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View Poll Results: Page breaks before new chapters?
Yes, I prefer page breaks 117 78.00%
No, I prefer no page breaks 13 8.67%
I really don't care either way 18 12.00%
Chapters? Kill 'em all 2 1.33%
Voters: 150. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-08-2010, 11:03 PM   #1
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Page breaks in ebooks, Yes or No?

I started a thread on this on KindleBoards, and thought it'd be interesting to get opinions from a wider audience

I've heard a number of people comment on the fact that Smashwords ebooks, for example, don't include a page break before a new chapter. Fair enough, I thought, makes sense for people to want each chapter to start on a new page. Then I got my PRS-300, and started reading ebooks with page breaks done correctly, and discovered - much to my surprise - that I HATE them. Passionately. Especially (although this might be caused by dodgy formatting) when I get two lines of text, click to next page, get a BLANK page, click again and get a chapter name and FIVE! lines of text. GAH! It's like eating a sandwich in teensy tiny bits!

So, you've got my opinion now, but I'm interested in hearing yours - what do you prefer? Page break before each chapter, no page breaks, or you really don't care?

Last edited by nomesque; 06-08-2010 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:56 AM   #2
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Chapter breaks, definitely. I like the sense of finishing a chapter that it instills. If/when I need to discipline myself, the chapter break stops me from reading on. There is a reason that it evolved over time.

Dodgy formatting is the curse of all things ebook -- thoughts and opinions about how things should work are so often affected (sometimes unknowingly) by terrible layout and bad design. (The second-most effective opinion-warper is bad software -- another design issue.)
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:08 AM   #3
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I definitely prefer page breaks.

It's not a deal breaker or anything, but it does make it feel more like reading a paper book.

I'm not picky about typography and that stuff in general, but reading this post I have to say that page breaks for chapters is something I do like and that I'm glad that all the Kindle books I've read have.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:09 AM   #4
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Although I prefer a page break before a new chapter, I'd have no objection to a visual marker (such as a thick horizontal ruler at the end of the chapter) as another option. Mainly, I prefer some kind of visual indicator that a chapter has ended.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:20 AM   #5
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your poll didn't allow, but I would like at least a "return" or two. ie; the old fashioned hit enter and drop down a bit. I definetly want a BREAK. not a blank page, but a definet break
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:25 AM   #6
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I hate books without pagebreaks before chapters. I just can't finish them. A chapter is a story-break. And if it's not visible, the chapters will flow together and the story won't make any more sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomesque View Post
Especially (although this might be caused by dodgy formatting) when I get two lines of text, click to next page, get a BLANK page, click again and get a chapter name and FIVE! lines of text. GAH! It's like eating a sandwich in teensy tiny bits!
That sounds like very dodgy formatting! Blank pages are an absolute no-no...
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:57 AM   #7
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Breaks between chapters should be visible... but going to a new page is not necessary, and quite annoying, if there's only a couple of lines on the last page..

Last edited by lene1949; 06-09-2010 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:13 AM   #8
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I definitely prefer page breaks, and having a couple of lines doesn't bother me at all. Blank pages do, but I'm sure that's just lousy formatting.

If the author has chapters, then surely each one contains a certain amount of the story, usually for a particular time with a particular topic. The page break allows one to finish that topic before one starts on the next one.

If the story is told in one continuous flow why have chapter headings at all? If the story is broken up into segments why not clearly show the end of one segment and the start of the next?

Regards, Alex

Last edited by AlexBell; 06-09-2010 at 04:14 AM. Reason: typo fixed
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomesque View Post
Especially (although this might be caused by dodgy formatting) when I get two lines of text, click to next page, get a BLANK page, click again and get a chapter name and FIVE! lines of text.
This is most certainly the formatting of the specific book(s). The couple lines on the last page of a chapter, sure that happens. The blank page following that, I've only had happen on books I formatted myself because I messed up the formatting a bit. The chapter name and 5 lines of text can happen, but I don't see it that often.


I'm definitely in the camp of wanting chapter breaks. I'd almost go so far as saying I NEED them as not having them really drives me crazy. Crazy enough to either not read the book or spend the time to reformat it myself.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomesque View Post
I started a thread on this on KindleBoards, and thought it'd be interesting to get opinions from a wider audience

I've heard a number of people comment on the fact that Smashwords ebooks, for example, don't include a page break before a new chapter. Fair enough, I thought, makes sense for people to want each chapter to start on a new page. Then I got my PRS-300, and started reading ebooks with page breaks done correctly, and discovered - much to my surprise - that I HATE them. Passionately. Especially (although this might be caused by dodgy formatting) when I get two lines of text, click to next page, get a BLANK page, click again and get a chapter name and FIVE! lines of text. GAH! It's like eating a sandwich in teensy tiny bits!

So, you've got my opinion now, but I'm interested in hearing yours - what do you prefer? Page break before each chapter, no page breaks, or you really don't care?
What you are describing is poor formatting. A well done eBook will have proper page breaks at the beginning of each chapter. I prefer the chapter title to be in a noticeably larger font size then the body font. But, I'd like to have the chapter header to be close to the top of the screen. Then I get room for more of the body. The next pages until the next chapter will all be normal. Sometimes you do get like "Part One..." on a separate page. That I do not mind either.

One problem you will run into if you have no page breaks is that in ePub you probably will not conform to the mobile ADE standard and thus, a lot of people won't be able to view your eBook. And if they are all like that, your sales will drop to almost nothing.

Take a look at the ePub of For the Win http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83384 and you will see proper page breaks and proper italics too.

Last edited by JSWolf; 06-09-2010 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:36 AM   #11
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Page Breaks YES YES YES, if the formatting is also good, that helps, But I definitely LOVE page breaks,
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:42 AM   #12
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Page breaks, of course. Blank pages are a no, no, no, it's a bad formatted text.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:16 PM   #13
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I prefer some form of break between chapters - whatever has to be done to proclaim a break.

My bigger pet peeve is the lack of scene/section breaks within chapters. This is especially annoying in dialogue-heavy fiction. Without the scene break, it can be very confusing. I end up reading the two paragraphs at least twice to figure out what happened.

Well-formatted eBooks have the same curlicue dingbats as the paper books, but I'll take a a dotted line, or anything, so I know we've shifted voice/place.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
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My bigger pet peeve is the lack of scene/section breaks within chapters.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:28 PM   #15
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A break is ideal, it helps the mind realise one chapter of the story has finished, and another is to begin.

Perhaps not separated by a blank page, but certainly more than a couple of lines, a line/symbol ideal ....
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