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Riding the Learning Curve

There is a lot to learn about the business of book publishing, and my experience has proven to be no exception. I started this blog to help others who may be in my position by posting honestly about my successes and my mistakes. So here’s one thing I didn’t do perfectly. When I began this journey with Charlotte Collins, I had no conception of the growing importance of ebooks. I had never seen one. I didn’t know about the different file types.

But I’m learning.

Shortly after I launched Charlotte Collins on BN’s nook, a friend in the Austen community informed me that the ebook claimed to have 1,000 pages! This surprised me for two reasons. First, at 77,000 words, Charlotte is nowhere near that length in traditional page counts; the paperback is only approximately 250 pages, not including ancillary material. And second, I didn’t know that page numbers even existed in ebooks. And they don’t really, not in the traditional way. Epub, the file type used by BN’s nook, creates page numbers based on file size, so X number of bytes of information equals one page. They aren’t designed to match up with paperbacks, though apparently there is a way this can be done in works that are frequently cited. But most authors and publishers see no more need to match their ebook’s pagination to their paperback than they do to match the pagination of their hardcover and paperback versions.

But 1,000 pages is way off. So in my quest to fix the issue, I’ve been researching the matter. I thought I had it figured out, but still, the nook book claims to be much longer than it is. Why?

What is interesting is that the epub file generated by Smashwords’ program was based on the same original file that I sent to BN. But their page numbers are radically different. Smashwords has the page count much closer to the original; whereas BN’s is completely off. How can this be if it’s the same file converted to the same format?

I am looking into the issue with the PubIt! help team, and for those who purchased the BN version that claims to be 1,000 pages long, rest assured it is not. When the issue is fixed, I will let you know and you can download the corrected copy free from BN. In the meantime, if pagination is important to you in ebooks, please find the Smashwords epub edition here.

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