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Old 07-26-2011, 09:35 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by karunaji View Post
I don't think that it was her who decided every detail in the layout of her pbooks. Most likely, it was all done by typesetting professionals who prepared several nicely looking dummies and asked her to choose which one she prefers.

Mobi might not support every feature of epub but it is not a reason to reject mobi format because the differences are not very significant.

E-readers require change of typesetting philosophy. There is no use to trying duplicate every feature of print typography. Font embedding could be a nice feature but it is optional because the power of an ereader is to choose the fonts of your liking. A publisher no longer can force such things on readers and they have to invent a different approach to provide the best reading experience. For example, I would like to see a possibility to provide automatic footnotes. It should not be too difficult to provide a footer or a running head whenever the text requires it.
The idea is to give the reader the same sort of experience you have when reading the nicely formatted pBooks. ePub comes closest and Mobi just fails miserably.

This isn't a case of don't bother to make your eBook look nice because somebody may use settings to override the fonts. Make the ePub as nice as possible and let the reader decide what's the best thing for the reader. In fact, if the ePub was laid out like the pBook and had all the fonts, I would not want to change the fonts. Probably the margins, but not the fonts.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:49 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Do they? I don't see any evidence of that. Can you give an example?
Harry's first letter from Hagrid. The address is in a different font to signify Hagrid's handwriting.

Profeesor McGonagall's signature is also a different font.


These are just two examples from HP #1.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:50 PM   #78
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Thanks - that explains it; I've only seen the UK versions.
So even if Rowling has UK version ePub, there's no reason she cannot use the US typography which is very nice.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:51 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I never noticed or cared about specific fonts in physical books, why would I care about them with ebooks? I only care about the authors words—and how they rattle around in my brain evoking all sorts of cool musings.

The only time I care about layout is with verse... where line breaks often times need to be preserved to assist with meter and the like.
I usually don't, but have to admit the hardcover of William Gibson's Virtual Light used a typeface that just didn't make reading it enjoyable.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:55 PM   #80
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I think this is a peculiar kind of brain damage or mental scarring that mostly afflicts those who have read one too many OCR'd and badly proof-read scans of pirate copies on their Palm III with a 160x160 pixel black and white display. To reach a mass audience, ebooks are going to have to be comparably readable to a dead tree edition: sensible use of screen fonts, layout directives, and some eyeball candy are all part of the package."
I think the full potential of ebooks has yet to be unlocked-higher resolution screens, more powerful processors, and more robust formats will hopefully take us not only up to what print has had to offer to date, but beyond it as well.

I can't wait to see what comes next.

(p.s. not talking about video or multimedia in books-those are a different direction)
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:51 PM   #81
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You know, it's been interesting reading the techies bang on about embedded fonts , format choices, typesetting philosophy, etc. , but let's be blunt: the decision as to whether Pottermore will offer ebooks in mobi format will be ultimately a business decision.
What will matter is that Amazon and it's customers represent 60 % of the ebook market. Those customers for the most part read their ebooks in mobi format on Kindles. There is no way on God's green earth that Pottermore is not going to craft a custom solution for those customers. That solution isn't going to be Calibre, or format conversion, or demand anything technical whatsoever of those customers. Rather, it is going to be a process as simple as those customers buying an ebook on their Kindles.
The easiest way to do that will be to simply to have the books available in mobi format at the Pottermore site. There will be a big old button saying " To buy books for your Kindle, click here" and that will be start of the buying process that ill end with them downloading the ebook in mobi format. Those customers will be unaware of the benefits of ePub. And will most likely not care in any case . All that will matter is that they will finally be reading their beloved books on their chosen reading device.

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Old 07-26-2011, 11:09 PM   #82
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The stories were written to be accessible. It makes sense to keep them accessible when you publish them for a different audience. Else you might as well say they should not have been translated into any other language. Make those bloody foreigners learn the Queen's English, a wot?
+1

These are books for kids. I've had a lot of experience with British English, but I wouldn't expect an 8 year old to have had the same experience.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:01 AM   #83
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Why wouldn't they? I see no logical reason why mobi couldn't have watermarking. There is no dearth of options for watermarking a mobi book. it can be as simple as a metatag, something hidden in an image, arrangement and styling of characters, number of characters (hey, did you see those blank characters after each chapter?), or even a mathmatical formula used based on encoding extra info in based on all of the above and more.

When you have something that is nothing but info, you can always hide more info in among it.
I actually was just thinking "how are they going to accomplish watermarking at all?" Your ideas are actually very good. There's only one problem, but let me start with ePUB.

There are obvious meta tags in ePUBs, but that is not a watermark. A watermark works best when it pervades the data, and cannot be destroyed by changing the data. Look up Cinavia to see what I'm talking about; it's actually amazing (and awful at the same time, but in a way that would not effect books). With Cinavia's audio watermark, you can change the audio, make it lossy, make it a different format, change the volume level, add noise, etc., and the watermark remains intact! I don't know if it's been successfully removed yet! Compare that to an ePUB meta tag: you just remove the meta tag, and you've removed the watermark, way too easy!

Your other suggestions are better, and I'm betting it would be something along those lines. But, again, it would have to be pervasive, and non-degradable: eg. adding extra spaces is destroyed by deleting the spaces! Something, for example, that would have to survive breaking the book in to individual chapters; or even possibly individual paragraphs: it would have to stay intact to the point that piracy became impractical.

Okay, all that said to get back to the debate: if you can do this with ePub, you can do it with mobi. Unless they're taking the easy way out with watermarking (meta tag), it can be implemented in any format.

I still want to see Amazon forced to ePUB, but watermarking isn't going to do it.

-Pie

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Old 07-27-2011, 12:45 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by EatingPie View Post
I actually was just thinking "how are they going to accomplish watermarking at all?" Your ideas are actually very good. There's only one problem, but let me start with ePUB.

There are obvious meta tags in ePUBs, but that is not a watermark. A watermark works best when it pervades the data, and cannot be destroyed by changing the data. Look up Cinavia to see what I'm talking about; it's actually amazing (and awful at the same time, but in a way that would not effect books). With Cinavia's audio watermark, you can change the audio, make it lossy, make it a different format, change the volume level, add noise, etc., and the watermark remains intact! I don't know if it's been successfully removed yet! Compare that to an ePUB meta tag: you just remove the meta tag, and you've removed the watermark, way to easy!

Your other suggestions are better, and I'm betting it would be something along those lines. But, again, it would have to be pervasive, and non-degradable: eg. adding extra spaces is destroyed by deleting the spaces! Something, for example, that would have to survive breaking the book in to individual chapters; or even possibly individual paragraphs: it would have to stay intact to the point that piracy became impractical.

Okay, all that said to get back to the debate: if you can do this with ePub, you can do it with mobi. Unless they're taking the easy way out with watermarking (meta tag), it can be implemented in any format.

I still want to see Amazon forced to ePUB, but watermarking isn't going to do it.

-Pie
Those ideas were really just stuff that could be done with plain text alone, and yeah some of them could easily be destroyed. Having the images have the watermarking would be much easier and harder to locate. The watermarking methods I've seen on images withstand formatshifts, lossy compression, etc.

Still, nothing can really be done that can't be removed. It isn't quite like with audio that youcould potentially damage things getting the watermark out.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:53 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
ePub comes closest and Mobi just fails miserably.
I haven't noticed any substantial differences so far. For example, neither Kobo, nor Kindle supports block centered text for poetry. I don't know if it is due to format or device limitations but at the end I used small left indent.

Latvian epubs usually are sold with an embedded font but only because there are many e-readers that do not support Latvian characters by default. The font is ugly and the book looks much better when converted to mobi and displayed on Kindle with its default font.

It would be nice to have a possibility to use additional fonts for highlighting in few cases but Comic Sans should be expressly forbidden in all e-readers
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:09 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Freeshadow View Post
What you call typesetting philosophy is an experts answer to the question:
What can be done to enlarge reading fluency, and therefor the reading comfort for the reader? Since this is what all this tweaks done to the pages you read over result in.

The damn very last thing we need is to revert this development.
I am not talking about reverting the development. When the medium changes we cannot continue the path we have taken with print media. Instead, we have to take a new approach to design text. The whole principle that a reader can change the font size and reading area by will or convenience has never been possible before and is revolutionary by itself. Now it needs support from experts, vendors, readers etc.

Notice how fonts and typography standards have changed with time in print even though it is the same media (paper)? Switching to e-ink screens is inevitably going to change typography forever. There are already many fonts that look better on screen but terrible when printed on paper.
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:47 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by charleski View Post
Yes we do.

That's just not true. Different books use different fonts because they're different texts and aim to evoke different moods. And it works. It might not be readily apparent to you, but that's because good body text typography should not call attention to itself. But it's still important, even if you don't understand it.
You can call it usability but it is also influenced by cultural tradition which makes it somewhat subjective. Even the quotation marks are different in different languages and there are enough differences even between the UK and US typography traditions (in addition to minor linguistic differences). Preferring one over other may show your bias.

By no means, I am saying that good typography is no longer relevant in e-books. But it also doesn't have to copy the same standards that are currently used in print. For example, I question that using a special font for Hagrid's handwritten notes will have the same effect on a reader as in the printed book. Honestly, we don't know it because we don't have enough experience with e-readers yet. In the process of experimenting and assessing the results we may even discover new ways to improve readability.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:08 AM   #88
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That's just not true. Different books use different fonts because they're different texts and aim to evoke different moods. And it works. It might not be readily apparent to you, but that's because good body text typography should not call attention to itself. But it's still important, even if you don't understand it.
[...]
You really just don't understand book design at all, do you? This has nothing to do with 'giving power to the author'.
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Originally Posted by Freeshadow View Post
What you call typesetting philosophy is an experts answer to the question:
What can be done to enlarge reading fluency, and therefor the reading comfort for the reader? Since this is what all this tweaks done to the pages you read over result in.

The damn very last thing we need is to revert this development.

I do - so +1 on that with charleski.
If you don't feel free to set up your next text by cutting letters from a newspaper and glueing them on a piece of packing paper.
Seems to be a topic that really brings out the elitists, doesn't it.
Clearly I'm stupid for wanting to read text in a font size and style that I find most comfortable. Clearly everyones eyes and brains are exactly the same, and there is a single font size and style that is exactly perfect for a given situation.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:11 AM   #89
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The idea is to give the reader the same sort of experience you have when reading the nicely formatted pBooks. ePub comes closest and Mobi just fails miserably.
That isn't my idea of an ideal ebook at all.
I don't want to replicate the paper experience, I want to have a good ebook experience.
I can't change the font size of a paper book if I have good or bad eyesight. I can't make a paper book suddenly appear in white on black so it is more comfortable to read at night. I can't click in a word in a paper book and get a definition or look it up in wikipedia.
Should my mp3 player make me press a button half way through an album before it continues playing, to give me the same sort of experience as having to change sides on an LP?
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:19 AM   #90
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+1

These are books for kids. I've had a lot of experience with British English, but I wouldn't expect an 8 year old to have had the same experience.
Changes due to translation to another language I didn't give a second thought to, it makes sense that some words will not translate well and need changing. I just hadn't realised the same happened with US/UK translations.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing, although with geographic restrictions on eBooks it does mean you're limited to the translation or nothing unlike paper books where you could import the original. I'm just a little surprised.

When I read books set in the US or with characters that grew up there, I expect to find americanisms in use. To have an american character using UK slang unless they've spent time in the UK or with people from the UK or it's also common slang in the US would feel out of place.

Is it mainly because of the books target audience been children, in which case I agree it makes more sense, or does this also happen with books aimed at adult readers?

Quote:
I can't change the font size of a paper book if I have good or bad eyesight. I can't make a paper book suddenly appear in white on black so it is more comfortable to read at night. I can't click in a word in a paper book and get a definition or look it up in wikipedia.
Replicating a paper book experience does not preclude you from changing fonts, margins and so on. It just means the defaults would be as close to the original as possible (or more importantly, as close to the original intentions of the typesetter).

IMO there's nothing wrong with giving readers the original vision of the book so long as they leave in the option for users to customise it to how they wish it displayed, font type/size/dictionary lookups...

The time I would object is if in providing that vision they limit user choice, such as doing something daft like using a book made of images so that each page exactly matches the book when displayed on reader X but in turn removing the ability to view that content on another device due to lack of reflow and making font/size changes impossible. But if they aim for the original look of the book whilst keeping flexibility in mind, I see no problem with that.

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