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Old 11-19-2015, 07:33 AM   #1
kfachuh
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Mobi on iPad: cover to small, opening after TOC (Sigil + KindleGen)

Hi.

1) WHERE iPAD OPENS THE BOOK

I have seen a lot of topics concerning iPad kindle reader opening the book on the next page after the TOC. Conclusion is that it is decided by Amazon and cannot be tricked. Is that still the current case?
I was wondering if it opens after the TOC html file or on the first thing in the TOC (it was the Introduction[.html] in my case and it opens there) - but I assume it is the first, and there seems to be no way to force the reader to open it by placing any magic trick at the top of the TOC. Am I right?
I noticed that placing the TOC html file after the cover and making another Contents page after the first pages (this one is a simple page and reader doesn't know it is a TOC)

2) THE COVER IS TOO SMALL WITH HUGE MARGINS ON IPAD
(And it doesn't open with the cover in kindle reader app)

I made it just how KindlePublishingGuidelines2013.5 said:

* the suggested dimentions (2560 pixels x 1600 pixels, 350 dpi, jpeg, smaller than 5MB)

* And that: "Internal Cover Must Not Appear Twice. Do not add cover images to the content in any way other than those described in section 3.2.2
Which is placing one line in <metadata> and one in <manifest> of the OPF file in Sigil.
I know some people add the actual Cover.xhtml (~.html??) page with the cover but the guidelines state it is prohibited.
In KindleGen I use -c0 option (no image conversions), it says the MOBI file generates succesfully (with no warnings).

On the Kindle e-ink, on kindle Prevewer and in my Android device with kindle reader (albeit with small screen, so hard to take it into account) the cover is streched enough to look correct (with that small margin). I know iPad sucks as MOBI reader, yeah... But I should cater for iPad too

What can be done here or what am I doing wrong?

Thanks
Kfac
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Old 11-19-2015, 07:57 AM   #2
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I don't think you're doing anything wrong (though if you are, people wiser than I will surely point it out). It is certainly true that the SLR is set in the Publishing Workflow, and personally I don't believe there is any way for the publisher to overrule that. The default is the first page of text in the book, usually not including any preface, foreword, whatever, no matter how valuable it might be. (For one thing, that decreases the amount of money Amazon has to pay out to those publishers enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, the lending library.)

As for the cover, it's not the product image that is being sent to the purchaser; it's a degraded version. If you include a cover in your book, the routine is to suppress it in favor of that version, which is incorporated in the conversion process, Step 6 in the publishing process. So I don't know how you can beat this, though I'm sure there's a way.

I love my iPhone but I detest the closed Apple universe (AND the iTunes store). I once checked out some of my books on a friend's iPad, and they looked fine (they were Sigil-built). Perhaps I should check again. Tablets get higher-rez every year.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:36 AM   #3
kfachuh
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Thanks for sharing what you know and think (even if you're not the guru expert)!

I'm not sure if I follow the 2nd paragraph of your reply:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notjohn View Post
As for the cover, it's not the product image that is being sent to the purchaser; it's a degraded version. If you include a cover in your book, the routine is to suppress it in favor of that version, which is incorporated in the conversion process, Step 6 in the publishing process. So I don't know how you can beat this, though I'm sure there's a way.
Do you mean that after publishing the Amazon will swap whatever the cover file is to their processed version of that file?
Or what you described is a possible thing to be done by the creator of the EPUB>MOBI file?
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Old 11-19-2015, 01:48 PM   #4
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I believe Amazon sets the cover for the ebook from the copy that you uploaded in the Product Description.
Which is likely processed.
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfachuh View Post
Do you mean that after publishing the Amazon will swap whatever the cover file is to their processed version of that file?
Well, not exactly. It's done in the conversion of your uploaded book file, whatever it might be, at Step 6 in the workflow as you set out to publish your book on Kindle Direct Publishing. So when you preview the book, as made available to you in Step 7, you are seeing the degraded (lower-resolution) version of the Product Image you uploaded earlier. (Step 5, I think it is.)

If you include a cover in your uploaded book (Step 6), it will be suppressed. There was a time or two when if you uploaded an epub file, the book wound up with two covers, but this was soon fixed. It hasn't happened to me in 2015.

Not only will the software suppress an included cover, it will also suppress a frontispiece if that's the first thing in the book. (Where else would a frontispiece be placed?) That happened to me, so I had to move the "frontispiece" to just ahead of Chapter One.

(I hasten to add that the "degraded" version of the cover is perfectly acceptable even in a high-rez Fire tablet. Indeed, I sometimes wonder why Amazon specifies just a huge cover image, given that their Product Image on the Amazon store page is only 500x500 pixels.)

Last edited by Notjohn; 11-20-2015 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfachuh View Post
Hi.

1) WHERE iPAD OPENS THE BOOK

I have seen a lot of topics concerning iPad kindle reader opening the book on the next page after the TOC. Conclusion is that it is decided by Amazon and cannot be tricked. Is that still the current case?
I was wondering if it opens after the TOC html file or on the first thing in the TOC (it was the Introduction[.html] in my case and it opens there) - but I assume it is the first, and there seems to be no way to force the reader to open it by placing any magic trick at the top of the TOC. Am I right?
I noticed that placing the TOC html file after the cover and making another Contents page after the first pages (this one is a simple page and reader doesn't know it is a TOC)
Well, if I read you correctly: it opens to the first page of text AFTER the Table of Contents. Yes, this is by design. This is controlled by Amazon. It's been this way since late Fall of 2011, according to my record of the emails I had with them (Amazon) at the time. The overwhelming problem was that so many "authors" are uploading Word files and html files, etc., without a SRL that Amazon decided to take matters into their own hands, and set the SRL themselves. Their internal usage data indicates that nobody reads the front-matter, anyway (sorry, writers!), so they decided on the first page of text AFTER the TOC.html.

Quote:
2) THE COVER IS TOO SMALL WITH HUGE MARGINS ON IPAD
(And it doesn't open with the cover in kindle reader app)
Sorry, what does that last sentence inside the parentheses mean? None of the devices/readers are intended to open on the Cover. As mentioned above, truth be told, only the author/publisher (by and large) goes and looks at the cover, AFTER the book is purchased. At that point, the cover's done its job.

Quote:
I made it just how KindlePublishingGuidelines2013.5 said:

* the suggested dimentions (2560 pixels x 1600 pixels, 350 dpi, jpeg, smaller than 5MB)

* And that: "Internal Cover Must Not Appear Twice. Do not add cover images to the content in any way other than those described in section 3.2.2
Which is placing one line in <metadata> and one in <manifest> of the OPF file in Sigil.
I know some people add the actual Cover.xhtml (~.html??) page with the cover but the guidelines state it is prohibited.
In KindleGen I use -c0 option (no image conversions), it says the MOBI file generates succesfully (with no warnings).

On the Kindle e-ink, on kindle Prevewer and in my Android device with kindle reader (albeit with small screen, so hard to take it into account) the cover is streched enough to look correct (with that small margin). I know iPad sucks as MOBI reader, yeah... But I should cater for iPad too

What can be done here or what am I doing wrong?

Thanks
Kfac
Are you previewing the MOBI or the AZK file? not that this ought to affect the Cover, mind you, but the view of the two will be different, inside the file.

There's no point in using the -c0 option as that won't affect the cover image. The cover image is supplanted, in the actual for-sale book, by what you upload as the product image at Step 6. That's not a premise; it is done that way. Therefore, the -c0 option is irrelevant to your cover image.

The cover should be full-size on an iPad (k4ipad) reader, with about a 1/2" of white margin all around. Is that what you're seeing, or do you think you're seeing something smaller than that? The cover will NOT stretch edge-to-edge on the reader. It's even more noticeable if you rotate the device to landscape, particularly if you have 1-page view selected.

If you can take a screenshot of how the cover looks (you could blur out the image, if you're worried about your privacy), the rest of us could tell you if it looks odd. Did you look at other commercial books that you've bought, on the device, to see how the cover compares?

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Old 11-24-2015, 07:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
Well, if I read you correctly: it opens to the first page of text AFTER the Table of Contents. Yes, this is by design. This is controlled by Amazon. It's been this way since late Fall of 2011, according to my record of the emails I had with them (Amazon) at the time. The overwhelming problem was that so many "authors" are uploading Word files and html files, etc., without a SRL that Amazon decided to take matters into their own hands, and set the SRL themselves. Their internal usage data indicates that nobody reads the front-matter, anyway (sorry, writers!), so they decided on the first page of text AFTER the TOC.html.
What happens if there's no toc? Is this (no toc) why there's all the hooh-hah on the KDP forums about setting the SRL in books that are in the Kindle lending library? The SLR becomes very important there, because publishers are paid half a cent per page read. Amazon certainly doesn't want them reading the title page! Copyright! Other books by ...!

Most of my Kindle books start in the middle of the TOC, even if it's only one page. Others start at the first page of the first chapter. And others start at the cover. On occasion I have spotted an error in a book, corrected the error, and republished it -- and found that the SRL had changed! So I long ago drew the conclusion that the robot throws darts to determine the SRL.
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:13 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Notjohn;3211399]What happens if there's no toc? Is this (no toc) why there's all the hooh-hah on the KDP forums about setting the SRL in books that are in the Kindle lending library? The SLR becomes very important there, because publishers are paid half a cent per page read. Amazon certainly doesn't want them reading the title page! Copyright! Other books by ...!

I have no idea what the hoohah is about. Which amongst you has firm proof from Amazon that "pages read" starts with the SRL, rather than simply counting the page-flips? And it can't even do that; otherwise, the idiots on that forum, etc., would use gigantic fonts to make pages flip earlier. The "pages read" calculation has to be worked off of word count, solely.

I would bet that the calculation--which is done in the PW--is calculated on the BODY of the book, not the frontmatter and title page. I find it hard to believe that Amazon would be so incredibly stupid as to include that, for the purposes of calculating what to pay. If each book sold had an additional "3 pages read," those pages being in the frontmatter, that would be a penny and a half, give or take. That's not a lot per book--but it's a lot over a million books. It's a lot over 500,000 books.

Quote:
Most of my Kindle books start in the middle of the TOC, even if it's only one page. Others start at the first page of the first chapter. And others start at the cover. On occasion I have spotted an error in a book, corrected the error, and republished it -- and found that the SRL had changed! So I long ago drew the conclusion that the robot throws darts to determine the SRL.
Yes, the old "start in the middle/end of the TOC" glitch during upload has been around a long time. Amazon asserts that it's fixed during the PW. {shrug}. I don't remember the last book that I bought that had this--virtually everything starts at the first page of the first chapter, and now with KU, I've downloaded quite a number of Indy-pubbed books. So...I think we can safely infer that it IS fixed in the PW. (Assuming some level of care in the preparation, rather than slop thrown together, that is.)

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Old 11-25-2015, 07:43 AM   #9
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Well, there seem to be endless discussions about emails from Amazon explaining that the poor sap has no KNEP or whatever it's called because "the SLR hasn't been set yet." I avoid Select, so I have no first-hand information about this.

(I do however have first-hand experience with my books opening in the middle of the TOC. I am just about ready to throw in the towel and set "start" at the first page of the first chapter.)

There was an inquiry recently from a gent who wanted to know how FAST the pages had to be flipped. My immediate reaction was that he planned to hire a page-flipper, though I'm not sure how that would work, either....
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notjohn View Post
Well, there seem to be endless discussions about emails from Amazon explaining that the poor sap has no KNEP or whatever it's called because "the SLR hasn't been set yet." I avoid Select, so I have no first-hand information about this.
Hmph. That must be over in the VOTA forum, or something. Admittedly, I've been MIA from those fora, by and large, for most of the summer and into the Fall, with some appearances lately, but I hadn't seen any of that. Oh, of course, I have seen the rather endless brouhaha and kerfuffle over the poor slobs that can't now sell their 10-page pamphlets for the same price as a 100K word novel, but, I must have missed the whole SRL discussion vis-a-vis KENP.

Quote:
(I do however have first-hand experience with my books opening in the middle of the TOC. I am just about ready to throw in the towel and set "start" at the first page of the first chapter.)
Oh, yes, no argument. Been there, done that. It's a royal pain, isn't it? Happens with uploaded MOBIs and ePUBs. {sigh}

Quote:
There was an inquiry recently from a gent who wanted to know how FAST the pages had to be flipped. My immediate reaction was that he planned to hire a page-flipper, though I'm not sure how that would work, either....
Jeeze, with my luck, that guy will show up at my door asking about page-flipping.

...and about page-flipping...(slightly OT)...

I have a VERY VERY unhappy client, who paid us to make a FXL book, for Amazon & iBooks, the latter with audio. The iBooks version has this girl singing a song. I told the client, originally, that the music/soundtrack had to be tailored to suit embedding, right? But lo, when I got the music, a year ago, the song was unbroken, like a normal song. Each "stanza" or line, for the matching page, was like...3 seconds long, with no pause WHATSOEVER for page flips.

For a year now, I've been explaining, over and over, that I can't make an iPad PAGE-FLIP FASTER. This guy--who has a simple PDF, and this audio-track, who hired his secretary's KID to be his soundman, mind you, wants this book to be "comparable to a Disney product." (Right? Howza 'bout, if you want a Disney product, you try SPENDING like Disney, no?)

I've explained, in multiple very lengthy emails, that a) I can't make the bloody thing flip faster; b) that the sound has to be completely redone, and c) that if he wants a Disney product, maybe he should look at some ACTUAL Disney iBook products, to notice that not ONCE do they, or Apple, or anyone else, have music going OVER THE DAMN PAGE-FLIP.

We've remade this book not less than *15x*. I've added sound effects (ticking clock) to buy time before the page has to flip, so the kids aren't trying to read faster than the speed of light; I've tried this, I've tried that. Nothing works, because the guy is SET on his tune, and won't budge.

He hired a NEW project manager, who came on the scene, said that everything was going to be hunky-dory, and then sent me the "new" sound files--which was the same damn song, now sung by someone ELSE. Same timing, same stanzas--same problem. When I told him that the issue still existed, he replied "well, tell me how long each has to be, and I'll have {son of secretary] fix it," and I replied:

"Already been there, done that. This is precisely the SAME conversation that we had, before you, a year ago, with the former project manager. I've already made the books with the allegedly "fixed" soundtrack. Here's the email in which they were sent. Here's the email from <client> in which he said that they're no good."

I told him that Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

Pulling my damn hair out. Fortunately, haven't heard back from them. I mean, there's a lot I don't mind. I don't expect clients to be "tecchie." But when the client HAS an iPad, how hard is it to look at the products that he thinks he's emulating, and see that they are NOT doing what he wants to do, and that there's a reason for it? OISH!

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