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Old 04-08-2007, 09:31 AM   #1
HarryT
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Lightbulb Book Creation Tutorials

I've created this thread for people to post tutorials on how to create eBooks for the Sony Reader.

To start things off, attached is a detailed illustrated tutorial (as a Microsoft Word document) showing how I create Reader e-Books from "Project Gutenberg" files, using "Book Designer". I hope that people find this useful. This is the exact process that I use to create all the books I've posted in this forum.

Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions or suggestions for improvements.

EDIT: 24th Jun 07

Uploaded v1.1 of the tutorial, which is rather more generic, and stresses that the techniques described can be used to produce a book in any format supported by Book Designer, not just Sony Reader books.
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Attached Files
File Type: zip HarryTs_Book_Designer_Tutorial.zip (1.75 MB, 6003 views)
File Type: zip HarryTs_Book_Designer_Tutorial_v1.1.zip (1.75 MB, 5568 views)
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:35 AM   #2
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That is a great idea Harry!
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:24 AM   #3
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Wink

Book Designer converts emdashes (—) and -- to just a single dash. What I have been doing is converting emdashes and -- to @@. Then once inside book designer, I can convert @@ to — (emdash) correctly.

One other note, becuase of the poor italic handling by the Sony Reader, if there are any symbols or 's type things right after the italics, I italicize them too. Otherwise, you get something like Bob 's house. My way you do get Bob's House. Granted there is a little bit of extra space right after an italic. I hope Sony will eventually fix this.

But overall, I do like the tutorial document. I think it is a great idea.
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Old 04-08-2007, 03:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf
Book Designer converts emdashes (—) and -- to just a single dash. What I have been doing is converting emdashes and -- to @@. Then once inside book designer, I can convert @@ to — (emdash) correctly.
Anybody got a notion how to stop DB from replacing these in the first place? (I hope, I hope, I hope)
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Old 04-08-2007, 06:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
Anybody got a notion how to stop DB from replacing these in the first place? (I hope, I hope, I hope)
I did fine one way to get it to work. But the resulting mess was not worth it. What I did was in the settings, I unchecked keep original format and re-format completely and it imported with some really go awful styles that I could not edit. So what I do is go into Word, message the text, replace -- or — with @@ and then when the RTF comes in, I can fix the @@ to — and all is well.

Does anyone know how to fix the issues with italics?
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:32 AM   #6
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HarryT, thank you very much for that very well-written tutorial. I haven't tried it yet to see whether I understand everything, but it is a very nice gesture on your part to give us a starting point to work from.

I have opened Book Designer a few times, only to close it when I realized I didn't have enough time to do more than dabble.

With your tutorial I feel better equipped to tackle a project now.

Thank you!
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:52 PM   #7
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The italics issue brings up boldface, which I can't get to work. I can make text boldface in the edit mode. but it's not boldface in reader mode or in the LRF output. Is there any way to handle boldface? What about underlining and other sty;es? I've considered replacing bold with underline in the text, but this would be a lot of work.
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Old 04-10-2007, 03:40 AM   #8
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Underlining works on the Reader (although it's not very prominent), but bold doesn't seem to. It shows up as bold in BD, but has no effect on the Reader.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:16 AM   #9
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I guess another try at getting legibile low-vision fonts bites the dust... LRF and BD not supporting boldface or left justification or proper underlining really is dissappointing. The embedded fonts did work better than expected (at least on a 500-page document with all text in the same font), and I found the longer page turn time anageable. But there are some books that need boldface on a word-by-word basis.

And using large fonts with full justification and no hyphenation produces horrible results. I don't supposed BD and LRF support adaptive hyphenation?

Looks more and more like I'll have to surrender and create a flash image with more readable fonts and standardize on RTF. Or attempt to use bitmaps images instead.
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:54 AM   #10
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When you go to make a Sony Reader (lrf) file, the requestor that pops up has three tabs. One of them is Styles. You'll see that the default setting for Paragraph is bold. That's why bold is not working. You cannot double bold. What you need do is change bold in the paragraph style to normal and then bold will work as you want it to. That is the worst default setting in Book Designer.
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:25 AM   #11
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Ah - that would certainly explain it. Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:41 AM   #12
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Urlp. Yeah, I'll have to check that setting on mine. (shakes head)

Thanks, JSWolf.

EDIT: Well, whaddaya know. I just checked my settings and apparently I already changed the 'paragraph' style to 'normal' at some point. Funny thing is, I don't remember doing it, but I did change a lot of things on that tab all at once, so I probably just don't specifically remember doing it.

Last edited by NatCh; 04-10-2007 at 11:48 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf
When you go to make a Sony Reader (lrf) file, the requestor that pops up has three tabs. One of them is Styles. You'll see that the default setting for Paragraph is bold. That's why bold is not working. You cannot double bold. What you need do is change bold in the paragraph style to normal and then bold will work as you want it to. That is the worst default setting in Book Designer.

Tried that yesterday, didn't work. Still no bold (that is, several boldface words in the middle of a senstence appeared the same as all the others). I tried the regular fonts as well as several different external fonts, and there was no boldface shown either in the Connect viewer or on the reader.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:12 PM   #14
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Having switched off "Bold" for the default paragraph style, and tried adding some "bold" words in the text, I'm not at all convinced that I can see any visible difference. There might be a very minor difference, but equally, I could be imagining it.

I certainly don't think, based on this, that one can sensibly use "bold" for emphasis on the Reader. Probably best to still to what PG often does, and use capital letters for emphasis.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:58 PM   #15
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sounds simple enough. one problem for me was it was formatted for a4 and i only noticed it when i printed it on letter and the bottom of each page was a little short.
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