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Messages - Gessert Books

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Seems like audiovisual stuff is like a multiplier on reaction to stuff like this. Kind of like how you can hear a song about something relatable and it's like, wow, this really touched me. But outside of that context the same idea might almost be kinda banal.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Well now, two spaces it is!
« on: May 05, 2018, 11:55:11 AM »
That article opens by mentioning that two-space is useful mainly for monospace, and then later mentions that this test was done using monospace. It would have been interesting to see the results using something common like Garamond, set using a good typesetting engine, but I bet they just forgot.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Advice for printing an ebook?
« on: May 04, 2018, 07:36:22 AM »
About 2.5 months.

With 2.5 months and considering it's short run, I'd probably look at having em done at a local shop in Montreal, and perhaps the organizer will be willing to review the proof for you (since they're paying for it anyway). Exception might be if you anticipate this sort of thing coming up fairly often, in which case POD might be more convenient in the long run.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Advice for printing an ebook?
« on: May 03, 2018, 08:34:20 PM »
How much lead time do you have?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Using different fonts in a Kindle book?
« on: May 02, 2018, 03:53:04 PM »
You can use alternate fonts for chapter headings. I wouldn't use them for anything else. Used anywhere else, it can annoy folks, and not all readers will obey it.

Not all fonts that work well for print will work well for ebook. E-ink displays can do some undesirable things with e.g. finer serifs. A lot of this stuff factors into how they choose those inbuilt defaults. That doesn't apply to Comic Sans obviously, just mentioning it in general. Your friend won't be able to use Comic Sans with the standard font license for using it on their desktop computer, ebook embeds require a different sort of (usually paid) license.

You mentioned that your friend is not very technical--using a custom font is not wildy complicated, but does require some understanding of CSS and the way ebooks like files organized.

I would suggest setting them as blockquotes instead (that's how I do it). Generally, for body type in ebooks, it's advisable to use a pretty light touch. You're well off choosing something common and basic to run throughout, and accept that most readers will override it with their chosen defaults and never even see it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Sigil Previewer?
« on: April 29, 2018, 09:08:11 PM »
You are mainly concerned about pagination? Broadly speaking most e-readers only consistently obey pagebreaks at each individual file in the bundle.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Embedded fonts in formatting
« on: April 26, 2018, 08:43:17 AM »
Not all configurations will obey the embedded font, and may instead display a fallback. A bigger issue maybe is choosing a font that allows that sort of embed in the font license.

Are you able to export a MOBI file from Kindle Previewer via File > Export?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Any online guides/courses to learn formatting?
« on: March 01, 2018, 08:31:21 AM »
What sorts of unusual typographic layouts are you working with? Most online formatting guides mostly deal with really straightforward tasks, stuff like "30 or so chapters of continuous prose," so you're not likely to find guides that cover the tricky bits. And depending how unusual the layouts are, it might not be easy to accomplish in Scrivener or Word.

You might think about poking around on the Mobileread wiki and forum for the stuff that online guides don't cover. Though not all layouts work well for ebooks meant for sale.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Designing ebooks in Calibre or otherwise
« on: February 23, 2018, 11:35:45 AM »
I wonder if I can just create the paperback from the PDF that Draft2Digital exports, since I like the style I used in their importer. It would need to be touched up a bit. Is there a good PDF to MS Word converter? I can probably use Jutoh for that too. I'll check into it.

You should not attempt to edit a finished PDF by converting it to a Word format. It introduces new problems that can be very time-consuming to correct.

If it helps, I've handled a number of projects for authors who only have PDFs of their works for various reasons, have worked from scans for academic projects, repaired and remixed existing ePubs and MOBIs, etc. and can nearly always extract the data I need for those projects. They usually need some (or a lot of) extra cleanup and proofreading, but I imagine most pirates just skip that part. I do not think there are many good ways to foil pirates without significantly bothering paying customers. I'd focus more on folks that are willing to pay than on folks that aren't.

Writers' Cafe / Re: file conversion: PDF to epub or doc
« on: February 08, 2018, 01:36:32 PM »
There is no easy and inexpensive solution, sadly. PDF is an endpoint, so it's kind of like turning a hamburger back into a cow.

You can extract the text from it, but you will have to proofread the results very carefully, because there will likely be missing or substituted characters, incorrect hyphenation, etc. throughout.

As for using full-page images instead, this is not a good idea, because Amazon objects to that approach. Probably because it creates a bad user experience. Basically, they don't like it if you create a reflowable ebook that acts like a fixed-format ebook, and they also don't like fixed-format ebooks that would have been better suited for reflowable. If half of your pages are straight text, and the other half are all images, I do not think Amazon (or readers) will find it a good candidate for fixed-format or fixed-format-esque approaches.

I would be very cautious about any responses you may get on Fiverr, converting a PDF to a well-formed ebook is an arduous task, so hiring it out should be a lot pricier than most Fiverr gigs are.

I like to use Pomodoro, and I start the day with one of the long breaks Pomodoro uses (15-30min) to get kinda recreational stuff out of my system early. Works pretty good for me.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Formatting Gurus, I Need Your Help
« on: January 26, 2018, 07:57:50 AM »
It may be that the conversion removed one of the MOBI formats. MOBI files generated via Kindlegen (likely what your formatter used) are usually dual-format, one for newer devices and one for older devices, so the single file contains two copies of the book. Perhaps your new file only contains the older format.

What are the pixel dimensions of the images, and how large are they (in inches) on the page?

I believe Ingram requires PDF-X1a, and Createspace does not. That's not to say this designer doesn't provide PDF-X1a even for Createspace, just that it is technically not required for them. Spine width will also differ.

Changing a flat, single layer file from one to the other would vary in difficulty based on the way the spine works into the design, and also on the state of the CS file. It probably would not be too bad, but modifying another designers work without access to source files is not ideal.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Public domain works are free to quote from, right?
« on: October 26, 2017, 09:35:17 PM »
No. The copyright lies in the original work. The translation is derivative.

Translations often include a translator's preface. Any copyright asserted lies only in that preface, not in the original work.

What about the specific wording used in the translation of that original work?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Public domain works are free to quote from, right?
« on: October 26, 2017, 07:56:28 PM »
I think specific translations of public domain works can also be copyrighted.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Text Layout and Formatting needed
« on: October 26, 2017, 05:02:32 AM »
I may be able to help, you can see some details about my service (pricing, FAQ, work samples) at

I see where it says you can use them on commercial websites, is there a place where it says you can use them for other commercial uses, like in a book that's sold?

Most if not all Google Fonts are distributed under the SIL license, which is very free and open:

Writers' Cafe / Re: You Know You Watching a Horror Movie When...
« on: October 03, 2017, 02:31:31 PM »
Victim escapes, goes streetside, waves down a car, it's the villains.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What fonts do you like for book covers?
« on: September 20, 2017, 08:01:11 PM »
Your title font is very stylish, it is best to stay out of the way of it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Should I kill the dog?
« on: August 30, 2017, 10:15:30 AM »
Bout half the time I find myself watching a movie, especially a thriller, horror, etc, and any sort of house pet appears, I just switch it off to avoid seeing scenes like that. So my vote is #2 unless the dog serves some other really key purpose, though I imagine option #2 wouldn't even exist if so.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Journal entries in fiction
« on: August 24, 2017, 03:02:20 PM »
You can sometimes get away with something simple like a section break symbol before and after, if they are long. You may be able to try setting the salutation in blocks and the rest as ordinary continuous prose, e.g.:

Dear Diary, (block)

Today I...(ordinary indented paragraphs)

8/24/17 (block)

It depends on how long the sections are, and how they are structured.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Stock Art Site Featuring POC
« on: August 24, 2017, 11:42:08 AM »
Here is another I came across today. Like with the first one, I haven't used it yet myself, but thought it might be useful for folks looking for stock featuring POC:

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