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Old 06-23-2022, 04:29 PM   #16
mazdaspeed
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Jon, I wasn't trying to give out good code examples. I clean the code up at another point. That's simply InDesign output.

Regardless of what you are saying, I've got one of my eBooks published on Amazon with Adobe fonts. I purchased it from myself, and it opens up in "Publisher Font" and looks great on my Kindle Paperwhite.

Why? Because I'm meticulous.

I'm simply refining the process and hoping to avoid Curmudgeons that poo-poo creativity. Granted, it's not for everyone, but remember that somewhere out in the nether-EPUB-abyss there are individuals who are willing to go the extra mile. Even if it's just for the helluvit!
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:31 PM   #17
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Seriously?
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
mazdaspeed, what is it about DO NOT EMBED FONTS don't you get? The fonts you show in your sample code DO NOT NEED TO BE EMBEDDED. You do not need to try to make the eBook look like the pBook by embedding the same fonts the pBook sues.
I meant, seriously?
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:37 PM   #19
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As part of your meticulous approach, do you test the epub on multiple devices (Android & iOS phones and tablets using several renderers, a couple of brands of eInk readers plus Mac and Windows computers) and the converted to Amazon format ebook on pretty much the same hardware changing the eInk readers to a couple of Kindles (one old and one new).
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:47 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by DNSB View Post
As part of your meticulous approach, do you test the epub on multiple devices (Android & iOS phones and tablets using several renderers, a couple of brands of eInk readers plus Mac and Windows computers) and the converted to Amazon format ebook on pretty much the same hardware changing the eInk readers to a couple of Kindles (one old and one new).
Absolutely!

Kindle requires some modifications from Apple Books and Google Play Books, but they are minor and simply require keeping a logbook.

Look, I avoided this for years. It was only recently that I forgot to strip some fonts from the EPUB before publishing on KDP, and they went through. I was freaking amazed and set out to replicate the process. I've now done so.
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Old 06-23-2022, 04:51 PM   #21
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I'm a "Junior Member" here because of this very reason of being attacked by the Old Guard.

Signing off...
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:06 PM   #22
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We are talking from experience. We know that most embedded fonts do not work especially those used for pBooks.

Do you really find the fonts you've embedded to be good enough for eInk screens? I know the fonts mentioned in your CSS and they are not to a lot of people.
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Old 06-23-2022, 07:11 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
We are talking from experience. We know that most embedded fonts do not work especially those used for pBooks.

Do you really find the fonts you've embedded to be good enough for eInk screens? I know the fonts mentioned in your CSS and they are not to a lot of people.
As I mentioned when I replied to DSNB, I stumbled onto this because I inadvertently forgot to strip the font files before publishing to KDP. I create EPUBs that get aggregated by Smashwords (not by my personal choice) but I have to personally manage them for Kindle and Google Play Books, as the aggregators do not work with either of those platforms. Our books are also available on a couple of sites for freewill donation.

For the donation sites I optimize the EPUBs for native viewing on iPhones (Apple Books) and Androids (Google Play Books). Once those files are built, I strip the fonts and publish to KDP. That's the workflow that led me to this point. I've only been doing this for 2 years so I suppose I didn't know better.

Recently, the author has been using 500-700 footnotes, which pushed me to get comfortable with EPUB 3 for the pop-up footnotes. Otherwise, I had been using just EPUB 2 for sake of compatibility. This is especially important for our readers in parts of Latin America, where having an Amazon account is often impossible when a portion of your diet is banana peels.

Anyway, it's true that some of those fonts are not best, and I've corrected it. For headings I've gone with always using Adobe Caslon Pro Semibold, rather than Bold. Where Minion Pro and Kepler Std were utilized, they were too fine, so I moved to using them in their Medium typeface and it has brought them on-par with the other e-Ink fonts that are stock Kindle. Myriad Pro works fine in just about any case, but I don't use it for body text.

And the footnotes are looking good, too. Next week, after I get Amazon to actually push out my last release I will repurchase and put up some photos here of my actual layout on the actual Paperwhite.

Lately, Amazon has been giving me difficulty by showing both pBook and eBook files accepted and live, yet still pushing out old content. That's what happened to me today with Kindle. In one instance it wasn't until I ordered a publisher proof copy before they pushed the update of the pBook out.
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Old 06-23-2022, 07:34 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
Adobe, for all their hyped inclusiveness for EPUB, doesn't specify precisely how to encrypt or obfuscate to their satisfaction -- as though there's any difference in that terminology. What I do know is that Adobe InDesign subsets and "encrypts" the fonts when exporting EPUBs, and it packages an encryption.xml into the EPUB file that KDP won't process to my satisfaction.
Adobe has their own Adept DRM scheme used by some book sellers that encrypts the important files within an EPUB. That is different from font obfuscation.

In my opinion font obfuscation is silly because it offers no actual protection of font files. The de-obfuscation algorithms are widely published and the key needed for it is present in plain text in the OPF file. The only thing it accomplishes is indicating which fonts have license restrictions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
If I strip the encryption.xml file of everything but its header, then it does work for KDP. If this is not satisfactory to Adobe, then they need to speak up. I've done my part by paying the monthly subscription and following directions as closely as I can.
The encryption.xml file shows which files within the EPUB are encrypted and the encryption algorithm used for each. If you remove it then the obfuscated fonts will become unusable and the software rendering the EPUB will use a fallback font instead.

Also, publishing for Kindle based on an EPUB with obfuscated fonts will cause those fonts to be garbled and ignored as far as I know. Amazon applies their own encryption to Kindle books as long as you select the DRM option when publishing (and in some cases even if you don't.)
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:27 PM   #25
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(Son of a... I had a huge response typed up and was working on the last section, but then my Notepad++ crashed and garbled it up. This will be just a tribute!!!)

You'll have to forgive me for this tinier + not-as-detailed response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhowell View Post
In my opinion font obfuscation is silly because it offers no actual protection of font files. The de-obfuscation algorithms are widely published and the key needed for it is present in plain text in the OPF file. The only thing it accomplishes is indicating which fonts have license restrictions.

[...]

Also, publishing for Kindle based on an EPUB with obfuscated fonts will cause those fonts to be garbled and ignored as far as I know. Amazon applies their own encryption to Kindle books as long as you select the DRM option when publishing (and in some cases even if you don't.)


And for mazdaspeed's own knowledge:
  • jhowell = the technical expert on Amazon's file formats.
    • He's the creator/maintainer of the KFX plugins, so he knows every little thing about the actual innards of the format.
  • Hitch = owner of one of the large conversion companies (Booknook).
    • She's dealt with thousands of books/authors + dealt with nearly every store/device/format under the sun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
It would be nice if Adobe, Amazon, Apple, IDPF, etc. would step-up and clarify these extremely important issues surrounding licensing EPUB fonts, and the hazards thereof.
The EPUB standards explain it fine.

It's Adobe that's lying and saying "it works", when it doesn't.

Again, read that 2021 Adobe font embedding thread for many of the legal/technical details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
That's the workflow that led me to this point. I've only been doing this for 2 years so I suppose I didn't know better.
And the people warning you against embedded fonts... it's not personal.

These users are warning you because of the 10+ years of "embedded font" topics + headaches + edge-cases + every possible problem under the sun we've seen complained about on MobileRead.

Here's just a few with Amazon's embedded fonts quirks alone:

- - -

Side Note: A similar situation happens with Fixed-Layout (FXL) ebooks.

About once a year, yet another person comes strolling in, saying how:

"Fixed Layout EPUBs out of InDesign look exactly like the Print! Wow, it's so amazing!"

But in reality, it's a complete turd:
  • Pinch/Zooming + Pan/Scanning everywhere
  • Search/Highlighting stinks
  • Can't resize text
  • Bad Accessibility
  • No popup footnotes
  • Can't easily read on a cellphone
  • Stuck in a single device/ecosystem.
  • ...

And 95%+ of the "must-be-FXL books" would be better as reflowable anyway.

If you want to see some of my latest on FXL, 2 months ago I wrote:

Actual # of FXL book sales are through the toilet, the person is never heard from again.

And about a year later... the cycle starts all over again when someone new comes up:

"Hey, everyone, look! Fixed Layout is so amazing! I've found the holy grail! This time it's different!"

- - -

So, we're not warning against Embedded Fonts for no reason... there are dozens, and dozens, and dozens... of these topics talking about the troubles/quirks/bugs/glitches in real-life stores/devices.

My personally recommendation is to avoid embedded fonts, unless you're using it for very narrow and specific reasons.

For example, I only use it for complicated Maths + Polytonic Greek + Chinese/Japanese characters.

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 06-23-2022 at 08:35 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 04:29 PM   #26
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If you MUST use embedded fonts:
1) Only use FREE Fonts.
2) Subset so as to ditch all the huge amount not needed in some.
3) Test using KF7/mobi on an older kindle (only limited built in fonts)
4) Test on any Kindle that has "Publisher" in the Aa menu but without Publisher (the default).
5) Test on an Android or iOS epub app that ignores embedded fonts. Plenty of them ignore embedded fonts!

As long as it still "works" when the embedded fonts are ignored you're fine. If the ebook is done correctly the Headings will be Larger and maybe Bold. Styles such as italic, bold and bold italic in Sans, and also italic, bold and bold italic in Serif and italic, bold and bold italic in Monospace should work even on oldest Kindles and stupid apps. Test on a 4" to 5" Android 6 phone and a 10" Android 10 or later Tablet.

I do use embedded fonts, but not one book has a font issue on Amazon and they all look similar enough to the original even on dopy apps, default setting on newer Kindles and even on ancient mobi only Kindles. Monospace vs Sans vs Serif is the harder bit on oldest Kindles.

Last edited by Quoth; Yesterday at 04:34 PM.
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