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Old 08-14-2008, 12:27 AM   #1
AlexBell
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Twain, Mark: The War Prayer v1 14 August 2008

This is my first ebook. I would be very grateful indeed for any feedback on the style and layout and so on.

Regards, Alex

15 Aug 08 - uploaded v2 with formatting improvements. v1 had 17 views.
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File Type: prc The War Prayer v2.prc (79.2 KB, 354 views)
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:23 PM   #2
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A few minor issues with it:

1. Titles are not centred.
2. No blank lines after titles.
3. Uses hyphens rather than dashes.

All relatively minor issues, but they add greatly to the "readability" of a book.
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
A few minor issues with it:

1. Titles are not centred.
2. No blank lines after titles.
3. Uses hyphens rather than dashes.

All relatively minor issues, but they add greatly to the "readability" of a book.
Thanks, Harry. I'll fix the first two as soon as possible, but I'll have to do some research on the hyphen/em-dash problem. I'm not even sure at the moment what an em-dash is, nor how to produce one.

Regards, Alex
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:43 AM   #4
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If your source is HTML, an em-dash can be inserted using the HTML entity value "—". It's a "long" dash. An em-dash is used like this—to separate a portion of a sentence—rather than to join words, as a hyphen is. In ASCII text it's generally represented as either two hyphens ("--") or as a hyphen with a space on either side of it ( - ), but it's a lot better to use the "real" dash character if you can.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:59 AM   #5
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There are at least three different dashes in traditional typesetting:

A hyphen is a short horizontal line used in (of course) hyphenated words
An en-dash is a slightly longer line usually used between numbers to indicate a range
An em-dash is an even longer line, used to indicate a pause in the flow of words, or perhaps an in interruption in speech.

hyphen: God the all-terrible
en-dash: 1914–18
em-dash: ...when there had been enormous casualties on both sides—but before the United States entered the war in 1917.

en-dash is unicode 8211, html entity –
em-dash is unicode 8212, html entity —

In case you're wondering about the names, the en-dash is traditionally the width of a letter n, and the em-dash is traditionally the width of a letter M.

For much more on dashes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dash

Paul

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Thanks, Harry. I'll fix the first two as soon as possible, but I'll have to do some research on the hyphen/em-dash problem. I'm not even sure at the moment what an em-dash is, nor how to produce one.
x
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
hyphen: God the all-terrible
en-dash: 1914–18
em-dash: ...when there had been enormous casualties on both sides—but before the United States entered the war in 1917.
Apparently, some publishers prefer the use of an en-dash with spaces around " – " instead of an em-dash "—", but it's only a matter of style. I don't say I like that better, but for reflowable text in relatively small screens, I think the en-dash with spaces might lead to better looking text. In the books I've done I use this.

Well... actually I use en-dash with spaces when in the middle of the text, and and em-dash when at the end of a sentece (I've seen books unsing a longer dash, like two em-dashes, in these cases), as in:

"They live as we all should live – undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet."
"I beg your pardon. I thought—"
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:33 AM   #7
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Valid choices. I hope we won't spark a religious war of the dashes :-)

Paul

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Apparently, some publishers prefer the use of an en-dash with spaces around " – " instead of an em-dash "—", but it's only a matter of style. I don't say I like that better, but for reflowable text in relatively small screens, I think the en-dash with spaces might lead to better looking text. In the books I've done I use this.

Well... actually I use en-dash with spaces when in the middle of the text, and and em-dash when at the end of a sentece (I've seen books unsing a longer dash, like two em-dashes, in these cases), as in:

"They live as we all should live – undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet."
"I beg your pardon. I thought—"
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:33 AM   #8
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Thanks to you all. I found basically the same stuff about emdash and hyphens, and where I had used hyphens when a 'change of thought' occurs have changed them to em dashes using —. But I agree with Jelby about having a space on both sides -- I think it works better on a narrow page.

Anyway, I'm about to upload the second version of The War Prayer having corrected the typo, centered the headings, and put a little more space below the headings.

But I haven't added a full line because I don't like too much blank space on my Cybook screen. I'm reading a book now which often has gaps of 20% of the screen in the text, and I think it looks ugly.

I'd appreciate feedback on the second version.

On a more general topic I'd really like to see a sticky with information about recommended styling, or even perhaps a seperate forum for newbie publishers. Any takers?

Regards, Alex
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