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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought we could use this thread to list books with the dreaded TOPAZ format -- and maybe include updates if any of them get fixed. For anyone who doesn't know, Topaz is a format/font that is used on some books. It almost looks like the book was scanned to create the efile. Many people have reported problems with Topaz -- pages turn very slowly, Kindle sometimes freezes, and changing the font size is weird and sometimes non-existent. Lots of people refuse to read books in Topaz.

So far on my list:

A Fountain Filled With Blood by Julia Spencer-Lewis
Social Intelligence by Karl Albrecht

Others?

L
 

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Are these Amazon Kindle e-books? Or from another website? I don't see A Fountain Filled With Blood as available in the Kindle store....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
pidgeon92 said:
Are these Amazon Kindle e-books? Or from another website? I don't see A Fountain Filled With Blood as available in the Kindle store....
Hm, interesting. I wonder if they took it down when people complained. It was freebie from Amazon, yes. I still have it on my Kindle because I haven't read it yet.

L
 

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The only book I've read in the Topaz format is: (Amazon Kindle Book)

Falling Leaves: The True Story of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
                                  by Adeline Yen Mah 

The TPZ format wasn't bad enough to make me ask for a refund but it was annoying.
 

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pidgeon92 said:
Falling Leaves is no longer available either.

Is there a way to tell what the format is prior to purchasing?
I see that it's gone. Maybe Amazon is telling the publishers to re-format TPZ books? I know of no way to tell prior to download to tell if a book is in TPZ format. If you DL to your computer you can see the file extension and tell but maybe one of our Kindle experts on this board knows of another way.
 

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Someone on the Amazon board said that you can tell by the file size, because Topaz formatted files are very large.

But of course "large" is a relative term, so that still would not make it easy to tell.

I haven't gotten anything in Topaz format yet. I am very glad that Amazon is willing to refund the price of a book if the user does not like how it's formatted, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I did a little research. First off, the Topaz files have the extension .AZW1. I had four files with that extension on my Kindle: A Fountain Filled With Blood and three samples. I looked at all three samples and sure enough! Topaz! But these didn't look as bad as some of the others I have seen. The font was large and easy to read and the pages turned quickly. So...

The file for Fountain was large: 5867 KB. Most of the other book files were 500 to 800 KB. The New York Times was about 1200 KB. So that tidbit of information was correct.

Now this is the downside of this research. Since I had to look at the samples, I started reading one. And I liked it so much I bought the book! Duh...so much for me hating the dreaded Topaz format! LOL. And I just spent another $9.99!

L
 

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Let me know what the samples are, I would like to see the formatting difference.... I would like email Kindle support and see if they can identify the formats in the individual book descriptions, but I want to have enough background to properly ask the question....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
pidgeon92 said:
Let me know what the samples are, I would like to see the formatting difference.... I would like email Kindle support and see if they can identify the formats in the individual book descriptions, but I want to have enough background to properly ask the question....
Promise not to laugh? Three books from Cleis Press: The Back Passage (James Lear), The Secret Tunnel (James Lear), and My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy (Andrea Askowitz).

L
 

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These are the Topaz books I've come across:

Cockatiels at Seven by Donna Andrews (read sample... passed on purchase)
Memoirs of Mangy Lover by Groucho Marx (sample)
Pebble in the Sky by Isaac Asimov (really, really awful - complained to Amazon)
Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson (sample, complained to Amazon, but it's still there)
Child of a Rainless Year by Jane Liskold (sample)
The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick (sample)
To Light a Candle: The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey (sample)
A Mammoth Murder by Bill Crider (marginal, went ahead and read it)
The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (marginal, went ahead and read it)

Harpo Speaks by Harpo and Rowland Barber is another sample I read, but it seems to have disappeared from the store. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't great, either.

Mike
 

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Ok, I downloaded samples of Cockatiels at Seven and Pebble in the Sky, and they are indeed awful. Seriously bad. I think we should recommend to everyone that they download samples of all books prior to purchasing them.

I didn't try downloading any of the samples Leslie suggested.... ;D

I've sent an email to Amazon customer service to see if they will put something in the book description to indicate the file type, I'll post their response.
 

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Yes, topaz is bad.  the best thing to do is to get samples.  but I have still purchased books I want to read in Topaz  (like I have a choice?) and put up with the slower speed. but on the positive side, font is larger and that is welcome to these tired eyes.  I haven't had the freeze problem, but definitely the slow refresh rate.  A bad choice by publishers...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
jmiked said:
pidgeon92 said:
That's what I get for not reading the user manual. ;)
I'm pretty sure it's not there, heh. I got it from a list of shortcuts and secrets somewhere. It's also on the forum here somewhere.

It only works if you have an SD card in the Kindle.

Mike
I don't understand. How did you make the screenshot?

L
 
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