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AllisonK
06-26-2011, 03:48 AM
This is driving me nuts. I have my novel all formatted and it looks fantastic on my Kindle. But today, I uploaded it to my iPad to check it on the Kindle for iPad app, curious to see how it translated to a larger screen.

The first thing I noticed was that all my images (I'm using .gifs as chapter headings) show a white background, thanks to iPad using a light gray background color rather than white. Annoying, but not the end of the world.

What DOES bother me is the paragraph indents. Kindle automatically indents each paragraph, so you aren't supposed to need to put that into your HTML/CSS code. I haven't, and it works great on the actual Kindle device. But for whatever reason, on the iPad (and from what I've been reading online, on the iPhone, Mac and PC Kindle programs), the first-line paragraph indent is a single space. There is no extra line spacing between the paragraphs, so this makes it really difficult to read. I was hoping someone else here has experience with fixing this and could give me some tips? I'm sure I could do a work-around and put a text-indent value in the CSS for my p tag, but I'm hoping to avoid that. I know people like to be able to modify how their Kindle shows text (I have bad eyes, so personally I always enlarge the font sizes), and would rather not override that ability.

I asked this on the Kindle DTP boards, but the only answer I've gotten so far says that the Kindle software for other devices indents differently, and there's nothing you can do. I'm sure they're right, but since all the other ebooks I have on it have bigger paragraph indents, I can't help thinking there has to be some solution!

Thanks! :)

Old Hack
06-26-2011, 09:36 AM
Allison, I've moved your thread into "covers and formatting" where you should get more help.

Medievalist
06-26-2011, 09:53 AM
Do you by any chance have an extra leading or trailing space before or after the close par tag?

dgaughran
06-26-2011, 01:50 PM
Hi Allison,

How does your HTML file look when you open it in a browser?

I modify the HTML manually in a program like Notepad++ to get it to look exactly how I want. As long as you check each step by opening your HTML file in a browser, you shouldn't go far wrong.

I define all my p tags so that everything is indented the way I want.

I have a normal p which is defined as:

p
{
text-indent: 1em;
margin-bottom: 0.2em;
}

And then for the paragraphs where I don't want an indent (like at the start of a chapter), I have this p class:

p.noindent
{
text-indent: 0em;
margin-bottom: 0.2em;
}

Then all I need to do is tag the paragraph where I don't want an ident with:

<p class="noindent">

I also have seperate p classes for centred text and chapter headings.

Does that make sense?

Dave

dgaughran
06-26-2011, 01:54 PM
P.S. As far as I am aware, the workaround above doesn't hinder anyone's ability to enlarge the text

AllisonK
06-26-2011, 09:01 PM
Thanks for the advice, David. I hand-code all my HTML in Notepad, so there shouldn't be anything extra there that I don't want. In a regular browser, the basic paragraphs are normal - no indents and a blank line between, the way the p tag usually works in web browsers. I haven't styled it otherwise, since I was letting the Kindle do the indenting for me. And on an actual Kindle, it's perfect. It's just weird that the iPad's kindle app only seems to indent one space.

I have special p classes defined for no indent, centered, headings, etc., but have not styled the basic p tag yet. I was advised on the Kindle boards not to, but after seeing that not all the Kindle software indents the same, I think that's going to have to be my solution. I'll try your suggestion of 1em and see how it goes!

AmsterdamAssassin
06-27-2011, 03:40 PM
Do you use Calibre to convert .html to .mobi/.epub?

I've found that I use specific settings in Calibre to NOT put a blank line between paragraphs and indent the paragraphs 1.5 em.

I've posted my method for converting from .doc to .mobi/.epub on my website Tao of Violence under downloads.

dgaughran
06-27-2011, 04:13 PM
I don't like that blank line either, and I use similar settings to remove it (but have a smaller para indent - a matter of taste).

I think it looks far, far better without that blank line.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-27-2011, 04:52 PM
I think it looks far, far better without that blank line.

With formatting, I mirror my formatting on commercial/trade published e-books. I rarely see the blank line between paragraphs.

dgaughran
06-27-2011, 05:05 PM
Agreed.

AllisonK
06-28-2011, 12:24 AM
I haven't tried Calibre yet, though I think I may need to when it comes time to do the ePub version. I still need to look into the best ways to do that. I'm hoping to find a way to convert my html to epub rather than using Word docs, since I now have my html exactly how I want it.

For now, I've added a p style in the CSS to do a 1em indent, and it looks much better. (Actually, I tried 2em first, but it was too big, so I'm going to adjust it down before I finalize things.)

Thanks for all the help!

PS: I'm not a fan of blank lines between paragraphs, either. :)

dgaughran
06-28-2011, 12:44 AM
@AllisonK

I think it's good to view it in Kindle-for-PC, increase the font size, and make the window smaller to mimic that of a Kindle. Then you can get a good view of what your formatting will look like, and you can make the appropriate calls on indents etc.

AllisonK
06-28-2011, 07:15 AM
@AllisonK

I think it's good to view it in Kindle-for-PC, increase the font size, and make the window smaller to mimic that of a Kindle. Then you can get a good view of what your formatting will look like, and you can make the appropriate calls on indents etc.

I've just been uploading it directly to my Kindle so far. And my iPad, to test that version. I also downloaded the Kindle Previewer, which lets you see how it will look on the various devices when you just want to check something quickly. Though it probably wouldn't hurt to install Kindle-for-PC, too, just to make sure all the formatting works there as well. I want to cover all my bases. :D

AmsterdamAssassin
06-28-2011, 10:52 AM
Calibre has a viewer also. And I convert .doc to html first, then upload html to Calibre, where I can convert it into any format I want.

dgaughran
06-28-2011, 12:55 PM
Strangely, the Calibre viewer can sometimes show problems which are not there.

Which is quite a philosophical conundrum.

Checking the epub is always wise too, but the Adobe software is not the best here.

Blake M. Petit
09-10-2011, 10:16 PM
I'm ready to submit my next project to Kindle Direct Publishing. I've created the title, I've filled in all of the assorted bits and pieces, I've uploaded my cover, and I finally uploaded my book.

When I look at the preview, however, none of my indentations appear.

I check the file again. The indents are there, the settings seem to be normal. I try again.

No good.

I pull out the files for the first two eBooks I submitted to KDP, which indented with no problem, and compare. I can't find a difference.

Has anybody else had this problem? Does anybody have a suggestion as to what I may be doing wrong? The book is saved as an ordinary .doc file, converted down from .docx. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Blake M. Petit
09-10-2011, 11:40 PM
Oy -- finally figured it out and made myself feel stupid in the process. I've been uploading the .doc file the whole time, when I should have converted it to html. Never mind me, I'm going to go find a hole to stick my head in...

James D. Macdonald
09-17-2011, 06:16 PM
I'm told that the indent issue with a .doc file is solved by setting the indent = 0.01"

PeteDutcher
10-13-2011, 02:35 PM
Just curious, when typing in Microsoft Word (or whatever program), you can set the space after paragraphs...couldn't you just do this to whatever setting you like along with the First Line Indent?

I usually set mine to 6pt after paragraph and .1 first line indent. So would calibur, if I set it to NOT add a line between paragraphs, carry those setting over?

Also, is there a way to preview the conversion to .mobi when using the Amazon conversion tool to list a book?

PeteDutcher
10-13-2011, 02:37 PM
@Blake M. Petit (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=24435)

How many pages is your "Other peoples heroes" book? I might be ordering it. I love superhero books!

(avid City of Heroes gamer as well; @AmericanAngel-Pete global)

Blake M. Petit
10-13-2011, 03:04 PM
@Blake M. Petit (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=24435)

How many pages is your "Other peoples heroes" book? I might be ordering it. I love superhero books!

(avid City of Heroes gamer as well; @AmericanAngel-Pete global)

Don't remember the actual page count off the top of my head, but it clocked in at about 92K words, and the eBook includes two bonus short stories. Hope you like it!