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The Almanac is a pain to read

Ken is the author of Because I Said So!, Maphead, Brainiac, and Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac.

The Almanac is a pain to read

Postby JamesF » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:14 pm

Ken, I love your weekly trivia email. Because of this I purchased the Almanac for my Kindle. It's a pain to read each day, because somehow I'm supposed to remember 10 questions at a time, then flip back to the answers, and remember what the questions were for each number. I like it better in the answers for the email where you remind us what the questions was, and say something witty about it.
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Postby Ken Jennings » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:30 pm

In the format I pitched Random House, the answers to each page would have appeared at the bottom of the subsequent page, so you were always just one flip away from the list of answers. We found out in typesetting that this wouldn't work, because there wasn't enough real estate on a single page to do both new questions and previous answers.

That said, having to flip back and forth between questions and answers is as old as trivia. I think most readers have mastered it by now.
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Postby themanwho » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:17 am

Ken Jennings wrote:That said, having to flip back and forth between questions and answers is as old as trivia. I think most readers have mastered it by now.


On the Kindle, though?

-M
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Postby Ken Jennings » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:38 am

Ha! Apparently finding Trivia Almanac answers on the Kindle is a long and baroque process requiring patience and skill. In that sense, I like to think of the answer-finding as a SECOND game available to readers ON TOP OF THE TRIVIA. And at no additional cost!
Last edited by Ken Jennings on Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby themanwho » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:39 am

Well now I'm curious.

-M
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Postby themanwho » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:54 am

The sample of the Trivia Almanac ebook at bn.com has the first 50 pages available. This gives us almost the first 19 days worth of questions and absolutely no answers. In fact, the sample ends right in the middle of a question!

So yeah, I can see the original poster's point. In the ebook era, there are better ways to format a trivia book. There's no reason the answers can't be on the next page. Ebook "real estate" is infinite.

-M
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Postby Scarequotes » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:25 pm

That's true, but Ken didn't write an e-book; he wrote a book designed for print that's been ported over to digital formats. Ideally the publisher would invest some time, effort, and money into redesigning the content for the new medium, but as it turns out, that didn't happen.
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Postby Ken Jennings » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:49 pm

Yeah, that is sadly true. I was not consulted on the e-book release, and didn't even know how badly formatted it was until a reader told me. With most books, e-book authoring probably isn't an issue the writer needs to worry about, but here it was.
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