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Old 02-12-2017, 09:21 AM   #1
Notjohn
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Fun & games with the SRL

I design my books with the understanding (now merely a hope) that they will open with the cover on the Amazon store page Look Inside sample. That is, before uploading the epub to the KDP, I delete the cover file and the cover image. So the reader sees: 1) the cover, 2) the title page, 3) the TOC (no more than 20 links, and as close to 10 as I can trim it down), and 4) page one, chapter one.

When the New Style cover came along, a significant minority of my books suddenly opened at page one, chapter one, and what's worse -- they skipped over the chapter title. Chapter titles are important to me, as are my covers, title page, and brilliant chapter titles. (Yeah, yeah, I know that Amazon's Big Data proves that readers don't want to see that stuff. But those aren't the goons my books are aimed at.)

So I had a morning free the other week, and I opened up my epubs to see what difference there might be between the 11 books that opened at Chapter One and the 15 that opened at the cover. Yes! The 11 had the SRL (called "text" in the epub) set at Chapter One. The others had no SRL at all.

So I went back and ripped out the "text" semantic from the New Style books and uploaded them again. The result: of those I've checked (the ones that sell best), most now open at the cover. Some still open at Chapter One, but -- oh, joy! -- they now show the chapter title.

FWIW. Some day I'll do another compare and see if there's another difference I can spot. I think the difference is now more like 20 Old Style, 6 New Style.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:37 PM   #2
jhowell
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A change in the Amazon Kindle Publishing guidelines relates to this.

Version 2016.1:

Quote:
5.3.2 Defining Start Reading Location
The Kindle platform supports landmarks nav elements and guide items for defining the start reading location (”Go to Beginning”) in reflowable books. Do not set the start reading location to a blank page. ...
Version 2017.1:
Quote:
5.3 Guide Items
...
Publishers do not need to define a start reading location because Amazon does this during the upload process.
It seems from your experience that "do not need to" really means "should not".

Last edited by jhowell; 02-12-2017 at 04:24 PM.
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