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Old 05-08-2017, 05:52 AM   #31
Tex2002ans
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Originally Posted by Trane View Post
My issue is I want to retain transparency. A white bg is not acceptable.
I am scratching my head on a usage where Transparency is A MUST though.

If your PNG is using transparency, you also have to keep in mind Night Mode (or reading on different color backgrounds or different color fonts). For example, the lines/image is Black + dark background = the image may become impossibly hard to read/see. Or e-ink might not show transparency as well as you expect.

On a semi-related note, I did write a bit + show example images in the topic "Problem with inline image", where we were discussing embedded fonts vs. embedded images (different backgrounds/font colors):

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...78#post3389678

But you can't really know unless you show specifics. Every image/book/case is different. :P

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Originally Posted by GrannyGrump View Post
Tex, I think the topic you are remembering is this one:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=225518
I tripped over it recently, after it had completely fallen out of my memory I have been re-reading it and starting to use some forgotten tips from that thread, even if it is from 4 years back. I still always use Jellby's tip to down-size in several steps --- it works wonderfully to reduce the jaggies!
Yep, that's the one. 4 Years... my gods.

I always try to look up the references to the name of compression tools + "Tex2002ans" or "GrannyGrump" + "4-bit PNG" bug, because I know those are always re-referenced every time PNGs come up. Then it leads me to all the other great PNG discussions we had over the years. That one must have just slipped through my searching cracks this time around. :P

Side Note: I still think I did a pretty good analysis of Grayscale/Indexed PNGs on your 4-bit PNG bug:

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...82#post2646582

And that in-depth PNG research I did for that post still sticks with me to this day. Maybe I should bust open the specs and refresh my memory. :P

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 05-08-2017 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:46 PM   #32
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Unfortunately the PDF -- while exceedingly helpful, and thanks again to Tex for that -- does not appear to be current, as in the Images section it made no mention of converting all images to JPG XR in the upload, (as Amazon started doing in fall 2015, according to a link I included a few posts back).

It did specify PNG transp is not retained... which is stupid since JPG XR is capable of transparency. And also did not specify if GIF transp is retained.

Line drawings are not the only reason to use transp. (@ Granny that was great info about 8bit vs 24bit). My book involves a hobby that requires various products. As an example, an image might feature a few products which have been removed from their backgrounds in PS to be placed on the same canvas and arranged. The bg is transparent, which looks much more professional and much nicer than a block of white... and looks great no matter what background the user chooses for their e-reader. But from what I read in the PDF it looked like Amazon might not allow photo images that include a transparent bg. WHY NOT? This should be up to the author, not Amazon.

Amazon's arcane rules (imho) force authors to dumb-down and reduce the visual attractiveness and professionalism of their books... by forcing GIF over PNG and treating transparency like an unneeded luxury. This in addition to not making mobi compliant with standard epub code.

I also noticed the PDF stresses using pictures fit for a stadium screen (i.e. the largest Amazon tablets) which are only owned by a small percentage of the Kindle market, costing the author more in downloading, while making Amazon more money.

If I follow their guidelines I have to re-do all 130 images, JPG and PNG. And if I follow their rules for giant images, I also have to re-download larger images than the ones I chose., importing each into PS to apply effects like borders and contours all over again. I cannot say I am a happy camper.
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Old 05-08-2017, 03:02 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Trane View Post
... But from what I read in the PDF it looked like Amazon might not allow photo images that include a transparent bg. WHY NOT? This should be up to the author, not Amazon.
I'm guessing that Amazon wants their format to work on all of their devices - including e-ink which doesn't do all that....so they don't really care about what the author wants to do (creativity wise), they only care about what's going to make them the most money....welcome to Amazon!

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Amazon's arcane rules (imho) force authors to dumb-down and reduce the visual attractiveness and professionalism of their books... by forcing GIF over PNG and treating transparency like an unneeded luxury. This in addition to not making mobi compliant with standard epub code.
This is the problem when they are trying to support all the different e-readers they have produced - they dumb it down to the lowest common denominator.

Having said that, they DO have the newer formats available, but they just haven't kept up with the rules and processes to allow the author to take advantage of them. In their walled-garden mentality if they allowed you to only create books for non- e-ink devices, then their e-ink market would take a HUGE cut. IMO they seem to think that alot of their customers actually still USE e-ink... and yes I know there are SOME old codgers out there that prefer them. I know that I am listed as having an e-ink device, but I only used it the one time to actually register it...it was WAY too slow and clunky. Now I have the ability to download my purchased content to my computer where I can clean out all the amazon-sludge and save it in a free and open ePub format. [/rant]
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:57 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Trane View Post
Unfortunately the PDF -- while exceedingly helpful, and thanks again to Tex for that -- does not appear to be current, as in the Images section it made no mention of converting all images to JPG XR in the upload, (as Amazon started doing in fall 2015, according to a link I included a few posts back).

It did specify PNG transp is not retained... which is stupid since JPG XR is capable of transparency. And also did not specify if GIF transp is retained.

Line drawings are not the only reason to use transp. (@ Granny that was great info about 8bit vs 24bit). My book involves a hobby that requires various products. As an example, an image might feature a few products which have been removed from their backgrounds in PS to be placed on the same canvas and arranged. The bg is transparent, which looks much more professional and much nicer than a block of white... and looks great no matter what background the user chooses for their e-reader. But from what I read in the PDF it looked like Amazon might not allow photo images that include a transparent bg. WHY NOT? This should be up to the author, not Amazon.

Amazon's arcane rules (imho) force authors to dumb-down and reduce the visual attractiveness and professionalism of their books... by forcing GIF over PNG and treating transparency like an unneeded luxury. This in addition to not making mobi compliant with standard epub code.

I also noticed the PDF stresses using pictures fit for a stadium screen (i.e. the largest Amazon tablets) which are only owned by a small percentage of the Kindle market, costing the author more in downloading, while making Amazon more money.

If I follow their guidelines I have to re-do all 130 images, JPG and PNG. And if I follow their rules for giant images, I also have to re-download larger images than the ones I chose., importing each into PS to apply effects like borders and contours all over again. I cannot say I am a happy camper.
As far as I know, at this time, for commercial production, it is NOT possible to eliminate the white background.

I've asked one of the guys to do some tests--it's not something that I've invested a lot of time in, but, as far as I know, the transparency promise that Aaron was talking about is still not implemented.

I noticed that Ducky mentioned AZW3, etc., earlier, and I think, inadvertently confused you. Ducky was simply talking about sideloading to your OWN device, for testing. AZW3--which, IIRC, is actually a Calibre format, not a Kindle format--is fine for sideloading to your own device, but worthless from a production/publishing standpoint. Honestly, so is AZW and AZK, Amazon's own formats. The MOBI is still the carrier, effectively. That's what you'll upload at Amazon's KDP. You can use the AZK to test the book's appearance on iOS devices through a tortured process, and AZW is an Amazon output, not yours.

So, for testing during production, you'll use .mobi and AZK (from Previewer, as in Devices-->iOS). You will upload a MOBI, at the KDP. During the PW (Publishing Workflow), your book will be "converted" into the various output formats (.mobi, AZW, AZK-ish, KFX, etc.). That's all done outside of the eyes/ears of the publisher. Once the book is on sale, I'd recommend that you check it on every available device.

Now, with regard to your background--I am sorry to say, I'm fairly sure that you're stuck, so you probably oughtn't redo those images, at least, not for that.

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Old 05-08-2017, 08:24 PM   #35
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Turtle.... thank you for providing a context to Amazon's motivations that finally makes sense... albeit disappointingly so. It's not sheer incompetence, but stems from not wanting their e-ink POS to crash and burn by authors opting out of making an e-ink version available. Which would be one solution that I would certainly do in a heartbeat.

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I'm guessing that Amazon wants their format to work on all of their devices - including e-ink which doesn't do all that....so they don't really care about what the author wants to do (creativity wise), they only care about what's going to make them the most money....welcome to Amazon!
I used to admire Amazon when it started as a retailer many years back. Then over the years I came to dislike them as the company grew greedier and greedier. I stopped using them for anything but reviews. Then they came out with the Kindle with its proprietary format and my opinion plummeted further. And now, the last 2 weeks.... If I had any practical choice as an author to bypass them entirely, I would.

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This is the problem when they are trying to support all the different e-readers they have produced - they dumb it down to the lowest common denominator.
That seems to be exactly it. Instead of producing tablets compliant with standardized code to begin with. Or, at the least, writing conversion code that is device-specific. Yeah, I know to a degree they do that, but not if they don't allow certain things b/c the e-ink devices can't support it. The conversion code should be slick enough to do what it needs to produce a separate e-ink version (replace certain code in the CSS and body with the best e-ink equivalent) with a simple disclaimer that 'the following code is not supported by e-ink devices and will be replaced in these ways: 1. Transparency will be lost, 2. Floating images will appear as block images 3. Color will be reduced to gray scale, etc... but the book would look as intended by the author in all other devices. Instead, like you say, they dumb the whole process down to the lowest common denominator, eliminating support for certain code that their other Kindles can support!

Quote:
Having said that, they DO have the newer formats available, but they just haven't kept up with the rules and processes to allow the author to take advantage of them.
Inexcusable for the largest seller of ebooks! That's like AEG hosting the largest concert in the world then saying, "OK, here's the venue... we didn't prepare to allow mics or monitors or amps or instruments, but you can bring a beat box, drum machine and a kazoo.... and hey... see how BIG this place is?!"

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In their walled-garden mentality if they allowed you to only create books for non- e-ink devices, then their e-ink market would take a HUGE cut.
I would bet you are exactly right.

Quote:
IMO they seem to think that alot of their customers actually still USE e-ink... and yes I know there are SOME old codgers out there that prefer them. I know that I am listed as having an e-ink device, but I only used it the one time to actually register it...it was WAY too slow and clunky. Now I have the ability to download my purchased content to my computer where I can clean out all the amazon-sludge and save it in a free and open ePub format. [/rant]
I have a very low opinion of tech companies that take something that is standardized and make a proprietary version for greed... and then make it non-compliant on top of that. (MS IE and the browser wars of the 90s is a good example!) It screws the whole industry up. So never bought a Kindle but rooted an Android tablet with XDA custom ROM and use apps like Aldiko and Moon+ Pro. (Google is no better... but at least you can root an Android, if that kind of thing bothers you.)

Thanks for turning on a light. At least now I get WHY they do it.
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:43 PM   #36
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@ Hitch, thank you so very much for that informative post. I did end up educating myself throughout this thread (with the wonderful help of posters here, and on my own too) and now understand Amazon generates all formats needed from the one uploaded mobi, and that the author has no control aside from reverse-engineering by looking at the end product in different devices to see how it came out and trying other code in cases where the result was unintended.

It's good to KNOW for sure transparency will not be supported. (Knowing is better than wondering, even if it's not the answer I wanted.) So THANK YOU for that answer!!

I still have to re-do all pics as if the PNGs will have a white block I'd rather place them on a white background myself so I can add some subtle effects to the block to make it look nicer. And the JPGs all need to be redone b/c I saved with sRGB which was a HUGE improvement over the standard RGB JPGs, but Amazon doesn't support that either!

I don't mind learning curves but I could not have picked a worse first book, than one with 130 images, to learn on... which I never dreamed would be such an issue... and if I was publishing in epub and not mobi, it wouldn't have been. But not using Kindles or Amazon, I had no idea just how ... (well, I'll leave it at that!).

Live and learn...
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:48 PM   #37
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Before I redo all 130 images... a question for all. Most are intended to be only 1/4 of the page (at full width). Is 600px width adequate? The PDF says to make them twice the intended size so that can be zoomed in 2x w/o blurriness, but this would mean re-downloading larger originals, then applying the effects in PS to each one again (border contours, etc). Opinions?
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:30 PM   #38
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Before I redo all 130 images... a question for all. Most are intended to be only 1/4 of the page (at full width). Is 600px width adequate? The PDF says to make them twice the intended size so that can be zoomed in 2x w/o blurriness, but this would mean re-downloading larger originals, then applying the effects in PS to each one again (border contours, etc). Opinions?
Honestly, you're the only person who can answer that. I'm not able to see your files, nor your results. With 600px, depending on the clarity of the image in the first place, typically, you should get fairly decent results. However, if you're talking about highly-detailed diagrams, etc. I'd go up to 1000minimum, maybe even 1200.

We spend a lot of our time optimizing images, specifically to ensure that the resulting image is readable, but also, so that it doesn't bankrupt the author. This is part of the publisher's job, this sort of tweaking and tinkering, if you're going to DIY. You should produce the MOBI and view it on Previewer--remembering that Previewer is 150% of reality--and on a device, if you can. Only then will you actually KNOW. Blow them up a LOT, and see how readable they are.

You may find that you don't have to enlarge them all, only some.

One last comment: with regard to your unhappiness with Amazon: sure, they decided on a proprietary format. So what? It's all well and good to bitch about it, but I'd rather have them supporting ALL their Kindles, rather than have them Apple it, and throw out hundreds of thousands of buyers/users, just because they want to FORCE the person to buy a new device. Comparatively speaking, there is no comparison. I've dealt with all the ePublishing retailers (B&N, Apple's iBooks, KoboBooks, etc.) and Amazon is head and shoulders above the rest, in terms of supporting authors AND their device- and book-buyers.

You complain about how Amazon made you hump? Go ahead and even try to get a RESPONSE to an email from any of the others. You complain that they are "dumbing down" the code, to support the eInks? Well, good for them. I still know people--not "old farts"--who read on eInks. Why shouldn't they? They bloody well bought them, didn't they? (According to many of the book-reading mailing lists to which I belong, I think you'd all be VERY surprised at how many people still have K2's!)

I'm sorry that you're unhappy about the white background, but Amazon goes through a lot, supporting those older devices. So do a lot of the folks that make books professionally, making "versions" that work for eInks, as well as the latest and greatest tablet. I'd have a lot less respect for Amazon if they discarded their buyers of the older devices.

Not to mention, unlike Apple, etc. with Amazon, you can download, for FREE, pretty much any type of"Kindle for..." reading app. Kindle for PC, for Mac, for Droid, for Win8, for "tablet", for iOS. Oh, and let's not forget Kindle Cloud Reader. Hell, to read an Amazon book, you don't even have to have purchased a device.

Try THAT with an Apple program. Want real fun? Make some "NookKids" eBooks. For a client outside of the USA. Guess what? That client has no way to see his own ebooks. None at all. You can't sideload NookKids' books to any "Nook 4.." app. Nor to NookKids' for iPad, nor for....get the drift? And since he's not in the US, he can't buy nor register a Nook. I had to buy a Nook, register it to me, and ship it to NZ. Want more fun, if you want to talk about coding? Everybody here can tell you stories until your eyes bleed, about fun and games with coding for Nook devices.

But wait, there's MORE! Anyone here yet had a chance to tell you about kepub? For KoboBooks?

Yeah, sorry, kids, but all things considered, I'll take Amazon ANY day.

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Old 05-09-2017, 03:19 AM   #39
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One last comment: with regard to your unhappiness with Amazon: sure, they decided on a proprietary format. So what? It's all well and good to bitch about it, but I'd rather have them supporting ALL their Kindles, rather than have them Apple it, and throw out hundreds of thousands of buyers/users, just because they want to FORCE the person to buy a new device.


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That seems to be exactly it. Instead of producing tablets compliant with standardized code to begin with. Or, at the least, writing conversion code that is device-specific. Yeah, I know to a degree they do that, but not if they don't allow certain things b/c the e-ink devices can't support it. The conversion code should be slick enough to do what it needs to produce a separate e-ink version
You can do something similar, but you need to feed it a lot of @media code (display some code in old MOBI, different code in KF8). See the Kindle Publishing Guidelines ("Appendix C: Media Queries").

That may bring about a whole other host of headaches for you.

Something similar would have to be done if you wanted formulas as PNG (MOBI) + SVG (KF8). Personally I don't bother with @media for images, BUT I created a workflow (and use consistent code) that would allow me to easily update in the future if needed.

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I have a very low opinion of tech companies that take something that is standardized and make a proprietary version for greed... and then make it non-compliant on top of that. (MS IE and the browser wars of the 90s is a good example!) It screws the whole industry up. So never bought a Kindle but rooted an Android tablet with XDA custom ROM and use apps like Aldiko and Moon+ Pro.
lol... you complain about Amazon botching the display of the HTML/CSS, but you use Moon+ which throws all your hard-work CSS right out the window. :P

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Before I redo all 130 images... a question for all. Most are intended to be only 1/4 of the page (at full width). Is 600px width adequate? The PDF says to make them twice the intended size so that can be zoomed in 2x w/o blurriness, but this would mean re-downloading larger originals, then applying the effects in PS to each one again (border contours, etc). Opinions?
As Hitch mentioned, that is up to you (we can't see your images).

But as a general workflow rule, you typically want to do all of your additions/changes/tweaks as close to the original resolution as possible. Then you would just be able to take the completed work and resize/export to X resolution and export... instead of having to redo multiple extra steps per resolution.

Also, when dealing with images in ebooks, you should always keep in mind the potential for a future Print edition, where you would NEED much higher resolution images (300+DPI).

Like in GrannyGrump's restorations of drawings in Public Domain books. She works directly from the source scans (300+DPI), cleans up the image as best as possible, then resizes downwards for EPUB. In the future (when better devices + future formats roll around), she could easily just drop in the higher resolution image.

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 05-09-2017 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:24 AM   #40
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I am apparently one of those 'old farts' that use an e-Ink device. I think as a reading device it is far superior to a tablet. For example it is not as heavy, very easy on the battery and I can read it in the sun without trouble. No light source (only if I want it), so also easier on the eyes. A tablet has several use cases, being a book reader is not one of them for me.
Now, I don't use a Kindle, but that is because Amazon is a very marginal player over here. The vast majority is ePUB. Same story though.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:58 AM   #41
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To all, thank you for your input. I am not about to engage in an argument, however. Amazon engenders loyalty, probably and especially for people who have made money publishing with them, which is understandable. To be fair, once I start publishing I might soften in my attitude in that at least there will be an up side to Amazon to counter the negatives (not excuse or embrace them, but counter them).

OTOH, defending Amazon by pointing to companies who do worse (Apple for instance) is not resolving Amazon. So what to proprietary formats? This shows a total lack of understanding of the bigger picture of what serves the international community of online standards... i.e., the public, education, and ease of making as much information available to as many people as possible in the most efficient way... yes, even while making a profit. Proprietary formats that undermine international standards work against that, and there is only one reason for it.

Amazon would not have such a big job supporting their older devices, nor would coders who have worked so hard to make their programs adaptable, if they had initially made them compliant with standard code. Yes, e-ink is different and there are built-in restrictions, but the 'solutions' they came up with are not solutions at all. Now that newer Kindles are capable, they still aren't supporting the standards. That works against the entire ebook industry. That's my opinion, YMMV, and we can agree to disagree.

(And to Hitch, I don't read books with pictures and if I did, I'd use an app that supports the code. Maybe Aldiko does, I don't know, b/c I have never had a need. But I have 4 e-reader apps on my tablet.)

Have a good day, all...
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:48 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Trane View Post
To all, thank you for your input. I am not about to engage in an argument, however. Amazon engenders loyalty, probably and especially for people who have made money publishing with them, which is understandable. To be fair, once I start publishing I might soften in my attitude in that at least there will be an up side to Amazon to counter the negatives (not excuse or embrace them, but counter them).

OTOH, defending Amazon by pointing to companies who do worse (Apple for instance) is not resolving Amazon. So what to proprietary formats? This shows a total lack of understanding of the bigger picture of what serves the international community of online standards... i.e., the public, education, and ease of making as much information available to as many people as possible in the most efficient way... yes, even while making a profit. Proprietary formats that undermine international standards work against that, and there is only one reason for it.

Amazon would not have such a big job supporting their older devices, nor would coders who have worked so hard to make their programs adaptable, if they had initially made them compliant with standard code. Yes, e-ink is different and there are built-in restrictions, but the 'solutions' they came up with are not solutions at all. Now that newer Kindles are capable, they still aren't supporting the standards. That works against the entire ebook industry. That's my opinion, YMMV, and we can agree to disagree.

(And to Hitch, I don't read books with pictures and if I did, I'd use an app that supports the code. Maybe Aldiko does, I don't know, b/c I have never had a need. But I have 4 e-reader apps on my tablet.)

Have a good day, all...
Don't get in an argument, but.... :-)

Well, I think that as you invest more time in attempting to make your book, being a publisher, etc., you'll find that those "standards" you're so hot on are pretty much NOT used by anyone in the retail sector. Apple has blithely ignored them since the get-go; KoboBooks has its own goddamned format, and B&N's engine brings its own set of issues.

All that IDPF "standards" stuff sounds GREAT, doesn't it? But there are realities which, as a newcomer, you haven't encountered yet. Firstly, if you view the IDPF standards, over the last, say, 7 years, you'll see that what goes in to those standards is highly--highly--politicized, and you most certainly can't lay blame for that at Amazon's feet. Secondly, for every step forward, there are two back, and thirdly, as I said, guess how many retailing environments actually pay attention to those standards? As in, NONE?

As Tex pointed out, you yourself are using an eReader that ignores your own CSS. Welcome to eBook making, 101: everything you thought you knew, from standards, from books, from blog articles, from Liz Castro: most of it is wrong.

As Tox pointed out, LOTS of people read on eInks. Simply assuming that if Amazon "had only" stuck to the ePUB standards that all the issues would magically go away is just incorrect, as those of us who are bookmaking find out DAILY, struggling with things like B&N's issues, or Kobo butchering complex layout books, etc.

So, yes, you're right, that just "pointing at other retailers" doesn't somehow exculpate them of the perceived wrongdoing that you've ascribed to them, but, really: says who? Any company, any where, can release an eReader. That's capitalism. There are thousands of eReading apps out there, on thousands of devices. Just because Amazon decided to use a different format (which, I should point out, already EXISTED, in mobipocket, which was WIDELY used, way back then....), doesn't mean that what they've done is somehow "wrong." YOU think it's wrong, because you are ascribing their motives to greed. Maybe it was as simple as, they bought mobipocket and liked it?

OR, how about this one:

They realized--as any person would do--in reviewing both ePUB format and MBP, at the time, that nearly any idiot could learn how to make a mobipocket eBook, to upload and sell on their site.

Amazon had already seen what was happening with Smashwords. You didn't need to be Oppenheimer, to know that self-publishing was going to be BIG. However, in 2008/09-2010, you had to be fairly "tecchy" to make an ePUB. BUT, almost anyone could learn how to use MobipocketCreator, to make a (then) PRC file, which of course became "mobi."

I wonder just how HUGE self-publishing would have been, back then, if Amazon had only accepted ePUB format, instead of using a format that could be, and was, widely accessible and usable by everyday would-be publishers?

It's always dead easy to ascribe GREED to corporate America. It's easy to point fingers, and say "oh, so EVIIIILLLLLLLLLLL." I--and many others here--were here, around MBPC, around early ePUB, around Amazon, around Smashwords, etc., back then, and I can tell you that to THIS DAY, if Amazon suddenly said "oh, all ye self-pubs, you ALL have to use ePUB format," things would change drastically--for the self-publishers. Hell, I'd LOVE it if they did that! Because I'd make a shitload more MONEY.

Not to mention, the millions that they've put in, creating tools that almost any dumbo can use, to make an ebook from a Word file, from an HTML file, from text, from this or that or the kitchen sink. ALL of that, every penny (including millions of bucks in unpaid tech support), is in support of making self-publishing a decent-quality eBook EASIER for the self-publisher. It damn sure isn't about making it easier or cheaper on THEM.

I deal with the same type of questions, tech issues, user issues, etc., all day, that they do, and I know full well what that COSTS, in terms of real capital outlay. (FYI: unpaid tech support, answering questions like, "How do I download a file from a browser," "I can't find my downloaded file," "I don't know how to open this MOBI/ePUB file," etc. is the SECOND largest expense category in my business, coming in a very close second--2nd--to what I pay my bookmakers to build the books. If I didn't have to provide it, that would make a VERY nice living for someone or be very nice profits in my pocket. I am 100% sure that Amazon's costs on this are even greater, percentage-wise, than mine, simply because I've seen the questions on the forums, etc. I must see "how do I make a TOC in Word" about 100x a week.)

So, believe what you will--you will, anyway--but there are other factors at play here, and there ALWAYS WERE. And, for that matter, still are.

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Old 05-10-2017, 03:24 AM   #43
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I am apparently one of those 'old farts' that use an e-Ink device. I think as a reading device it is far superior to a tablet. For example it is not as heavy, very easy on the battery and I can read it in the sun without trouble. No light source (only if I want it), so also easier on the eyes. A tablet has several use cases, being a book reader is not one of them for me.
Now, I don't use a Kindle, but that is because Amazon is a very marginal player over here. The vast majority is ePUB. Same story though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Trane View Post
So what to proprietary formats? [...] Proprietary formats that undermine international standards work against that, and there is only one reason for it.
I hate proprietary formats, but KF8 isn't that bad... it is pretty much an EPUB.

In some cases they even support HTML5+CSS3/EPUB3 functions better than many EPUB3 readers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
I deal with the same type of questions, tech issues, user issues, etc., all day, that they do, and I know full well what that COSTS, in terms of real capital outlay. (FYI: unpaid tech support, answering questions like, "How do I download a file from a browser," "I can't find my downloaded file," "I don't know how to open this MOBI/ePUB file," etc. is the SECOND largest expense category in my business, coming in a very close second--2nd--to what I pay my bookmakers to build the books. If I didn't have to provide it, that would make a VERY nice living for someone or be very nice profits in my pocket. I am 100% sure that Amazon's costs on this are even greater, percentage-wise, than mine, simply because I've seen the questions on the forums, etc. I must see "how do I make a TOC in Word" about 100x a week.)


It really is horrifying when you see how bad these questions are. And then soul sucking when you see how often you get them. No matter how many times you answer, the next day, you get the same question. You have to imagine how some of these people are even able to click using a mouse and type using a keyboard!

But absolutely fantastic Tools + Customer Support is one of the main reasons why Amazon is beating the pants off of the competition.
  • Supporting/Updating their devices (not throwing them down the drain like B&N/Apple)
  • Making it easy as pie to purchase books
    • Single button press on your device/browser and magically teleports to ALL your devices
    • More purchased books means happier customers/authors/publishers.
  • Fantastic Customer Support
    • As Hitch mentioned, what a giant pain in the neck it is to even GET A RESPONSE from some of these companies
  • Tools that are so "dumbed down" that your grandma can use them
    • Plop in your Word file, pops out a (decent) ebook.
    • You can even take your EXISTING ebook files and do minor tweaks to them instead of having to scrap the entire thing and redo all your work (iBooks Author).
  • Larger % royalties.
    • Probably because they are very efficient at those other steps + allowing you to cut out a lot of the middlemen.
    • As an author, larger % royalty means you can lower the book prices and still make similar amounts of money. Customers love this as well.
  • Massive amounts of telemetry
    • Amazon can invent completely new markets that previously didn't exist (pay-per-page).

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 05-10-2017 at 03:30 AM.
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:17 PM   #44
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Is there no simple way to center text under an image that is universal???
I make no claim to universality, but this has always worked for me:

div.caption {
margin-bottom: 1em;
text-align:center;
font-style:italic;
}


And then of course something like:

<div class="caption">O how pretty this looks, centered on the page!</div>
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:48 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notjohn View Post
I make no claim to universality, but this has always worked for me:

div.caption {
margin-bottom: 1em;
text-align:center;
font-style:italic;
}


And then of course something like:

<div class="caption">O how pretty this looks, centered on the page!</div>
NJ, my sweet:

You are assuming that a) the image either fills the page, margin-to-margin, or b) that the image is also centered.

What if the image is floated right or left?

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