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Ebook Publishing > Chapter ornamentation

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message 1: by Eldon, Lost on the road to Mordor (new)

Eldon Farrell | 435 comments Mod
Just wondering how people feel about chapter ornamentation in an ebook? Does the image add to the reader's enjoyment, or clutter up the landscape? Does it depend on the image?


message 2: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Murrell | 401 comments I like them. They add a little character. That being said, I'm not a fan of stock images that I've seen in other books. I want the illustration to be as unique as the text that flows beneath it.


message 3: by Eldon, Lost on the road to Mordor (new)

Eldon Farrell | 435 comments Mod
Phillip wrote: "I like them. They add a little character. That being said, I'm not a fan of stock images that I've seen in other books. I want the illustration to be as unique as the text that flows beneath it."

Good point. Stock images can detract from the effect.


message 4: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 723 comments Mod
To be honest, I don't expect much from e-books on that point, but if a chapter header is something nice and fitting, it's nice (I do realize how poorly I've worded this).

What I've found a good example is from some of the World of Warcraft books that tend to have a chapter told from a specific part of the story and thus they have the crest of the respective faction above the chapter number.
I've considered something similar with my book (though with just the crest of the main faction) - and the reason I probably won't do it is because I can't draw.

I guess the genre and target age group will affect this as well...


message 5: by P.D. (new)

P.D. Workman (pdworkman) Some things to consider:
- graphics add to your delivery cost at Amazon, which lowers your royalty. Especially if you are adding the graphic in 20 times, rather than adding it once and referencing it 20 times.
- Kindle does not do transparent backgrounds, so your graphic will have a white background that is visible when the reader selects inverse or sepia modes

To avoid these issues you might want to think about text treatments for your chapter headings instead (large, bold, underline, etc.) or you might want to look at inserting an ascii ornament break rather than graphic ornament break, which takes up less memory than graphics and isn't locked into a white background.

I was going to insert links, but that is a no-no here. Google "ascii ornament breaks" for some ascii art examples or "ascii fleurons" for some of the extended characters in the ascii character set that were originally used by typesetters for dividers and ornamentation.


message 6: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 723 comments Mod
Good points, P.D., though a small black-and-white JPG picture shouldn't take too much space (and, as you said, adding it once and referencing instead of adding several times).

And thanks for the search tips, I'll definitely have a look at them myself.


message 7: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1122 comments It depends on the image. In general, probably not unless it's a book for younger readers.

Good info, P.D.


message 8: by Eldon, Lost on the road to Mordor (new)

Eldon Farrell | 435 comments Mod
P.D. wrote: "Some things to consider:
- graphics add to your delivery cost at Amazon, which lowers your royalty. Especially if you are adding the graphic in 20 times, rather than adding it once and referencing ..."


Great info P.D.! Thanks for the input :)


message 9: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments In eBooks … not worth the effort. You can never tell what device the reader will be using and how the images will show up.

P.D.'s comment above about inverse and sepia mode is a good example. But also, images are not going to be resized the same way as text for readers who use different sized fonts. Pictures can mess up the way text flows in the eReader when the fonts are resized large or small.

I added one image to one of my eBooks because, though all eReaders are based on HTML, it's a very stripped down and customized set of HTML. Each eReader has its own flavor of HTML as well. I don't know if Kindle supports HTML tables now but they didn't back in 2013, so I had to opt for a small image rather than a table in code.

It's best to format eBooks, IMHO, as generically as possible. You have to train your brain to not think of them as simply electronic analogs to physical books. Some things in print are not really applicable in an eBook. Like page numbers, special fonts, fancy layouts … and ornamentation.


message 10: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 896 comments I have used chapter borders on a first page and vector graphics for dividers. I happen to like them and enjoy a book that has them. It adds a little touch of extra care to the book whether it is an ebook or paperback.


message 11: by Iain (new)

Iain Dunvegan | 12 comments Eldon wrote: "Just wondering how people feel about chapter ornamentation in an ebook? Does the image add to the reader's enjoyment, or clutter up the landscape? Does it depend on the image?"

If William Morris (1834-1896) had written ebooks, the pages would probably be as decorative as his work with the Kelmscott Press.


message 12: by Iain (new)

Iain Dunvegan | 12 comments P.D. wrote: "Some things to consider:
- graphics add to your delivery cost at Amazon, which lowers your royalty. Especially if you are adding the graphic in 20 times, rather than adding it once and referencing ..."


It is a pity that so often creativity is a downtrodden slave to financial considerations. I agree with PD though, because typography can be a tremendous design element in itself, and if done tastefully, is eye-catching without distracting.


message 13: by Eldon, Lost on the road to Mordor (new)

Eldon Farrell | 435 comments Mod
Iain wrote: "P.D. wrote: "Some things to consider:
- graphics add to your delivery cost at Amazon, which lowers your royalty. Especially if you are adding the graphic in 20 times, rather than adding it once and..."


Great point Iain!


message 14: by Eldon, Lost on the road to Mordor (new)

Eldon Farrell | 435 comments Mod
B.A. wrote: "I have used chapter borders on a first page and vector graphics for dividers. I happen to like them and enjoy a book that has them. It adds a little touch of extra care to the book whether it is an..."

Totally agree B.A. :)


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