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Old 10-28-2011, 02:46 PM   #1
seajewel
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Which ebook store do you find has the best quality (well-formatted) ebooks?

I find it interesting that even when comparing ebookstores that carry epub, the formatting varies quite a bit. I guess it depends on whether a bookseller buys the right to images (the cover, etc.) but also small things like in a Kobo sample of Reaper's Gale by Erikson (also, strangely enough, the first book of Erikson's series is only available as scanned pages (yuck) on the Google bookstore, whereas it's available as proper reflowable epub elsewhere), the first letter of chapters that is produced by image (you know when a paragraph begins with a fancy first letter and then normal text) is used for one chapter, the second chapter there is a space for the image but the image doesn't exist, so the word starts without the first letter, and Google ebooks just omits the fancy letter altogether and reproduces the whole first word in regular text. For the first book in the series, B&N ebook has the most "faithful-to-the-paper-book" formatting, it includes the fancy fonts of the paper book, which I appreciate. I'm just wary of buying B&N because my sony can't read those books (unless I de-drm?).

Also some of the books do a better job of reproducing scene breaks.

What is your preferred ebookstore for your epubs? I wanted to rely on Google because you can access the books anywhere you have internet, and because I don't fear as much that the Google bookstore is going to go away and I'll lose access to my books (not an idle fear). but in some ways Kobo was formatted better. In some ways Google better. Of course every individual book will vary and the best I can do is likely comparing samples and choosing accordingly, but I was wondering what your "default" ebookstore is.

Last edited by seajewel; 10-28-2011 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
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3 years ago i bought everything on fictionwise on my ipadtouch and loved it, but now ive bought kobo books, sony books,B&N books and ibooks... where i get the most reliably consistant books and large library is amazin kindle, i then strip the drm with caliber and use them on other devices because i dont care for the kindle app on android while i like it on ios <shrugs>

Last edited by covfam; 10-28-2011 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
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Baen Books and many of them are free.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:48 PM   #4
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Baen Books and many of them are free.
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And ALL are DRM free.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:18 PM   #5
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The publisher formats the books, not the bookstore.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:31 PM   #6
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The publisher formats the books, not the bookstore.
I understand that may be the case, but even though I look only at epub books, they vary quite a bit from bookstore to bookstore. I don't understand why, if one epub file is given to bookstores, the books look so different (some have embedded fonts for titles and reproduce the paper books well, others don't, some have better delineation between scenes, others don't, etc.). Maybe it's because I'm looking at each sample in their respective apps, but I have tried turning on publisher formatting and such, and it shouldn't affect the scene breaks and chapter breaks.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:19 PM   #7
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... the first letter of chapters that is produced by image (you know when a paragraph begins with a fancy first letter and then normal text)
Called a drop cap, fyi.

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The publisher formats the books, not the bookstore.
This bears repeating. Are you buying the same epub book at different stores and getting these results?

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Maybe it's because I'm looking at each sample in their respective apps
Maybe. I should think samples are actual excerpts/snippets of the file for purchase, with formatting intact. But without buying the book, how would we know they are?
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:34 PM   #8
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This bears repeating. Are you buying the same epub book at different stores and getting these results?
I'm looking at samples of epubs of the same book from different ebookstores. Compare, for example, the sample of Gardens of the Moon from B&N with google or Kobo. Google and Kobo versions don't look the same, but the B&N one looks radically different because of the embedded fancy font.

But even setting aside that issue, look at Reaper's Gale samples. B&N will have the pretty chapter image with a page break, and a whole new page for the start of the chapter. Google has a few lines between the image and the start of the chapter. Kobo has no lines at all, so an image with text immediately following it.

Remove Kobo styling, or turn on publisher default formatting on Google, etc. and you still have differences of how scene breaks are displayed, and whether drop-caps are used, etc.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:44 PM   #9
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Are you using the same app to look at the various samples? Software can interpret the files differently.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:22 PM   #10
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I think the publisher is the variable and not the retailer. I won't buy a book published by Pegasus without downloading a sample first.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:59 PM   #11
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No, I think the retailer can have different formatting too, I don't know why. I got "Outlander" from several retailers when it was free (before I had a reader, so I didn't know which one I was going to need). The different versions look different. Perhaps each one is optimized for its "own" device, such that epubs from Kobo look best on a Kobo, etc?

And oddly enough, I find Overdrive library books often have the best formatting, maybe because I like the Charis font that is often embedded. I've never seen an embedded font in a purchased epub.

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