Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why eBooks Suck

That's a pretty odd headline for someone about to publish his novel as an ebook, admittedly, but here's my beef.

I love the look of books; design has been part and parcel of books since their beginnings. All those monks illustrating their manuscripts by candlelight. But ebooks are woefully limited in that regard. Format them for Kindle or through Smashwords as I have done, and you give up all sorts of things: page numbers, choice of font, limits on type size, no left-flush (Kindle) -- the list goes on.  The way a book looks should be part of its allure.

Plus the formats are imperfect. Kindle, for example, doesn't seem to be able to justify everything correctly.

But I suppose that I should be grateful that epublishing allows an avenue for writers like me, as well as providing a far less expensive option for readers.

I just don't understand why every damn device has to have its own operating system, with all the limitations that implies.

Once again, harrumph.


  1. Frustrating, I'm sure. But at the end of the day all that matters are the words and the ideas they convey. Books are meant to touch our minds and in many ways the e book distills it, takes it down to the basics, the words.

  2. Ebook publishers will get their sh*t together eventually. But this is always how it is at the beginning of any new technology. Three different formats or languages and multiple templates for how things should look. We need some monopolist overlord to unite all the ebook territories. The Joseph Stalin of fonts and margins.

    Job's open, Trav. It could be you.