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Old 11-22-2012, 12:51 PM   #1
Archibald Yates
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Question Tweak Book function somehow damages e-book

Hello forum!

I have got a problem with the Tweak Book function.

Why I want to use it at all:

I own a Kindle Touch and want to buy some Kindle e-books of a publisher who a) very often uses fonts in his paper books that are at least for me too small for comfortable reading and b) does not seem to like e-books because not only he sells them for the same or even a higher price than the printed books but also he does format them terribly. Most of all the paragraphs are justified and have huge whitespaces between the words.

In short: Paper books: ouch, e-books: yuck.

So I played around a little with Calibre and discovered the Tweak Book function which "explodes" the AZW3 file into its components: HTML text, CSS style &c.

Since I know a bit about CSS and HTML I took a sample of a a Kindle book I want to buy and exploded it in Calibre. Then I added "text-align: left" to all paragraph styles of the text body, saved the changed CSS file and rebuild the sample.

When I opened it with the Kindle and with the Kindle app for Mac the paragraphs where de-justified like I had intended and for a moment I was happy. Then I noticed that the exploding/rebuilding routine had added a weird o> to the end of the file. But worse: When I clicked on "further informations about the book" or "buy book" at the end of the sample the Amazon web store did not recognize it anymore as a sample.

So my guess is if I process a full purchased e-book the way I did with the excerpt Amazon will not recognize that either. Which means that it doesn't get synched in the cloud. That would be as if I hadn't bought the book at Amazon at all.

Is that alteration a bug, did I do something wrong or is there a completely different way to tweak the appearance of books just a tiny bit while leaving everything else including the DRM intact? Or is this just a sample only behaviour?

I know that there is a Kindle tweak that allows to switch of justification. But neither does it work with the Kindle Touch nor do I want to jailbreak my Kindle.

Any help is much appreciated.

Last edited by Archibald Yates; 11-22-2012 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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I don't think that it is possible to Tweak a book which has DRM, certainly not for ePubs and I'm guessing that AZW3's are the same. Therefore I would not be surprised that Amazon did not recognise the book.

As for the "o>" : I have no idea. I often use Tweak with ePubs and I have found no problems. If you check out the source code it is hard to see where a problem could be as the process is straight-forward.

1) Explode book to a local folder.
2) Open the local folder.
3) Do your tweaks.
4) Rebuild the book.

The only step that is not clearly defined is step 3 because this is where the user intervenes and does the actual tweaking. So maybe something you did during tweaking somehow caused the issue. If this was a common problem with Tweaking AZW3's then I'm sure it would have been reported by now.

Maybe someone else can confirm that AZW3's have no tweaking problems.

Last edited by Agama; 11-23-2012 at 03:36 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:44 PM   #3
Archibald Yates
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Thank you for your reply.

Although I absolutely knew what I did when I changed the style sheet (it's really not that difficult) I suspected myself at least a bit as the one who might have caused the damage.

So in a new attempt to rule myself out I skipped 3) and just exploded and immediately rebuild the book—same result.

When I before that actually tweaked the samples Calibre let me do it without prompting any warning because of the DRM—which the samples have too as far as I know.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:53 AM   #4
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I guess that exploding a book would work even if there is DRM but, at least with ePubs, DRM works by encrypting the book contents, so if you view any of the exploded files they are all 'gibberish'.

I would have thought that AZW3s with DRM would work the same way — otherwise what's the point of the DRM if the book can be copied simply by exploding it? Maybe Amazon supply samples without DRM.

Can you post a sample AZW3, (without breaking any copyright), that shows this behaviour? I can then have a play with it.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:44 AM   #5
Archibald Yates
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I am not sure if it is legal to even distribute a sample text that might have no DRM.

But you have pointed me into the right direction anyway: I tested the whole exploding function again but this time on a full and definitely DRM protected book.

And guess what, Calibre prompted me that exploding is not possible on a DRM protected e-book. Which makes sense of course.

Since my intention was to alter the e-book layout without breaking any copy protection this thread can be considered closed. Sigh.

And thanks for your help once again!
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