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Old 06-07-2008, 10:24 AM   #1
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First books -- please critique

After several frustrating attempts to use Book Designer -- and yes, I was following Harry T's excellent tutorial -- I finally managed to create some books.

I like the quality of the MobiPocket book, finalized as recommended with MobiPocket Creator. I downloaded it to my Kindle and the only thing I want to re-work is the size of the illustrations within the book so that the caption will be placed on the same page as the image.

I produced Sony and IMP formats (two sizes, if I did it right) directly from Book Designer. BD showed me the IMP books immediately after creating them, but I can't figure out how to coerce it into letting me view them later. Since BD didn't display the Sony version, I have no idea what it looks like. Would someone please check these versions and let me know if I've gotten them right or what I need to do to fix problems?

Some comments:

1 - I am a fan of proper m-dashes, so I was appalled when I saw that BD converted all the -- or — in the input file to a simple hyphen. I had spent over an hour editing the generated .htm file and carefully putting in the — HTML symbols, but when I re-imported the modified HTML file into BD, it was all for naught. The Wiki tells me:
Quote:
By default, middle and long dashes are converted to the short ones during the initial book formatting. But if you want to keep them, do as follows
1. Tools -> Book Cleaner
2. In Book Cleaner at the bottom of the pop up box, in "input file: before formatting": choose "MiddleDashes_before.bcf" and in "input file: after formatting": choose "MiddleDashes_after.bcf"
Well, sorry. The only option in the pull-down is RemoveRepeatedEmptyLines.bcf -- so where did the MiddleDashes stuff come from? But, since I was using MobiPocket Creator, I just used my updated HTML file as input and so the Mobi version of the book has proper m-dashes.

2 - I don't know how to create curly quotes. I'd like to try, but I need a formula.


So -- here are the books I have created. After receiving comments and recommended corrections/fixes, I'll upload into the proper places in the forum so the books will show up in the directory of available ebooks.

The Bobbsey Twins, by Laura Lee Hope. Original file from Project Gutenberg.

Last edited by Elsi; 06-23-2008 at 09:32 PM. Reason: Removed files now that they're in the proper forum
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:47 AM   #2
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Download the latest "BookCleaner" files from here. That will stop it from replacing dashes with hyphens when you load an HTML file.
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Old 06-07-2008, 12:25 PM   #3
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Thank you Harry. I've now rebuilt the LRF and IMP versions of the books and replaced the attachments in the first post in this thread.

I still would love to have someone check them out before I post in the proper eBooks category.
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:16 PM   #4
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I've looked at the LRF and PRC files. The very last line after The End (the Gutenberg statement) isn't needed though there's no harm in leaving it either. Otherwise I can't see anything to comment on except positively. Nice job, Elsi.
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
I've looked at the LRF and PRC files. The very last line after The End (the Gutenberg statement) isn't needed though there's no harm in leaving it either. Otherwise I can't see anything to comment on except positively. Nice job, Elsi.
I knew that the Gutenberg statement wasn't required, but I thought it would be nice to acknowledge the source of the text I used. Also, with these books having been updated and republished, I didn't want there to be any question about whether the version I used was in the Public Domain or not.

Thanks for checking out the LRF book. By the way, is there any way to put a cover onto a book in LRF format? I did so with all three other version, but didn't figure out how to do that with the LRF one.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:07 AM   #6
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Technically, you have to either remove ALL mention of PG from the book, or else leave in their entire legal blurb. It's not permissible to say "this is a PG book" (in the actual book) and leave out the legal blurb.

If you're using BD, to add a cover, there's a rectangle to "drag" the cover image onto on the first tab on the "Make Sony eBook" dialog box.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Technically, you have to either remove ALL mention of PG from the book, or else leave in their entire legal blurb. It's not permissible to say "this is a PG book" (in the actual book) and leave out the legal blurb.

If you're using BD, to add a cover, there's a rectangle to "drag" the cover image onto on the first tab on the "Make Sony eBook" dialog box.
Thank you. I received feedback from Nick about the IMP books I had built and therefore I'm rebuilding those into "better" books. I'll remove the reference to PG and regenerate the PRC and LRF books as well -- and I did find the "cover" option for the Sony book in the dialogue, so I'll include that as well. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
Thank you Harry. I've now rebuilt the LRF and IMP versions of the books and replaced the attachments in the first post in this thread.

I still would love to have someone check them out before I post in the proper eBooks category.
I have checked out The Bobbsey Twins in LRF. I've found some things that can be improved. First off, when you generate the LRF, in the styles tab, go to paragraph and under the styles column, turn the style to normal instead of bold. Next, your em dashes are not comming out correctly. The original text used -- instead of —. But if you use read http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11649 and download and install and setup the Book Cleaner files properly, then a number of issues will be fixed including em dashes. But to fix the em dashes, you'll have to start your book all over. But that's a good thing because once it's fixed, then you can redo the PRC (follwoing HarryT's guide) and the IMP from there so they will all be fixed.

There is a problem with Book Designer when loading in a text file. So if there is an HTML source, use that to load instead. But if you have to use a text source, load it first into Word and save it as RTF. The load the RTF. The problem is that BD tends to mess with paragraphs when you load a text file. And the good thing is that you can use Word to fix the extra line spaces and line ends as needed before you load into BD. So load into Word, edit the text as needed and then save as RTF for loading into BD.

One thing I've taken to doing is to replace the straight quotes/apostrophes with the curled versions. But I do the search/replace by hand as Word while not bad, can make mistakes. So it's just easier to do it in BD.

I do have to say it is a good first start. I think a lot of us have just gotten better as we've learned. And it's nice to have other who have learned to give you a hand.
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