Author Topic: How do I avoid this as a writer?  (Read 1673 times)

idontknowyet

How do I avoid this as a writer?
« on: June 20, 2019, 10:59:50 PM »
When I read the book the first time on KU, the font was fine.  Now about a year later I decided to buy the entire series since I've reread it several times and it looks like the author is taking it out of KU. I bought the first book last night and the font was insane. Moving everything down to the smallest setting possible (I usually use the 2nd one), I still can get the words down to even a half way reasonable size. Literally there are like 35-50 words on my screen at a given time. Its driving me nuts to read like this.


What do I need to do to make sure I never do this to my reader? Is there a specific font or font size I need to stick to?
 

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Re: How do I avoid this as a writer?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2019, 11:06:14 PM »
If you're creating the file you upload to KDP yourself, not trying to specify a font is the best plan. The defaults should never create an issue like this.

If you're using something like Vellum, that also seems to work. If for some reason it didn't, I guess there is a Kindle setting that allows a reader not to use the font the publisher designated. (I've never had to use this setting; I've only read about it.)

I haven't tried D2D's free formatting tools, but as far as I know, that should work, too.

In the case you're describing, I'd see if the author has contact information on his or website and get in touch if there's an email address. Possibly, the author has no idea there's a problem. You might get the issue fixed that way, and it's a friendlier approach than filing a quality issue with KDP.


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TimothyEllis

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Re: How do I avoid this as a writer?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2019, 11:09:58 PM »
When I read the book the first time on KU, the font was fine.  Now about a year later I decided to buy the entire series since I've reread it several times and it looks like the author is taking it out of KU. I bought the first book last night and the font was insane. Moving everything down to the smallest setting possible (I usually use the 2nd one), I still can get the words down to even a half way reasonable size. Literally there are like 35-50 words on my screen at a given time. Its driving me nuts to read like this.

Report the books. It might make Amazon send a nastygram about formatting.
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RPatton

Re: How do I avoid this as a writer?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2019, 01:34:19 AM »
When I read the book the first time on KU, the font was fine.  Now about a year later I decided to buy the entire series since I've reread it several times and it looks like the author is taking it out of KU. I bought the first book last night and the font was insane. Moving everything down to the smallest setting possible (I usually use the 2nd one), I still can get the words down to even a half way reasonable size. Literally there are like 35-50 words on my screen at a given time. Its driving me nuts to read like this.


What do I need to do to make sure I never do this to my reader? Is there a specific font or font size I need to stick to?

It actually sounds more like a device issue than a file issue.

My guess is somewhere the default settings on the device are overruling the app settings. Unless, you're reading on a Kindle. (Kindles are the devices that won't display the publisher's settings unless directed to by the reader or the publisher has set a bunch of mobi overrides, which honestly are way too much work just to fix the font size at an unreasonably large size.)

If I am reading outside of my kindle and the font size appears wacky, dollars to donuts it's because of some setting on the device I am reading it on and has nothing to do with the actual file.
 
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: How do I avoid this as a writer?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2019, 02:32:17 AM »
When I read the book the first time on KU, the font was fine.  Now about a year later I decided to buy the entire series since I've reread it several times and it looks like the author is taking it out of KU. I bought the first book last night and the font was insane. Moving everything down to the smallest setting possible (I usually use the 2nd one), I still can get the words down to even a half way reasonable size. Literally there are like 35-50 words on my screen at a given time. Its driving me nuts to read like this.


What do I need to do to make sure I never do this to my reader? Is there a specific font or font size I need to stick to?

It actually sounds more like a device issue than a file issue.

My guess is somewhere the default settings on the device are overruling the app settings. Unless, you're reading on a Kindle. (Kindles are the devices that won't display the publisher's settings unless directed to by the reader or the publisher has set a bunch of mobi overrides, which honestly are way too much work just to fix the font size at an unreasonably large size.)

If I am reading outside of my kindle and the font size appears wacky, dollars to donuts it's because of some setting on the device I am reading it on and has nothing to do with the actual file.
That would account for why the font seemed fine before and doesn't now--except that idontknowyet was probably using the same device or app. Maybe not, though. It would certainly be worth checking out.

I just looked at the Kindle app for the PC. It does let me set font and size, but idontknowyet mentioned changing the size. That suggests to me that any other odd setting would have been noticeable.

On the other hand, what you're saying makes sense logically. And I'm having a hard time figuring out why an author would change the font on a book that's been out for a long time. This is definitely a puzzle.


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RPatton

Re: How do I avoid this as a writer?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2019, 03:35:35 AM »

I just looked at the Kindle app for the PC. It does let me set font and size, but idontknowyet mentioned changing the size. That suggests to me that any other odd setting would have been noticeable.

But you can change the font settings on your PC. Half the time I don't realize I've done it until I am squinting at the screen wondering why my glasses aren't working when they were just fine the day before. (I tend to decrease my settings instead of increase.) My understanding is that the reading app takes the device's default settings into consideration and then applies its settings. So if the device has the font size increased to 125% and the CSS is set to 1 em, the app will continue to use that 125% as 1 em and shrinking it on the app probably won't drop it much below 115% maybe?
 
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idontknowyet

Re: How do I avoid this as a writer?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2019, 05:55:05 AM »
When I read the book the first time on KU, the font was fine.  Now about a year later I decided to buy the entire series since I've reread it several times and it looks like the author is taking it out of KU. I bought the first book last night and the font was insane. Moving everything down to the smallest setting possible (I usually use the 2nd one), I still can get the words down to even a half way reasonable size. Literally there are like 35-50 words on my screen at a given time. Its driving me nuts to read like this.


What do I need to do to make sure I never do this to my reader? Is there a specific font or font size I need to stick to?

It actually sounds more like a device issue than a file issue.

My guess is somewhere the default settings on the device are overruling the app settings. Unless, you're reading on a Kindle. (Kindles are the devices that won't display the publisher's settings unless directed to by the reader or the publisher has set a bunch of mobi overrides, which honestly are way too much work just to fix the font size at an unreasonably large size.)

If I am reading outside of my kindle and the font size appears wacky, dollars to donuts it's because of some setting on the device I am reading it on and has nothing to do with the actual file.

I only ever read on my kindle. For that matter unless im clicking a link for someones book here or on facebook, I only buy my books from my kindle. I don't do anything to change anything on the kindle except for where the options button says change font size. There you can adjust for ease of reading. I have almost never had this happen. A few times I have had a font soo small come up that I need to make it larger, but its probable only a few dozen times I've done that for the thousands of books I've read
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 05:58:48 AM by idontknowyet »
 

RPatton

Re: How do I avoid this as a writer?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2019, 07:49:43 AM »
Ooof. If it's a Kindle, than chances are it's the file.

Only other thing I can think of is the age of the Kindle. My old keyboard would occasionally go a bit wonky with font sizes. If you sideloaded the file, I would recommend trying to send it to the device instead or sideload it from your PC if you had it sent to the device. Sometimes things just go wonky without anyone doing anything.

But, in order to get a set font size in a Kindle, I am pretty sure you either have to go with the "Publisher's Settings" or the publisher has to have set some overrides for a Kindle to ignore its system defaults.
 
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dgcasey

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Re: How do I avoid this as a writer?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2019, 08:58:52 AM »
I only ever read on my kindle. For that matter unless im clicking a link for someones book here or on facebook, I only buy my books from my kindle. I don't do anything to change anything on the kindle except for where the options button says change font size. There you can adjust for ease of reading. I have almost never had this happen. A few times I have had a font soo small come up that I need to make it larger, but its probable only a few dozen times I've done that for the thousands of books I've read

Sounds to me like you need to do a factory reset on the Kindle, if you haven't done so already.  From Home, select Menu, and then select Settings. Select the Menu again, and then select Reset Device (newer generation devices) or Reset to Factory Defaults (earlier generation devices).

NOTE!! This will reset to factory settings, which means it will delete everything you've downloaded or set in your personal preferences. All your books will still be in the cloud and can be downloaded again to your device. USE THIS AS A LAST RESORT!
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idontknowyet

Re: How do I avoid this as a writer?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2019, 09:04:43 AM »
I only ever read on my kindle. For that matter unless im clicking a link for someones book here or on facebook, I only buy my books from my kindle. I don't do anything to change anything on the kindle except for where the options button says change font size. There you can adjust for ease of reading. I have almost never had this happen. A few times I have had a font soo small come up that I need to make it larger, but its probable only a few dozen times I've done that for the thousands of books I've read

Sounds to me like you need to do a factory reset on the Kindle, if you haven't done so already.  From Home, select Menu, and then select Settings. Select the Menu again, and then select Reset Device (newer generation devices) or Reset to Factory Defaults (earlier generation devices).

NOTE!! This will reset to factory settings, which means it will delete everything you've downloaded or set in your personal preferences. All your books will still be in the cloud and can be downloaded again to your device. USE THIS AS A LAST RESORT!

So not worth it for one book. Nothing else had this issue and have bought other books since. Did I mention I might have issues reading too much.


Ooof. If it's a Kindle, than chances are it's the file.

Only other thing I can think of is the age of the Kindle. My old keyboard would occasionally go a bit wonky with font sizes. If you sideloaded the file, I would recommend trying to send it to the device instead or sideload it from your PC if you had it sent to the device. Sometimes things just go wonky without anyone doing anything.

But, in order to get a set font size in a Kindle, I am pretty sure you either have to go with the "Publisher's Settings" or the publisher has to have set some overrides for a Kindle to ignore its system defaults.
Also I don't side load. Have no idea how to side load. I buy from the shop now option on the kindle and it auto downloads.
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: How do I avoid this as a writer?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2019, 09:59:30 AM »
Sounds like an "embedded font" issue to me.

You asked how to avoid doing this to your readers, and the most effective preventative measure is to avoid using embedded fonts and anything else that isn't a necessary part of telling the story.  Readers are reading on a wide variety of devices using a wide variety of programming code, and a lot of that code is of the "barely works and unstable as hell" variety.  And of the code that is well-written, it might simply be outdated.  You could have some readers reading on BlackBerries that were last updated in 2006 or something.  I personally read on a first-gen Kindle Fire, a circa-2011 device, and it hasn't updated in years.  When authors try to get fancy with their ebook files, it increases the odds of something going kablooey somewhere simply because of the scattershot nature of reading devices and their firmware.

My general advice is to always keep the ebook file as simple as possible and save all the fancy stuff for the print version.
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RPatton

Re: How do I avoid this as a writer?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2019, 10:50:06 AM »
Sounds like an "embedded font" issue to me.

You asked how to avoid doing this to your readers, and the most effective preventative measure is to avoid using embedded fonts and anything else that isn't a necessary part of telling the story.  Readers are reading on a wide variety of devices using a wide variety of programming code, and a lot of that code is of the "barely works and unstable as hell" variety.  And of the code that is well-written, it might simply be outdated.  You could have some readers reading on BlackBerries that were last updated in 2006 or something.  I personally read on a first-gen Kindle Fire, a circa-2011 device, and it hasn't updated in years.  When authors try to get fancy with their ebook files, it increases the odds of something going kablooey somewhere simply because of the scattershot nature of reading devices and their firmware.

My general advice is to always keep the ebook file as simple as possible and save all the fancy stuff for the print version.

Chances are it's not an embedded font issue. Traditional publishers embed fonts and indie publishers embed fonts, both do so without causing any issues with the font size.

It's more likely a CSS issue. Kindles ignore embedded fonts unless you hard code it in to override the Kindle defaults and even then an embedded font won't cause a font size to be larger than expected because that's not how the HTML works.

And embedded font doesn't control the font size, it just says, use this font before using another font. It's no different then telling the program to use a serif before a sans or a sans before the monotype.

The CSS assigned to the HTML files controls the font size. The best practices is to use an em instead of a px when setting up the CSS so it adjusts to the screen size, but some people still use a fixed size, which could cause problems on a smaller screen.

Plus, Kindles handle embedded fonts completely different than any other device. Well not the Kindles, but instead how Amazon compiles the file into a mobi file.
 
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