refund or, just possibly, a better version.
I will try that tonight, Patricia. I hope it'll be a new version instead of a discount or refund. I don't want a pat on the head.

In the meantime, I think I'm going to have to lug around the hard-copies. I really can't say I'm disappointed with the Reader, though. I've cheerfully read over a dozen books with it so far. I'll just read the hard-copies for now. I'm pretty sure I'll re-read them in the future. With luck it'll be with the Reader.

GD
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:19 PM   #5
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I would be tempted to email Sony with a mild complaint that the lack of hyperlinking is spoiling the reading experience. You may get a refund or, just possibly, a better version.
Lol!

I'd create the book myself, and get the foot (end-)notes right!
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:11 PM   #6
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ProDigit, I did find copies available online. But I didn't read them for the same reason. I figured that the "official" versions of the books would work as they were supposed to. That's why I paid the $30.

What could be used on those "other" versions to edit in the proper hyper-links? I ask because I have other books that are copyright free and I wouldn't mind adding footnotes to those as study-guides.

GD
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:21 PM   #7
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Am I missing something here? Some of those footnotes are what make the books really worth the read! Am I really up Shat Creek? I'm fairly certain that there are other books out there that have footnotes. What has been done with those?
I've bought (but alas have not yet read) the LIT versions of The Baroque Cycle. The LIT version of Quicksilver appears to have a total of 62 hyperlink-style footnotes. Does that sound about right?

But it's totally a mixed bag. Before I learned that the LIT DRM had been broken I bought a few books in LRX format. The LRX version of The Singularity is Near had hyperlinked footnotes, but when I re-bought it in LIT format, I discovered that that version did not -- the footnotes were there, just not hyperlinked. Funniest though was the LRX version of State of Denial -- it had mis-linked footnotes exactly as produced by ConvertLIT. Hmmmm...

-Marshall

Last edited by llasram; 12-18-2008 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:38 PM   #8
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I've bought a few Sony books with footnotes, they have asterisks and they lead you to the footnote. I'm guessing the publisher didn't feel like it though. Don't email Sony, email the publisher (it's their decision, I believe).

What kind of footnotes were they? I'm intrigued.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:44 PM   #9
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The most popular programs to convert to LRF are Calibre and Book Designer. Both will handle footnotes.

There's a Calibre section on the forum. Calibre is an extremely versatile program.

And here's a link to the Book Designer entry in the wiki:
http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Book_Designer
(Also download HarryT's Book designer tutorial for advice on how to make links. There's a link on the wiki page.)
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:12 AM   #10
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What kind of footnotes were they? I'm intrigued.
There would be other alternate history references to some character or event that it referred to. Most were humorous. There was one footnote that took up about a quarter of a page for three or four pages. I think it was about a shepherd or someone along those lines.

And the asterisks are there, but no one's home.

GD
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by gaudentius View Post
There would be other alternate history references to some character or event that it referred to. Most were humorous. There was one footnote that took up about a quarter of a page for three or four pages. I think it was about a shepherd or someone along those lines.

And the asterisks are there, but no one's home.

GD
That is so odd that there are asterisks but no jumps. Lazy publishers..

I think I might give this book a shot. Sounds interesting.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:00 PM   #12
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Edited main post with an update.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:23 PM   #13
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Edited main post with an update.
Nice! See what a friendly email can do?
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:54 PM   #14
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That is good news. I'm glad that they are going to reissue the book with properly hyperlinked notes. It is good to know that Neal Stephenson and his agency are so responsive to the problem.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:06 AM   #15
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But... What about the rest of the books that have footnotes? I didn't even think about that... That's kind of a big drawback, no?
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