View Full Version : Your Opinion: iSilo PDBs on the way out?


Steven Lyle Jordan
10-19-2006, 03:08 PM
On my e-book site, I sell my books in multiple formats, including PDB for eReader, and a seperate PDB for iSilo (among others). I've just noticed that, after a year, I have sold NO iSilo PDB e-books at all!

Now, I know that I'm not exactly selling to thousands here (or even hundreds... or even... well, never mind ;) ), but should I consider this a trend? Are there fewer iSilo readers out there now? Are other formats winning out? Should I drop the iSilo PDB in favor of another format?

Opinions are requested.

VillageReader
10-19-2006, 03:59 PM
Steve - I posted a message on your site a while back about a .pdf formatted specifically for the Iliad. As you probably know from bouncing here, the 'resizing' capability of the Iliad for a .pdf is still in its infancy, even though there were just some dramatic improvements in the last week or so. Minor reformatting of your ebooks to the right size would be great.

As far as iSilo goes, on the Palm I have I still have that format, but haven't added anything to that format in a very long time. Most, if not all, of my recent additions there have been either Mobipocket or Tomeraider.

Bob Russell
10-19-2006, 04:52 PM
I don't remember if you have Palm Doc format (not the eReader one), but that seems to be readable on most desktops or pdas/smartphones, at least Win Mobile and PalmOS. (It's the one called "Doc" at memoware... http://www.memoware.com/mw.cgi/?screen=help_format) And those platforms are the only ones I'm aware of with iSilo support.

Oops... seems iSilo is supported on Smartphone, Symbian UIQ, and Symbian Series 60 also. But some Symbian at least seems to support PalmDoc... http://www.memoware.com/mw.cgi/?screen=help_other

So as much as I love iSilo, especially with iSiloX for extracting web content, I'm thinking that PalmDoc has the more widespread support for people wanting to read it.

PalmDoc may also be what you are calling eReader/PalmDoc, I'm not sure. But if it's the same, you probably don't need iSilo also. On the other hand, for existing books, does it hurt to have an extra format?

Sorry to be so wordy, but hopefully this helps...

derekweb
10-19-2006, 06:57 PM
I personally prefer to use iSilo, because (specifically) of the iSiloX capability. Usually, and it's about 75% of the time, the formats when given to me electronically never seem to fit right on my handheld, until after I re-do or clean up the eBook. It's frustrating.

So, I simply get the HTML or other like, and convert myself. Usually have no issues with the conversion.

Is it dead? Nope. Probably fighting for who's top-dog, however. iSilo does what I need the best,... for what it's worth.

Brad
10-19-2006, 07:02 PM
About 90% of the ebooks I read are in iSilo - it is my preferred reader for several reasons, iSiloX among them.

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-19-2006, 10:27 PM
Steve - I posted a message on your site a while back about a .pdf formatted specifically for the Iliad. As you probably know from bouncing here, the 'resizing' capability of the Iliad for a .pdf is still in its infancy, even though there were just some dramatic improvements in the last week or so. Minor reformatting of your ebooks to the right size would be great.

I remember the message. What was the size of the Iliad screen in inches? I can check into what I need to do to resize PDFs for that size.

Alexander Turcic
10-20-2006, 05:55 AM
iSilo is still my favorite reader on both platforms, Palm and Windows Mobile.

Unfortunately, since it doesn't support any form of DRM, publishers have been hesitant (i.e. non-existent) in supporting iSilo - which probably explains why it has always been just a niche product.

Like many other people I prefer downloading content in a more "open" format, such as HTML, and then use excellent tools like iSiloX to convert the content to the format I need. This probably also explains why nobody is downloading iSilo books directly.

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-20-2006, 06:43 AM
A lot of people on these boards repeatedly say "I convert myself," and often using HTML. That's the reason I've been considering HTML as a potential iSilo PDB replacement...

VillageReader
10-20-2006, 09:12 AM
I remember the message. What was the size of the Iliad screen in inches? I can check into what I need to do to resize PDFs for that size.

What I use is 4.7 W by 5.9 H. Margins at .2 all around works fine.

Thanks - I'll be visiting your site again soon :D

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-20-2006, 10:27 AM
Okay, then let's get a concensus: Anyone else know if 4.7 W by 5.9 H (or thereabouts) would be a good PDF size for most other readers? (We'll exclude desktop PCs from this question, which we know are configured for letter-size documents.)

NatCh
10-20-2006, 12:01 PM
Sony Reader is around 3.54" X 4.84" and I've been slapping on a .03" margin. :shrugh:

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-28-2006, 05:16 PM
Overall, I'd like to be able to keep my list of formats to 5 or less. If I tried to satisfy every type of reader and hardware, I'd have a dozen or more formats and sizes listed! The direction of my original question is to determine the 5 most popular and practical e-book formats to offer my books in.

Based on what I've been reading about Sony Reader, I might do RTF conversions for that device, as opposed to PDF. (RTF is also in the running, alongside HTML, as my PDB replacement.) I might reduce my PDF size, though, to something more approximating a paperback page size, especially if that makes it easier for some hardware to read.

I should probably ask, what is the native format for the Iliad? Maybe formatting specifically for that device would make more sense.

VillageReader
10-28-2006, 10:04 PM
.rtf can be easily reformatted for the Iliad.

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-28-2006, 11:14 PM
Okay, so I know RTF works for the Iliad, and it can also be converted to PDF for other readers. I also know HTML can be converted to many formats, including iSilo. Would it make more sense, therefore, to add RTF and HTML, allowing customers to do their own conversions and fit their device, and remove other formats, like the iSilo PDB, from my list?

(My currently offered formats are eReader PDB, iSIlo PDB, Mobipocket PRC, MS Reader LIT, and Adobe PDF.)

Steven Lyle Jordan
10-29-2006, 09:22 AM
I don't remember if you have Palm Doc format (not the eReader one), but that seems to be readable on most desktops or pdas/smartphones, at least Win Mobile and PalmOS. (It's the one called "Doc" at memoware... http://www.memoware.com/mw.cgi/?screen=help_format) And those platforms are the only ones I'm aware of with iSilo support.

Bob, as best as I can determine, the PDB format I create for iSilo is the DOC format, so it is readable on most readers. (If anyone has tested this and found it not to be so, please let me know.)

johnnaryry
10-31-2006, 01:38 PM
iSilo does support DRM. It can be password protected and access via beaming or bluetooth can be blocked. Also, files can be set to expire after predetermined interval.

doctorow
11-01-2006, 05:02 AM
john, it's true you can somewhat protect iSilo files like with a password, but they are not DRM-protected in the sense that their content is cryptologically secured... so it would be an easy game for crackers to play with.

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-01-2006, 06:46 AM
I wasn't planning to apply DRM anyway.

johnnaryry
11-01-2006, 12:02 PM
On my e-book site, I sell my books in multiple formats, including PDB for eReader, and a seperate PDB for iSilo (among others). I've just noticed that, after a year, I have sold NO iSilo PDB e-books at all!

Now, I know that I'm not exactly selling to thousands here (or even hundreds... or even... well, never mind ;) ), but should I consider this a trend? Are there fewer iSilo readers out there now? Are other formats winning out? Should I drop the iSilo PDB in favor of another format?

Opinions are requested.

Actually I just bought one on your books in the iSilo format. Great site and this looks to be an interesting read!

:cool: --ryan

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-01-2006, 12:08 PM
Well, that's it for this no-hitter! ;)

BTW, thanks for buying, and I hope you pick up many more (and tell your friends!). And be sure to let me know if there's anything unusual about the iSilo version that I need to address.

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-16-2006, 04:33 PM
Okay, as there are no more comments here, I have made a decision on future formats that I think will be a good one:

Beginning <whenever I get round to it>, I will be releasing my e-books in formats for eReader/unformatted PDB, iSilo, Mobipocket, and MS Reader. I will drop the Adobe Reader PDF format, and replace it with Rich Text Format.

Making RTF available will mean anyone interested can use that to create any preferred format (including PDF) that I have not provided, with their own software. Although I have made a few PDF sales, I am also aware that most people, including computer novices, have the software and know-how to convert a document into PDF, and can use the RTF file with minimum instructions.

I am also aware that, although many e-readers read PDF files, every one seems to have a slightly different optimum sizing for its screen. Therefore, allowing the consumer to convert from RTF to PDF allows them to size the PDF to their preference.

I do plan to re-release my existing novels in RTF format as well, and will start with this before I release any new novels.

For the record, I am continuing to evaluate other formats for future use (such as OEBPS), and will make adjustments as the market dictates.

NatCh
11-16-2006, 04:34 PM
Bravo, Steve, bravo!

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-16-2006, 04:42 PM
Ten coo.

NatCh
11-16-2006, 05:10 PM
javelkoom

Bob Russell
11-16-2006, 06:15 PM
Hey guys, I think there's something wrong with your keyboards. Better check it out. ;-)

But as far as your format choices, I think that's great!!

So that will bring up another question from your fans -- If we have purchased books from you in previous versions, as I have, is it possible to get the rtf version now also without repurchasing them?

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-17-2006, 10:46 AM
Bob,
I'll be glad to send an RTF version of any novels you've purchased, if you're interested... and that goes for everyone who's bought my books (and yes, I've kept track of who's bought what). All they have to do is ask. When I make the transition, I'll make that clear on the website, and I will probably directly e-mail anyone who's bought a title as well.

Bob Russell
11-17-2006, 11:16 AM
That's very generous of you, Steve. Will PM you with my email address!

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-19-2006, 08:31 PM
FYI, everyone, the RTFs have been added to my site. As I indicated above, if you've already purchased a book, but would like to try the RTF file instead, e-mail me and I'll be glad to send you a free RTF copy of the book you ordered.

I wouldn't just delete the old copies yet, though. I've been able to perform only a limited test of these RTF files, and although they seem to work fine on PC and Mac versions of Word, I have not tried them yet on other e-doc converters (and hope to get relevant feedback on that score from a few sources).

RWood
11-27-2006, 04:46 PM
I picked up a copy of "Lambs Hide, Tigers Seek" in RTF and it loaded easily on the Sony Reader. However, due to their still evolving software, the first two pages on the Reader were blank (the copy of the cover and a blank page.)

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-27-2006, 06:53 PM
Oh, man... that bites! And that's a great cover, too! I'm gonna give Sony a piece of my mind!...

RWood
11-27-2006, 08:25 PM
I agree, its a great cover. I looked at it on your web site and again in Word on the PC -- I wanted to see what I was not seeing on the Reader.

Now the character and paragraph formatting are all excellent in the Reader. It changes from S(mall) to M(edium) to L(arge) font in a flash. By the way, the page count is 188 in small, 236 in medium, and 311 in large for "Lambs Hide, Tigers Seek"

I'm liking what I'm reading so far. I may have to get more of the "Steve Jordan" books -- he's not just scifi anymore.

johnnaryry
11-28-2006, 12:13 PM
Like many other people I prefer downloading content in a more "open" format, such as HTML, and then use excellent tools like iSiloX to convert the content to the format I need. This probably also explains why nobody is downloading iSilo books directly.

I agree with Alex, iSiloX is a most excellent product, as is iSilo itself. I will often download HTML to convert myself if I'm sure about the quality of a source's iSilo files. It seems much easier to do it yourself correctly than attemping to fix a file that was badly converted...

--ryan