Babelcube is Fumbling Part-II

By the way, a few days back, I had e-mailed Mark Dresdner again sharing the link to the blog post. A few days later, his assistant replied. The reply was not convincing to me but anyway I have reproduced the copy below.

“Hi Prasenjeet Kumar,

Thank you for your message. First of all, I apologise in the name of Mark and the whole company for the delay. There has been a change in the person who primarily deals with this kind of issues, and apparently your message got lost in the wrong mailbox.

Regarding your problem, it has a solution. Regularly, the Babelcube system automatically creates a TOC for all books, so there is no need that you create your own one. However, it is always highly advisable to review the contents of the books once they get formatted and before letting them out to be published, in order to check if there are any kind of formatting errors. In this case, you can either try to change them from the original word file, or, more advisable, try to correct them with a program that allows you to edit ebooks.

The same happens in the case of Paperback versions. You should always review the final version, in order to detect any kind of error the file might content before it is out to the market. If there is any error that you are not able to solve by yourself, you can always contact us and we’ll try to provide you some guide and suggestions that will help you to correct the possible errors.

However, even in the case that a book went out with any error, you can always republish it, by clicking the “republish” button. The procedure you’ll have to follow is the same as for the first publishing, and the new version of the book will replace the ones that are available in the plattform.

Hope you find my reply useful, please feel free to contact me in case you have any further question.

Cheers,

María”

Babelcube

Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is my reply below:

“Hi Maria,

Many thanks for your detailed response.

If you recall, my question was as to why Babelcube automatically inserts a Table of Contents in e-books in addition to the TOCs that these books already contain? To this, your answer indicates that this feature is meant to help authors who may not be that familiar with e-book formatting, to generally not make their lives unnecessarily complicated, etc. And the solution you suggest is that we don’t include a TOC at all!

This won’t do. Because I notice that the automated Table of Contents that Babelcube inserts is less detailed than the ones I create. Sometimes the automated TOC is incomplete mentioning only the chapter sub-headings and NOT the main headings even when the document is properly formatted with headings 1, 2 and 3. So obviously there is a bug with the Babelcube system somewhere.

The obvious solution is then to let authors use the TOC that they create but the Babelcube system, as you indicate, does not leave them with this option. This, I think, is because Babelcube uses the Draft2digital software, which incidentally I also use. But for my English books, the D2D software always gives me an option to incorporate an automated TOC or to use the one that I created and I always go with the latter option. Why can that be not done with my translated books, was my question.

And you can answer this only after you get a suitable response from D2D in this regard.

There is another issue regarding pricing. Babelcube asks you to input only one price for all platforms. This works alright for all platforms except Google, because Google Play discounts whatever price you enter at least by a dollar. This means if I enter $2.99 as a price, Google Play will make it $1.99. This also means that I, my translator and Babelcube all earn less on Google. There is also a danger of other platforms (like Amazon) “price matching” Google, which will then be a catastrophe!

Babelcube

Image Courtesy of Boykung/Free Digital Photos.net

For my English language books, 10 of which are on Google Play, I solve this “problem” by making my price as $3.99 and then let Google bring that down to $2.99. So may I request you to similarly raise the price on Google leaving the price at other platforms as it is? There is an excellent table at http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,167655.0.html that I use and you also can for achieving this price parity.

Shall really appreciate if you could help with both these problems.

Regards,

Prasenjeet”

I’ll keep you posted whenever the reply comes. Till then feel free to share this on social media with your friends or let me know your views.

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9 Comments

  • Hi, Prasenjeet, This is a very interesting topic and it’s great that you’ve been documenting your experiences with Babelcube. Would you mind making an update? I’m curious – did you ever receive a reply from them? And if so, were your issues addressed to your satisfaction? Thank you very much for your time!

    • Prasenjeet says:

      Hi Candace. Sadly,I have not received any reply from Babelcube till date. Nor have they made any changes to their software. However, I have found a way out. I upload the word document on Babelcube and let them convert that into an epub file. I have noticed that Babelcube does an excellent job of converting a word document into an epub file removing all html formatting errors. After that, I save the epub file on my laptop. Next, I use a free software called Calibre. I open the software, add the epub file and then right click on “edit file”. When the file opens up, on the left hand side, you will find a document labelled as “toc”. This is the “toc” that Babelcube automatically inserts. Then I go to “toc”, right click and click on “delete” to remove the table of contents. I save the edited epub file and re-upload it on Babelcube. As for the paperback version, I take the help of my translator to format it. For the price issue, sadly there is no alternative. Whatever price you enter, Google Play will definitely discount it making it cheaper, and Babelcube doesn’t yet have the capability to manually enter prices to correct that algorithm (which we do for our English books). Hope this clarifies. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

      • Thanks very much for your reply and awesome advice on formatting!

        You’re right to say that it’s sad not to have heard back from Babelcube, because in the beginning you had such good experiences with them. I hope you continue to have success now that you’ve developed a work-around solution. Thanks again for your reply.

  • […] issues. Prasenjeet Kumar at Publishing with Prasen wrote an informative two-piece article entitled Babelcube is Fumbling!  He is a savvy indie author who created a work-around solution to the formatting problems. You […]

  • John Nicholl says:

    If you upload your own epub with an index, will Babelcube then add a second index?

  • John Nicholl says:

    If I upload my own ePub to Babelcube, does it need to include the cover image?

    • Prasenjeet says:

      I think it should. Or the easy way out is to remove the TOC from the word document and upload that manuscript with your cover. Babelcube otherwise does a pretty decent job of converting your book into e-pub format. 🙂

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