I've had great success formatting my (simple, text-based) novel with Microsoft Word. I chose to do this rather than format with HTML because I'm intimately familiar with Word and its quirks, and not that knowledgable about HTML.
The book (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H9HBYOS) is looking fine on every version of Kindle, but not great on iPhone or iPad. One Word formatting feature I was utilising is small caps, which seems to work on the newer Kindles but not the old Kindle or iPads/iPhones.
More of a worry to me, though, is the fact that I cannot get my headings to display properly on iPads/iPhones. They insist on displaying in a very small font size and (seemingly) arbitrarily refuse to centre. I have tried:
– Styling the headings (centred with 48 pt font)
– Unstyling the headings and manually adjusting them to my desired formatting
Manually formatting the headings has helped the with the centring issue – they are now centred – but still very small.
After a glance around the forum, I thought that the problem might have something to do with my linked contents (linked with Word for Mac using bookmarks and hyperlinks), and so I tried removing the bookmark from one of my headings and deleting the hyperlinked contents table altogether to see if I could identify this as the problem. This doesn't seem to have helped.
You always have to remember, iPad and iPhone are fundamentally designed to display ePub ebooks. So, ePub rules and regulations, when formatting, apply. Even if displaying in kindle for Mac.
It seems you problem with the Headers being in 48 pt fond is the problem. When formatting for ebook, you should never go above the 18pt font and keep your body font at an optimum of 12 pt. Though, for the body, you could, realistically go up to 16 pt fond. But, never above 18. Or, problems such. As what you describe, with displaying on the iOS will result.
If you're a Wordster, you probably won't want to hear this, but it is generally a mistake to call for absolute sizes for headings (or anything else) in an e-book. Given the resolution of the Fire HD and its successors, that will always result in images and headings that are too small. (Or else, if you do manage to find a font large enough, it will be gigantic in the older, low-rez Kindles.
I use both ems and percentages, both of them being relative to the gadget's default font size. (An em used to be the width of a capital M but is now generally considered to be the height of the line.) A small head is 125 percent, medium is 150 percent, and large is 200 percent. In practice, I only use 200 percent for the title on the title page. Chapter headings are 150 percent. That seems to work well on all devices. (You can see my style sheet on my blog. Note that strictly speaking a title page does not include any heading, so I have a large, medium, and small set for it. The latter two duplicate my H2 and H3 heads.)
Your body font is or anyhow should be irrelevant. My style sheet has no font instruction for the body, and that is as it should be. Let the default rule! Generally speaking, if you use TNR 12 point, the e-book conversion will be smart enough to ignore it in favor of doing its own thing.
Really, the only way to control this stuff is to use html.
I have been trying to analyse what you are saying, with an original word document for my first book.
Nothing is "ringing true" with your description of occurrences. But, I must take your word for it. The only possibility I can assume is, something in your file is corrupting the styles.
I suggest you, open your word file, click on Edit, then select all, set the style to "Normal" then rebuild your book from there. Sorry, that is time consuming. But, setting your style to Normal will eliminate any corruption with your Headers.
Once you have that sorted, after re-building your book. convert the manuscript to epub, using Sigil or my favourite, Calibre (free download), load that epub onto the iPad or iPhone. You could email it to the device. Then check it. If it is OK, upload the epub file to KDP. When it is Live, check the book on Kindle for Mac, the problem should be resolved.
Don't worry about HTML. When converting your manuscript to ePub, the conversion builds its own HTML parameters.
I thought that that might be the case – I knew that I would have less control using Word than HTML.
I'm not really after an 'absolute' size for the headings, per se, just something (anything) bigger than they are now (only minimally bigger than the body font). No adjustment to the size on Word seems to make a difference to the iPad version. The headings, styled or not, remain tiny.
Interestingly, I just used Calibre to convert my Word file to epub and it looks great on my iPhone (all styles have carried over, headings are fine, etc.) – without have to strip/restyle the manuscript.
Then, I uploaded the epub file to KDP and after Amazon's conversion process, there's still the same problem – Kindle versions look fine, but the iPad version has small, left-aligned headings.
I'd like to know why the books I read on my iPad don't have as big of an indent as they do in other readers. If you indent a book at 1em it's barely indented at all when viewing on Kindle for iPad. It looks to be indented about 1/8" if even that.
It's true that 1 em is not much of an indent, at least compared to the half-inch that Word defaults to, as if we were still in typing class in high school. But when I look at my books on an iPad, the indent is the same (1 em!) as it is on a Fire or an e-ink Kindle.
Again, I can only suggest that your problem is in depending on Word to give you formatting. It's just Russian Roulette. Use html with a good style sheet and you can do anything you like within reason.
My style sheet is on my blog for anyone to use or adapt. If you don't like 1 em indents, go for 2 ems. I won't tell.
This is the poetry CSS discussion we had on the other thread, right? The reason you're seeing such a 'small' indent is because the indentation is occurring from the "real" left margin, which you've now made to the left of the actual device's margin. This is what I was warning about; with any K8 devices, a negative indent can actually cause text to nudge off the edge of the device's ability to display it. What you're seeing there is symptomatic; you simply haven't seen the full result yet.
If your books didn't have the hanging indent set, so that you had a normal paragraph with a first-line indent, you'd see a normal 1em (or whatever you've set) first-line indent. Hope that helps.
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I had an interesting experience thanks to this thread. I decided to fire up Kindle Previewer and see how a one-em indent looked in the iPad emulator. Two things happened that surprised me:
1) KP wouldn't load. I rebooted the computer; still wouldn't load. I downloaded KP again; still wouldn't load. I did a Google search and found that Charles at Ebookpioneers recommended 2.9 and had it on his website, so I downloaded that. Hallelujah! KP finally loaded.
Which led to:
2) And guess what I found? I have a couple of head & should photos in that book, and not wanting them to zoom to the full text area I specified width="60%". This works to perfection on the Fire tablets, but not on the iPad (at least not on the emulation). The mug shot fills the entire page, rather annoying since it pushes the caption to the next page.