anime - amatsuki - smile - summer

Ebook formats help

After megyal's latest post, I ended up exhausting the messaging service on LJ to the point where this message shows up when I try to reply to messages:
There was an error processing your request:
This message will exceed your limit and cannot be sent.
*shakes fist at LJ* Have created a support thread to find out why this is happening. How does one convince LJ they're not a spammer?

Long story short is that I'm creating ebooks (with permission) in html format (XML+CSS) and PDF format (converting docs to PDFs via Nitro PDF Pro) and while I'm not having any trouble, I am wondering how best to format the ebooks.

I'm thinking the html versions' font should be in verdana/arial/sans serif for easy reading on a mobile device but I'm not sure if the PDF should be the same font or whether it should use Serif or Times New Roman in case someone wants to print it out for personal reading.

It's pretty easy to zoom into HTML files and make fonts bigger. However, for PDFs, the size of the font can't be changed by the person reading it (even though they can zoom in) so finding the right size is important. 12pt seems about right for printing but for reading, a lot of peeps seem to go with 14pt instead for PDFs. And what about spacing? 1.5 or double or something less like 1.2?

For fanfics, apart from title, author, disclaimer and story, what else would be needed? Should a link be provided to the author's site or lj or the address to the fic online? Should there be a way to contact the author for feedback at the end of the fic?

And how detailed should the standard disclaimer be? Simply "I do not own Harry Potter" or something more detailed like the one at
All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of JK Rowling and her publishers, including but not limited to Raincoast Books, Scholastic, Bloomsbury and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The original characters and plot are the property of their authors. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

If you read or create ebooks, write fanfic or are vaguely familiar with any of this, opinions would be appreciated.
This is just my .02, but I think .pdf is probably not the preferred format because, even with the fastest computers and connection, Adobe regularly crashes whatever system I'm on (and I work at a university and we use .pdf a great deal).

That might just be me, but it's a regular problem here with .pdf s and when we can we ask prof.s to use a different format.

Can't you lock a document in Word now? That might be simpler and you could still open it in freeware programs like Open Office.

I like the html version a great deal ;).

I think a way to contact the author would be fabulous, even if it's only a link to where the story is currently hosted.

Feel free to disregard anything I've said. ;) I'm a peon and I know it.
I know electronic ebook readers that can read only pdfs or lit files or alternatives of those. The other mobile devices read html files best. So by creating both I'm hoping everyone is able to snag a version that works for them.

While my mobile accesses both, the PDF font size is so tiny that it can't be read. And zomming in results in awful horizontal scrollbars. So html works best there.

However, on the PC, I adore PDFs especially on NitroPDF which lets me read them like a book (two pages side by side).

The author's email and/or lj would probably be good - though the author may not host the fic on lj but on a site or external archive. There's also the possibility of the author moving or deleting the fic from its current location which will break the addres...

I wasn't really thinking specifically about ebook readers so that makes sense. Of course they'd require that format ;).

It's true the author may move or delete the fic (or their lj) or lock it (as has happened a lot in bandom recently) but you've still made the effort, right? I thin that's the important thing--to make the effort so that the reader can try to feedback or track the story if they want to. :)

I think you're both marvelous for tackling a project of this magnitude. ~hats off to you!~
I think it'd be cool if the .pdf files were in Times New Roman or some other standard format, but that's just me. :P
Since the html files would be in sans serif, I'm inclined to go TNR for PDFs...but then should it be large letters like 14pt for on PC reading, or 12pt for printing? Prinitng might be a minority thing, and it might be more important for people to be able to read the text clearly on ebook readers where HTML files can't be used...
I'd say 12pt. for printing, just because something larger would take even more pages to print. I think 12 pt. should be large enough for most people.
I actually frequently convert my favorite fics into ebooks, for my own enjoyment. I usually convert them to .lit or .pdb files, though, because that's the easiest way for me to read them on my pda. For those files, I use as little formatting as possible and small font sizes, because that converts best to .lit files. But I don't usually share these files with anyone--I'll just convert them so I can read them on my pda. I hadn't thought about sharing them, maybe I'll consider it.

For reading on a computer, though, html or pdf files would be good. In that case, I'll set the fic up just the way I want it in Word, with page numbers and headers and etc., and then convert to .pdf. I haven't tried converting to html, though, but I can see that doing so might actually be even more readable than pdf files, because the text expands to fit the window, and it's easy to resize the font. For doc/pdf files, I usually stick to 12 pt font, and I'll use single spacing, though I'll often set the paragraph spacing to 6pt or 12 pt after the paragraph. As far as font selections go, Veranda is the most easily read screen font, though I can see you using times new roman if it's going to be a pdf file. I suppose it depends on the screen size whether you want to use 14 pt or 12 pt font on the pdf versions of the files. As far as the standard info I include in my ebooks, I'll do the author, title, summary, disclaimer, a table of contents that is linked to the chapter headings, a link to the original story site, and a link to contact the author. And the story itself, of course. That disclaimer you have posted there is pretty good, all-purpose, and should work well.

Are you preparing a bunch of ebooks to make available to your friends? What stories are you planning on converting?
Aw, crap - but thankyou! I figured it was a daily quota or something, but I didn't want to sit on my hands till tom >_>

Take your time ^_^ I am getting terribly antsy since I want to reply to reponses but LJ won't let me ATM anyway.
I'm usually printing more than 2 pages when printing pdfs, and get to font sizes around 5-6 in the printed thing ^_^

I suggest going with the print font size and let the reader zoom in if they want.

Also, if I can help with anything, let me know. (about the PDFs or site) My last exam is tomorrow :)