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Old 08-26-2008, 09:38 PM   #1
Snowman
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Finally de-lurking

Greetings!

I've been reading - and collecting - e-literature on the web for some years now. Mainly html, but more recently mobi, when corporate issued some unlucky peons with email cellphones. Since I'm of the opinion that business email is best dealt with in business hours on the business pc, I wondered if I could use the thing for ebooks. And found that mobi was available.

After reading at least a dozen Baen books on the phone, I started researching these forums for other alternatives, and decided on the Cybook gen 3. Now after several months intensive use, I'm rarely without it.

So many thanks to you all for the information and advice you've posted. It is invaluable.

And special thanks to Tompe, Kovidgoyal, and others for your utility and format conversion software. Unfortunately, it seems to be a requirement if you want to keep a handle on your collections. Which leads me to ...

A RANT.
<snowman:rantmode>
Publishers PLEASE realise that ebooks are read on devices as small as a phone, and as large as a pc. They are not physical books, and as such don't (for the most part) require fancy layouts and "house" styles that waste large amounts of limited screen real-estate. Three or four blank lines indicating a scene break on a device with only 10-15 lines is ridiculous, and "double-spacing" paragraphs is worse.

Please don't think me ungrateful for putting your books into electronic format at a reasonable price - I am very grateful indeed to see e-versions of some old friends that are stuck up my attic in many, many boxes now available for my e-reader(s). But it really does your reputation very little good when you simply grab your in-house html file(s), plonk them into mobi-creator (or equivalent) and hit build and then publish without really checking things. For example, I just purchased a book by one of my favourite authors. It is 34 chapters, and nearly 201,000 words long. I open it, and what do I find - or rather not find? An index to chapters. It took me at most 30 minutes to extract the html, and using a decent (free) editor, to create my own. I have even found a couple of books (from the last couple of decades) without any trace of an ISBN! [ Thank-you librarything.com, by the way ]

And as for some of the html. Well I now understand why drm is so popular - it means that some of the more egregious examples cannot be held up to ridicule. I mean really, an anchor-tag ( {a}{/a} ) not just across a paragraph but a complete chapter? In fact, every chapter in the book? Its a good thing most browsers and readers simply ignore this sort of crud.
</snowman:rantmode>

I now return you to your normal reading ...

Snowman
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:03 AM   #2
BookishDreamer
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Welcome! Hopefully you'll find some properly formatted books for your Cybook here.

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Old 08-27-2008, 10:45 AM   #3
zelda_pinwheel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
And as for some of the html. Well I now understand why drm is so popular - it means that some of the more egregious examples cannot be held up to ridicule. I mean really, an anchor-tag ( {a}{/a} ) not just across a paragraph but a complete chapter? In fact, every chapter in the book? Its a good thing most browsers and readers simply ignore this sort of crud.
</snowman:rantmode>
hee ! yes, i agree, what passes for html code can be pretty frightening sometimes ! given that you seem to feel pretty strongly about this (and rightly so ; i feel strongly about it too ) i encourage you to take a look at epub which should resolve many of the problems you find the most annoying. there is plenty of info around here ; you can create epub files by hand or using the feedbooks interface which soon will include a wysiwyg editor too. and there are plenty of people around to answer questions.

welcome to the forum ! i'm sure you'll find a lot of great info and great books here ! we're all just as passionate as you seem to be so i think you'll fit right in.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:47 AM   #4
zelda_pinwheel
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oh ! i almost forgot to mention : i see you live in london, you may be interested in the upcoming London MR meetup being organised.

if you are, leave a comment on the thread ; they're currently trying to find a date which is convenient for everyone who wants to come, so rsvp is important !
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:39 PM   #5
MickeyC
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Hi Snowman and welcome to the Forum
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