User:BookBuff/PP FAQ - SR Draft

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PP FAQ - SR Draft

Smooth Reading

Smooth Reading (SR) is a very important step in the post-processing process. SR involves having [s]other[/s] volunteers read through the book attentively and mark possible errors to report to the Post-Processor. An extra pair of eyes is always helpful in finding things you might have overlooked in the text.

By submitting you book to the SR Pool, it will appear in the list on the Smooth Reading page, which has been specially designed for this.

Is my book suitable/will it be a benefit?

Yes! -- Even if your book is extremely specialized and took months to crawl through the proofing rounds, it may be of interest to a Smooth Reader. As for benefit -- any mistakes picked up before posting to PG are good! And if no errors are found; that's a big gold star for your Post-Processing style!

How much Post-Processing should I do first?

Post-processors (PPers) may submit their book to Smooth Reading at different times depending on how they are processing the book. While some PPers may submit several formats to Smooth Reading at once, others may submit a single text format while they continue to prepare other formats.

At minimum, you should complete the .txt version for submission. You may then choose to submit the .txt version for SR while preparing other formats, or wait until all formats are complete and submit them all to the SR pool at once.

What formats should I upload for SR?

At a minimum, please include a text file. Text files are strongly encouraged to be encoded as UTF-8 as that is the default for PG and will soon be the default for DP as well. This is not only best for those who are on slow or metered connections, but is also the easiest format to note possible errors. Even when Smooth Readers are reading from an e-reader or browser, it is useful for them to be able to make annotations in the text file loaded in a text editor.

Other allowed formats are:

  • HTML (either .htm or .html) + images
The HTML file must be zipped with its images folder into a single zip file in order to display correctly for separate download. Even if the project has no illustrations and you don't have an images folder for the Smooth Reading version, the HTML must be zipped.
  • epub
  • mobi (mobi8 is not accepted)

Please include all available formats when possible: Smooth Readers are often hesitant to ask for additional formats even if the PPer is willing to make them available on request.

DP is currently not producing any LaTeX projects, and pdf files are not accepted at this time.

Should I include the .bin file?

Please do not include the .bin file. This file may be useful to the PPer and the PPVer, but is of no use to Smooth Readers.

File names and available formats

File names should be reasonably short, and contain only lower case letters a-z, the numbers 0-9, and the special characters -_, with one dot separating the filename from the extension. No capital letters, spaces, or other special characters are permitted. For example: For a project about US History, you might save the following formats using the same short descriptive name:

us_history-utf8.txt   (at least one text format is required)       (.mobi8 files not accepted)
us_history.epub        (containing: us_history.html and images folder)

Text File

Acceptable character encodings are ASCII, ISO-Latin-1, and UTF-8. Latin-1 is assumed unless the filename has utf8 appended to it (us_history-utf8.txt). PPers are strongly encouraged to use UTF-8 encoding as that is the default for PG and will soon be the default for DP as well. Please verify your filename matches the character encoding used. Some Smooth Readers use software for Smooth Reading that may require them to switch its encoding manually to match the text file's encoding. Mismatched encoding may cause corruption of incompatible characters. If your file is UTF-8 encoded, please ensure it does not have a Byte-Order Mark (BOM).

Multiple versions of the text file may be uploaded for SR, and each will be available both for download and for viewing online.


HTML + images may be zipped into a separate zip file and then included in the file uploaded to the SR pool, and will be available for separate download as well as viewing online.

For the HTML to display properly for separate download, it must first be zipped together with its images folder into a separate zip file. Even if your project has no illustrations, and you do not have an images folder, the HTML file must still be placed into a zip file. The HTML extension can be either '.htm' or '.html'. The zipped file extension must be '.zip'.

Epub and Mobi

Both Epub (.epub) and Mobi (.mobi) are already compressed files, and are self-contained. These file types are available for download only.

LaTeX and PDF

LaTeX formatted and PP'd files are not currently being produced at DP, and PDF format is not currently enabled.

How Do I submit my book for Smooth Reading?

On the Project Page, scroll down below the Project Comments to the section labeled Smooth Reading.

For how Long should I submit my book?

You will be able to choose to upload a project to the SR Pool for between 7‒42 days. The default is 21 days, but can be easily changed. Please remember to give enough time for reading the book plus several days' lead time in order to give SR volunteers time to finish their current projects and to find your book in the listings. (Some Smooth Reading volunteers hate to ask for extensions and won't select a book if they cannot read it in the time period given.)

When deciding how long to put your project in for SR, please take into consideration:

  • Any known special deadlines you may have (i.e. an upcoming vacation, a special day).
  • Size--not in pages (because page size can vary widely) but the size of the text file in kilobytes (kb). The larger the file, the more time the Smooth Readers will need to finish reading it.
A good starting estimate is to divide the size of the text file in kb (not zipped) by 25 for the number of days to read plus about 5 days lead time. (Based on approximately 300 words per page at 16-17 pages per day, with an average of 5 characters per word).
If a SRer asks for additional time to complete the book, or if you wish to extend the time because it has not been read yet, you can easily extend the time for an additional 1-42 days at any time before the initial period expires. Please use this feature carefully; once the time is extended, it cannot be reduced to a shorter period.
Note also that if the time is not extended before the SR period expires, the project will have to be re-uploaded to the SR pool like a new project.

How do I provide a file or files for Smooth Reading?

After preparing the formats as noted in What formats should I upload?, and choosing the length of time for your project in the previous step, a page will be displayed where you can browse for the zip to upload.

Please combine any/all available formats:

us_history-utf8.txt (at least one text format is required)
us_history.epub   (containing: us_history.html and images folder)

into a single upload zip file. You should give your upload zip file a name similar to the file names you've included within it (for example, or The DP system will rename it for uniqueness during the upload process.

IMPORTANT: When replacing a previous SR upload with a newer one, all previously uploaded formats will be removed and only the formats in the new upload will be available.

The page also provides a comments areas in which you can leave instructions to Smooth Readers about what to look for during proofreading or to ask for attention in a particular section (this is very helpful with long texts). Instructions might include what to look for or make notes about, but not HOW to make the notes. The Smooth Reader is instructed how to make correction notes in a single standard format consistent for all projects.

Please consider also including a short description or excerpt from the text to elicit interest in your book, especially if the title is not very descriptive. Once you are ready, click on the "Upload file" to submit your file and comments to SR. You no longer need to list in the comments the formats you've included in your SR zip.

What if I accidentally put the wrong project in the SR pool?

If the "wrong" project is within 1‒2 days of being ready for SR, replace the text file a text file saying what happened, and also let a Smooth Reading coordinator know by posting in the Smoooth Readers Team thread. This text file can then be replaced with the proper format files when they become available in a couple days.

If the "wrong" project is not close to being ready, let a Smooth Reading coordinator know by posting in the Smoooth Readers Team thread. A SR coordinator will arrange to have it removed.

You can then re-upload the correct files to the correct project.

Can I replace just a single file?

No; when a replacement zip is uploaded to the project page, the "smooth" directory that contains all the different formats is recreated. Even if you need to replace only a single file, you will have to re-upload all formats.

Can I remove my book from the Smooth Reading Pool

No, you cannot remove your book from the pool before the deadline, or decrease the amount of time a book is available for. This would be unfair to the Smooth Readers who may be working on your book already -- note: all Smooth Readers use the "Volunteer" button to officially sign up for SRing a book.

Where do I find Smooth Readers?

You must submit your project to the Smooth Reading Pool. You can also advertise your project in the Smoooth Readers Team thread or in the [[project thread]Project Forum], and possibly other places. If your project is in a language other than English, or has significant parts that are in another language, it may be helpful to advertise it in that language's team thread.

It is very helpful to post a comment with the SR upload indicating special points of interests or value in the book. New listings are promoted regularly in the Smoooth Readers Team thread, and include any PPers' promotional comments. If you don't show enthusiasm about your project, why should someone reader it?

What do I do with the feedback?

When Smooth Readers finish, Smooth Readers should upload the project text file back to the project with their comments. At the end of the Smooth Reading period, you can download all SR reports from the bottom of the Project Page and search the text of each for [** comments.

You will need to consider any issues mentioned in the [** notes and deal with them as you would with any proofers' or formatters' notes. Some genuine scannos or missing words may need to be corrected. Some 'errors' may be an author / editor mistake which you may have addressed with a Transcriber's Note (TN). You do NOT have to act on every Smooth Reader suggestion if you don't want to. Use your best judgment, your knowledge of DP & PG guidelines and ask questions in the PPing forum if need be. Make sure any corrections are made in both the text and HTML formats.

Can I get non-DPers involved?

[s]Yes! The Smooth Reading page has deliberately been made accessible to those not signed in so that you can, if you wish, promote your almost-finished book on relevant mailing lists that you are a member of, or to observant friends. Do Not Spam Your Book. Don't forget that Smooth Readers without DP accounts cannot upload their commented text, so you will need to ask them to join up, or else provide them with an email address to contact you through.[/s] {Wasn't this changed to so they can not longer access SR without joining?}

Say "Thank you"

It's not an official requirement to do so, but SRers often appreciate a special "Thank Yous" private message (PM) to know that their efforts were helpful. A note of appreciation may also encourage the reading of future projects you submit to SR.