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Old 02-19-2009, 02:01 PM   #1
dreams
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Help a Publisher Out

I found this at the below link..

http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009...publisher-out/

"An ebook publisher contacted me about the post I had regarding ”What An eBook File Should Contain“. Specifically, many of us asked for a blurb or excerpt to appear at the front of the book. The publisher isn’t sure where to put it though. The blurb and excerpt are going to be listed in the table fo contents, but should the blurb and excerpt be separate files? Should it be placed at the front of the book? In what order? ie., blurb first, excerpt first? Would it be okay to be in the back of the file? What’s your thoughts?"

It's just a short poll to answer (you don't have to be signed in to vote)... It would be nice to give them feedback from people who really do care about the presentation of ebooks.

Mods, if I have posted in the incorrect place, please move it
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:07 PM   #2
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oh, brilliant ! we were just talking about how we wished we had blurbs / excerpts in ebooks. excellent timing ! thanks for the link.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:07 PM   #3
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I voted at the front before the TOC, it seems the most logical place to put a blurb.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moejoe View Post
I voted at the front before the TOC, it seems the most logical place to put a blurb.
i voted for that too ; i would like blurbs in my ebooks to refresh my memory about the book and help me decide which book to read next. when you have a few dozen (or a few hundred... ) of books on your liseuse, sometimes you can't remember exactly what each one is about. and you can't just turn the liseuse over and read the back cover, alas. that's where a blurb would be nice.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:34 PM   #5
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Is there not a tag in the ePub schema that specifies a summary? If so, that is where it goes... then it is up to the display/library software to determine how/where it is displayed.

BOb
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Is there not a tag in the ePub schema that specifies a summary? If so, that is where it goes... then it is up to the display/library software to determine how/where it is displayed.

BOb
Unfortunately, not all the devices show this summary, for example Cybook doesn't ! And yes, it would be great if the software could do it, but when ? When will Mobipocket and Adobe modify their products on not so common devices, where these same softwares are fully (or almost) functionnal on PCs, and PDAs ? I say almost because I'm thinking of the DRM issue for Adobe Reader for PDAs...

So, voted too for At the front before TOC !

Last edited by Idoine; 02-20-2009 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:19 PM   #7
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A blurb usually contains spoilers and I try to avoid reading it so I probably want it at the end so I do not see it by mistake.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:22 PM   #8
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If you ask me, the blurb/excerpt shouldn't be in an ebook at all. It should be on the webpage of the book on the seller's/publisher's website. I know I'd remove it from the book the first chance I'd get if they'd put it in.

I don't need marketing materials embedded in something I already payed for.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valloric View Post
If you ask me, the blurb/excerpt shouldn't be in an ebook at all. It should be on the webpage of the book on the seller's/publisher's website. I know I'd remove it from the book the first chance I'd get if they'd put it in.

I don't need marketing materials embedded in something I already payed for.
Since I nearly never are influenced by the blurb to buy a book I have always seen it as a reminder of what the book is about and something that can be used when selecting which book to read next.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:03 PM   #10
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I would want it after the TOC (an active TOC that would allow me to skip the blurb and go directly to the book.) If I have already read the blurb I do not want to keep pressing the forward button to get past the blurb to the TOC or the start of the book.

Next they will add coming attractions and an FBI warning before I can get to the book. If you must put it before the TOC, give me a way to skip the blurb.
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWood View Post
I would want it after the TOC (an active TOC that would allow me to skip the blurb and go directly to the book.) If I have already read the blurb I do not want to keep pressing the forward button to get past the blurb to the TOC or the start of the book.

Next they will add coming attractions and an FBI warning before I can get to the book. If you must put it before the TOC, give me a way to skip the blurb.
i would like it before the TOC (i think it should be the first thing in the book, so that i can quickly take a look at it when choosing what to read next, the way i look at the back cover of a paper book), but i also think that there should be a link at the beginning of the blurb to skip to the TOC or even to the beginning of the first chapter. i can understand that if you know what the book is about and want to start reading, a blurb is superfluous.

anyway this is only a stop-gap solution ; the best solution would be to always include the blurb in the meta-data of the book, and have an easy way to display it on the liseuse. but this is not the case yet. although i believe that hadrien has added descriptions to all the feedbooks epubs. now we just need a firmware update to display this information.
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:45 AM   #12
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As long as the blurb is the same blurb we'd get from the back cover of the book, then that is ok. I do think the blurb should be after the ToC. That way, I can bypass it via the ToC if I want without having to page past it. Granted, it would mean going to the second ToC entry to be able to bypass the blurb, but that's ok to me.
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:03 PM   #13
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For me, the blurb should be before the TOC (as they are in print books). We're talking short blurb here, back cover text, not an opus or forward.

I've seen some books put excerpts at the beginning of the book, but I can't see the point. Excerpts are also good at advertising/storefront points, before purchase, but don't need to be part of the book itself... after all, once you've got the book, you've got all of the text!

As a self-pub, I've not thought of putting a blurb into my ePubs (the blurb and excerpts are on my site, before purchase). I do include the blurbs of my other books at the end of the novel, as advertisement, but that's been about it.
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:05 PM   #14
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The blurb ought to go where it relates to the current book.

If about the current, then after the TOC where it can be read/skipped as appropriate. If about the next in a series or generally other issues - then the end would be best.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:06 PM   #15
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(The above mentioned earlier discussion on this was actually one that I started here - so I'm glad to see this "follow-up" from a publisher who's also interested in the topic.)

I voted for putting it before the TOC as, of the three options, that was the one that would like best. However, I'm in agreement with zelda_pinwheel that it should be in the metadata - so that the reader can present it in its menu system more appropriately. So, on my Sony for instance, I would see "Continue Reading", "Begin", "End", Bookmarks", "Summary", "Table of Contents", etc., as menu items. I should be able to go directly to the summary.

I also note that when I use the "Begin" menu item on my reader, this does not take me to the table of contents and then to page 1. Rather, the table of contents is not included in the "content" of the book pages themselves. Similarly, the summary should be a separate menu item alongside of the table of contents and outside of the normal book pages.

(So to talk about putting the summary "before the TOC" - but also then saying you don't like this because it would force you to page through it to get to the actual book - makes little sense. Because you don't have to "page through" the table of contents itself to get to the book. At least, you don't on the Sony - I can't speak to other readers.)

Last edited by JasonB; 02-25-2009 at 11:13 PM.
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