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Old 04-09-2019, 02:15 PM   #1
handycrowd
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Smile File size Sigil vs Kindle Create

Hello,
Quick ponder. I just uploaded (to KDP) my latest book as a straight, simply formatted MS WORD .docx file.

Out of interest I compared the file size to the same file pushed through Kindle Create.

The WORD .docx was 31% larger than KCreate's offering, predictably.

(file is about 55k words and 180 images over 260 pages)

My thought is, will formatting this book with Sigil give me enough file size savings over the KC version to justify the hours to do the work?
Cheers

p.s. I like using Sigil but am less enamored with KC... so I can't be objective ;-)
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handycrowd View Post
Hello,
Quick ponder. I just uploaded (to KDP) my latest book as a straight, simply formatted MS WORD .docx file.

Out of interest I compared the file size to the same file pushed through Kindle Create.

The WORD .docx was 31% larger than KCreate's offering, predictably.

(file is about 55k words and 180 images over 260 pages)

My thought is, will formatting this book with Sigil give me enough file size savings over the KC version to justify the hours to do the work?
Cheers

p.s. I like using Sigil but am less enamored with KC... so I can't be objective ;-)
No idea. But I DO know the size of the epub source file isn't likely to be very relevant to the size of the Kindlebook that gets created from it after uploading to KDP. To my understanding, the size of the file being delivered to devices is really the only size that's relevant when talking about Amazon delivery fees.

I'd be tempted to say that whether docx, epub, or Kindle Creator file, the size of the Kindlebook that gets created/delivered to any particular device/app isn't going to have much variance at all.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 04-09-2019 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:31 PM   #3
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Smile

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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
the size of the Kindlebook that gets created/delivered to any particular device/app isn't going to have much variance at all.
You're so right there. Stupidly, I didn't note down the file size as delivered, only the file size in kb quoted on the books webpage.

The old file is quoted as 41,000kb plus, and the new one was 61,730kb plus, but only 13.6MB after conversion.

So you think that KDP's grinder is pretty good at stripping out all the rubbish then and delivering a pretty lean file size, regardless of the input format?

Hmm, might stick with KCreate then, as it worked pretty well with a totally bare WORD .docx...

Thanks for making the time...
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:39 PM   #4
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Sorry I'm jumping in here but after reading your response I cringed so hard my neck had spasms....

Please, please, please...don't ever rely on an automated "grinder" to "get rid of the rubbish" for you. You, or your customers, will always be left flapping in the wind.

It really takes very little time to understand the basics of html and css... and there are two very good, free, tools to help; Sigil or Calibre Editor.

Cheers,
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:38 PM   #5
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Sorry I'm jumping in here but after reading your response I cringed so hard my neck had spasms....

Please, please, please...don't ever rely on an automated "grinder" to "get rid of the rubbish" for you. You, or your customers, will always be left flapping in the wind.

It really takes very little time to understand the basics of html and css... and there are two very good, free, tools to help; Sigil or Calibre Editor.

Cheers,
Hey, Turtle!

Could I hire you to stand outside our virtual door, and tell that to people? I had someone today who rather snottily informed me that OUR eBooks weren't worth more than the $25 cleaned-Word-File version that he got from some Fiverr....sigh. :-)

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Old 04-10-2019, 02:25 AM   #6
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Sorry, you slightly misunderstood. I was responding to DD's note that the input file didn't matter too much as uploading to KDP would do what KDP does regardless.

The 'grinder' referenced was just uploading and submitting to KDP itself...

I'm using Sigil as we speak. I love it, finally a piece of software that works without falling over a couple of times a day.

Last edited by handycrowd; 04-10-2019 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:49 PM   #7
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Well, one day our customers are going to realise that if they write their books in Word using simple, consistent styling, we sometimes have very little value to add in creating a tidy, readable eBook.

But I can remember just ONE instance where I delivered a conversion with a nominal invoice, explaining that I'd be embarassed to charge more for a 15-minute job. I don't think we need to worry too much. :-)
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
Well, one day our customers are going to realise that if they write their books in Word using simple, consistent styling, we sometimes have very little value to add in creating a tidy, readable eBook.

But I can remember just ONE instance where I delivered a conversion with a nominal invoice, explaining that I'd be embarassed to charge more for a 15-minute job. I don't think we need to worry too much. :-)
Wombat, maybe for you. :-) I mean, sure...if the end result is a vanilla ebook, no fonts, no accent fonts, no fleurons, sorta like we were putting out in '09-10, agreed. But now? With all we can do?

Sheesh!

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Old 04-10-2019, 06:35 PM   #9
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Well, I think we could almost always do fleurons and fonts? Though then as now, fleurons have a terrible habit of getting orphaned. And my grandfather, who worked a hot metal Linotype machine, impressed on me that unless you were printing a wedding invitation one font family per book was almost always plenty, and only cads chose sans-serif. :-)

Whether I'm editing a video or setting a book, 'Because I can' has never seemed a good enough reason for gimmickry. But if you insist on geometric transitions or Comic Sans, throw money at me and I'll deliver with a smile!

Last edited by pdurrant; 04-11-2019 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:52 PM   #10
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Wombat, maybe for you. :-) I mean, sure...if the end result is a vanilla ebook, no fonts, no accent fonts, no fleurons, sorta like we were putting out in '09-10, agreed. But now? With all we can do?

Sheesh!

Hitch
Hmm... most of the assistance that I've given has been get to that vanilla ebook. For me, that is the starting spot before adding in the nicer touches such as graphic scene breaks, chapter numbering with graphics and an accent font, etc. And lest we forget, perhaps some proofreading though that seems to be on it's way to a lost art.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
Well, I think we could almost always do fleurons and fonts? Though then as now, fleurons have a terrible habit of getting orphaned. And my grandfather, who worked a hot metal Linotype machine, impressed on me that unless you were printing a wedding invitation one font family per book was almost always plenty, and only cads and homosexuals chose sans-serif. :-)

Whether I'm editing a video or setting a book, 'Because I can' has never seemed a good enough reason for gimmickry. But if you insist on geometric transitions or Comic Sans, throw money at me and I'll deliver with a smile!
Well, I try very hard not to embed Papyrus, Comic Sans or Algerian, any of the other fonts (yes, Bleeding Cowboys, I'm lookin' at you!) that have become woefully overused.

Really, seriously, I meant other things that we do; making print book elements like ingredients and amounts set out using tables and other things that we couldn't do, 9 years ago. Or the adjustable-size pullquote decoration that we do. Those sort of things that aren't foof for foof's sake, but have a real purpose.

And yes, of course, in an ebook, a fleuron will be orphaned, somewhere. It will happen. Just as so too will widows/orphans. 'Tis the way of it.

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Hmm... most of the assistance that I've given has been get to that vanilla ebook. For me, that is the starting spot before adding in the nicer touches such as graphic scene breaks, chapter numbering with graphics and an accent font, etc. And lest we forget, perhaps some proofreading though that seems to be on it's way to a lost art.
The cleanup of most files, from manuscript, is indeed the real art. I concur.

I guess, from my perspective, we do so much work from PDFs, from other file types (other than plain old manuscripts, I mean), from the world's crappiest INDD files, even from--yeah, verily--powerpoint, that that's what I'm really talking about. Let's face it, you don't need a degree in rocket surgery to make a 60K word bodice-ripper from Word.

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Old 04-10-2019, 08:04 PM   #12
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Yes, the ingenuity of authors in finding inconvenient ways to present their material continues to mpress me!

The old type-setter's maxim was 'Set what you're sent'. I guess we have to extend this now with 'check that you're seeing what they THINK they sent'.

Sometimes we're sent what seems an illogical, inconsistent selection of line breaks and spacing, indents, paragraph margins etc. SOMETIMES this is all part of the author's deeply logical (to him) intention. I must admit to often chancing that it isn't :-) Occasionally the job gets sent back. Not often.

And, although I tend to add missing full stops, I leave the author's apostrophes alone - however much they make me wince.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
Yes, the ingenuity of authors in finding inconvenient ways to present their material continues to mpress me!

The old type-setter's maxim was 'Set what you're sent'. I guess we have to extend this now with 'check that you're seeing what they THINK they sent'.

Sometimes we're sent what seems an illogical, inconsistent selection of line breaks and spacing, indents, paragraph margins etc. SOMETIMES this is all part of the author's deeply logical (to him) intention. I must admit to often chancing that it isn't :-) Occasionally the job gets sent back. Not often.

And, although I tend to add missing full stops, I leave the author's apostrophes alone - however much they make me wince.
Have you gotten the ones where they think that the paragraphs that start with dialogue should be indented, and narrative block-style, or vice-versa? I don't know what asshat spreads that around, or tells people that's the right way to write a book, but it's MIND-boggling to me. I keep wanting to ask those folks, "have you ever SEEN a book?" I've seen more than a few now, and honest to crap, it leaves me speechless.

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Old 04-10-2019, 08:34 PM   #14
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And, although I tend to add missing full stops, I leave the author's apostrophes alone - however much they make me wince.
I still have memories of one author's love affair with the em dash—the sort of memories that have me heading to bed clutching my dog eared copy of The Canadian Book of Style.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:04 AM   #15
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Speaking of widows and orphans, (and noting that there seems no clear agreement over the definition of either) there IS a solution to one variety, the single word in the last line of a paragraph. Particularly ugly in a multi-line header or a block of centered text. And all it takes is replacing the last space in the paragraph with a non-breaking one. I'm surprised that a plugin to do this isn't standard.
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