From The Writers’ Block Blog:
I feel indebted to Esther Porter and Kurtis Scaletta at the Loft for editing my story of a bold Chinese heroine fighting the establishment for the greater good into three hundred crisp pages that have formed into my favorite book ever. (Leave it to writers like ourselves to think our own work is the best ever, but that really is how I feel.)
I’m in the heart-wrenching process of converting my beautiful paperback meant for bookstores like Common Good Books to an ebook version for sale online everywhere later in the year. I am finding surprising limits to our current epub technology that I want to share between you and me, writer to writer. As a consumer of ebooks I never realized what I was giving up when buying the electronic version of a book.
. . . .
My printed book was designed by Alan Pranke to take the shape and 3D form of an old wood jewelry box containing… get ready for this… a severed hand of a baby, which is central to the novel’s plot. In contrast, the ebook cover is disappointingly flat. It is no box. The smell and the weight of a book or box is not there. This is a complaint you usually hear from book loyalists.
. . . .
More surprising to me though is that all of the tasteful typesetting that MK Ross and I have been laboring over for what feels like a year of final edits were instantly washed away by the ebook. The carefully considered spacing between words, the choice of font size and grouping of words on a line were, well, gone. The text defaults to each user’s own past settings and specs. It pains me to look at my labor of love wrung through the wash like this on my iPad. I understand the benefit of giving each reader the ability to make the text readable—of course older eyes need bigger text—but this way removes the visual poetry of the page layout that we authors struggle over to make just right. I now understand why publishers of experimental novels like mine might not offer an ebook version.
Link to the rest at The Writers’ Block Blog and thanks to Nikki for the tip.