Archive for July, 2012

Still More Problems with e-Book Indexes

Friday, July 6th, 2012

The E-Book Screen Locator Problem

Linked indexes are vital in an e-book because a reader has to “flip” through hundreds of screens of the e-book one at a time to get to a particular page.  The way each type of e-reader divides up an e-book also impacts the text reflow issue for indexes.  Kindle books and iBooks don’t have the same number of “pages,” and, in fact, don’t even use the same word.  While Apple calls its pages “pages,” Kindle calls its pages “locations.”  Amazon numbers the paragraphs in a book and calculates a percentage of the total e-book text to define what the number is for each particular “location” in a Kindle e-book.  Apple uses a different way to create virtual pages and to mark the beginning and end boundaries for an e-book file and to apportion the number of “pages” in its iBooks.

Despite the varying number of either “pages” or “locations” in an e-book, indexers need to be able to drop an anchor into either kind of e-book in order to link a page number in the index to the relevant discussion within the digital text.  In either kind of e-book the hyperlinked print-book page number should be able to take the reader to the right “page” or “location” in the e-book text to begin exploring the topic.

I will offer some suggestions concerning what to do about the index locator problem in the next blog posting.  For more information about the services provided by the author of this blog, see the Stellar Searches LLC website,