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Old 08-19-2012, 12:25 AM   #1
msw_author
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Help required uploading an ePub to Lightning Source

Hi all,

I'm an Australian-based writer and have just finished my first novel (hoorah!). I've decided to use Lightning Source to print my paperback version on the novel, and the proof is all approved. I also decided to use them for the e-Book. My main reason for this was:
1. Any revenue from sales for the eBook will be through the same company as the paperback (i.e. I'll only have 1 relationship with a printer/distributor)
2. Going through Lightning Source means that I didn't have to apply for a US Tax File Number (which seemed quite a process), and so any revenue would be in Aussie Dollars, and taxed here in Australia.

So I'm comfortable with my decision so far, except the uploading of the ePub file to Lightning Source has been a nightmare! I created the ePub using Adobe InDesign. I a a novice to the program, but figured it out. I was able to export an ePub (in both version 2.0.1 and 3.0) which passed the validation check (validator.idpf.org/) with no issues. I also viewed the file successfully on a iPad, Kindle and Kobo. But when I upload the file to Lightning Source it is always rejected with a reason of 'Adobe Format Rejected - Invalid Metadata or Content File'. It gives no additional details. The Lightning Source representatives try to help, but they are telling me to use a conversion vendor to assist. I'm not crazy about spending $300 on getting an ePub created, where I believe that my version is OK anyway.

So my question really is:
1. Had anyone successfully uploaded an ePub to LightningSource? If so, do you have any tips? i.e. what kind of computer do you have? Mac or Windows? Which program did you use to create the ePub?

2. Does anyone know of any issues with uploading an ePub from a Mac? I read some threads about the zipping and unzipping on a Mac causes issues, so I tried using a Windows machine and had the same problems.

3. If I do decide to use a conversion vendor, does anyone have any recommendations on companies that are good?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

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Old 08-19-2012, 10:00 AM   #2
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Tried finding another way to compile it, like exporting the text to LibreOffice and running it thru Writer2ePub?

Another option that comes to mind is using Calibre to somehow fix the metadata, but I have no idea how you'd do that.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msw_author View Post
1. Had anyone successfully uploaded an ePub to LightningSource? If so, do you have any tips? i.e. what kind of computer do you have? Mac or Windows? Which program did you use to create the ePub?

2. Does anyone know of any issues with uploading an ePub from a Mac? I read some threads about the zipping and unzipping on a Mac causes issues, so I tried using a Windows machine and had the same problems.
1. Yes, I've got ePubs distributed through Lightning Source. I haven't uploaded one recently, but if there isn't an automated way to do it by now, you'll need to manually request that the ePub be distributed DRM-free.

2. If you're unzipping/rezipping on a Mac, you should get the http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...ip+applescript, and you will probably also find the epubcheck AppleScript useful.

My best guess is that you haven't set author/publisher metadata. I recommend opening in Sigil, adding the metadata and resaving. Unless you're happy doing it manually.

To the best of my knowledge, Lightning Source does not distribute to Amazon. You'll need to convert your ePub to a Kindle/Mobi format and upload that to Amazon yourself. Amazon is still the major ebook retailer, so missing out on those sales would be foolish.

I suspect that LS don't distribute to Apple either, so you should probably set up an account there too.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
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Lightning Source Epub Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by msw_author View Post
Hi all,

I'm an Australian-based writer and have just finished my first novel (hoorah!). I've decided to use Lightning Source to print my paperback version on the novel, and the proof is all approved. I also decided to use them for the e-Book. My main reason for this was:
1. Any revenue from sales for the eBook will be through the same company as the paperback (i.e. I'll only have 1 relationship with a printer/distributor)
2. Going through Lightning Source means that I didn't have to apply for a US Tax File Number (which seemed quite a process), and so any revenue would be in Aussie Dollars, and taxed here in Australia.

So I'm comfortable with my decision so far, except the uploading of the ePub file to Lightning Source has been a nightmare! I created the ePub using Adobe InDesign. I a a novice to the program, but figured it out. I was able to export an ePub (in both version 2.0.1 and 3.0) which passed the validation check (validator.idpf.org/) with no issues. I also viewed the file successfully on a iPad, Kindle and Kobo. But when I upload the file to Lightning Source it is always rejected with a reason of 'Adobe Format Rejected - Invalid Metadata or Content File'. It gives no additional details. The Lightning Source representatives try to help, but they are telling me to use a conversion vendor to assist. I'm not crazy about spending $300 on getting an ePub created, where I believe that my version is OK anyway.

So my question really is:
1. Had anyone successfully uploaded an ePub to LightningSource? If so, do you have any tips? i.e. what kind of computer do you have? Mac or Windows? Which program did you use to create the ePub?

2. Does anyone know of any issues with uploading an ePub from a Mac? I read some threads about the zipping and unzipping on a Mac causes issues, so I tried using a Windows machine and had the same problems.

3. If I do decide to use a conversion vendor, does anyone have any recommendations on companies that are good?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

Did you figure out the issue with your metadata? I ask, because my problem is identical to yours!

I'd love to hear how it was resolved.

Thanks!
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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I have successfully uploaded an ePub to Lightning Source, but it was some time ago. Are you certain you've included all required metadata?
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:35 PM   #6
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I just finished submitting my first book through Lightning Source Australia. The text content was a PDF export from OpenOffice (set the page size to match the print size with minimum margins as specified in LS documentation). The cover was created in The Gimp using the template supplied by LS, and then saved as a 300dpi TIFF and then converted to the CMYK colour space required using ImageMagick. It came out very well - the printed cover has less red than it looked when I tried printing here, but if anything I think the LS result was better and more accurate.

Your alternative is to contact LS and get details of someone who can do it for you. Somewhere in amongst my details here I found someone that was supposed to do it for $250 or so (but don't hold me to that).

ETA: I use LS only for printing and I wanted to be sure the print book laid out correctly, hence my preference for print-ready PDF rather than epub. My ebook versions I've submitted through BookBaby.

Last edited by gmw; 12-20-2012 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
ETA: I use LS only for printing and I wanted to be sure the print book laid out correctly, hence my preference for print-ready PDF rather than epub. My ebook versions I've submitted through BookBaby.
No-one submits ePubs to get a book printed. LSI also distribute ebooks.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
No-one submits ePubs to get a book printed. LSI also distribute ebooks.
Ah, yes. I did misread the OP. I was wondering if there was a service they hadn't offered me. (I did look at the LS e-book distrib' but decided against it.)
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