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Old 08-29-2020, 11:02 AM   #1
Hitch
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Anybody here dealt with "Redshelf" vis: ePUB?

Hey, guys:

So...about 6 mos back, we made this gigantically complicated eBook for a customer that provides classoom materials and learning stuff. So, we slogged through it, with about a billion revisions and finally, Hooray, it was done and client was thrilled. Yeah.

But today, I get this: (Edited with ellipses to protect client's privacy or to omit irrelevant cruft):

Quote:
We uploaded [...] ePub that you did for us to RedShelf, and in reviewing its functionality, we are seeing problems caused by their proprietary pagination. The page numbers in their browser display system sit off to the right of the page, and push the content out of alignment, and/or introduce large gaps between paragraphs.

We brought this up to them, and they replied that the pagination issues are a result of page numbers not being embedded in the ePub. RedShelf displays each chapter as one scrollable “page,” with the specific “page numbers” as callouts to the right. Rather than RedShelf’s arbitrary placement of their page numbers, we would like to assign our own page numbers that would coincide with the page breaks in the print book. We would like your help in embedding these into the ePub file, if possible.

Is there a way to easily address this kind of issue by somehow appending the ePub file, without throwing off compatibility with other ePub readers? Or would we need to develop a separate ePub file specifically for this vendor?

Another issue is that a few graphics at the bottom of the unit pages get cut off (clipped) at the bottom of the page. These are QR Codes, specifically, which are important to navigation in the case of [...]. It’s as if some kind of “space” needs to be added at the end of these chapters. There are only a few instances of this and we’d love to see if there is something you can do to prevent the QR Codes from being cut off.
Eh? I mean, whu?

Does anyone here know anything about this? Anything at ALL? I've never--never--heard of any ePUB retailer ASKING for page numbers to be embedded in an ePUB, a reflowable ePUB, and I've never heard of anything so bizarre as page sizes somehow being assigned or...whatever.

Anybody?

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Old 08-29-2020, 11:37 AM   #2
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I don't know about Redshelf, but I found that some people find it rubbish.

https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/redshelf.com

IMHO, given the changes wanted for Redshelf, it's not a standard eBook format. Also, it's web based only. There are no apps for offline reading. I had a look at a sample on their site and IMHO, rubbish. The interface is terrible.
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I don't know about Redshelf, but I found that some people find it rubbish.

https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/redshelf.com

IMHO, given the changes wanted for Redshelf, it's not a standard eBook format. Also, it's web based only. There are no apps for offline reading. I had a look at a sample on their site and IMHO, rubbish. The interface is terrible.
Well....a web app with proprietary formatting is an entirely different animal than an actual ePUB reader.

S**t.

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Old 08-29-2020, 12:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
So...about 6 mos back, we made this gigantically complicated eBook for a customer that provides classoom materials and learning stuff. So, we slogged through it, with about a billion revisions and finally, Hooray, it was done and client was thrilled. Yeah. ...
Hitch
I hope you guys charge by the hour.
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Old 08-29-2020, 02:23 PM   #5
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I hope you guys charge by the hour.
LOL....

We can and do. We also charge by the revision for regular text edits, which greatly simplifies billing AND makes sure that the customer pays, before they get their revised work.

(I spent my entire career, really, in Real Estate Development, with contractors, and all the usual suspects. People always asked me how I could work with "such crooks" and what I tell them now is I've NEVER been ripped-off, in my life, like authors have ripped me off. NEVER.)

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Old 08-29-2020, 03:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
Hey, guys:

So...about 6 mos back, we made this gigantically complicated eBook for a customer that provides classoom materials and learning stuff. So, we slogged through it, with about a billion revisions and finally, Hooray, it was done and client was thrilled. Yeah.

But today, I get this: (Edited with ellipses to protect client's privacy or to omit irrelevant cruft):



Eh? I mean, whu?

Does anyone here know anything about this? Anything at ALL? I've never--never--heard of any ePUB retailer ASKING for page numbers to be embedded in an ePUB, a reflowable ePUB, and I've never heard of anything so bizarre as page sizes somehow being assigned or...whatever.

Anybody?

Hitch
You might want to look at our wiki with Adding Page numbers

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Old 08-29-2020, 04:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
You might want to look at our wiki with Adding Page numbers

Dale
Thanks, Dale.

I admit, that makes me grind my teeth. I mean...if they'd told us that they were going to go this route, originally, we could have captured the page numbers then (from INDD) and embedded them the way we do now for Kindle (for academic/textbooks), with invisible page numbers that can be used by the devices. RPNs (Real Page numbers). Of course, nobody mentioned anything like this, so...we didn't.

More importantly, the page "sizes" seem to be off, and that one is throwing me. We didn't size...I mean, you know, the ePUB is the way ePUBs are, not a faux-PDF-ePUB.

(sigh).

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Old 09-01-2020, 03:28 PM   #8
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The Redshelf people neither understand epubs or real electronic texts. It sounds like they are in a 1990s bubble of emulating the PDF concept in a web page.

Also educational stuff or ANYTHING written that can only be consumed while online smells of the worst sort of DRM.

I've just finished the first draft of our in house style guide for our folk. It mentions that real ebooks don't have page numbers. headers, footers or page sizes. Not even real margins. That's all done by the reader gadget or app. The ebook Type/Format is irrelevant.
OTOH, the step before paper output is to make a PDF from the WP text. Then you need a page size, headers, footers, real margins, consider if mirrored with a binding offset (tricky as if it goes out by a page it's doomed) etc. Then you make the PDF. The only things to be done then is preview on a giant screen and order a proof print. Unless you've a high end laser printer that takes the print size and does duplex etc, it's not worth trying to print yourself.

I know there are technical documents that need fixed layout on a screen. Then a PDF that works on a 10" tablet is the best solution.
Web pages are not a fixed size.
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Old 09-01-2020, 03:37 PM   #9
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The Redshelf online interface is rather slow. Here is the link to the emo so you too can see how bad it really is.

https://platform.virdocs.com/tryepubnow
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Old 09-01-2020, 04:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
The Redshelf people neither understand epubs or real electronic texts. It sounds like they are in a 1990s bubble of emulating the PDF concept in a web page.

Also educational stuff or ANYTHING written that can only be consumed while online smells of the worst sort of DRM.

I've just finished the first draft of our in house style guide for our folk. It mentions that real ebooks don't have page numbers. headers, footers or page sizes. Not even real margins. That's all done by the reader gadget or app. The ebook Type/Format is irrelevant.
OTOH, the step before paper output is to make a PDF from the WP text. Then you need a page size, headers, footers, real margins, consider if mirrored with a binding offset (tricky as if it goes out by a page it's doomed) etc. Then you make the PDF. The only things to be done then is preview on a giant screen and order a proof print. Unless you've a high end laser printer that takes the print size and does duplex etc, it's not worth trying to print yourself.

I know there are technical documents that need fixed layout on a screen. Then a PDF that works on a 10" tablet is the best solution.
Web pages are not a fixed size.
I have no doubt. I told the customer in question that we warrant our work for the bigger/main devices, not any eReader built by anyone, anyplace, ever and that what they're saying and doing makes NO sense to me.

I mean, okay, you want faux RPNs? In title attributes, or whatever? Sure, we can do that. But VISIBLE bloody page numbers? I can't even tell you how complex this cursed book is to begin with. Trust me, ain't no room for the page numbers to appear, floating off to the right or any-damned-place. We worked on this thing for MONTHS.

And on top of that, this bozo thing that our "pages" (???) don't fit their browser window/page size? Ye GODS. WHAT? What goddamned "page size" are they talking about?

URK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The Redshelf online interface is rather slow. Here is the link to the emo so you too can see how bad it really is.

https://platform.virdocs.com/tryepubnow
Oh, brother, I know. It's horrible. But, client=client, right?

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Old 09-01-2020, 04:30 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=Hitch;4029745]I have no doubt. I told the customer in question that we warrant our work for the bigger/main devices, not any eReader built by anyone, anyplace, ever and that what they're saying and doing makes NO sense to me.

I mean, okay, you want faux RPNs? In title attributes, or whatever? Sure, we can do that. But VISIBLE bloody page numbers? I can't even tell you how complex this cursed book is to begin with. Trust me, ain't no room for the page numbers to appear, floating off to the right or any-damned-place. We worked on this thing for MONTHS.

And on top of that, this bozo thing that our "pages" (???) don't fit their browser window/page size? Ye GODS. WHAT? What goddamned "page size" are they talking about?

URK.



Quote:
Oh, brother, I know. It's horrible. But, client=client, right?

Hitch
But the client let you make an eBook that wasn't suitable for their needs. So you basically wasted your time. If the client had told you upfront that they wanted it created for Redshelf, then you could have either done it from the first. It's not your fault the eBook doesn't work. It's Redshelf's for having such a stupid setup.

Their online solution is slow. You get those annoying flashing dots every time you turn the page.

Do you have any way to get the coding needed to make the ePub into an abomination?
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Old 09-01-2020, 05:45 PM   #12
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But the client let you make an eBook that wasn't suitable for their needs. So you basically wasted your time. If the client had told you upfront that they wanted it created for Redshelf, then you could have either done it from the first. It's not your fault the eBook doesn't work. It's Redshelf's for having such a stupid setup.

Their online solution is slow. You get those annoying flashing dots every time you turn the page.

Do you have any way to get the coding needed to make the ePub into an abomination?
No, Jon, to be fair, they are using the files that we gave them appropriately, but OF COURSE, in the educational sector, somehow, this arose and they've tried to use it. They probably didn't know that they were going to use this [...] and certainly, I didn't know.

I asked the client if they had considered uploading their print PDF. I mean...to my eyes, that's what they're seeking.

Worst case, I guess we could make an FXL ePUB for them, but...sheesh.

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Old 09-02-2020, 03:39 PM   #13
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No, Jon, to be fair, they are using the files that we gave them appropriately, but OF COURSE, in the educational sector, somehow, this arose and they've tried to use it. They probably didn't know that they were going to use this [...] and certainly, I didn't know.

I asked the client if they had considered uploading their print PDF. I mean...to my eyes, that's what they're seeking.

Worst case, I guess we could make an FXL ePUB for them, but...sheesh.

Hitch
Does Redshelf have a sample book to show how it has to be coded?
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Old 09-02-2020, 09:41 PM   #14
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Does Redshelf have a sample book to show how it has to be coded?
Not that I've seen. They have Sweet Nothing publicly available and so, if they do have it, it must be in some sort of package for their educators/publishers.

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Old 09-05-2020, 02:09 AM   #15
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I'd expect the educational sector to have high standards for accessibility.

Because standard epub is a lot more accessible than whatever they're doing with the flashing dots, flashing when using the built-in screen reader, no keyboard navigation, small text, faint text, hard-to-read fonts, etc.
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