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Old 06-26-2018, 06:56 PM   #11
ZodWallop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rellwood View Post
Since authors started self publishing I have noticed that e-book formatting has taken a dive. Too many times I download to my Kindle only to discover line heights up to 200%, spaces between paragraphs with no indentation, or double spacing with extra line height and indents. The combinations of unreadable (to me) formatting is almost limitless.
I use Sigil to check the formatting on all books I buy. Some are, as you mentioned, terribly formatted (though that's rarer and rarer for me).

I have a friend that works in publishing professionally. For his own amusement he scans old film novelizations that would never have an ebook released otherwise. His work is as good as anything put out by tradpub, but for some reason he likes putting a bit of a break between paragraphs (not an entire line break, but enough to leave noticeable space between paragraphs). It drives me batty, but he knows what he's doing, so I can see that formatting that deviates from my preferences isn't necessarily an 'error' or poor formatting.

Quote:
The second point is the non-plot specific uses of words, terms and phrases that can actually cause me to stop reading a book. If they are noticed before I get into the story, I will unconsciously be on a countdown to a dnf, it can take only one more instance to dnf a book if I haven't gotten into it.

Since I read so much, and have a ton of books (like HR reading through a pile of resumes) it takes very little to decide not to finish a book. I am only talking about the use or overuse of specific terms, words, and phrases (not a set specific list, but specific to that story), forget about the plot or story.

A simple example would be an Indie Sci-fi series of about 15 books of which I started the first, loved it, then impulsively bought the next 8 books. They were cheap, and I figured they were a good deal. However by the second book I kind of noticed the author using and reusing specific phrases to describe characters, or interactions. Since I was really into the plot, I overlooked them. However they continued into the 3rd book, at which point I had to consult Goodreads to see if I was the only one to notice this (I was).
I had hoped that by the 4th book someone would have clued her in, but the same 5 or 6 points kept coming up to the extent that it seemed like the book was auto written using plugins. If that wasn't bad enough, the parts of the story that kind of saved me from those overused terms and phrases started to lag. I ended up DNF'ing half way through the fourth book. I have since consigned the rest of the books to the archives and have moved on.
I suspect that if you didn't read the books back to back, the author's tics wouldn't have been as noticeable.

As for the story lagging, well, that's why I don't care for series.

In the end, all the problems you mention seem to stem (in part) from a self published author not getting the help of a good editor. Someone who could have caught those repetitive or inappropriate phrasings and could have helped with formatting the book.
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