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Thread: Converting Printed book with 400+ photographs, need advice


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Permlink Replies: 7 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jun 17, 2012 2:45 AM Last Post By: notjohn
rheky

Posts: 6
Registered: 04/02/12
Converting Printed book with 400+ photographs, need advice
Posted: Jun 15, 2012 1:23 AM
 
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Hello,
I am converting a printed book that currently contains 400+ photographs. I have been working on the book for a while and it is getting huge. At 200 photographs the file size is 48meg and Kindle’s maximum file size is 50meg. I need some advice on how to handle photographs better.

So now some questions:
1) My photographs are sized at 860 x 600 pixels and 72 dpi. What is the optimal size of photographs for Kindles.

2) I have captions for each photograph. I have also set each photograph’s width to 70% using css, width: 70%; When viewing the ebook, using Kindle Previewer, this style is ignored and the photographs are full page with the captions on the next page. Can I use css to size the photographs? I need the captions to stay with the photographs.

3) Using css I have placed a border around each photograph, border: 1px solid #000; This seems to be ignored in the Kindle Previewer also, but displays on all other ebook programs, i.e. Sigil, Adobe Digital Editions, Calibre. How can I add a border?

4) The book is a biography. I am not sure if I should have more color photographs, but less photographs, or more photographs, but grayscale. Any thoughts?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Rhek
jtbigtoad

Posts: 9,229
Registered: 08/01/10
Re: Converting Printed book with 400+ photographs, need advice
Posted: Jun 15, 2012 8:50 AM   in response to: rheky in response to: rheky
 
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In reverse order.....

4) Color or B&W image don't matter the size is the same.....

use as much color as possible

3) I would avoid borders you ar up against it size wise already

If you want a border, make it part of the image....

2) CSS I know not!

I like Word you can format the image size to a smaller size i.e. 2"X2" and leave the raw image the same , thn put the image at the beginning of a page at this will allow about 2" AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR CAPTION TEXT.

1) I use 600 wide by 800 tall for images, but keep the KB size to around 250 kb each

KB size is the content and if you declair the display size you can have the image on the screen what ever size you want.

(if you hav a 50 kb image and declair it to bee full page 3.5" wide by 4.5" tall the image will show but be pixelated.

JT

;)

In htme You can call for a display size (in pixels), but I like word (It does the math for me Aspect wize)
jtbigtoad

Posts: 9,229
Registered: 08/01/10
Re: Converting Printed book with 400+ photographs, need advice
Posted: Jun 15, 2012 10:22 AM   in response to: jtbigtoad in response to: jtbigtoad
 
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notjohn

Posts: 15,241
Registered: 01/06/10
Re: Converting Printed book with 400+ photographs, need advice
Posted: Jun 15, 2012 10:24 AM   in response to: rheky in response to: rheky
 
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It would really help (you and everyone else) if you didn't post duplicate questions on the same topic.
mrlasers

Posts: 1,633
Registered: 07/06/11
Re: Converting Printed book with 400+ photographs, need advice
Posted: Jun 15, 2012 10:31 AM   in response to: rheky in response to: rheky
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1) My photographs are sized at 860 x 600 pixels and
72 dpi. What is the optimal size of photographs for
Kindles.

This is about as small as you're going to want to get for Kindle. The native resolution of an eInk Kindle's screen is 600x800 (or 800x600 in landscape). If possible you might try cropping those down to 800x600, which will shave about 7% off the pixel dimensions, though the actual size savings after compression may be lower.

Another thing to try would be to recompress the images at a higher compression setting (lower quality), which may or may not yield acceptable results for you. Converting your color images to greyscale may also help, but I'll get to that in a moment.

Feel free to ignore the "print resolution" (dpi/ppi), as it is irrelevant for on screen display and does not change the data content or size of the image.

2) I have captions for each photograph. I have also
set each photograph’s width to 70% using css, width:
70%; When viewing the ebook, using Kindle Previewer,
this style is ignored and the photographs are full
page with the captions on the next page. Can I use
css to size the photographs? I need the captions to
stay with the photographs.

You can do this sort of scaling [i]only[/i] in Kindle Format 8 (KF8). As Mobi7 does not support CSS natively it will not appear in that version.

For Kindle reader apps that do not yet support KF8 (iOS is the big one) the image will be displayed at its native size, unless that size is larger than the screen width minus margins. On eInk Kindles supporting Mobi7 images will be doubled in size, unless this is larger than the screen width minus margin, unless you explicitly declare the size of the image using the width and height HTML properties. When doing that the images will appear at the specified size, unless it is larger than the screen width minus margin, at which point they'll be scaled to the maximum size that will fit on screen.

Since your images are large enough to fill the screen horizontally, I would recommend just allowing them to scale to the screen width in Mobi7, and then adjusting the width for KF8 to 70%. The following code should work for this purpose. Note that if you are combining this technique with the explicit image sizes that you can run into problems, because the image will never be scaled smaller than the explicit pixel dimensions on KF8 (unless those dimensions are larger than width minus margin).

CSS:
div.illus {
width:70%;
margin-left:auto;
margin-right:auto;
text-align:center; /* probably not necessary given the size of your images, but useful for Mobi7 if they are smaller */
}
div.illus img {
width:100%;
}

HTML:
<div class='illus'><img src='images/image001.jpg'/></div>

3) Using css I have placed a border around each
photograph, border: 1px solid #000; This seems to be
ignored in the Kindle Previewer also, but displays on
all other ebook programs, i.e. Sigil, Adobe Digital
Editions, Calibre. How can I add a border?

This will work for KF8, but not for Mobi7. Add the border to the previous example by making the following addition.

div.illus img {
width:100%;
[b]border:1px solid #000;[/b]
}

4) The book is a biography. I am not sure if I should
have more color photographs, but less photographs, or
more photographs, but grayscale. Any thoughts?

You will generally want to have full color images where appropriate, however you can generally find some size savings by reducing the images to greyscale. At the highest JPEG quality this may be as much as 50% (or more) of the original color image's size. As you increase the compression the savings will generally be more modest.

My suggestion to you would be to run some tests using a compression quality of around 60-75% to find a good balance between filesize and quality that will work for the majority of your images. Once that is done, use a batch process of some sort to convert all of your images to this quality (make sure you're not overwriting the originals), then review each individually to determine if you need to increase the quality, or if they're still too large maybe look into a higher compression ratio or conversion to greyscale.

Something else to keep in mind is that if you're converting your book with KindleGen or Kindle Previewer the original source, including images, will be embedded into this file. This will be stripped out automatically when you publish, but if you're having trouble getting the file to upload due to size there are ways to strip that out. The most common one seeming to be the kindle_strip python script, which you can find out more about in this mobileread thread: http://bit.ly/y9to2l

You can probably avoid that by uploading your zipped source directly, but if that's over 50MB itself then you may run into trouble with the KDP website anyway. You may not have any trouble at all. The 50MB limit hasn't been a hard limit in the past (though I haven't checked in a while), it's just that files over that size often failed to finish converting through the website and then get "stuck" in the conversion process. They're also prohibitively expensive as far as delivery fees if you're taking the 70% royalty, so that's something to think about as well.

--
MrLasers
eBook Formatting & Production
http://www.mrlasers.com
rheky

Posts: 6
Registered: 04/02/12
Re: Converting Printed book with 400+ photographs, need advice
Posted: Jun 16, 2012 7:38 PM   in response to: mrlasers in response to: mrlasers
 
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Hello,

Thanks for all the responses. Here is what I finally did..

1) Added color photographs into the eBook if we had color. So we currently have 218 color and grayscale photographs.

2) Used Photoshop “Save for Web” feature and set to medium quality. This reduced the file size for the 218 photograph from 74meg to 11meg. We are now reviewing the photographs and so far they look fine.

3) We did leave the photographs at 600 x 860 pixels. I do not think this will cause any issues as they look fine in the Kindle Previewer. If you know of a problem with this size, please let me know.

4) Border css is in place and only shows on Kindle Previewer when the device is set to Kindle Fire. Guess we live with that.

5) Still not happy with the captions for the photographs being on the next page, but probably need to live with that also.

6) I did notice the size of the ePub file is 11,860kb, but the Kindle mobi file that is created by the Kindle Previewer is 23,880kb. What is the Previewer doing that increases the file size? If it is something with the photographs I would rather do it myself than let the Previewer, if I knew what it was doing.

Thanks,
Rhek
mrlasers

Posts: 1,633
Registered: 07/06/11
Re: Converting Printed book with 400+ photographs, need advice
Posted: Jun 16, 2012 8:01 PM   in response to: rheky in response to: rheky
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6) I did notice the size of the ePub file is
11,860kb, but the Kindle mobi file that is created
by the Kindle Previewer is 23,880kb. What is the
Previewer doing that increases the file size? If it
is something with the photographs I would rather do
it myself than let the Previewer, if I knew what it
was doing.

KindleGen, and by extension Kindle Previewer, will include the full source (including images) as an embedded zip inside the mobi file. This generally doubles the size of the final mobi. Nothing you really need to worry about since Amazon strips out the source when you publish.

--
MrLasers
eBook Formatting & Production
http://www.mrlasers.com
notjohn

Posts: 15,241
Registered: 01/06/10
Re: Converting Printed book with 400+ photographs, need advice
Posted: Jun 17, 2012 2:45 AM   in response to: rheky in response to: rheky
 
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**) Still not happy with the captions for the photographs being on the next page, but probably need to live with that also.**

You can improve your odds by squaring off the photos, but you can't guarantee the result because you don't know what device the reader is using, nor whether (think of the iPhone) he's hold it horizontally or vertically.

Since all books have this drawback, including those from mainstream publishers, I wouldn't worry about it overmuch. I design my photo pages so that one of two things happens:

1) The caption is worked into the preceding paragraph rather than placed below the photo.

or

2) I design so that the caption fits on an e-ink KIndle (K3) page. It will also fit on the Fire, in that case, with white space at the bottom. It may not work on the various apps, but them's the breaks.
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