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Hyperlinks within EBooks -- Good, Bad, or it just really depends...


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#21 AQCrew

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:34 PM

As each ereader device has a different experience, would that mean that there would have to be only one digital format? That could cause a whole new war of the devices.


Exactly...

Way to bring this convo full circle, Ms. Lovely Maiden of AQC Cookies.

Right now, web developers are expecting that ePUB 3.0 will become that single digital standard. But it won't help much if most people are still using eReaders that don't support it. And a Rick pointed out, your e-Reader has to be connected to the internet -- basically all the time -- in order for hyperlinks to work.

Amazon is hiding behind their own proprietary mucky-muck software, KF8, which uses some HTML5 and CSS3, but it's basically like web coding with barb wire. And developers don't want to bother.

Where does that leave us... not sure exactly.

But we do know that ePUB 3.0 arrived earlier this year, and nothing much has changed.

So in the meantime, we're still exploring how simple hyperlinks could be incorporated into current Kindle and ePUB files as well as the AQC community's knowledge and opinion of them.

#22 C. Taylor

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:45 PM

At this point the only hyperlinks I have are at the end of the samples I include, so that the reader can easily buy my book. Unfortunately, with smashwords, it doesn't work as well, since only one manuscript gets distributed to many outlets. So I hyperlink when I can. Haven't used it for anything else yet, though I think it could be fun.

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#23 Darke

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:57 AM

Exactly...

Way to bring this convo full circle, Ms. Lovely Maiden of AQC Cookies.

Right now, web developers are expecting that ePUB 3.0 will become that single digital standard. But it won't help much if most people are still using eReaders that don't support it. And a Rick pointed out, your e-Reader has to be connected to the internet -- basically all the time -- in order for hyperlinks to work.

Amazon is hiding behind their own proprietary mucky-muck software, KF8, which uses some HTML5 and CSS3, but it's basically like web coding with barb wire. And developers don't want to bother.

Where does that leave us... not sure exactly.

But we do know that ePUB 3.0 arrived earlier this year, and nothing much has changed.

So in the meantime, we're still exploring how simple hyperlinks could be incorporated into current Kindle and ePUB files as well as the AQC community's knowledge and opinion of them.



By default, my Kobo connects to the internet. We have wifi so I can go online with it anywhere in my home. From what I've been able to understand the EPUB format is wider excepted (Nook, Kobo, iPad) than MOBI (Kindle). If it becomes more user-friends, there could be a good chance it would leave Amazon in the dust. Kindle might be big, but it's not world-wide. At least not as much as the other readers.

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#24 Rick Spilman

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:35 AM

By default, my Kobo connects to the internet. We have wifi so I can go online with it anywhere in my home. From what I've been able to understand the EPUB format is wider excepted (Nook, Kobo, iPad) than MOBI (Kindle). If it becomes more user-friends, there could be a good chance it would leave Amazon in the dust. Kindle might be big, but it's not world-wide. At least not as much as the other readers.


The numbers I have seen suggest that Amazon holds onto about 60% of the market while B&N has around 25%, Apple around 15% and the rest is everyone else. Amazon once was over 90% of a much smaller market, so while it continues to do very well with e-books is facing serious competition. Kobo is the dominant e-reader in Canada with about 46% as compared to Amazon's 24%.

#25 Darke

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 02:43 PM

Are those world wide percentages?

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#26 Mastro RJ

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 04:03 PM

I say we experiment and let the free market decide. The readers will let us know what they're looking for. It doesn't hurt to try out the innovations. I myself just have various links to my website, bibliography, etc. in all my ebooks. If you do the links right, they can become very convenient and very engaging.
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#27 Rick Spilman

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 05:47 PM

Are those world wide percentages?


I think, so but it is hard to tell. I looked into the numbers a bit and have decided that there lies madness.

There are a variety of figures all based on slightly different points in time and different comparisons between e-ink readers and media tablets. Then you have the question of format versus device. I believe that the most popular reader on iPad is still the Kindle player. I am not sure whether or not the 60% market share figure often quoted represents Kindle books or Kindle devices.

Whatever the figures are, I think that the takeaway is that Amazon is still probably the largest player but in an increasingly competitive market. At the same time the e-book market itself continues to grow at double digits.

#28 shawnrohrbach

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:15 PM

Somewhat over a year ago I reviewed for my blog an "ennotated" version of Joshua Slocum's "Sailing Alone Around the World." The ennotation, which showed up as underlined words and phrases, worked for two reasons. Slocum was using moderately technical language, so if you think that "brailing the spanker" is something from "Fifty Shades of Gray", a click on the link will set you straight. Even for those who are comfortable with the technical language, the book uses a lot of geographical references, including many whose names have changed since the book was published in 1900. Links to the geographic names were very helpful.

eNotated Edition of Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World – A Review

I am on the verge of publishing (one last pass by the proofreader) a book about a British windjammer in the particularly brutal winter of 1905, called "Hell Around the Horn." I have been considering whether to include enotations. I have decided against it. I do find the underlining to be a touch distracting, the work involved could be considerable, and I am not sure whether it would convert easily to other formats. So I have decided to do a conventional end of book glossary. I am still considering a hyper-linked glossary index, though I may talk myself out of that as well.

My favorite solution so far would be to install a new nautical library in each reader's Kindle which would allow a reader to hover over the word and the definition would pop up. Unfortunately, there are too many logistical issues with making that work.

If anyone has found a brilliant solution to an e-book glossary I would love to hear about it.


In 1998 I was a lead technical manager at Net Library in Bloulder Colorado. Our mission was to digitize major University press back lists and then eventually their front lists as well. The topic of links (and especially glossaries, indexes, notes etc) came up constantly. We had built a conversion tool in Perl that used a regular expression to convert foot notes, glossaries and indexes into searchable links. We found that everyone who attended our marketing research focus groups loved the idea. We even applied the same concept to fiction, and discovered obviously the older the reader was, the less they accepted the links. The process of reading the fiction, and especially science fiction and graphic novels in digital form back then was v ery unique, but well accepted by those who were high scholol and college aged then and they loved the links. I am sure there are some readers who would never want that nor ever click on a link, but my guess is now 14 years on from my Boulder days, links in any kind of electronic text is pretty widely accepted.

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#29 Paul Dillon

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:38 PM

Russell Crowe just donated $25k to this kickstarter project.

"This is going to change the way you experience books," says the author.

#30 Rick Spilman

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 02:48 PM

Russell Crowe just donated $25k to this kickstarter project.

"This is going to change the way you experience books," says the author.


Language as the medium of storytelling seems to be hardwired in our brains. The connection between the storyteller and the listener or reader is through words. I am not convinced that projects like TNP are anything but distractions and ultimately less immersive than the written word. I am more than ready to be proven wrong, but I doubt that it will happen.

#31 Jean Oram

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:06 PM

For what it is worth, I am reading an ebook (nonfiction) on my old ereader which does not have WiFi or connectivity of any kind. The book I am reading has a ton of links and videos in it which, of course, I can't access on my device. But even more annoying was that I wasn't warned that it was a multimedia PDF. Otherwise I would have read it on a different device. So... while it was a good idea it is failing miserably and completely tainting my view of this author. Sad, but true.

I think links have a time and place.

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#32 Raziel

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:04 AM

I think hyperlinks should be use carefully. They should add to the experience (e.g., maps and pictures), but I wouldn't make them necessarily core to the experience since there are times when people won't have internet available. With regards to actually making hyperlinks, it would seem that doing it via html would be the easiest way (i.e., use something like TextMate to code it into the file before converting it).



#33 Robin Breyer

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

The way I've approached this is that, for fiction at least, just present the text. If you need to explain something, hyperlink to an index or glossery within the ebook. I only include outside hyperlinks to my find ME online. Even if their ereader can't browse, the could type in the address manually. But outside links really don't have much place in fiction.


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