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cdalebrittain

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Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 7, 2017 6:48 PM
 
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This may be a problem for Hitch.

Has this happened to anyone else? I've had a lot of my books develop extra lines of empty space between paragraphs in the Look Inside. There were no extra blank lines in the MS. There were no extra lines in the preview. There are no extra lines in the actual ebook. But somehow they show up in the LI If I ask KDP nicely, they will get rid of them, and after a while they come back.

I upload an ePub made from Pages for Mac (I actually write in Nisus but use Pages to create the epub, a very nice epub that works like a charm on iTunes, Nook, and Kobo, including their previews).

Any obvious way to keep this from happening?
William Thompson

Posts: 999
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 7, 2017 8:42 PM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
 
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Yes this LI spacing problem is happening quite frequently now -- see the post below yours by Lola Heavey called Look Inside formatting problem -- it's the same problem. If you have any older ebooks already up on Amazon.com then I think that it would also benefit you to check the Look Inside versions of those books as well because this LI problem can also effect legacy ebooks on Amazon. I give my own insights and solutions to this LI problem in the above post.

It is fairly obvious to me that the LI Team have recently made a secret change to their conversion software and, as usual, they haven't told anybody -- hence your problem. The basic advice that I give for this problem is to avoid using hard breaks altogether for spacing(caused by using the enter key). Instead, you should remove all <br> tags and appropriately embed all spacing using either the margin-top or margin-bottom property declarations in your epub styles. This also means that you will have to work in html to solve your problem. I also would advise downloading Sigil which is a useful epub editor that you can download for free from the Web. You could of course use Nisus/Pages to appropriately remove the hard breaks and add the necessary spacing within the doc paragraph styles but, unfortunately, I don't know Nisus or Pages so I cannot really guarantee success with this route.

And you wont get any joy from the Kindle Support Team about your LI problem because the Look Inside Team has more secrecy surrounding its sudden change activities than the CIA or the NSA. That's from Hitch by the way who also works with the Kindle folks. So I'm afraid your on your own with this one.

Why not try my new and free Sigil plugin now available on MobileRead?

OpenDocHTMLImport

This plugin gives a full OpenDoc HTML(Writer) conversion to epub format.

Notjohn

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Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 8, 2017 3:23 AM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
 
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C Dale, I'm sorry to hear that, and I had no idea you were using Pages. Have you looked at that epub in Sigil? That's what I would do.

I haven't seen this problem on any of my books, though I've only looked at ten or twelve of them. I'll check the rest today.

Later: No, none exhibits that behavior. I did notice a couple things, though, which may or may not be new behavior. There's no extra space between paragraphs, as there is in the Kindle itself and (I'm pretty sure) the Kindle Preview version. Perhaps it's always been that way, but you got me looking for subtle changes. The other thing that may or may not be different is the breakheads. I use a lot of H3 and H4 breaks in my Guide, and according to the style sheet they should be rendered 125 percent of the text size. This morning they look a LOT larger than that. Again, it may only be the same behavior as always.

And on one occasion, this happened: You know how the New Look Inside (introduced last fall, I think it was) often does a little dance before it settles on its choice of opening? In my books, that's most often at the cover, though on seven of them it's still page one, chapter one. Well, one time while Look Inside was doing its jig, the paragraphs were separated by what seemed to be a full space. It was only for a second, and then it settled down to the no-space format.

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to E-Book Formatting (and print as well!)

The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com

Edited by: Notjohn on Apr 8, 2017 3:37 AM
booknookbiz

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Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 8, 2017 9:46 AM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
 
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cdalebrittain wrote:
This may be a problem for Hitch.

Oh, great. No pressure! :-)

Has this happened to anyone else? I've had a lot of my books develop extra lines of empty space between paragraphs in the Look Inside. There were no extra blank lines in the MS. There were no extra lines in the preview. There are no extra lines in the actual ebook. But somehow they show up in the LI If I ask KDP nicely, they will get rid of them, and after a while they come back.

I upload an ePub made from Pages for Mac (I actually write in Nisus but use Pages to create the epub, a very nice epub that works like a charm on iTunes, Nook, and Kobo, including their previews).

Any obvious way to keep this from happening?


Hells if I know. Can you show us your body paragraph coding? The CSS (or inline or whatever you're doing there in Nisus/Pages-->?)

If that doesn't seem to tell us anything, maybe you could send me your ePUB? I don't think that our clients are having this problem--I assume that I'd have bloody ears from screeching clients, were this occurring to them--so let me take a look and see if I can see what's different. But let's start with the closest-to the problem--most likely, the body paragraph styling--and work our way out.

If you have a base paragraph style, CDale, that is different in any way, from the body p style, please post both. William, NJ--we'll have to put on our Deerstalkers, and see what we can sort. Assuming that we are able to find any clues at all, but there simply must be something different that's triggering the gaps. Otherwise, it's a random problem, and that, we'll never figure out.

Hitch
We produce ebooks
See our real customer reviews here: http://bit.ly/1Jz4EKz
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cdalebrittain

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Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 8, 2017 10:49 AM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
 
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Thanks for getting back to me, Hitch. I've got a plain-vanilla paragraph style I've used for 25 years, 12 point Times New Roman, 20 point line spacing, first line indents 0.3 inches. Works on Nisus, Pages, Word--used to work on WriteNow back when that was my favorite word processor, in System 7-8-9 days on Mac. One return (not two!) at end of paragraph.

What's weird is that this is a recent development. Never used to be a problem. A couple times Amazon has "fixed" it, but if I make any change in the MS and upload again, back it comes. It only seems to affect files created with an ePub. I haven't tried to use html, other than I used to upload Word documents "saved as" html because that's what they used to recommend.

Even weirder, one of the affected books, for which I recently uploaded the new version and hit Publish, and shortly got the message "Your book is published and available," now says "Live with unpublished changes." I think they're doing sneaky things behind my back? (Smiley face.)
--Dale
booknookbiz

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Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 8, 2017 1:14 PM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
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cdalebrittain wrote:
Thanks for getting back to me, Hitch. I've got a plain-vanilla paragraph style I've used for 25 years, 12 point Times New Roman, 20 point line spacing, first line indents 0.3 inches. Works on Nisus, Pages, Word--used to work on WriteNow back when that was my favorite word processor, in System 7-8-9 days on Mac. One return (not two!) at end of paragraph.

What's weird is that this is a recent development. Never used to be a problem. A couple times Amazon has "fixed" it, but if I make any change in the MS and upload again, back it comes. It only seems to affect files created with an ePub. I haven't tried to use html, other than I used to upload Word documents "saved as" html because that's what they used to recommend.

Even weirder, one of the affected books, for which I recently uploaded the new version and hit Publish, and shortly got the message "Your book is published and available," now says "Live with unpublished changes." I think they're doing sneaky things behind my back? (Smiley face.)
--Dale


CDale:

Well, firstly, if you are really using 12/20 styling, part of that will, absolutely, now come back to bite you in the posterior. eBooks don't use points, of course. They can use Px (although I recommend against that, unless you're doing fixed-layout), and they use ems. A 12/20 isn't a 1.2 em line-height, which is the Kindle default line-height (very, very difficult to override for a body style, fWIW--or, I should say, to do it well). I suspect that part of your problem is right there--the 12/20.

If you're making an ePUB, are you saying that your paragraph style is set in points? With a 20pt line height?

The reason you never had a problem before is because the LITB was overriding what you SAID, and replacing it with very vanilla text, automatically redone to the old-style. It was
never displaying 12/20. Everybody's books--good, bad, indifferent, whether from Word, HTML, ePUB, MOBI, all looked the same. An appearance I used to call "Early American Word Upload." Moreover, it's highly likely that your Mobi files looked fine because similarly, Amazon's PW was overriding (or ignoring, really) the 20pt line-height setting.

But, some months back, that changed. The LITB is now, far more faithfully, displaying what has actually been CODED in the files. That "gap" between paragraphs is likely the 20pts. Being interpreted by the LITB. That's my working theory, barring a better explanation.

FWIW, I've been in deep discussions, on this very topic, with the LITB and ECR teams. (Not points versus ems, but the LITB). Some things are coming out of that, but they are the first to admit that the LITB is a bit glitchy, right now, but, CDale, to me--admittedly, without seeing your HTML or CSS--it sounds to me as though, more or less, it's displaying what you're coding. Perhaps more--and thus, the larger gap--but, you might want to try going into that ePUB you make, and changing PTS to EMS, in the first place, and setting that "20pts" to 1.2ems. See if that helps.

Hitch
We produce ebooks
See our real customer reviews here: http://bit.ly/1Jz4EKz
An Amazon Professional Conversion Service: http://amzn.to/29pWZSg
http://www.booknook.biz/
cdalebrittain

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Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 8, 2017 3:35 PM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
 
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Thanks, Hitch. i tried to reply, got modded. My long response should show up sometime.
booknookbiz

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Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 8, 2017 9:09 PM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
 
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cdalebrittain wrote:
Thanks, Hitch. i tried to reply, got modded. My long response should show up sometime.

I know the feeling, CDale! I'll look for it.

Hitch
Notjohn

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Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 9, 2017 2:48 AM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
 
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you might want to try going into that ePUB you make, and changing PTS to EMS, in the first place, and setting that "20pts" to 1.2ems. See if that helps.

Hitch, do you actually mandate a line spacing? Does Look Inside not follow the Kindle default?

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to E-Book Formatting (and print as well!)

The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
booknookbiz

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Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 9, 2017 3:09 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Notjohn wrote:
you might want to try going into that ePUB you make, and changing PTS to EMS, in the first place, and setting that "20pts" to 1.2ems. See if that helps.

Hitch, do you actually mandate a line spacing? Does Look Inside not follow the Kindle default?

Good luck! -- NJ


Sometimes. But--without trying to sound snotty or anything like that--it truly is best left to experts to mess with. 9 times out of 10, the Kindle default line-spacing, 1.2, will override what you're doing. But, on occasion, we'll use an altered line-spacing, in, say, a blockquote or an epigraph in a chapter.

It gets very, very tricky to mess with K line spacing. After all--if you mandate a font, for the body, that cannot be changed, you've done so in violation of the Amazon's Formatting Guidelines. You're not supposed to mandate a font that can't be changed. That's a big no-no. SO, you can't know, upfront, what font a reader will be using, on which device, to view the body of a book. If you mandate the line-spacing, however, that's not fungible. What happens if John reads the book, and changes the font to, say, Futura, which has different ascender- and descender-heights/drops, and it's still "stuck" on a mandated line-height?

You can see how complex it can become. So, the answer to your question is generally no, but sometimes.

Hitch
We produce eBooks
An Amazon Professional Conversion Service : http://amzn.to/29pWZSg
www.Booknook.Biz
Notjohn

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Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 9, 2017 3:12 AM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
 
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I am glad to hear it! (I scuttled off to the Amazon site and checked a couple of best-sellers to make sure their line spacing wasn't different from mine.)

Are you working late or getting up early?

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to E-Book Formatting (and print as well!)

The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
booknookbiz

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Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 9, 2017 11:38 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Notjohn wrote:
I am glad to hear it! (I scuttled off to the Amazon site and checked a couple of best-sellers to make sure their line spacing wasn't different from mine.)

Are you working late or getting up early?

Good luck! -- NJ


Working late. Late nights are pretty much my fate. :-) My internal clock would be thrilled if we had days that were 26-28 hours long, so that I could work or, rather, be awake ~18-20 hours and then sleep 8-9 hours. Nothing I do--working out religiously, sticking to a routine, etc.--alters that. And man, I've tried. But, regardless, I'm highly alert late into the night.

I wonder when we'll see CDale's modded reply? MODS, can you please put CDale's modded reply up, thank you?

Hitch
We produce eBooks
An Amazon Professional Conversion Service : http://amzn.to/29pWZSg
www.Booknook.biz
cdalebrittain

Posts: 10,966
Registered: 03/05/11
Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 9, 2017 4:01 PM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
 
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My reply has still not surfaced.

In the meantime, I went back into Pages, and indeed the line spacing was set for 20 points. Not sure how I did that, because the "choose a line spacing" didn't even have points as an option. But I changed it to 1.2 ems, added a secret code so I could see when the new LI went live, converted Pages to an ePub, and published again.

So now the LI is showing the "new" version, and there are still big spaces between every paragraph! So the 20 pt line spacing can't be the problem. It looks fine in the preview. It looks fine on a Kindle. I think Look Inside is playing with my head.

"Contact KDP" said this would require "research" and they'd get back to me in a week.

Any further insights would be appreciated! I haven't tried plunging into Calibre yet.
--Dale
William Thompson

Posts: 999
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 9, 2017 4:18 PM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
 
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If, as you suggest, you have used hard breaks using the enter key in your ebook and the LI is duplicating these spaces for some unknown reason then it would seem to be these hard breaks that are causing your problems in the LI version. As I've already suggested in my first post above, what you should do is simply remove all the problematic hard breaks from your doc in Pages and appropriately replace them with space before/space after within your text paragraph styling instead. I think that doing this will cure your weird spacing problems in the LI version. And doing it this way should also not affect your ebook-for-sale version.

As I've already mentioned, your spacing problem is becoming quite commonplace on this forum. See the post by Lola Heavey-- Look Inside formatting problem. She has exactly the same LI spacing problem as you. I've also seen other recent KDP posts with the same problem. To me, this really confirms that the LI Team have made a recent change to their conversion engine. They never tell anybody when they make changes to the LI conversion engine.

Lastly, a caveat. Lola Heavey also reports that this spacing problem suddenly appeared in 10 of her legacy ebooks that had been up on Amazon.com for a while without any problems. So if you have any legacy ebooks already up on Amazon.com -- I would make sure to check the LI versions for every single one of them to make sure they also have not got spacing problems.

Why not try my new and free Sigil plugin now available on MobileRead?

OpenDocHTMLImport

This plugin give a full OpenDoc HTML(Writer) conversion to epub format.

cdalebrittain

Posts: 10,966
Registered: 03/05/11
Re: Gaps between paragraphs in Look Inside
Posted: Apr 9, 2017 4:55 PM   in response to: William Thompson in response to: William Thompson
 
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I know you're trying to be helpful, William, but I think we may not be communicating.

At the end of a paragraph, and only then, I hit the Return key, once. This means it's the end of a paragraph. I could do "space before" and "space after" with my paragraphs and it would have no effect, because the entire book wold be one big long paragraph.

If there's another way to make a paragraph than the way I've been doing them in word processors for 30 years (by hitting Return once), let me know!
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