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Old 08-01-2013, 06:33 AM   #1
FullCircleDesign
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The eBook Look ...

Do you think the basic layout (the look) for an eBook is important?
For example, like adding margins and decent paragraph styles, etc?
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:46 AM   #2
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Depends on the reader. Me, I strip all that so I can format my books in a way I find comfortable and easy.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:49 AM   #3
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Yes of course. But in the right way. Styles should be based on function with as less css as possible. Page margins, normal paragraph style, line height and of course fonts should be mine to define. I know, how I want to read. Designers should respect this. This is one of the major advantages of e-Books. I for example read on a 5" reader. And there is a bezel around my reader. No need to throw half my reading space away with big margins, like some designers do. You do not look at a book from arms length away and say: Oh, from here it looks nice. You read it. It should be designed that way.

So here a few examples, what I think is good behaviour for an e-Book (for novels):
The normal paragraph style should be simple. An extra style for first paragraphs after headings and scene breaks is a very good idea.
Use margins only to indicate a special function, like poems or chapter prefaces.
Use scaling not px or inch or something like that. Use percent or em. If you absolutly need to implement a font, do it never on the main body. Headings and special things are okay. And set fallbacks, like monospace or sans-serif.

Thats pretty much it. Simple is better. Make a clean and nice text and let the reader decide the rest.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:27 AM   #4
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While I agree that for the main text, simple is better, and no margins are good, what I notice most in books are the "chapter art".
I love it when the end of a chapter has a little tasteful picture (think an artsy wavy line for example). Or something very small for scene changes, like the *** thing, but perhaps made to look nicer.
Or if the chapter title has some tasteful picture or a fancy font. I don't think I've ever seen this, and if it is possible with ebooks, but I adore drop caps!
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucsie View Post
While I agree that for the main text, simple is better, and no margins are good, what I notice most in books are the "chapter art".
Completely agree. Chapter Art gives the book an air of distinction and doesn't hurt the reading.

Quote:
I love it when the end of a chapter has a little tasteful picture (think an artsy wavy line for example).
That's called "fleurons" and in the "Symbola" font I found lots of them to use in my books. (Fortunately "Symbola" is free).

Quote:
Or something very small for scene changes, like the *** thing, but perhaps made to look nicer.
That's called "dividers". Also in "Symbola" you can find lots of them.

Quote:
...but I adore drop caps!
Me too In general, I agree with you; to me, chapters art, drop caps, dividers and fleurons are a "must be" in ebooks.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucsie View Post
I don't think I've ever seen this, and if it is possible with ebooks, but I adore drop caps!
Of course it's possible, and I'll allowy myself to post a shameless plug to The Prince and the Pauper, in ePub format. They are however not possible in the old mobipocket format, so you may not see them in your Kindle.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:12 PM   #7
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Pretty book chapters , but not Gaudy
And use some chapter head margins, but not be overly wasteful of the screen height.

And who need side margins for basic content?
On a paper book the edge of the paper was the edge. You did not want text right on the edge of the paper (worse if the registration slipped and text got cropped).
On a screen, there is a Bezel to provide a visual frame and the margins need only be a few px to allow for display overscan/mechanical misalignment.

IMHO there is no reason an e-book can't be as nice as the paper cousin. Nice, not necessarily an exact copy
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