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Old 04-21-2010, 07:14 AM   #1
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Twain, Mark: The War Prayer, v1 21 Apr 2010

This is my second attempt at uploading my first hand made ePub book. If I ever get it up I'd really appreciate comments on its format and structure, and how it appears on other readers than my ECO Reader.

Regards, Alex

This is version 3 - just a few changes in format to make it more in line with the ebooks I'm working on now, and adding a title and copyright page.

Version 4 improves the pagination, 'scene changes', and opf file

Regards, Alex
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:34 AM   #2
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Thanks for uploading!

Just had short look at it with the EPUBReader extension for Firefox on my Desktop.

Main text seems a little dense. A bit more spacing between lines and between paragraphs could improve appearance. Otherwise it's fine, coverpage, links/toc ok and working.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:22 PM   #3
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Just downloaded to Calibre, Alex, and will take a look at it on a 505 a little later. Many thanks. I'd forgotten this wee piece. Best wishes. Neil
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachwanderer View Post
Thanks for uploading!

Just had short look at it with the EPUBReader extension for Firefox on my Desktop.

Main text seems a little dense. A bit more spacing between lines and between paragraphs could improve appearance. Otherwise it's fine, coverpage, links/toc ok and working.

Thanks again.
Thanks, beachwanderer. When I was prepraring the ebook my mind was fixed on how it looks on ebook readers. I never even thought of how it might look in other ways of reading ebooks. Though I'll keep your comments in mind I'll have to give the Firefox extension a lower priority for now. Thanks for your feedback for future reference.

By the way, I share your taste in authors.

Regards, Alex
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
Just downloaded to Calibre, Alex, and will take a look at it on a 505 a little later. Many thanks. I'd forgotten this wee piece. Best wishes. Neil
Thanks, Neil. Please see my reply to beachwanderer above. I'm really looking forward to find out how it looks on your 505. Does your 505 allow the user to toggle between serif and sans-serif fonts, and between justified and not justified text? If so, I please let me know whether you can do this with my ebook.

I hope you are recovering well from your operation.

Regards, Alex
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:13 AM   #6
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Twain, Mark: The War Prayer v2 27 Apr 2010

I've just uploaded the second version whcih deals with some of the comments and suggestions on the first version.

It has a different CSS and a page dealing with how to change the typography.

Again, I'd really appreciate comments and suggestions to help me make other books better.

Regards, Alex
This work is assumed to be in the Life+70 public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. Copyright laws differ throughout the world, and it may still be under copyright in some countries. Before downloading, please check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work..

To report a copyright violation you can contact us here.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:59 AM   #7
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Many thanks for this wee gem, Alex (and for your help earlier with my Mobi file).

This version comes over beautifully on a Sony PRS-505. Just a couple of wee things you might consider ... followed by a piece of trivia:

The War Prayer was written by Twain toward the end of his life -- perhaps in anger -- and he used uncharacteristically long paragraphs.

Your ePub is faithful to the original, but I tend to agree with Beechwanderer above that it makes for dauntingly dense blocks of text. The problem is magnified when the text is zoomed to the two higher levels allowed by the device.

Your layout is classic standard for print, but perhaps it might be worth thinking in this case of using what's common, acceptable and successful layout for screen reading: A line break between pars and no indent for the first word of new paragraphs. It might help.

My only other suggestion would be that you use 'The End' at the conclusion. This is a short tale with an ironic closing line which might leave some readers feeling there's missing text without 'The End' to make it doubly obvious that the read is complete.

So to the trivia: I'm a pipe-smoker and minor collector, so I was particularly taken by your cover portrait of Twain with a corn-cob tobacco pipe. Actually, Twain's favourite pipe was a full-bent Peterson's military-mount briar made in Dublin Ireland, which he smoked so often it was full of holes and burned away at the rim (I have a picture of it if anyone's interested -- a disreputable old smoking machine to say the least).

In the late 19th Century, the most expensive and intricate pipes were carved in Austria by out-of-work cathedral sculptors from blocks of meerschaum (a chalk-like mineral mined exclusively in a small region of Turkey). Some snooty chum pointed this out to Twain one day as he was puffing happily on a battered corn-cob that must have cost all of two cents. Twain told him: "I will have you know, Sir, that this is a Missouri Meerschaum."

The name caught on and the Missouri Meerschaum Company was born and became -- as it still is today -- the biggest manufacturer or corn-cob pipes in the world. I have several in my wee collection ... and they're great.

Other famous Missouri Meerschaum smokers (apart from me an' Mark T) were General Douglas MacArthur and Popeye the Sailorman, though for reasons of political correctness, Popeye's corn-cob has actually been edited out of some old cartoons and isn't in evidence in newer animations.

Now, how's that for an information overload?

Thanks again, Alex. Here's Karma to ya. Best wishes. Neil

Last edited by neilmarr; 04-28-2010 at 11:10 AM. Reason: To add vital trivia.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:42 PM   #8
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Yes, thank you for this, Alex. Love Twain, even in his angry periods.

I agree both about the wonderful cover picture and the thought that to break up the paragraphs a bit would improve the look of the book on my Sony 505. It does seem a bit dauntingly dense as is.

But I'm so impressed, and I think it's a great first job.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:43 PM   #9
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Neil, you're just a fount of fascinating information. =)
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:07 PM   #10
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Okay, I transferred it via Calibre to my jetbook and it looks good. Because of my eyesight just now I have an extra line inserted and it makes reading it easy. =)

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Old 04-29-2010, 04:08 AM   #11
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Thanks to all who responded.

So far as the length of paragraphs is concerned I'm afraid I'd feel quite uneasy about 're-paragraphing' another person's text. To me the division into paragraphs is an integral part of the process of someone's thought; I'd feel as though I was changing what they wanted to say.

So far as the indented paragraphs versus line space is concerned my immediate reaction was 'But I like it that way!' I suppose the current fad for non-indented paragraphs separated by a blank line came about for a reason, but I really don't like that style. I wonder if I could set up a poll to see just how many people prefer one or the other. Or I could do it the modern way for ebooks to be distributed and my preferred way in the privacy of my own reader. And in version 2 I did tell people how to change it to their preferred way.

The cover is great, isn't it. It was given to me as a favour by another MobileRead member, but I don't know whether he would like me to give his name.

Thanks again. You've given me a lot to think about.

Regards, Alex
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:21 AM   #12
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Hi, Alex: Like you, I'm the old fashioned type and prefer standard print layout usually. Where long pars are involved, though, sometimes a little breathing space helps.

Many writers tend to use long-winded pars -- especially when they're on a roll -- and it ain't always necessary. When I come across this in my own editing work, I simply suggest how paragraphs can be effectively re-arranged to make life easier for the reader. It's very seldom that an author doesn't take the hint and see the benefit of the result.

Of course, I wouldn't suggest you actually re-structure a classic. That would defeat the object of faithfully reproducing a work as intended by its author.

To sum up, though, Alex: A lovely and successful download.

Cheers. Neil
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:52 AM   #13
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Thanks, Neil. You've just reminded me that one of the books I'll make into an ePub one day, The Early Christian Attitude to War, by C. John Cadoux is reputed to have had a nine page paragraph in it. Keith Akers, who has done a magnificent job of putting the book on-line, has edited it into shorter paragraphs and provided his own TOC.

So perhaps I should be less queasy.

Regards, Alex
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:15 PM   #14
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A nine-page paragraph must be something of a record, Alex. Mind you, if you re-read that first huge par of Twain's in The War Prayer, you'll notice that most of it is taken up with a single sentence! My pipe-smoking Brother of the Briar was on one heck of a roll with this one. Beautiful stuff, though. You can imagine a split-screen shot in a movie of two sides in a bloody war, on their knees, hands clasped, eyed turned heavenward, and praying to the same god for the same thing (one, therefore, denying the other) and the director being considered some kind o' nut ... Best. Neil
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:54 PM   #15
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Just got around to downloading this. I've been going by the alphabet a-z. What no drop caps or imbedded fonts? Seriously though nice job. I'm with you on being uneasy about changing the authors original style. In The Possessed Dostoyevsky had some very long paragraphs that I left as was. I figure anyone reading Dostoyevsky is expecting heavy and serious reading.
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