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Old 01-13-2012, 12:09 AM   #1
mbishop
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Distributing free epub book from my own website

I have several eBook in EPUB form that I want to distribute for free from my own website. What's the best way to do that? Ideally, I'd like to be able for people to download the books directly to iTunes or some other app, such as NOOK for Android.

Because I couldn't figure out a way for someone to download the .epub file itself, for now, I zip the.epub file, uploaded it to my server, put a link on a webpage, have the user right click (or option-click) on the link, select Save as... to download the zip file, unzip it, and transfer it to the iPad or other device. This is pretty clunky.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:21 AM   #2
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Its up to the user to combine the filetype/extension to his favorite epub program. So just offer epub and let the user have the choice to save or to open in his software.
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:32 AM   #3
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Why not charge a small fee for each download? There are many solutions that handle the payment and delivery mechanism for you, for a tiny commission. Maybe it would be easier and you could make a small income too?
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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I have a similar issue and charging is not an option. I am a physician and produce some booklets on various conditions that I would like to let patients download to their Ipads etc. I have a website and can host the files there. I have done similar things with PDF files in the past and a simple click on the link brings it up on the device but you can't do that with epub files and PDF files are no good for the types of booklets I'm making as the formatting doesn't really work well with them. The epub files look much better across multiple device types.

Is there some way to make the process of downloading an epub file directly to your ipad, iphone, or android device a one click process that dumps it right into the ereader? I know epubs can be emailed and then you can click on the attachment and have it go straight to ibooks, but emailing to each person is also balky. I want to put a little poster in the exam room with a link or maybe even a QR code that the person can use to get the file as easily as possible with no assistance required.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbishop View Post
Because I couldn't figure out a way for someone to download the .epub file itself, for now, I zip the.epub file ...
Epub is already zipped, no need to compress again. Zipping it will only prevent that applications on the receiver-site handle it as epup.

I wonder where the difference between epub, pdf, exe, zip is, from the view of the fileserver. I guess, there is none !

Imo, always the software on receiver-site decides, how to handle a file in the web. Almost any device has a reader for pdf, epub is not as common as this.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmelgar View Post
...
Is there some way to make the process of downloading an epub file directly to your ipad, iphone, or android device a one click process that dumps it right into the ereader? ...
Not really. Other than to see that your webserver is properly configured to handle the MIME types for the formats you publish, there is nothing you can do on the website to force the clients web browser to handle the file properly. It's up to the programming of the browser and, of course, the ebook reader app that uses the file.

As others have said, you should publish the actual ePub file without wrapping it in a ZIP archive. Burying it in a ZIP will certainly prevent any browser and reader from handling it smoothly without additional user interaction. While you're at it you should also convert these docs to MOBI format for Kindle users, for which calibre would be my recommended tool.

Each device will have its own issues with direct downloads. The newer Kindles that have built in browsers handle .MOBI files fine. The population of ePub based devices will vary in how well they deal with this.

If you want to experiment you can check out any of the many sites that offer free downloads. I have a site at http://lp.happythursday.com and there are many others including the library here at MR and Project Gutenberg
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:23 PM   #7
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I haven't zipped the file. That was the original OP. I am just trying to figure out a way to do what the ebook sites do when you download a book from them. I'm able to do that on my iphone without having to get connect to my computer and using itunes. How do they do it?
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:25 PM   #8
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Also are there sites that will handle free downloads without charging anything since this is largely a public service I really don't want to pay fees to support it. There are so many free services that host so many other things from video to files you would think there might be someone out there who does this sort of thing for people who publish just for fun and don;t care about the money
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Steve_D View Post
Why not charge a small fee for each download? There are many solutions that handle the payment and delivery mechanism for you, for a tiny commission. Maybe it would be easier and you could make a small income too?
Could you give us the names of sites that would do this please? I would google, but I don't know what search terms to use.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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Solved it

For anyone who's interested, I found a solution to the problem

I opened a free account at file den and uploaded my book there. Then took the URL and made a link on my website. When i enter the link in the safari browser on my iphone/ipad etc it gives me a page with the name of the file on it and in the top right of the screen safari gives you the option of opening it in iBooks.

At least it works for those devices. Now i have to figure out how to get it on Kindles and Android devices. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mmelgar View Post
At least it works for those devices. Now i have to figure out how to get it on Kindles and Android devices. Any advice would be appreciated.
As dwig mentioned earlier, just make sure the webserver you're hosting them on has set up the mimetypes correctly for each format you want to host. That's all you can control. The rest is up to the device doing the downloading.

Check out this thread.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:49 PM   #12
mbishop
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Here's how I solved the problem stated in my original post. I added a file to my website called web.config with the following content.

<configuration>
<system.webServer>
<staticContent>
<mimeMap fileExtension=".epub" mimeType="application/epub+zip"/>
</staticContent>
</system.webServer>
</configuration>
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:54 AM   #13
mmelgar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbishop View Post
Here's how I solved the problem stated in my original post. I added a file to my website called web.config with the following content.

<configuration>
<system.webServer>
<staticContent>
<mimeMap fileExtension=".epub" mimeType="application/epub+zip"/>
</staticContent>
</system.webServer>
</configuration>
That would be easier. I wouldn't have to host the files on a different service. Do you just save the file to the root directory of your website?
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:25 PM   #14
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Hi,

I put ePubs and PDFs in a dropbox.com folder and then send people the link or share a dropbox folder with them. A 2 gig account is free. When you click on a dropbox folder on a mobile device you see the directory of files. You click on the file you want to download and it's pretty quick. Because Dropbox can't "read an epub" you click an arrow in the app to send to an app that can (iBooks, Nook.app,Readmill etc...) eventually Apple is going to have to integrate iBooks and iCloud for non store content (it makes sense, right?). Dropbox may beat them to the punch and add an ePub reader.
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