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Old 09-30-2011, 07:37 PM   #1
1611mac
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Inconsistancy in how my cover displays - depends on app.

I have created an epub using Pages (Apple OSX app). The cover works in some apps and not others.

Here's the results:
• Bluefire - shows the first page in the book as the cover, not the cover itself.
• iBooks - Cover shows properly
• Kobo - Shows an image on page one as the cover.
• Ouiivo - Cover shows properly
• Stanza - Cover shows proplery
• uBooks - No cover displays at all.

You can see that three apps display the cover properly and thee do not.

Additionally, I have tried adding the cover in Calibre (then "save to disk") but the results have been similar.

Is this inconsistency a fault of the epub code or is it a problem with the apps?
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:33 PM   #2
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The first page of a portable ePub is its "cover", because (as you have seen) some ePub readers follow this convention. So the only safe approach is to follow this convention and invoke Pages' "Use first page as book cover image" option.

Note that in Calibre you have to do an ePub to ePub conversion and then save to disk. This should get the cover as the 1st page, but you may not like what else Calibre does to your ebook. Calibre also has a "tweak ePub" option, which allows you to edit the ePub directly if you are comfortable doing this.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:56 PM   #3
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The first page of a portable ePub is its "cover", because (as you have seen) some ePub readers follow this convention. So the only safe approach is to follow this convention and invoke Pages' "Use first page as book cover image" option.
That's exactly what I did, but as I said, 3 apps did not display the cover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
Note that in Calibre you have to do an ePub to ePub conversion and then save to disk. This should get the cover as the 1st page, but you may not like what else Calibre does to your ebook. Calibre also has a "tweak ePub" option, which allows you to edit the ePub directly if you are comfortable doing this.
Yes, I have converted ePub to ePub and result is awful so this is not an option. I also used the "tweak ePub" to examine the ePub. Everything looks similar (or same) as "commercial" books I've compared too (that work) so I don't know what to "fix" or change.

As a "fix" right now I have a Pages "save first page as cover" page plus my first book page is also a jpg of the cover (but smaller).

I guess I'll continue to "tweak epub" and compare working covers to my epub.

Could the size of the cover jpg be an issue with some apps but not others? Mine is 394x600 at 72 dpi. It's scaled up a bit in Pages to fill the page else the "icon" has white space around it.

Thanks for the response. I appreciate it very much.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
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As a "fix" right now I have a Pages "save first page as cover" page plus my first book page is also a jpg of the cover (but smaller).

I guess I'll continue to "tweak epub" and compare working covers to my epub.

Could the size of the cover jpg be an issue with some apps but not others? Mine is 394x600 at 72 dpi. It's scaled up a bit in Pages to fill the page else the "icon" has white space around it.
Amazon recommended 600x800 as the cover size for a long time, so that may be a safe choice.

If you look at what Calibre does for cover images that should be a good guide. What I see is a) jpg image (inside an xhtml wrapper, titlepage.xhtml), b) image is 1st item in manifest, c) titlepage is 1st item in spine, c) the guide references titlepage.xhtml as the cover, d) it is the 1st navpoint in toc.ncx.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
Amazon recommended 600x800 as the cover size for a long time, so that may be a safe choice.

If you look at what Calibre does for cover images that should be a good guide. What I see is a) jpg image (inside an xhtml wrapper, titlepage.xhtml), b) image is 1st item in manifest, c) titlepage is 1st item in spine, c) the guide references titlepage.xhtml as the cover, d) it is the 1st navpoint in toc.ncx.
Excellent information. I'll check it out. Thanks very much. I appreciate your insight.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:37 AM   #6
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I don't know how Pages constructs the ePUB, but the fact that the applications that follow the specifications better are the ones that do not display the cover, lead me to think it doesn't follow the specifications. Since it involves Apple, I am not surprised.
Could you post your opf file from your ePUB? I am sure we will find the problem.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:18 AM   #7
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There is no "cover" in ePUB, after all.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:46 AM   #8
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No, but usually the first page will be set as cover. If this is not the case now, than it probably can be found in the opf.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxaris View Post
I don't know how Pages constructs the ePUB, but the fact that the applications that follow the specifications better are the ones that do not display the cover, lead me to think it doesn't follow the specifications. Since it involves Apple, I am not surprised.
Could you post your opf file from your ePUB? I am sure we will find the problem.
Yes, I'll supply opf file perhaps later today. However, I repeat, I get similar results when no cover is defined in Pages and the cover is added in Calibre (and epub to epub conversion done). The converted ePub still shows no cover in some apps.
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:13 PM   #10
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It seems like a common problem...
These are the most relevant links out of my bookmarks file:

http://blog.threepress.org/2009/11/2...-cover-images/

http://www.mobipocket.com/dev/articl...over.htm#IDPF2

Perhaps they can be of some help.
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:20 PM   #11
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It seems like a common problem...
These are the most relevant links out of my bookmarks file:

http://blog.threepress.org/2009/11/2...-cover-images/

http://www.mobipocket.com/dev/articl...over.htm#IDPF2

Perhaps they can be of some help.
Good info. Thanks very much!
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:21 AM   #12
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I have no idea what Calibre does with the cover, I never do ePUB to ePUB conversion with Calibre. I don't see the point in doing it, I'd rather do it myself.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:06 PM   #13
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I never did close this issue so let me do so in case someone searches....

Evidently, some apps don't like the file/folder structure that is created by "Pages" epub output. A workaround is to place two covers as page one and two in Pages, defining page one as a cover on export, will give a cover in most all apps. Some apps see the actual cover, the others will use the second cover - (cover is named "cover.jpg" so it can be found.)

But... To actually fix the problem so Bluefire and other apps actually use a single "true" cover page I have to explode the epub and put all files (except the META-INF) at the root level. (Pages epub output has css folder, images, folder, the opt, and chapters in an OPS folder.)

So again, I put everything at root level and made appropriate path change in container file and covers worked fine.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:12 PM   #14
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Can you attach a sample so we can see what might be going on?

Is pages generating ePub or is Pages generating iBooks code?
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:46 PM   #15
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Can you attach a sample so we can see what might be going on?

Is pages generating ePub or is Pages generating iBooks code?
Sample of what? The code or the structure?

I'd have to mock up something as all my stuff is customer supplied Pages docs and the book text is copyrighted. I could take a snap of the epub doc structure if that would help. (Or like I said, make up a simple mockup with a cover.)

The code is ePub and works fine in most all iOS reader apps. Just the cover is the issue. If I set the cover in Pages export then Bluefire and Stanza does not pick it up (even if I use Calbre and put in a new cover) but they do if the cover is just a jpg at he beginning of the file. Five or six other apps are just the opposite.

I could use Apple's best practices document with page one as the cover. (there is an option upon epub export to "use first page as cover")

So what do you want to see? a whole attached epub?
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