Yea, I know, here goes David off on another of his “professional quality” rants again….
But this one’s important! Lists are #3 in reading importance
The studies I’ve seen [and please prove me wrong if you know better] show that, after picture captions and headlines, lists are third in reader importance. Many readers look for lists as they start skimming when they get bored. They assume that a list will give them a synopsis and let them know whether the content is actually worth reading. And that’s the truth; lists are designed to give that knowledge to the reader. So, what’s the problem?
HTML lists are really bad
Not only are HTML lists ugly, but they commonly do not relate at all to the rest of your carefully crafted book design. The indents are bad. The bullets are not placed, but merely happen. The rest of the first line often does not even line up with the indent of the rest of the paragraph.
Can a designer work with that?
Of course! A good designer can solve most any problem. Here’s what I do on this blog:
I carefully picked fonts and designed the CSS so the lists actually work pretty well. But I can’t use any of these fonts with an ePUB. I don’t have the rights. Plus, they would be horrible over several hundred pages, tiring, and a clause of eye strain. But much worse, I had to spend a couple agonizing hours messing with the CSS in my WordPress theme to get them to work this well.
InDesign CC can now make your lists match the rest of your design
By choosing the convert to text option in the ePUB export dialog, InDesign CC retains your bullets and your carefully designed indents, both first-line and left. The result is lists which are easy to read and elegantly designed. PLUS! I don’t have to touch the code. I just export the ePUB.
Is this a huge deal? Probably not, but it is the little things like this which makes one book look professional and another look like some ignorant ninny is just playing around with self-publishing. Increasingly, it is things like this which will make the difference in the sales for your new masterpiece.
- ePUB production just took a major leap upward with InDesign CC9.2 (bergsland.org)
- InDesign CC ePUBs now handle floating graphics fairly well (bergsland.org)