Author Topic: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon  (Read 509 times)

alhawke

Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« on: April 20, 2024, 08:40:00 AM »
I goofed. I published my hardcover on Amazon for a 5th book in series with the wrong color paper--white.  :HB Wouldn't be as much of a problem if it was a standalone, but now it won't match my other hardcovers in series. I've since learned that there's no way to change it after publication as it's linked with its Bowker ISBN. The thing that's really annoying about it is I'm sure I didn't click on white initially. Amazon reverts to a default. This created a similar problem a month ago, though caught in time by me, over Amazon's paperback size default for another book.

My only solution is to unpublish it and create a totally new hardcover version with a new ISBN.

But... does the color of the paper really matter? Will it matter if the new white doesn't match my past cream paper in other books?

I'm waiting for a hardcover to come in the mail to see how different it looks. Unfortunately, that's being delayed by Amazon shipping too :(
 

LilyBLily

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2024, 11:26:15 AM »
People have differing opinions about paper color, just as they have about matte covers versus glossy. And some people will not notice or care. For your own satisfaction, you'll probably want to redo the book.

Which reminds me that a friend who died last month had bought 100 ISBNs when she retired. I don't know that she got a chance to use even half of them, and now I'm not sure anyone can since they were bought in her name and no other name can be attached to them. The U.S. ISBN system is a swindle as it applies to individual authors.
 
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alhawke

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2024, 11:38:23 AM »
Yeah, the US ISBN thing is pretty crazy and scammy. I bought 100 too thinking it'd be enough for many years.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2024, 07:56:02 AM »
If it's going to bother you, it probably is worth unpublishing and republishing. It's odd that paper color would be a thing that can't be changed because of the ISBN.

Having any luck selling hardcovers?


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alhawke

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2024, 02:37:05 PM »
If it's going to bother you, it probably is worth unpublishing and republishing. It's odd that paper color would be a thing that can't be changed because of the ISBN.
I'll see. I'm still waiting for the book in the mail to visually compare them. When it comes in, I can show you a photo comparing the prose on white vs cream. That may be handy for those deciding on one vs another. I'll figure out whether to republish if there's a big enough difference.
Having any luck selling hardcovers?
It's a novelty item. It's kind of like my omnibus 3-book paperback. Both sell about just as much: one every six months or so. I use them from time to time for signed copies for readers. Also my newest cover artist doesn't charge much to give me an alternate hardcover, so... why not, I suppose?   :shrug
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2024, 10:15:05 PM »
Yeah, I can see the value for autographed copies.

My designer is still in an ebook-paperback mode. (Hardcovers haven't been a thing for long enough, I guess, at least among his clients.) So the extra charge probably wouldn't be negligible. But if I discover it isn't all that much, I may start exploring.


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alhawke

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2024, 07:52:03 AM »
Okay, here's Amazon's white color vs cream for hardcovers. What do you think? (I almost like white better  :shrug). Would it matter to you as a reader if color paper doesn't match in series? And which color type do you prefer?
« Last Edit: April 23, 2024, 05:28:21 AM by alhawke »
 

Anarchist

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2024, 09:29:57 AM »
Okay, here's Amazon's white color vs cream for hardcovers. What do you think? (I almost like white better  :shrug). Would it matter to you as a reader if color paper doesn't match in series? And which color type do you prefer?


As a reader, I prefer white. The greater contrast with black type is easier for me to read.
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alhawke

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2024, 12:27:49 AM »
The white is nice, particularly in the hardcover.  :icon_think: It makes me consider publishing future hardcovers in white.

Now the question is whether I republish the most recent hardcover or leave it different from the rest of the series. There's one more book I'm publishing in series. I could publish it white too?? If I do that, it'll almost look as if it's an intentional change for more recent books. Not sure it matters if paper color differs much in series. :shrug
 

RiverRun

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2024, 03:14:04 AM »
Thank you for sharing the pictures. I like the white a little better. But If I picked up a book I wanted to read, it wouldn't make any difference to me. Doesn't seem worth the trouble to change it.
 
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alhawke

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2024, 03:55:05 AM »
Thank you for sharing the pictures. I like the white a little better. But If I picked up a book I wanted to read, it wouldn't make any difference to me. Doesn't seem worth the trouble to change it.
That's what I'm figuring and I've decided to leave it. It's not a huge difference. Anyway, the mistake works out because I'm preferring white paper for future hardcovers.
 

Lynn

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2024, 05:45:34 AM »
I like the look of white best for contrast, but after reading under a bright light for a bit, cream always wins out for me. The white usually has too much glare.
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Lorri Moulton

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2024, 11:55:08 AM »
I use white for nonfiction and books with color photos.  Otherwise, I use cream. Same...glare.

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Vijaya

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2024, 11:58:59 AM »
Thank you for sharing the pictures. I like the white a little better. But If I picked up a book I wanted to read, it wouldn't make any difference to me. Doesn't seem worth the trouble to change it.

This.


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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2024, 11:49:14 PM »
Personally, I like white better. I guess I haven't noticed the glare.

As to republishing the last book, I don't think you need to unless you want to. That doesn't seem like the kind of thing that will produce widespread reader unrest.


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Post-Crisis D

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2024, 03:07:01 AM »
Glare can be remedied to varying degrees with lighting.

But for readers whose eyes need the higher contrast of white and black, lighting is not going to resolve that.
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2024, 08:26:33 AM »
Yeah, having gone through the accessibility work for my website, I've gain a new appreciation of the importance of the highest possible contrast.


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Lynn

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2024, 09:43:40 AM »
That made me want to see if the contrast is actually as good as it seems. I came across this, which was interesting reading. :)

https://veroniiiica.com/paper-colors-and-low-vision/

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Vijaya

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2024, 10:52:08 AM »
Thanks Lynn. So cool that this young girl went on to study paper colors for people with low vision. No wonder I like the light blue of this forum :)


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Post-Crisis D

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2024, 10:53:44 AM »
The key is that there really is no one-size-fits-all approach.  I like colored papers for special projects or effects, but I still prefer black on white for paper.  I prefer non-glossy papers over gloss for readability.

When writing, my word processor doesn't have a lot of options without actually changing the color of the final result (or remembering to change back when finished).  There is a dark mode but I don't like dark mode.  Dark mode seems to strain my eyes more than normal mode.

My preference is yellow text on a dark blue background.  I used to write in a text editor years ago that had that as an option.  It didn't affect the document.  When you printed, the yellow text was black and the blue background was white.  The colors only affected what you saw on screen and not the actual document. Yellow lettering on blue is what I read years ago was the easiest for people to read in general when it came to viewing things on screens or projectors.  So, I tried it and got hooked.

But that software doesn't run on modern computers so isn't as much of an option anymore.  For a while, I used Atom which let me set those as my colors but, after an update, the preferences got whacked and I was never able to get them back to where they were.  And, as you may know, Atom is now history so that's another option gone.

So, when writing, it's black text on a white background.  And, for books, I still prefer the same.

As a disclaimer, I do have a coating on my prescription glasses that filter out UV/blue light and that helps with screens.
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2024, 11:33:16 PM »
That made me want to see if the contrast is actually as good as it seems. I came across this, which was interesting reading. :)

https://veroniiiica.com/paper-colors-and-low-vision/
That's interesting. There are sites where you can check the different color combinations to see how well they meet accessibility guidelines. The greater the contrast, the more likely a combination is to pass. Think black print on a very light color or white print on a very dark color. Those pass. Anything much closer together than that fails. That's a little different from the advice given in the linked article. But perhaps the sites aren't considering the glare factor.

I just checked the options users can select on my website. Selected high contrast makes all the backgrounds black and default text white. Negative contrast still has a black background but makes all non-default text (like differently colored links) yellow. Light background setting makes all backgrounds white and all text black (which does indeed look a little too bright to me). Without any of those adjustments, most sections of the site pass anyway, but I'm still looking for a way to get the default text to be black instead of dark gray. Of course, there are also some monitor adjustments that will help.

Computer monitors in general are too bright for extended work. But I find even just wearing blue blockers (which deflect the part that's supposed to be bad for your retinas) helps me work longer without noticing the glare.

As Post-Crisis D points out, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, mostly because different vision problems may require different solutions.

I just checked the kindle app, which allows for three different backgrounds: white, black, and sepia.


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Post-Crisis D

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2024, 01:20:42 AM »
The greater the contrast, the more likely a combination is to pass.

And that is one of the problems with ADA compliance on websites.  Websites weren't a thing when the ADA was passed and, because Congress (U.S.) didn't make new laws to cover websites, they went around Congress and claimed the ADA applied anyway.  And courts are using the accessibility guidelines for websites to determine whether a site is ADA accessible.  And that's the problem: they are guidelines.  Some of those guidelines contradict one another.  Some of those guidelines may not improve things.

The contrast issue is one example.  If you have black on white or white on black, that's the highest contrast and your site is going to pass, but as demonstrated here, that might not be the most accessible option for a lot of people.

But courts use the guidelines as if they were rules.

And then you have the problem of predatory lawyers looking for sites to sue.

It would be far better for everyone if web design software developers, web designers, accessibility device manufacturers and groups with accessibility needs all worked together to develop tools as well as guidelines to make it easy and understandable for web designers and developers and small businesses and individuals to build websites that are accessible to widest possible audience.

But instead we have a situation where you face potential lawsuits for not adhering to at times self-contradictory guidelines.
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2024, 05:55:10 AM »
Yeah, accessibility in other areas is a lot more straightforward.

Also, unless someone is a programmer, there are limits to how customization is available. You're basically stuck with what someone else has designed. And in a lot of cases, accessibility isn't really built in all that effectively.


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Lynn

Re: Careful choosing paper color when publishing on Amazon
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2024, 06:19:08 AM »
I most often read on a sepia background with a contrasting font color. The built-in choice for font against the sepia isn't often dark enough, but the sepia background is a lot easier to read for long stretches at a time for me. So I read in apps that give me a choice of colors so I can find one that works best. I'm always looking for the least glare because I read so much and I do it for long stretches at a time.

But that can depend on lighting in the area too. Sometimes I do switch to a white background, and sometimes I switch to a black one if the room light is very dim.

For paper, I love the way white looks. But reading from it does seem to make my eyes tired faster. And reading outdoors on a sunny day is blinding if the paper is white. Since cream has been the traditional color expectation for fiction, I've stuck with it in my print books and will probably keep doing it.

But eyes are different. I don't think there's enough of a reason to choose one over the other. And I wouldn't think it weird if I saw a hardcover book with white paper. The paper colors of most paperbacks vary wildly even within the cream family. Who is to say it isn't just a really, really pale cream? :D

If I'm remembering correctly, the last time I got a good look at a large print book, other than having really thin paper, it was also bright, crisp white. So that could be the standard for helping the most people see clearly. I don't know. :)

I know this is getting off-topic, but here are some large print guidelines I found from The American Printing House for the Blind:
https://www.aph.org/resources/large-print-guidelines/

Quote
Paper

Paper that is white with black text is considered the best for contrast.
However, many people who have low vision have difficulty with white
paper because it produces glare in some cases. Other options are ivory,
antique white, eggshell, light beige, pastel yellow, or pastel pink paper
with black text. Other good combinations are light beige paper with navy
text, yellow paper with navy text, eggshell paper with dark brown text.
Gray paper is not recommended under any circumstances. Neither is gray
text. This is true for both print and electronic text.
Don't rush me.