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Old 01-28-2011, 01:53 PM   #1
Bather
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Question How to? Need abundance of information.

I have written my book and want to publish as an eBook. What readers should I adapt it to? How do I adapt to those readers? Can PDF be downloaded by any reader? I recently read something about resizing for certain readers in this forum. What exactly goes on the first page of an eBook? Is it the title/author's name? Or is it a copy write number and barcode? How do you get the barcode in the book? Are there supposed to be pages left blank? As if reading a physical book, the chapter page is always on the right. I am a writer, like some, or most of you. I know nothing about eBooks. Or how to format them. Please help!
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:04 PM   #2
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Don't target individual electronic readers unless you only want to sell your book to a certain segement of potential customers. Instead target the largest range of readers possible. Here are my suggestions:

1) Download, Install and use Calibre, you can get a lot of help here on the use of that software;
2) If you can manage try establishing a web store that will sell your book(s) for you.
3) Translate your book into epub format and sell that format on your web site, it can be ready by all people.
4) Seek to understand your readers, what sort of person reads your book and which reader do they have, do they primarily use Kindles or are they primarily Sony PRS users? If you find that you have a lot of customers with one particular brand of reader then it would make sense to make available a version in that format, but always put foward an epub format, it can be read by all.
5) Visit sites like this in the author's section to talk up your book and post on these forums a synopsis of the book, the same thing that would appear on the back of the dead wood book.

Let me take your questions one by one:

1) Which reader to adapt it to - use epub everyone can do that.
2) Adapt to readers - don't worry about that calibre will worry about that not you.
3) PDF compatability - mostly universal with some exceptions, as an author those exceptions need to be addressed so use epub.
4) Resizing - Try to stick to the standard page size the readers will handle formating the pages for display, if you use unusal page sizes like A4 you have restricted yourself to bookeen readers.
5) What goes on the first page - the same thing as what is on the cover of the dead wood book.
6) Barcode - don't use a barcode it will only confuse your customers, if you publisher puts one on then reproduce the same barcode on the electronic version.
7) Pages left blank - its identical to the dead wood book, if your dead wood book as pages blank then so does the electronic one.
8) Chapter numbers - If you want them on the right, that's fine there are no real rules. However in my opinion you might use this to be disticitive, msot put in the middle of the page, some on the left side some put a eagle picture above each, you might put an image of one of the characters next to the chapter numbers, perhaps interacting with the chapter number. One one chapter one character might be holding the chapter number, on the next another character might be sitting on the chapter number. On a third chapter a third character might be preparing to consume the chapter number with a fork and knife. Fourth chapter a female character might be wearing it as a necklace.

Last edited by jbcohen; 01-28-2011 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcohen View Post
Don't target individual electronic readers unless you only want to sell your book to a certain segement of potential customers. Instead target the largest range of readers possible. Here are my suggestions:

1) Download, Install and use Calibre, you can get a lot of help here on the use of that software;
2) If you can manage try establishing a web store that will sell your book(s) for you.
3) Translate your book into epub format and sell that format on your web site, it can be ready by all people.
4) Seek to understand your readers, what sort of person reads your book and which reader do they have, do they primarily use Kindles or are they primarily Sony PRS users? If you find that you have a lot of customers with one particular brand of reader then it would make sense to make available a version in that format, but always put foward an epub format, it can be read by all.
5) Visit sites like this in the author's section to talk up your book and post on these forums a synopsis of the book, the same thing that would appear on the back of the dead wood book.
All good advice I think. For number 3 though, I don't think Kindles can read e-pubs, so probably best to offer in e-pub and a Kindle compatible format.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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Forget PDF. PDF is not an eBook format. The two formats you want are Mobipocket (for the Kindle) and ePub (for everything else).
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcohen View Post
6) Barcode - don't use a barcode it will only confuse your customers, if you publisher puts one on then reproduce the same barcode on the electronic version.
Great advise jbcohan, I'll save that. Keep in mind that ISBN numbers for ebooks and paper books can not be the same and ISBN numbers for PDF, ePub and mobi should really be different so people don't download DRM versions they can't read on their particular device.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bather View Post
I have written my book and want to publish as an eBook. (i)What readers should I adapt it to? (ii)How do I adapt to those readers? (iii)Can PDF be downloaded by any reader? (iv)I recently read something about resizing for certain readers in this forum. (v)What exactly goes on the first page of an eBook? (vi)Is it the title/author's name? (vii)Or is it a copy write number and barcode? (viii)How do you get the barcode in the book? (ix)Are there supposed to be pages left blank? As if reading a physical book, the chapter page is always on the right. I am a writer, like some, or most of you. I know nothing about eBooks. Or how to format them. Please help!
[Question numbers added]

(i) ePub and Kindle
(ii) Use Sigil to create an ePub version and either upload that to Amazon for conversion to Kindle, or use Calibre, or use KindleGen to generate the Kindle version.
(iii) Don't bother with PDF
(iv) ePub and Kindle formats are automatically resized for whatever decive they're read on.
(v) Whatever you want. Title and Author in a Title Page is usual, although for Kindle ebooks it's also usual to add a link that causes the book to automatically open at the start of the first part of the actual story text.
(vi) Yes, although you can, of course, do whatever you like.
(vii) Barcode? Don't add barcodes to ebooks, there's no point. You can assign an ISBN to your ebooks if you wish. Unnecessary for Kindle ebooks, sometimes useful for ePubs.
(viii) You don't. Barcodes are only for objects that might get scanned by a bardcode scanner. This doesn't apply to ebooks.
(ix) No.

I suggest you download (free) Kindle software and Adobe Digital editions for your computer, and download some (free) ebooks, to see what they're like.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/kcp
http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Forget PDF. PDF is not an eBook format. The two formats you want are Mobipocket (for the Kindle) and ePub (for everything else).
Sigh. Still repeating that nonsense, Harry?

There are ton of things that can only be done with PDF, and even for things that can be done in other formats, PDF still delivers the best results typographically. PDF only had a bad name because people try to read PDFs which were generated for print, and not for reading on screens, and that mismatch yields bad results.

The key is to think about ebook reading when creating the PDFs, and to create several PDFs of various sizes, one for each widespread-used screen, each with minimal margins, if any. The Wiki here contains information about the sizes of many different readers.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:47 PM   #8
Bather
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Thank you all for the information. I've got everything I need now. With one exception. How do I make a link from one webpage to another? Maybe I'd better just ask another question. I may not get the answer to that one, here. Thanks again.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:15 PM   #9
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Thank you all for the information. I've got everything I need now. With one exception. How do I make a link from one webpage to another?
What does this have to do with creating ebooks?

In HTML, you use a link tag:
Code:
<a href="http://www.google.com">Link to Google</a>
If you're using some special software for creating the webpage instead, it would help to know what it is.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:57 PM   #10
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If, by "webpage" you mean HTML file (e.g. if you've split the contents of a book into a series of HTML files, one for each chapter):

a. If both files are in the same directory, and you want a simple link from some point in section001.html to the start of section002.html:

Code:
<a href="section002.html">link text here</a>
b. If the file section002.html is in a sub-directory called subdir:

Code:
<a href="subdir/section002.html">link text here</a>
c. If the file section002.html is in a parallel directory called sisterdir:

Code:
<a href="../sisterdir/section002.html">link text here</a>
d. If you want to link to a specified point part way through file section002.html:

In file section002.html add an id attribute with a unique value (bookmark name - letters, numbers and underscore character only) to the appropriate point you want to link to - e.g. if you want to link to the H2 heading "Chapter Two":

Code:
<h2 id="chap_02">Chapter Two</h2>
Then, in file section001.html where you want to have the link, add a "#" to the filename in the link code, followed by the bookmark name you want to link to. E.g.:

Code:
<a href="section002.html#chap_02">link text here</a>
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:06 PM   #11
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No, no. I was just wondering so that I could link thing's such as my facebook page to my website. Thing's like that.
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