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Old 07-27-2011, 09:26 AM   #91
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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.
Amen to that. It's a shame that this thread has been hijacked by those wishing to reduce the discussion to intellectual posturing about whose chosen format is better than whose. Reminds me of the silly arguments kids used to have in school about why Nintendo was better than Sega or vice-versa.

I read on my device because I do NOT wish to replicate the book experience. Some people like the feel, the smell, and suchlike of a book. I don't. But that's fine, that's why we have consumer choice. I like being able to read one-handed, to be able to adjust the font size, to be able to prop my device up in its case on the table (or my chest) using its leg feature; I like not having to inhale a musty mildewy smell, to have to put up with poor printing on cheap paper, to have to hold down the page to stop it blowing in the wind... etc., etc..

Others may be different, and that's why a happy medium would be allowing the user to choose between typesetting that more closely resembles the original if that is what they prefer, much like what JoeD (and I'm sure others) above have suggested.

Why are we not discussing the possibility to the abandonment of geographical restrictions in eBooks (if Pottermore really is an independent venture)? Wouldn't it be great if at the checkout one could choose to download the book in whatever language/dialect they want?

Why are we not discussing the possibility of the abandonment of the so-called 'Agency Model'? Some authors might be tied to their publishers when it comes to electronic distribution, but Rowling might provide a wake-up call for others (especially established authors) to not sign away their digital rights when it comes to contract renewal, and instead seek to negotiate directly with sellers like Amazon (and perhaps then promote their books on their own websites)?

Surely discussing aspects of the Pottermore development like those above is more interesting (and more open to the less tech-savvy) than debating the limits of a file format!
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:30 AM   #92
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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....
Absolutely, the ideal would be what is offered in some apps of a choice of 'Publishers Defaults' or using your own settings.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:32 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Arrghus View Post
Why are we not discussing the possibility to the abandonment of geographical restrictions in eBooks (if Pottermore really is an independent venture)? Wouldn't it be great if at the checkout one could choose to download the book in whatever language/dialect they want?

Why are we not discussing the possibility of the abandonment of the so-called 'Agency Model'? Some authors might be tied to their publishers when it comes to electronic distribution, but Rowling might provide a wake-up call for others (especially established authors) to not sign away their digital rights when it comes to contract renewal, and instead seek to negotiate directly with sellers like Amazon (and perhaps then promote their books on their own websites)?

Surely discussing aspects of the Pottermore development like those above is more interesting (and more open to the less tech-savvy) than debating the limits of a file format!
Excellent points, and in fact... those points are the exact (and only) reasons I have any interest in Pottermore whatsoever.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:33 AM   #94
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Excellent points, and in fact... those points are the exact (and only) reasons I have any interest in Pottermore whatsoever.
My interest is simply that I think HP is an excellent series, and I very much want to be able to buy legitimate versions of the eBooks.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:53 AM   #95
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I gave Karma to Arrghus, because he expressed exactly what I felt. Surely there has been enough wanking about the minutiae of font and format choices. I understand that geeks gotta geek, but there have been pages and pages of this.
As to agency pricing, Pottermore is not a direct threat to agency pricing, because what Pottermore is doing IS agency pricing. Agency pricing is about the author/publisher setting the price, and Pottermore is the publisher in this case. Pottermore can do some interesting things with pricing.
1. They can offer various kinds of bundles.
2. They can offer pricier "enhanced " editions
3.They can offer tie-ins to DVDs or video games.
4. Less likely,they can vary price as to geographical area.

Its hard to say what they will do.

I read in an article that other "megauthors" that James Patterson, Nora Roberts, or Steven King may be tempted to do the same kind of thing if Pottermore succeeds. In the future, there may be Pattersonmore, the Robertsworld, or the Kingverse....
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:56 AM   #96
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As to agency pricing, Pottermore is not a direct threat to agency pricing, because what Pottermore is doing IS agency pricing.
Very true .
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:25 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by stonetools
As to agency pricing, Pottermore is not a direct threat to agency pricing, because what Pottermore is doing IS agency pricing. Agency pricing is about the author/publisher setting the price, and Pottermore is the publisher in this case.
While it's a subtle distinction, I would argue that Agency Pricing is the ability of the publisher to dictate what price someone else has to sell their product for. I also would exclude the author from your definition.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:29 AM   #98
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While it's a subtle distinction, I would argue that Agency Pricing is the ability of the publisher to dictate what price someone else has to sell their product for. I also would exclude the author from your definition.
Agency pricing prohibits a reseller from discounting the book. So if, for example, the books are sold in the Amazon bookstore, it would be agency pricing if the price was set by the publisher, and not by Amazon. If, however, the publisher were to sell directly to the end-user in Kindle format, then you're right - it wouldn't be agency pricing because there's no "agent" involved in the process.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:32 AM   #99
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Amen to that. It's a shame that this thread has been hijacked by those wishing to reduce the discussion to intellectual posturing about whose chosen format is better than whose. Reminds me of the silly arguments kids used to have in school about why Nintendo was better than Sega or vice-versa.

I read on my device because I do NOT wish to replicate the book experience. Some people like the feel, the smell, and suchlike of a book. I don't. But that's fine, that's why we have consumer choice. I like being able to read one-handed, to be able to adjust the font size, to be able to prop my device up in its case on the table (or my chest) using its leg feature; I like not having to inhale a musty mildewy smell, to have to put up with poor printing on cheap paper, to have to hold down the page to stop it blowing in the wind... etc., etc..
If we took a poll, how many would say they are here specifically because of e-Ink? I suspect that number would be quite large; as I look at all the profiles of posters on this page, everyone save stonetools has an e-Ink device listed.

The very point of e-Ink is the paper-like experience that provides. That would be akin to "replicating the book experience" at the macro level, as it were. Interestingly, most discussions I read against e-Readers were people claiming they did not want to give up the book experience, not realizing two things: (a) how close to paper e-Ink is at replicating a book experience, and (b) how much better a good e-Reader is too, taking us beyond the pbook experience.

Okay, so there is something to be said for replicating the book experience. We can't just punt on that completely. At this point in the thread, maybe we've gotten in to the minutia, mired in it even, but that does not negate its importance.

In terms of the topic at hand, it's not just about picking a favorite format; it's about picking a universal format. It would behoove us if the powers that be chose the best, but choose they should, so we could be free from the device/store lock-in.

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Old 07-27-2011, 12:01 PM   #100
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The very point of e-Ink is the paper-like experience that provides.
Not for me. The point of eInk was that it gave me a device which would last long enough to complete a transatlantic flight, which my previous device (a Palm T3) could not do. Now that tablets can do that as well, I have no need for the eInk device.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:11 PM   #101
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While it's a subtle distinction, I would argue that Agency Pricing is the ability of the publisher to dictate what price someone else has to sell their product for. I also would exclude the author from your definition.
I agree that there is a distinction, but the EFFECT is the same. I don't think that Pottermore ( or similar future efforts by other authors) will have any direct effect on the agency pricing model. There may be INDIRECT effects through Pottermore's successful use of innovative pricing schemes. But we don't know as yet what those schemes might be, or that they will be successful. We'll have to see.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:28 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by stonetools
I agree that there is a distinction, but the EFFECT is the same. I don't think that Pottermore ( or similar future efforts by other authors) will have any direct effect on the agency pricing model. There may be INDIRECT effects through Pottermore's successful use of innovative pricing schemes. But we don't know as yet what those schemes might be, or that they will be successful. We'll have to see.
Agreed.

I don't know if any of it will meet with success. I'm just happy that a huge name is trying something different instead of just signing away digital rights to the traditional houses.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:41 PM   #103
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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.
It depends on the font and the intended look. Some fonts only look good on a screen, because it is meant to have some depth to it, that will often get lost when printed. Can it be used on paper and still look ok, yeah but probably requires higher end printing methods than is desired.

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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.
Are you sure on that, I'm pretty sure that you can do centered block quotes. I don't have a kobo or kindle, but the kobo uses ADE as its renderer, and I just had a centered blockquote in ADE.

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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.
It isn't really all that new. Most of the stuff for design in ebooks is that which was first applied to webpages. Reflow, fluid and elastic design, etc aren't new concepts, only is new to the book publishing industry. Font design is also largely the same, regardless of print or digital. If you have the same text on a screen and on paper, why should the style of the text have any difference between the two, especially when most likely the screen is one designed to mimic paper. Yes, from a design and technical aspect, eink is meant to mimic paper.
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:55 PM   #104
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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.
One of the entire goals of good book design is to maintain the integrity of differing linguistic practices. Reducing everything to a simplistic system of default styles (which will be based on those needed for English) is exactly the sort of thing that will corrupt this.

None of the major reading systems is suitable for setting Arabic, for instance, because they don't support right-to-left languages.

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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.
Well, I can enlarge the font, but I've yet to find the button that changes the physical size of my reader's screen...

The use of a reflowable format introduces challenges that can easily be overcome. The standards need a bit more development, but it's not as big a deal as you seem to think.

Quote:
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.
Did typography 'change forever' when print switched from letterpress to lithography? No. All it meant was that fonts needed to be redesigned to account for the lack of ink spread and make sure they produced the desired shape on the page.

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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.
This can be done in ePub. You just need to know how to use the code properly.


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Seems to be a topic that really brings out the elitists, doesn't it.
Yes, it certainly brings out those who think digital systems represent an elite that doesn't need to bother with established standards. What was your point?

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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.
I've already said that ereaders need to accommodate those with reading disabilities.
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:02 PM   #105
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Why are we not discussing the possibility of the abandonment of the so-called 'Agency Model'? Some authors might be tied to their publishers when it comes to electronic distribution, but Rowling might provide a wake-up call for others (especially established authors) to not sign away their digital rights when it comes to contract renewal, and instead seek to negotiate directly with sellers like Amazon (and perhaps then promote their books on their own websites)?
You seem to have missed the part where Rowling assured her publishers that they'd be getting a cut of Pottermore sales. It's not that revolutionary. A lot of people have been blazing the trail of self-publishing for some time already. And surely it doesn't need to be said that Rowling has a lot more clout than the standard midlist author.
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