Sunday, July 10, 2011

Going mental in ebooks

I have been struggling with a problem unique to digital publishing. In print publishing, you have more control over the appearance of the page. In ebooks, there is no page, and the same book can appear differently on different ebook platforms. All ereaders let the reader change the text size, and some let him change the font (typeface). On some ereaders, particularly the Kindle, italic and bold text are not as noticeable as they appear in print.

This isn't that much of a problem in the average novel. Italic isn't used that often, and usually it's only one or two words. Bold is rarely used. But in spec fic, you sometimes have situations not found in non-genre fiction. My next novel Tribes, for example, has a plot point that involves technology creating a way to communicate telepathically. This results in “dialog” that's not really dialog. This is text that needs to look different on the screen.

I tried sending draft files to my Kindle with this text in bold and in italic and neither was distinct enough. Eventually, I concluded the only thing to do was to set that text off with a character not usually found in fiction, perhaps [square brackets] or {curly brackets}. I lean toward square brackets because I think the curly brackets look too geeky, but I'm wavering.

Once I decide, I'll be almost ready to send the files off to the conversion house. The cover is taking shape, but I asked for once last tweak, so I'm waiting on that. I'm excited!

No comments:

Post a Comment