View Full Version : How to explain to people how to read ePubs?


robcub
10-13-2010, 06:23 PM
Obvious question but, how do you distribute an ePub to 500 or people and get them to read it?

I have a client who wanted a document to be read on handheld devices so I created an ePub. I have uploaded it to an account at bookworm.oreilly.com .

But he has got back to me as he didn't realize he'd had to download Stanza.

I wonder if all the other handheld devices that can read ePubs need software downloaded to read them? And is there some generic instruction you can give to people in order to access this format?

Adjust
10-13-2010, 06:40 PM
No offense to you, but you can't account for stupid...(boss)

Handheld reading devices like Kindle(.mobi not .epub), Kobo, Sony do not need extra software to read epubs, because they are built to do it...

Smart phones, computers, iPad, iPhones etc etc. Do need a third party app to be able to read epub...

iPad = iBooks (why it dosen't come preinstalled is beyond me)
iPhone = Stanza
Computers = Adobe Digital Editions

The list goes on...

robcub
10-14-2010, 05:07 AM
Thank you, Adjust. I'm quite surprised there aren't ebook readers installed as standard on the iPad and iPhone because there are plenty of iPad and iPhone users who don't know about their ability to read this format.

What about the best method of delivery of an ePub. Is uploading on bookworm.oreilly.com a good way?

Adjust
10-14-2010, 05:16 AM
Yes or if its only a company newsletter or some such document, then it maybe easier to simply host the epub on the company website. And just point the user to the URL.

Uploading to bookworm and the like would be, IMO, reserved for books people want to sell the epub commercially

Jellby
10-14-2010, 11:43 AM
They can just go to ibisreader.com (http://ibisreader.com)

DaleDe
10-14-2010, 11:52 AM
No offense to you, but you can't account for stupid...(boss)

Handheld reading devices like Kindle(.mobi not .epub), Kobo, Sony do not need extra software to read epubs, because they are built to do it...


Kindle cannot read ePUB at all. It should not be in the above list. If you want the Kindle audience you cannot release only ePUB as your format. You can submit ePUB to Amazon for conversion.

Dale

robcub
10-14-2010, 05:10 PM
Thank you for the responses. Are books uploaded to the Ibis Reader and O'Reilly Bookworm viewable to other users, or do you need the username and password to access the publication?

I have asked this question in their respective forums and contact areas.

Adjust
10-14-2010, 08:23 PM
Kindle cannot read ePUB at all.
Dale

Isn't that what I said. :chinscratch: I was using it as a well known example of a dedicated eReader

DaleDe
10-14-2010, 08:47 PM
Isn't that what I said. :chinscratch: I was using it as a well known example of a dedicated eReader

Well, perhaps that is what you intended but you said this list is an example of dedicated readers that can read ePUB with only a confusing parenthetical phrase after the kindle. The second line implied all.

Jellby
10-15-2010, 04:54 AM
Thank you for the responses. Are books uploaded to the Ibis Reader and O'Reilly Bookworm viewable to other users, or do you need the username and password to access the publication?

They are account-specific. But you can provide a link and any user can create an account (with Ibis Reader it's as easy as entering an email address and password, and voilą) and add the book to his account.

robcub
10-15-2010, 05:59 AM
I'm sorry, Jellby, I didn't explain that very well. What I meant was, if I create an account and upload an ePub, is it viewable by anyone? The answer is no, at least for the Ibis site. The ePubs are only for the user.

quillaja
10-15-2010, 08:44 AM
Unless I had a specific reason to use ePub (like I was actually publishing something for people who used ereaders), I probably wouldn't use ePub to distribute a document to 500 people, most of whom probably have no idea what ePub is.

I'd distribute something more standard, like a Word .doc or a PDF, or if you want to share it from the web, you could create a Google Docs version of the document, make it "public", then send everyone the link. All of these would be viewable from handheld devices (like cell phones), and a .doc or pdf would also be viewable on an ereader (generally).

Jellby
10-15-2010, 10:33 AM
I probably wouldn't use ePub to distribute a document [...] I'd distribute something more standard, like a Word .doc

Isn't that ironic? :rolleyes:

HarryT
10-15-2010, 11:43 AM
I too would suggest using PDF for the described purpose.

BillSmithBooks
10-15-2010, 06:09 PM
1) People can download the file, change the extension from .epub to .zip, unzip it and read in a standard browser (assuming the mobile devices have zip software).

2) I'd also encourage posting the document using the Google docs or just a standard blog or download: Use pdf, rtf/doc format (any word processor can read RTF, some struggle with doc) or good old-fashioned HTML.

robcub
10-15-2010, 06:13 PM
I didn't explain this very well either. The newsletter is created as a PDF and is mailed out to 500 people quarterly. However, in one issue we asked for feedback. We got some requests back for an issue that could be read on handheld devices - hence the ePub. Now the people I'm showing it to now aren't the ones that made the request, so they're not the most knowledgable about the format.

quillaja
10-17-2010, 06:04 AM
Hmm... does the newsletter contain (or require) rich formatting and layout? If not, why not just use an atom/rss feed to deliver the newsletter (ie a blog)? Anything can read that, and people can use the feed reader of their choice.

Other than that, if you need to use ePub, just make it a DRM-free one (which I expect you'd do) and provide users a short explanation and links to some popular software on the main platforms (windows, mac, android, iOS, etc). Give them the link to the ePub article on wikipedia too; there's a lot of reader software listed there.

Then just upload the file to your website every week and give your followers the link.

robcub
10-17-2010, 01:21 PM
thank you, quillaja, the Wikipedia link is a good idea. The ePub does have some formatting and images. I think I'll stick with this format.