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Extremely bad epub UX

Hello, and let me thank you for your “Flutter Apprentice” book. This is the most recent book on this technology to date, covering everything I need to get started quickly and successfully.

The material presented in the book is excellent, as in the rest of the books of the Raywenderlich publishing house. I am very pleased with the content of each chapter and the completeness of the text presented in them. You and your editorial team have done a great job!

But I have never felt so much rage before starting to read a new book. The blame is the EPUB book format:

EPUB looks different in different readers

I will show you how the pages of the chapter “asd” look at different readers:

  1. ReadEra:
  1. eBoox (stupid reader, cant navigate to page, so there is a random page):
  1. Epub Reader:
  1. Lithium (yep, one page overlap another):
  1. FBReader (transparent image background looks terrible):
  1. PocketBook (absolutely no margins, awful view):
  1. Supereader (Abomination, no comment):
  1. eBookDroid (Personaly, my favorite reader. But look at this shame):

And this is the top 10 readers apps for the word “EPUB” in Google Play. On Windows, the situation is no better:

  1. SumatraPDF (the poorest scroll of all that I have seen):
  1. FBReader (web1.0 in all its glory):

As you can see, the book looks poor in any reader.

Not all readers are inclined to use fonts that were originally included in the book

I don’t want to play with fonts, personally I don’t have time for such nonsense. I assume the book will look the same on any platform or application. And it annoys me very much that it is not so.

Some readers do not find the content of the book

eBookDroid and eBoox cant find table of content:

Sorry for the large number of posts - the form is limited to no more than one picture per post

The software for reading EPUB books is very inconvenient and stuck somewhere in the 2000th

At the moment, I cannot find software that would be convenient for me and look modern. And I categorically do not consider reading on the site online. I bought the book after all.

Before buying, I asked a question on Twitter “Can I download the PDF version of the book”, to which I received a negative answer:

I had no idea that in 2021 the EPUB is supporting so disgustingly. I would never make this purchase in my life if I knew where it would lead.

I believe that the EPUB format is suitable for various prose and fiction, but categorically not suitable for technical books and textbooks. PDF is another matter - both on a computer and on a smartphone, the book looks the same, which I personally cannot but rejoice. For comparison, let’s look at the execution of the book “Kotlin Coroutines by Tutorials 2nd Edition”.

Windows:

Android:

Thanks for all your detailed feedback. And for all the screenshots!
We are readers ourselves and we agree this is not a great experience. :slight_smile:
We are taking a look and considering alternatives.

In the meantime I invite you to read the book in our web reader Flutter Apprentice | raywenderlich.com
Sure, it’s not an ePub that you can carry anywhere, but it offers a great layout
so that you can enjoy your Flutter learning adventure.

We are always looking to improve our books, so thanks again for your feedback.

I think this is one of the worst decisions about the format of the books distributed that the Raywenderlich publisher can make. This has to do with what you are selling - books. They can be read on any device, you can take them with you to places where there is no Internet, you can supplement them with your own notes, they can be printed and used as material for lectures, etc.

By depriving the buyer of the opportunity to enjoy the purchased book on any device or reader, regardless of the availability of the Internet, you stop selling books. Instead, you sell subscriptions to articles, educational courses … Anything but books.

You are free to choose the format in which you will distribute your content, but I assure you that the time, money and effort spent on creating a PDF is worth it. Great design, writing style, quality of source code resources (especially a starter/final/chalenge approach) and the ability to read on any platform or any reader are exactly what made Raywenderlich the best publisher in my eyes. I don’t want this to change.

Anyway, thanks for your answer. I really want to believe that my feedback will at least make you think again about the appropriate format for your books.

And sorry for my poor English.

A bit of conspiracy theory: And I suspect you deliberately chose EPUB, knowing in advance that users would not like it. Perhaps you did this on purpose so that the majority of your readers read the purchased books through your site. Perhaps you are planning to completely refuse to distribute content outside the site … But this is so disgusting that I don’t even want to think about it.

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This was announced a few hours ago :slightly_smiling_face:

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I was incredibly happy to hear this (sorry for the long answer). I am sincerely pleased that this company listens to users feedback. I am determined to repeat the purchase and get the positive experience that I initially expected.

Thank you for notifying me of this great news.