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Thread: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems


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Robert Cleaver

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Registered: 10/24/17
Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 6:47 AM
 
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Greetings:

My cover designer provided (good-looking) custom fleurons as an image file. One is labeled "Kindle Size." The other is for the print edition.

In my docx. (Word for Mac) I inserted a fleuron at each scene break, then shot the docx. to my formatter.

The book came back with the paragraph after each fleuron indented. Argh.

My formatter says this is because the fleuron is not a text element. He admitted it was due to " a limitation of his software."

Suggestions? Other than starting all over with a more expensive formatter?

I have five years into this manuscript, and this is really disappointing.

Thanks!
Ralph E Vaughan

Posts: 3,419
Registered: 12/01/12
Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 7:00 AM   in response to: Robert Cleaver in response to: Robert Cleaver
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Your "formatter" is apparently not using Styles, which is mandatory if you hold forth hope of uploading a file that can be properly converted. However, why would you pay anyone to format a Word document? You could format it yourself using Styles, as thousands do, then upload the doc directly to KDP.

There's nothing complicated about setting the first paragraph of a chapter or scene change to no indent. Select the paragraph, click Format/Paragraph, set your first line indent to 0.001, and click okay. Done.
writerbn

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Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 7:03 AM   in response to: Robert Cleaver in response to: Robert Cleaver
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You (or your formatter) need to set a specific style for the first paragraph after the fleuron so that it's aligned left. This is best done using HTML and CSS, but it can be done in Word.

Just be aware that whatever images you use will have a white background in the final e-book. This is fine if the reader uses the default settings for Kindle, but it will look ugly if they (like me) use a sepia background.
Robert Cleaver

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Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 7:04 AM   in response to: Ralph E Vaughan in response to: Ralph E Vaughan
 
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Thanks for the response. Where might I find further info on "Styles?"

Nothing is as simple as any of us say it is, and getting involved in formatting is not tempting. But if it turns out to be my only viable solution, I'd like to start familiarizing myself with "Styles."

Link?
cdalebrittain

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Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 8:47 AM   in response to: Robert Cleaver in response to: Robert Cleaver
 
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In Word, look at the Help menu (top right). It tells you all about Styles.

There are articles all over the web on using Styles. There are even videos on YouTube. Google is your friend.
Robert Cleaver

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Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 9:55 AM   in response to: cdalebrittain in response to: cdalebrittain
 
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Thanks, but I don't want to do any formatting.

I was hoping to have a professional formatter perhaps offer a problem specific solution.
Notjohn

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Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 11:01 AM   in response to: Robert Cleaver in response to: Robert Cleaver
 
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Where might I find further info on "Styles?

Use the links in the third post on my blog.

Thanks, but I don't want to do any formatting

Then you are stiffed, to put it politely. Whatever is uploaded to the KDP has been formatted, whether by html, purpose-built software (Jutoh), an Amazon template (Kindle Create etc etc), or Microsoft Word (which is what I suspect your formatter was using).

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Ralph E Vaughan

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Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 2:15 PM   in response to: Robert Cleaver in response to: Robert Cleaver
 
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Robert Cleaver wrote:
Thanks for the response. Where might I find further info on "Styles?"

Nothing is as simple as any of us say it is, and getting involved in formatting is not tempting. But if it turns out to be my only viable solution, I'd like to start familiarizing myself with "Styles."

Link?


Your comment makes me think you're using Word as would a typist. I've never understood why people invest in Word, but never learn to use it. Styles is integral to Word's functionality. There's no link, if only because instructionals and tutorials abound. It takes a few hours and some practice to grasp the basics of Styles & Formatting, much less than for HTML (though HTML allows greater control), but the alternative is being dependent upon self-proclaimed formatters of varying quality. Personally, I prefer to maintain full control over the product, but to each his own. And to save money, of course. Good luck.
booknookbiz

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Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 3:43 PM   in response to: Robert Cleaver in response to: Robert Cleaver
 
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Robert Cleaver wrote:
Greetings:

My cover designer provided (good-looking) custom fleurons as an image file. One is labeled "Kindle Size." The other is for the print edition.

In my docx. (Word for Mac) I inserted a fleuron at each scene break, then shot the docx. to my formatter.

The book came back with the paragraph after each fleuron indented. Argh.

My formatter says this is because the fleuron is not a text element. He admitted it was due to " a limitation of his software."


NONSENSE. Utter nonsense. Your formatter can't be working in HTML. Even if he's NOT, you can get around this. Even someone working in WORD should be able to do it. It has NOTHING to do with text or image.


Suggestions? Other than starting all over with a more expensive formatter?

Well, not to say, you get what you pay for, but...you get what you pay for. Your formatter doesn't know what he's doing. I'm sorry, but there it is. We've done 3500 ebooks, and a huge number of them have fleurons, ALL of which have flush-left paragraphs immediately thereafter (except for those clients that have insisted otherwise...)


I have five years into this manuscript, and this is really disappointing.

Yes, it should be. Tell your formatter to figure out what he's doing. Absolute codswallop. See this article? http://www.booknook.biz/ebook-micro-faq/using-vertical-whitespace-for-visual-cues Those two screenshots are from four-five YEARS ago. It has NOTHING to do with software.

Hitch
We produce *(real) ebooks
An Amazon Professional Conversion Service : http://amzn.to/29pWZSg
www.Booknook.biz
booknookbiz

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Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 3:51 PM   in response to: Robert Cleaver in response to: Robert Cleaver
 
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Robert Cleaver wrote:
Thanks, but I don't want to do any formatting.

I was hoping to have a professional formatter perhaps offer a problem specific solution.


With all due respect--how on earth would we do that? Even assuming arguendo that we all decide to overlook the fact that you're unwilling to pay for the level of professional polish that you want? You don't know what "program" your so-called formatter is even using. How can we make any suggestions?

ANY formatter that should be paid more than $25--those being the ones that "clean" Word files and CALL it formatting, which it isn't--should already know how to make that happen. Frankly, even the el cheapo $25 Word-file-cleaners should know how to do it, so I can't even imagine from whence you obtained this person. Whatever software he's using is PROBABLY Calibre. He PROBABLY slapped your Word file in there, and that's all he knows how to do. He has no idea how to make that work. That's my best guess.

If you aren't willing to learn how to do formatting, who is going to do this implementation?

Honestly, this is a very frustrating discussion, all-around, including the idea that professional formatters should sit around and tell utterly UNprofessional formatters how to earn the money that they're being paid, for pretending to know how to do things that they OBVIOUSLY DO NOT.

/seriously angry here; done with this discussion.

Hitch
A REAL Professional formatter.
Robert Cleaver

Posts: 5
Registered: 10/24/17
Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 4:51 PM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
 
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"seriously angry here; done with this discussion."

Anger is non-productive. Perhaps because of it, you've misunderstood me.


"Even assuming arguendo that we all decide to overlook the fact that you're unwilling to pay for the level of professional polish that you want..."

I never stated I wasn't willing to pay for it. I said my formatter did not know how to fix it. That means I don't have any idea if it can be fixed. I said I don't want to learn formatting. I want to write, just as most professional formatters do not want to learn how to write.


"If you aren't willing to learn how to do formatting, who is going to do this implementation?"


I am indeed willing to pay for the work if someone says they know how to fix it, and then does fix it.

Edited by: Robert Cleaver on Nov 29, 2017 4:51 PM

Robert Cleaver

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Registered: 10/24/17
Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 6:44 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Thanks for the link.
cdalebrittain

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Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 7:10 PM   in response to: Robert Cleaver in response to: Robert Cleaver
 
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Robert, I think you got off on the wrong foot when you first asked about Styles, then, when I told you where you could learn more, said rather dismissively that you didn't want to learn to format. This was made worse, I fear, when you said you wanted a "professional formatter" to tell you how to fix this particular problem, with no evident sign of wanting to pay them.

Getting Hitch angry was not good, and I'm afraid you've made it worse by coming on like an anger-management consultant. She's by far the most knowledgeable and experienced formatter around here. If you went to her website and begged and reiterated being ready to pay she might (or might not) be willing take a look at your file. But she's right, if your current formatter doesn't know how to keep a paragraph from indenting they really can't be very good, which is why all of us assumed you were looking for free advice after being very cheap with choice of formatter. (Only in your last post did you suggest a willingness to pay.)

And saying you don't want to format is kind of pointless. Unless the formatter is standing by your side all during the long evenings of writing, you are formatting. Every time you hit Return or the space bar or the tab key or choose a font you're doing things that will affect the final formatted ebook, unless you or someone goes through essentially word by word and fixes everything. That's why I suggested (and continue to suggest) at least some familiarity with Styles.
booknookbiz

Posts: 4,179
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 8:08 PM   in response to: Robert Cleaver in response to: Robert Cleaver
 
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Robert Cleaver wrote:
"seriously angry here; done with this discussion."

Anger is non-productive. Perhaps because of it, you've misunderstood me.

I've misunderstood you? First, you said, what could you do to remedy the problem, "(o)ther than starting all over with a more expensive formatter," and then told cdale "I don't want to do any formatting." So: you don't want to pay for a professional formatter, and you don't want to do it yourself. What does that leave, other than some kind-hearted professional deciding to spell out--for your formatter, who shouldn't be in the business, in any capacity, based on your descriptions and explanations--HOW to do this? And, while we're at it, invest the time and energy to figure out what alleged program your incompetent person is using? I'm sorry, but you don't understand what you're asking. That, or you're recasting your prior statements, take your pick.

Moreover, it's a wee bit insulting that you sit here, telling us how YOU invested 5 years in your manuscript/book, so you don't want to be disappointed--but apparently, making sure that you got a professional outcome did not include taking the time to find a professional formatter with professional credentials and experience.


"Even assuming arguendo that we all decide to overlook the fact that you're unwilling to pay for the level of professional polish that you want..."

I never stated I wasn't willing to pay for it. I said my formatter did not know how to fix it. That means I don't have any idea if it can be fixed. I said I don't want to learn formatting. I want to write, just as most professional formatters do not want to learn how to write.

Don't make assumptions about what professional formatters want or don't want. Most of us want to be treated with the respect we deserve, rather than being treated like glorified monkeys that push magic buttons on programs that authors think that ANY idiot could do--and have our services shopped for by virtue of which offshored Fiverr is the cheapest.

I'd love to find out what your line of commercial endeavor, your avocation, is, and then come to you with some similar story; like how I took my car to some third-worlder who said he'd fix the transmission for $5, and then post on some forum in your line of auto work, asking for some "nice professional mechanic to tell me how to fix it," or the like. Or ask a forum of attorneys to tell me how to overturn the conviction I got by hiring some half-assed paralegal on the Net. I doubt you'd find it very amusing.


"If you aren't willing to learn how to do formatting, who is going to do this implementation?"

I am indeed willing to pay for the work if someone says they know how to fix it, and then does fix it.


Honestly, anyone on this thread--author or formatter--could probably fix it in 30 seconds. Or tell you how, in less time. Until you tell the NICE posters here what magic "program" your formatter claims to be using, NOBODY here can tell you anything. What program does he claim he's using?

(I've got $5, fellow Denizens of the KDP fora, that it's EITHER Word, or it's Word-->Calibre. Anyone wanna take the bet?)

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

Ned Kelly

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Registered: 09/05/15
Re: Fleurons Between Scene Breaks Causing Problems
Posted: Nov 29, 2017 8:26 PM   in response to: Robert Cleaver in response to: Robert Cleaver
 
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Robert, I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I see postings such as yours. Please don't take this personally, however my old army training kicks in and all I want to do is take that "expert" formatter and his "explanation" about the reason why your formating screwed up and run him through the jungle until he drops then throw him to the crocodiles. Whoever it is is a fraud. Get your money back.

You can learn to do it yourself IT IS NOT DIFFICULT! As someone has already said, why the hell does anyone invest in MS WORD and then not bother to learn some VERY BASIC TECHNIQUES. There is a belief floating around among newbies, that there's a mystical formatting machine that will correct all mistakes and therefore the indie author doesn't need to learn anything. You can learn how to format correctly and solving the problem you've struck is very simple (with MS WORD)

One hint I give would be self publishers on Amazon is to create a "practice" area on their bookshelf, where you can upload an ebook and not publish it. This allows you to experiment with say ten pages consisting of 5 pages each chapter and discover problems then learn how to cure them. (download the mobi and sideload to yr device or use the online previewer)

It might take a few hours to sort out techniques - but so what? In between attempts to format your test file, you can continue working on the GREAT NOVEL.

When I learned to fly aircraft way, way back, I had to learn the flight manual, and practice in the cockpit which button to push, which lever to pull and what not to touch.(Unless I was really in the sh...) This took hours...same with a word processor and learning to format.

However people these days want some sort of magic pill to do it all.

It doesn't work that way.

Cheers

Ned
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