Author Topic: Fixing Indents in Books Purchased from Amazon  (Read 687 times)  

Offline TromboneAl

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Fixing Indents in Books Purchased from Amazon
« on: June 08, 2020, 03:09:44 pm »
I find it annoying that some Kindle books have poor paragraph indenting. Here are two examples (books I bought from Amazon):



The one on the left has an indent of only about half a character, and there's no way to change it on the Kindle. I'm not looking forward to reading it.

Is there a way to get that book off my Kindle and into Calibre where I can fix the indenting? Any other way to fix it?

Thanks.
 
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    Online barryem

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    Re: Fixing Indents in Books Purchased from Amazon
    « Reply #1 on: June 08, 2020, 04:22:02 pm »
    If you have the dedrm plugin installed in Calibre you can fix it easily.  If you don't have dedrm plugin google Apprentice Alf to find the plugin and install it.  I don't want to go into too much detail here because the things you might do with Apprentice Alf are not always acceptable to discuss in legitimate forums, although a lot of people in those forums do them and do them legitimately.

    You'll also want to download the older version of Kindle for PC.  I use version 1.17.0, which I know works.  Later versions won't work.  Install it and immediately go into settings and turn off updates or it'll quickly update to a newer version.  This is important because in Calibre it's much easier to deal with the KF8 format books than the KFX formats that the newer version will download.

    Download a fresh copy of the book, drag it into Calibre with dedrm installed, convert it to epub and when you do the conversion go into Look and Feel and set the text the way you want it.  I change the font to Bookerly and I go into Layout and have it insert a blank line between paragraphs.  Those are my preferences.  You should apply your own preferernces.

    Convert it back to AZW3 or Mobi and you're ready to go.  Put that book on your Kindle or send it to your library to download if you want to be able to sync it with other devices.  I've asked Amazon about this and they have no problem with us doing that.

    By the way, it might not be necessary to convert to epub.  I do that to make an epub to put on my phone, which is where I do a lot of my reading.  I've never done it any other way so this is the way I know works.  You might be able to convert it to AZW3 and get the same results.  I don't know for sure.  I do know you can convert to the same type, in general.  I don't know that it'll give you the same results but my guess is that it will.

    Barry



    Online Ann in Arlington

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    Re: Fixing Indents in Books Purchased from Amazon
    « Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 04:25:45 am »

    For me, spending a lot of time trying to fix something when I probably only paid a couple of bucks in the first place just isn't worth it. So when I find books that are badly formatted enough (or badly edited enough) that they're essentially unreadable, I return them to Amazon and explain they're defective. Often I can get my money back even if it's been more than a week. And if not, well, books that poorly done probably didn't cost me much anyway. I just delete 'em from my device. I also may leave a review on Amazon saying I couldn't read 'em and why.

    True Story: there's a series I used to read religiously every time a new book came out. One time, the book looked much like your first example -- only worse -- no indent at all. I returned it, reported it to Amazon, reported it to the publisher, reported it to the author (through GoodReads). They never fixed it. So, I don't read that series any more.

    BTW, I don't see any problem with the example on the right. If it's just the wide margin, that's barely an irritant for me, though I generally do prefer narrower. And deeper than 'normal' indenting I also don't consider an issue. :)
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    Offline crebel

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    Re: Fixing Indents in Books Purchased from Amazon
    « Reply #3 on: June 09, 2020, 12:59:14 pm »
    I'm with Ann on the first example, I wouldn't take the time to reformat something the author couldn't/didn't format correctly to begin with. 

    Although, I wouldn't have purchased the book in the first place because I always check the "Look Inside" now after being burned by the same series book Ann mentioned.  In that particular case, I had pre-ordered the book in an on-going series I absolutely loved and there had been no formatting problems in the previous umpteen books.  I no longer pre-order because of that one screw-up.  I put the book on a pre-order wish list and check formatting on release day before buying.

    Online barryem

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    Re: Fixing Indents in Books Purchased from Amazon
    « Reply #4 on: June 09, 2020, 01:43:36 pm »
    I don't mind spending the time to format a book if that's all it is.  If it's full of typos and errors that can be different.  I'll put up with some of that buf if it gets too bad I'll stop.  I don't really find too many books with more errors than I'll put up with but it happens now and then.

    If it's a simple matter of formatting I do that with every book I buy so it's not an issue.  I have Calibre set to convert books to epub and automatically format them to my preferred style.  I like left justification, a line between each paragraph and the Bookerly font.  That happens as I convert.  I don't have to ask for it.  The entire process takes about a minute, sometimes less.  If I buy two books I can usually do them both in the same minute.  It just ain't a big deal.

    The truth is I'm not real fussy about formatting.  I do need something to distinguish paragraphs but all of the things I prefer are pretty minor and I don't really need them.  I read paperbacks most of my life and there wasn't any "standard" format.  I never minded.

    Again, I'm talking about formatting, not errors.  I do think books are more carelessly edited these days then when I was younger.  I rarely found glaring errors in paperbacks.  I find them all the time in ebooks, even though they don't always stop me from reading.

    Barry

    Offline TromboneAl

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    Re: Fixing Indents in Books Purchased from Amazon
    « Reply #5 on: June 09, 2020, 05:22:56 pm »
    My Kindle tells me I will be reading it for over 11 hours, so I'd like to avoid the annoyance. Surprisingly, the indent problem isn't so bad in the Look Inside (yes, for the Kindle version). Almost two characters.
     
    I agree, the big indent on the one on the right isn't much of a problem.

    I have the DeDRM plugin V6.6.3 on Calibre, but when I tried to convert the azw3 to epub, I got a message saying it cannot be converted (locked by DRM). I'm thinking there have been some recent changes that have foiled DeDRM.
    « Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 05:26:19 pm by TromboneAl »
     
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    Re: Fixing Indents in Books Purchased from Amazon
    « Reply #6 on: June 09, 2020, 06:28:49 pm »
    DeDRM still works.  Did you get the older version of Kindle for PC.  That's essential.  I've heard that the newer version of Calibre can handle the new KFX format but that it's more complex to use.  I don't know what's involved.  I do know that if you use the old version of Kindle for PC everything works just fine.  I buy a few books a week and I always do it with each book, usually the same day I buy it, and it's never a problem.

    Barry

    Offline TromboneAl

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    Re: Fixing Indents in Books Purchased from Amazon
    « Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 07:48:35 am »
    DeDRM still works.  Did you get the older version of Kindle for PC.  That's essential.  I've heard that the newer version of Calibre can handle the new KFX format but that it's more complex to use.  I don't know what's involved.  I do know that if you use the old version of Kindle for PC everything works just fine.  I buy a few books a week and I always do it with each book, usually the same day I buy it, and it's never a problem.

    Barry


    I think that's the problem, but can you explain what Kindle for PC has to do with it? Isn't that just a reader for the computer?

    I'm on a Mac, but I assume the same applies WRT Kindle for Mac, which I do not have installed on my computer.

    Thanks.
     
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    Offline Linjeakel

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    Re: Fixing Indents in Books Purchased from Amazon
    « Reply #8 on: June 10, 2020, 08:44:14 am »
    I think that's the problem, but can you explain what Kindle for PC has to do with it? Isn't that just a reader for the computer?

    I think Barry uses the files downloaded to Kindle for PC to put in Calibre and do the converting.

    You can, if you prefer, download from Manage Your Content and Devices and use the transfer via USB option to get the file on to your PC. You have to specify which of your devices this file is intended for and, as I understand it, not all of them would give you a file that Calibre can convert. So it depends on what devices you have as to whether that method would work for you. If you use the correct version of Kindle for PC to get the file, it should work.

    I can only assume to the same would apply if you use a Mac.
    Linda

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    Re: Fixing Indents in Books Purchased from Amazon
    « Reply #9 on: June 10, 2020, 11:44:33 am »
    Linejeakel is correct.  I use the older version of Kindle for PC to download the books.  The newer versions download in a newer format that Calibre can't deal with easily.

    I know people do download using the transfer via USB option and get the same results but I've never done that.  I've read that you have to have an older Kindle, Paperwhite 1st generation or earlier to download for in order to use that.  I just checked my Content and Devices page and tried to download a book for the PW1 I used to have but since it's no longer registered it wouldn't let me.

    I don't know much about Macs but hopefully you can get an old version of the Kindle app for that.  Alternatively I think there's a Windows emulator for Macs that might let you install the old version of Kindle for PC.

    If nothing else you might ask a friend with a Windows computer to let you install the old version of Kindle for PC on their computer.  I'm not sure if Calibre has to be on the same computer or not.  I know that a lot of the programs that break various DRM's do use the capabilities of programs like Kindle for PC to do it but many don't and I don't know if this needs that help or not.

    One possibly inexpensive solution would be to buy a pretty old Kindle, register it to your account and download for USB transfer to it.  Amazon doesn't have any inexpensive used Kindles at the moment but that could change any time.  Ebay has quite a few Kindle 4's for between $20 and $30 but there's a risk there that you get a Kindle reported as stolen, which would prevent you from registering it.  If I was doing that I'd only buy from a dealer that offers easy returns, just in case.  I've bought a lot of stuff from Ebay over the years and I've never been burned yet but I've sure heard a lot of horror stories so I'm pretty careful.  I also don't buy from any seller that has less than a 99% good rating.

    Barry

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