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Old 10-23-2018, 09:41 PM   #1
ramnagel
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Annoying And Trivial Conversion Error: "2 em"

I often receive this error when converting a book to EPUB for my library:


The fix is simple: replace "2 em" with "2em" and all is fine. But why do so many books have this issue? It seems to be deliberate on the part of the Publisher. The offending CSS is always for a footnote:


Should I be fixing it or leaving it alone, is my real question.

Just curious.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:52 PM   #2
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Welcome to quality code from (large) publishers who seem to skip validation
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Old 10-24-2018, 12:27 AM   #3
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Fix it if it bothers you, dont if it doesn't. On most readers it will just result in a slightly off left margin for footnotes. On some particularly bad ones, it could result in the whole stylesheet being ignored.
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:29 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. I will carry on fixing these then. I just thought I should check just in case there was some reason for this error to be coming up so often.
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramnagel View Post
Thanks, guys. I will carry on fixing these then. I just thought I should check just in case there was some reason for this error to be coming up so often.
I find it amazing, the number of purchased books that have CSS errors that calibre finds (most are easy to fix)

The other common selfpub error I see, is separate classes per chapter (becomes obvious, when you see differences between chapters )
I now report those that are different to Amazon.
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:08 PM   #6
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@the ducks,

Quote:
I now report those that are different to Amazon.
Does Amazon indicate in any way they appreciate your effort?
Even the titles they "re-sell" from Project Gutenberg are no better than text dumps.

Bought a book from Amazon last night — a series of interviews about D-Day from the German side. No style sheet and text being all one file, filled with:

Code:
<p style="margin:0.00% 0.00%"> <div style="page-break-after:always"></div><br style="page-break-before:always; clear:both"/> </p> 
   <p style="margin:0.00% 0.00%"> <span style=" font-size:1.0rem">&nbsp;</span> </p> 
   <p style="margin:0.00% 0.00%"> <span style=" font-size:1.0rem">&nbsp;</span> </p> 
   <h1 style="margin:0.00% 0.00%; text-align:center; page-break-inside:avoid; page-break-after:avoid"> <a name="_Toc421182594"><span style=" font-size:1.0rem; font-weight:bold; color:#365f91">
Luckily I enjoy righting html/css code wrongs to achieve proper chapter headings, dropcaps, scene breaks, and other typographical conventions. Making the changes makes a book nicer to read. The price of the book is like an entertainment tax.
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Merkey View Post
Code:
<p style="margin:0.00% 0.00%"> <div style="page-break-after:always"></div><br style="page-break-before:always; clear:both"/> </p> 
   <p style="margin:0.00% 0.00%"> <span style=" font-size:1.0rem">&nbsp;</span> </p> 
   <p style="margin:0.00% 0.00%"> <span style=" font-size:1.0rem">&nbsp;</span> </p> 
   <h1 style="margin:0.00% 0.00%; text-align:center; page-break-inside:avoid; page-break-after:avoid"> <a name="_Toc421182594"><span style=" font-size:1.0rem; font-weight:bold; color:#365f91">
Luckily I enjoy righting html/css code wrongs to achieve proper chapter headings, dropcaps, scene breaks, and other typographical conventions. Making the changes makes a book nicer to read. The price of the book is like an entertainment tax.
That's where I find Sigil's RemoveInLineStyles plugin handy. That and a mass of saved search/replace items.

The larger publishing houses and most of the indie authors have gotten a lot better but there's still quite a bit of crud being produced as in one recent book where every chapter had it's own styling, all of which were slightly different. Nothing like line and paragraph spacing and margins changing with every chapter to make reading a pain. In one chapter, a scene break is a 2em space, in another chapter, it was a 3em space with a graphic.
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Merkey View Post
@the ducks,



Does Amazon indicate in any way they appreciate your effort?

.
I have seen the book FIXED (I see the updated version arrive on K4PC)
Most do not show any kind of revision history in the front matter.

Another thing that bugs me, is frequent cover changes. IMHO If the books contents does not change, Don't mess with MY versions cover
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:04 PM   #9
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@DNSB,

Quote:
That's where I find Sigil's RemoveInLineStyles plugin handy. That and a mass of saved search/replace items.
I always convert the slop I get from Amazon to ePub first thing. That ugly code I quoted? Calibre took the mess, divided it into rational pages, provided heading structural code and created a style sheet while eliminating almost all the inline manure.

I still have plenty of edit enjoyment left to do on the book, but Calibre did the heaviest hauling with one click.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
I have seen the book FIXED ...
Another thing that bugs me, is frequent cover changes.
Fixed?! I am surprised. That is a good response.

You must have a different need on covers. I find that I have to completely toss or extensively modify just about every cover. A cover appropriate for print rarely has the contrast and legibility needed to be effective on an e-reader screen. Just one more way users of e-readers are under-served.

It means a bit of fun in Photoshop to break up the edit session...
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Merkey View Post
I always convert the slop I get from Amazon to ePub first thing. That ugly code I quoted? Calibre took the mess, divided it into rational pages, provided heading structural code and created a style sheet while eliminating almost all the inline manure.

I still have plenty of edit enjoyment left to do on the book, but Calibre did the heaviest hauling with one click.
I do the same thing--convert to ePub straight away. I rarely look at the original eBook. I wouldn't have even noticed the horrible HTML/CSS if I hadn't opened an AZW3 by accident. It's pretty amazing how well Calibre cleans up everything. From there, I fix indents, margins, headings, etc... I find it quite satisfying.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Merkey View Post
@DNSB,



I always convert the slop I get from Amazon to ePub first thing. That ugly code I quoted? Calibre took the mess, divided it into rational pages, provided heading structural code and created a style sheet while eliminating almost all the inline manure.

I still have plenty of edit enjoyment left to do on the book, but Calibre did the heaviest hauling with one click.
Yes. If that is the book I think it is, it's worth the effort, I got it and fixed it up in epub for my son who reads on kobo who likes such things. I think there are 2 volume of d day from German perspectives both good.

As you say. Once you have calibre set up to convert and add CSS, remove stuff to suit your preferences , there is very little left to fix. I have it strip fonts and strip explicit line heights so that the reader device can manage those.
I do find that the free, cheap stuff from Amazon is more likely to not have proper chapter structures and toc , but those get easier to do with practice and a little regex. It is very obvious sometimes that a book is a lazy conversion of a word document
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Merkey View Post
I always convert the slop I get from Amazon to ePub first thing. That ugly code I quoted? Calibre took the mess, divided it into rational pages, provided heading structural code and created a style sheet while eliminating almost all the inline manure.

I still have plenty of edit enjoyment left to do on the book, but Calibre did the heaviest hauling with one click.
For me, I prefer Sigil for most tasks but I use both Sigil and calibre's editor as I feel appropriate (some books have moved between them multiple times).

I will admit that several comments about my preferences are to the effect that they are boring. Which I am happy with as I want to read and enjoy the book and not admire the tricks we can do with layout/typography/whatever.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Merkey View Post
Fixed?! I am surprised. That is a good response.

You must have a different need on covers. I find that I have to completely toss or extensively modify just about every cover. A cover appropriate for print rarely has the contrast and legibility needed to be effective on an e-reader screen. Just one more way users of e-readers are under-served.

It means a bit of fun in Photoshop to break up the edit session...
I have an e-ink Kindle. I also shrink the cover to 450x780. I spend most of my time reading the TEXT in the book and rarely look at the cover on the device.
Even using my Tab A, I use the thumbnails in the carousel . I see no need for Photo quality to see the cover art of the book I am reading (most, while decent art, get the story wrong)
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