How to Format eBooks for Computer and Handheld Devices?

6 replies
I had a conversation with a helpful customer who said he can't read my pdf on his Kindle without having to significantly scroll horizontally. He needs to zoom in 200% to read one of my books comfortably. This would make consuming the product painful and probably lead to a refund.

The font of the book is Times New Roman 13pt with normal 2cm margins. Pretty typical of your average ebook.

Are you warriors aware of how your ebooks look on handheld devices? How do you design your books so they are cross-platform compatible? Do you just create a new version compatible for handheld devices?
#computer #devices #ebooks #format #handheld
  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Norman
    I have found that uploading a Word (or Open office) document eliminates this. PDFs don't look great in Kindle for the most part. Try using MobiPocket ebook creator for PDFs to Kindle
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Uebergang
      Thanks David for your suggestions. I've had one another person say a .doc file works. Mobipocket looks interesting: Mobipocket eBook Creator

      Internet Marketers need to pay attention to formatting their products for devices like the Kindle. If it's compatible, it should be stated on the sales page because it's something going through a few visitors' minds.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Joshua Uebergang View Post

    The font of the book is Times New Roman 13pt with normal 2cm margins. Pretty typical of your average ebook.
    I use Verdana 22 point. Occasionally someone complains the font is really big and I'm just inflating my page count, but the reality is that a surprising number of my customers are buying and reading my ebooks on iPhones - so the text needs to be legible at that size.

    A bigger culprit on inflating my ebooks' page counts is all the screenshots and images, which people occasionally complain I don't use enough of. Go figure.
    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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    • Profile picture of the author DJL
      There is a WSO on this topic that has been reviewed very favorably:
      Quick Kindle Formatting Secrets

      None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
      --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities (1809)

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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    When I'm sure a PDF is destined for a computer screen, I lay it out in a landscape format with 3 or 4 columns. MUCH easier to read when the document follows the format of the screen it's being read on.

    Kindle and Nook have thrown a wench into that plan, though. Now I'm not quite sure WHAT to do.

    Verdana and Georgia are both fonts that were developed specifically for CRT use. Times New Roman screen font was adapted from "The Times New Roman" typeface was originally designed in the early 1900s for The Times of London, to fit better and be more readable within newspaper columns. It's not an ideal screen font because of the thinness of the letterforms and thinness of spacing.

    just a tiny bit of trivia

    The 2nd Amendment, 1789 - The Original Homeland Security.

    Gun control means never having to say, "I missed you."

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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua Uebergang
    Got that WSO. Problem solved.

    @CDarklock You can state on the download why you use the 22pt font. I too would think you're inflating page size with king kong font sizing ^_^

    @Steve, I know, a wrench alright. Kindles etc. are yet another compatibility issue we marketers need to consider. It's only going to get more complex as new devices, formats, and technologies develop and as people want to consume your product their way.
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