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Old 09-01-2009, 09:43 AM   #16
ahi
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Sorry, Hadrien, you lost me... in practical terms what's OPDS about?

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Old 09-01-2009, 10:01 AM   #17
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Sorry, Hadrien, you lost me... in practical terms what's OPDS about?

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It's a standard for e-book distribution. That's the core technology that we use for our integration with Stanza (iPhone) and Aldiko (Android).
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:04 AM   #18
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I posted this on another thread, but in answer to someone's question about popular formats, smashwords did a survey:

http://blog.smashwords.com/2009/03/w...ks-matter.html

Edward Patterson published this helpful guide on publishing ebooks (his experiences and recommendations and he has a lot to say) It happens to be a free download, making it even more useful:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/316

Me, I'm still learning. I can say that the biggest problem is finding a place where enough readers go. Amazon works very well for that precise reason. Tons of readers go there. For any other format, it's a battle to find the readers because there are simply too many sites--it's impossible to go to all of them to get one or two or 10 readers.

It's also a changing scene with new devices coming out and new converts to e-books joining daily!

Maria
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Catch an Honest Thief (Kindle only format: $1.99; a cozy mystery)
The thing with Feedbooks is that their conversions are overall better than Smashwords. So (personally), I'd prefer books from Feedbooks overall.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:07 AM   #19
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JS Wolf--thanks for that feedback. I've heard others talk about feedbook as well. I'll have to check them (and their inventory!)

Maria
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:58 AM   #20
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The thing with Feedbooks is that their conversions are overall better than Smashwords. So (personally), I'd prefer books from Feedbooks overall.
And we're working on making our books even better right as we speak. I'll finally release our support for dropcaps and footnotes (links to a non-linear flow).
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:04 AM   #21
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And we're working on making our books even better right as we speak. I'll finally release our support for dropcaps and footnotes (links to a non-linear flow).
Is PDF generation via LaTeX not practical to achieve?

Your PDFs are pretty good, but the basic aesthetics could be improved another small step via LaTeX generation... the main trick you'd probably want, in order to avoid overfull lines (at the expense of many usually not nearly as egregious underfull ones), is to set \tolerance to 9999. That way, while less than perfect, the LaTeX output is all but sure to not be blatantly erroneous on account of text being cut-off.

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Old 09-01-2009, 11:31 AM   #22
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Is PDF generation via LaTeX not practical to achieve?

Your PDFs are pretty good, but the basic aesthetics could be improved another small step via LaTeX generation... the main trick you'd probably want, in order to avoid overfull lines (at the expense of many usually not nearly as egregious underfull ones), is to set \tolerance to 9999. That way, while less than perfect, the LaTeX output is all but sure to not be blatantly erroneous on account of text being cut-off.

- Ahi
Our PDF output used to be based on LaTeX but we switched to Prince XML a year ago. The new 7.0 version for Prince will have better hyphenation support (Liang's algorithm, like TeX), kerning and various typographical improvements. We'll move to Prince 7.0 as soon as the final version is available.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:54 AM   #23
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Our PDF output used to be based on LaTeX but we switched to Prince XML a year ago. The new 7.0 version for Prince will have better hyphenation support (Liang's algorithm, like TeX), kerning and various typographical improvements. We'll move to Prince 7.0 as soon as the final version is available.
Very cool. I've read about Prince XML before. Can I ask what the reason for the move was?

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Old 09-01-2009, 12:15 PM   #24
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Very cool. I've read about Prince XML before. Can I ask what the reason for the move was?

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We have various tools to white-list, validate and transform XHTML in our workflow. It's much easier for us to use the same core technology for EPUB, Mobipocket and PDF.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:23 PM   #25
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We have various tools to white-list, validate and transform XHTML in our workflow. It's much easier for us to use the same core technology for EPUB, Mobipocket and PDF.
Makes sense. Thanks for the explanations!

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Old 09-01-2009, 01:30 PM   #26
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Apparently (so I read on another forum and on several blogs) it's likely that Smashword books will also be integrated into Fictionwise as well as B&N. Details are pretty scant. And while I can find articles that mention the B&N partnership, not enough details to know exactly how this will work or how things will change.

Maria
Sage: (multiple formats; Amazon or Smashwords--$1.00)
Catch an Honest Thief (Kindle only format: $1.99; a cozy mystery)
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:52 AM   #27
Hadrien
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For authors distributing their books for free: "How to disappear completely" just reached > 10.000 downloads on Feedbooks.

http://feedbooks.com/userbook/3115

I believe that this is a very good example that our distribution system works very well for self-published titles.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:24 AM   #28
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I did look at Feedbooks, but I didn't easily find a spot where it talked contract details, number of books uploaded there...some of those details. I'll have to go check back when I'm doing my next experiment!
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:19 AM   #29
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Quote:
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I did look at Feedbooks, but I didn't easily find a spot where it talked contract details, number of books uploaded there...some of those details. I'll have to go check back when I'm doing my next experiment!
I think the details you are looking for aren't on Feedbooks because everything on the site is free, unlike Smashwords.

For what it's worth, I've used both Feedbooks and Smashwords and have been very happy with both - easy to use, intuitive, not requiring a lot of technical knowledge. I've had a little more traffic on Feedbooks.

I've also published on Amazon's Digital Text Platform, which is also very user-friendly but has the drawback of not offering the option to make your book free or increase the sample size like Smashwords. The minimum charge is $0.99 - you keep $0.35 of that.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:24 AM   #30
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For authors distributing their books for free: "How to disappear completely" just reached > 10.000 downloads on Feedbooks.

http://feedbooks.com/userbook/3115

I believe that this is a very good example that our distribution system works very well for self-published titles.
I can attest to that, I've just reached the 8,700 mark (overall) on my short stories in just over 6 months of publishing. A number I don't think I would have reached even if I'd gone the traditional print route.
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