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Old 06-08-2010, 03:15 PM   #1
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Fifobooks Composer: a simple way to create your own illustrated e-book

We've created a "labs" site, where we can test new features before they're formally released.

First up is Composer: http://labs.fifobooks.com/Composer, an automated tool for creating illustrated books like comics or graphic novels/manga.

All you need is a stack of images (png, gif, jpg) -- upload them, set the page sequence, and (optionally) define chapters.

Composer does the rest, and produces a file in e-book format (either .epub or .cbz).

We think the potential for all-illustrated e-books is huge, not only because of how good they look in color on the iPad, but also because of Apple's arbitrary censorship in their book store: http://www.siliconera.com/2010/05/08...ted-by-itunes/

Note, too, that you can even turn your own photo albums into e-books, if you're so inclined, since Composer doesn't care what kind of images it parses.

We would love to get everyone's feedback on Composer; please feel free to leave a comment or question here, or you can reach us anonymously via our contact page: https://www.fifobooks.com/Contact
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpapathanasiou View Post
We've created a "labs" site, where we can test new features before they're formally released.

First up is Composer: http://labs.fifobooks.com/Composer, an automated tool for creating illustrated books like comics or graphic novels/manga.

All you need is a stack of images (png, gif, jpg) -- upload them, set the page sequence, and (optionally) define chapters.

Composer does the rest, and produces a file in e-book format (either .epub or .cbz).

We think the potential for all-illustrated e-books is huge, not only because of how good they look in color on the iPad, but also because of Apple's arbitrary censorship in their book store: http://www.siliconera.com/2010/05/08...ted-by-itunes/

Note, too, that you can even turn your own photo albums into e-books, if you're so inclined, since Composer doesn't care what kind of images it parses.

We would love to get everyone's feedback on Composer; please feel free to leave a comment or question here, or you can reach us anonymously via our contact page: https://www.fifobooks.com/Contact

How about a downloadable version???

Derek
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by delphidb96 View Post
How about a downloadable version???

Derek
Hi,

I'm not sure what you mean by "downloadable".

You can download the .epub or .cbz file Composer creates, and use it however you please (i.e., there's no obligation to publish it on Fifobooks.com). Composer does not keep a copy of the resulting e-book, nor the images used in its creation.

If you mean downloadable as a desktop app, though, we learned that people don't want desktop apps, and we've come around to that view ourselves.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:43 PM   #4
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Nothing seems to happen on IE7 when clicking "Add Images", and "Set Cover" is unclickable.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:09 PM   #5
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Hello Xanthe,

Try using IE 8. We did not test under older versions of Internet Explorer.

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Old 06-08-2010, 05:13 PM   #6
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Okay, I'll download IE8 and try it with that later.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpapathanasiou View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "downloadable".
Why, this is a hosted solution. Obviously Derek meant to release the script that does the conversion so it can be run locally.

Quote:
If you mean downloadable as a desktop app, though, we learned that people don't want desktop apps, and we've come around to that view ourselves.
Ugh.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rogue_librarian View Post
Ugh.
Well, we can think of good reasons why it shouldn't be a desktop app, but I'd be interested to know why you think it is a good idea (I'm not trying to be disagreeable, I just want to understand your point of view).
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpapathanasiou View Post
If you mean downloadable as a desktop app, though, we learned that people don't want desktop apps, and we've come around to that view ourselves.
That was a thread about an app to download from your catalog and sideload to the reading device, one that might interfere with the personal system of users.

This is a utility to create graphical books. Entirely different, and shouldn't do more than touch some pre-selected files. Web-based software for that purpose is inefficient and a waste of bandwidth; upload, download, iterate, upload, download... repeat until satisfied.

Also, what happens when you go away? Or change your terms of service? And why should anyone trust you when you say you don't keep copies? Who are you?
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:34 PM   #10
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Without being too negative or disrespectful - but who actually needs this tool?

Creating cbr/cbz? Zip any number of image files, rename .zip to .cbz or .rar to .cbr, done.

Create an eBook out of cbz or cbr? Simply upload to calibre, a desktop software, convert to different formats, done.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpapathanasiou View Post
Hi,

I'm not sure what you mean by "downloadable".

You can download the .epub or .cbz file Composer creates, and use it however you please (i.e., there's no obligation to publish it on Fifobooks.com). Composer does not keep a copy of the resulting e-book, nor the images used in its creation.

If you mean downloadable as a desktop app, though, we learned that people don't want desktop apps, and we've come around to that view ourselves.
No, I mean a downloadable executable file that I can use standalone on my Windows PC without having to constantly connect to the website - i.e. a *real* standalone program.

Derek
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:29 PM   #12
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Well, we can think of good reasons why it shouldn't be a desktop app, but I'd be interested to know why you think it is a good idea (I'm not trying to be disagreeable, I just want to understand your point of view).
I can think of *one* good reason for it being a downloadable app - when you guys disappear (and the odds of you doing so are, for the first five years, better than 4-to-1 in favor of that) I'll still be able to use the app.

Don't know who you've been talking to, but *I* would be crazy to rely upon an online webapp. I own my own copies of Adobe Creative Suite (4), Microsoft Office (2010) and 3DS Max. And I wouldn't *dream* of relying on the (possible) continuted existence of a critical-need webapp.

Derek
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capidamonte View Post
That was a thread about an app to download from your catalog and sideload to the reading device, one that might interfere with the personal system of users.

This is a utility to create graphical books. Entirely different, and shouldn't do more than touch some pre-selected files. Web-based software for that purpose is inefficient and a waste of bandwidth; upload, download, iterate, upload, download... repeat until satisfied.

Also, what happens when you go away? Or change your terms of service? And why should anyone trust you when you say you don't keep copies? Who are you?
If it's an issue of trust, building a desktop app doesn't solve the problem.

In fact, it makes it worse in some ways, b/c if you don't trust the web site in the first place, you're unlikely to install something from that site on your pc, for fear of viruses or malware, etc.

The point about uploading and downloading makes sense, but it is less valid now than 5-10 years ago, when broadband was less widely available.

As Flickr and YouTube have shown, people are ok with uploading and downloading decent sized files to and from those sites.

Also, with the advent of Google Docs and Zoho, the idea of using an app that was formerly desktop-bound on the web has become more acceptable. Even Microsoft Office is now available as as web app.

I'm not against the idea of building a web app per se, but I just haven't heard of a compelling reason to do it.
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by K-Thom View Post
Without being too negative or disrespectful - but who actually needs this tool?

Creating cbr/cbz? Zip any number of image files, rename .zip to .cbz or .rar to .cbr, done.

Create an eBook out of cbz or cbr? Simply upload to calibre, a desktop software, convert to different formats, done.
Well, not everyone is technically savvy enough to do that, e.g. some of the professional artists we've been working with recently.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:12 AM   #15
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I don't get web based apps. If I want an app, I want it on my computer where I can access it and use it anywhere, anytime, anyway I want without having to worry about internet availability or connection problems.
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