Let’s define “enhanced” ebooks.

I saw a tweet earlier today that I wanted to respond to, but I was in a doctor’s office attempting to ignore the flashing red light on my BlackBerry:

I like the way @MatthewDiener put “enhancements” in quotes, because this is one of my pet peeves: Dynamic tables of contents, linked notes and bibliographies, linked indices are not enhancements. They should be standard operating procedure. (They are in my workflow process, at any rate.) Remember: the end user is the reader, not the distributor. (I’ll talk about chapter-and-versing in a later post.)

But of course, he’s right because apparently, we can’t even get ebooks without huge gaps between the paragraphs, indented paragraphs, curly quotes, and error-free text. So let’s work on that first, shall we?


  1. Scott Roche - Reply

    Indeed. As we’re new in the e-pub field we’re trying to figure out what should be/is “required” and what should be enhancements. I’d totally agree with you when it comes to error-free text, a dynamic table of contents and linked notes (where applicable). The rest (indented ‘graphs and curly quotes) seem more like layout decisions. By huge gaps I assume you mean more than just a couple of line breaks?

  2. Elizabeth - Reply

    “By huge gaps I assume you mean more than just a couple of line breaks?”

    Yes, exactly. Some more like 3-4 lines.

    I think that an author includes bibliographies, footnotes, indices probably did it for a reason. To just ignore it because it’s in digital is cheating the reader, the author, and the text.

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