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Old 12-26-2008, 07:32 PM   #1
Shamisenrat
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Hi everyone, and happy holidays!

I have received a lovely Sony PRS 505 for Christmas and whilst I love the machine itself I am disappointed inthe range of titles available to me, so I'm looking at other ways of getting legitimate things to read. I've been reading around on the site and other sites and am now getting so much conflicting advice I need to step back and ask for help! Sorry that I am asking the basics, but I really would appreciate help! I don't want an expensive present to prove a white elephant!

1.I'm in the UK so the Sony/Waterstones range seems poor. Am I restricted in purchasing from certain sites such as Fictionwise?
2. I see that Fictionwise and Gutenberg are probably the main sites to go with. In terms of file types...I was under the impression that PDF was the main type, now I read about ltf. What other formats can be read without my having to mess about with them, and how limited am I?
3.What is Book Designer and is it a free software? I think I get the principle that it's to convert certain texts into a readable format but I am reluctant to download anything that isn't legitimate and I am poor right now so would like to be able to format things for free.
4.I write books and poetry/short stories myself and would love to be able to put this onto my Reader - preferably as a book with chapters etc but as individual documents if needed. Can I do so without Book designer, and how?

Please explain these processes as though talking to a child I really appreciate your help.

Many thanks
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:48 PM   #2
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Welcome!

The Waterstones range is poor and real sod to search! Other UK sites are starting to sell ebooks, such as Penguin's own site, but to be perfectly honest I'd stick with places like Fictionwise.com and BooksonBoard.com - both of whom are happy to sell eboooks to UK customers (it's where I've bought most of mine from).

Without having to do conversions you can read pdf, epub, lrf and rtf.

For converting non-DRMd PDFs to lrf or epub, and for uploading books onto the reader, I'd very strongly recommend Calibre, which is free.
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:44 PM   #3
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Hi, there Shamisenrat, and welcome to MobileRead.

LRF is the preferred file type for the Sony, but by no means the only file type it recognizes.

You mentioned Gutenburg as a main source and they certainly have a lot to draw from. However, there are also over 7,000 free books right here (admittedly, not all in the LRF format) that you can download for free.

You can certainly put your own content on your Reader. Open up Word, write your novel, and then save it in the RTF format. Now you're ready to load it onto your Reader using their software. You can't create links to your chapters - you'll need BookDesigner or calibre for that - but you can have the immediate joy of seeing your work placed upon the Reader.

BookDesigner is free, but there's a steep learning curve involved in using it.

Let us know if you have more questions; there'll be more members here jumping in to offer advice and help.

Have fun.

Don
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamisenrat View Post
What other formats can be read without my having to mess about with them, and how limited am I?
The other supported "Secure" format is Adobe ePub. This is generally better than Adobe PDF if you can get it, because PDF has hard page breaks that split up the flow. However, Adobe ePub is relatively new and not widely available. Books on Board sells Adobe ePub as well as Adobe PDF. There are several sites that sell DRM-free ebooks, FictionWise Multi-Format ebooks are one example, another is webscription.net for science fiction. For Gutenberg, I suggest using manybooks.net since it provides LRF versions.

For Book Designer, see the Wiki. It converts plain text and other formats into readable ebooks. This is free software that is one of the main tools used to produce the high quality versions of copyright free (or creative commons) ebooks in the E-Book Upload Forum here. Unlike in the US, format shifting from one ebook format to another is not a "fair use" exception to copyright in the UK. However, the government is talking about adding such an exception since nearly everyone already thinks they have the right to do this. If you want to honor the UK's ban on format shifting, then only use Book Designer on copyright free material and on your own work.
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:34 PM   #5
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I have found that WHSmiths ebook store in the UK at http://ebooks.whsmith.co.uk is a much better store then Waterstones one and at the moment is offering 50% off all ebooks.
Buy Epub instead of PDF where possible as it read better on the Sony reader
This makes them very cheap at present. Once the sale finishes buy your ebooks from fictionwise or booksonboard.
Enjoy your new reader
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:11 PM   #6
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Instructions for reading Adobe eBooks on the Sony PRS-505

Hello Readers,

As a previous poster said, BooksOnBoard sells DRM copyrighted Adobe EPUB and Adobe PDF eBooks that all work on the Sony PRS-505 and Sony PRS-700 (DRM copyrighted Adobe eBooks still cannot be read on the older Sony PRS-500 reader)

This page has detailed instructions for transferring DRM Adobe eBooks to your Sony Reader, including instructions for Mac users:
http://www.booksonboard.com/index.ph...ny_reader_help

Hopefully this information helps clear up any questions about reading Adobe eBooks on the Sony Reader.

BooksOnBoard's customer support is also available to answer any questions seven days a week at support@booksonboard.com

Sincerely,

The BooksOnBoard Support Team
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tech_au View Post
I have found that WHSmiths ebook store in the UK at http://ebooks.whsmith.co.uk is a much better store then Waterstones one and at the moment is offering 50% off all ebooks.
Buy Epub instead of PDF where possible as it read better on the Sony reader
This makes them very cheap at present. Once the sale finishes buy your ebooks from fictionwise or booksonboard.
Enjoy your new reader
Thanks for the tip. I picked up 4 Jeremy Clarkson books for about $20. (He of BBC America's Top Gear)
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:51 AM   #8
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Hi, there Shamisenrat, and welcome to MobileRead.


BookDesigner is free, but there's a steep learning curve involved in using it.


Don

Don,
I disagree! Reading (and using) Harry T's tutorial will make using Book Designer a snap. I see a lot of comments about how difficult Book Designer is to use and never "voice up." Now its time! BD is an excellent software package and is actually quite easy to use. I've never used Calibre so can't comment but I think too many people are put off from using Book Designer by the negative comments (read "it's too hard to use") that it gets on this board.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:54 AM   #9
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In fairness, it is hard to use - that's why I wrote the tutorial for it . I would hope that, following along with the tutorial, it becomes pretty straightforward.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Don,
I disagree! Reading (and using) Harry T's tutorial will make using Book Designer a snap. I see a lot of comments about how difficult Book Designer is to use and never "voice up." Now its time! BD is an excellent software package and is actually quite easy to use. I've never used Calibre so can't comment but I think too many people are put off from using Book Designer by the negative comments (read "it's too hard to use") that it gets on this board.
You're right about his tutorial. I hadn't thought about that in such a long time, that I wasn't even thinking when I wrote that.

Don
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:37 AM   #11
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Don,
I disagree! Reading (and using) Harry T's tutorial will make using Book Designer a snap. I see a lot of comments about how difficult Book Designer is to use and never "voice up." Now its time! BD is an excellent software package and is actually quite easy to use. I've never used Calibre so can't comment but I think too many people are put off from using Book Designer by the negative comments (read "it's too hard to use") that it gets on this board.
I've been using BD for about a year now... I've used it to hand-edit more than fifty books and documents and can safely say that I am more than proficient with it. And yes, it is a nightmare. The more you use it, the more you'll realize this. It has a huge number of quirks, bugs and idiosyncrasies. If you're just doing a few minor edits to a book, you'll be fine... but when you once spend several hours a day with it you'll quickly discover a whole new world of frustration.

I hate to say this--and I don't mean to offend the person who made it--but it's poorly designed and poorly coded. It's also out of date and it's development has ceased.

The saddest thing is, it's the best ebook editor we've got right now.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:01 PM   #12
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I've been using BD for about a year now... I've used it to hand-edit more than fifty books and documents and can safely say that I am more than proficient with it. And yes, it is a nightmare. The more you use it, the more you'll realize this. It has a huge number of quirks, bugs and idiosyncrasies. If you're just doing a few minor edits to a book, you'll be fine... but when you once spend several hours a day with it you'll quickly discover a whole new world of frustration.

I hate to say this--and I don't mean to offend the person who made it--but it's poorly designed and poorly coded. It's also out of date and it's development has ceased.

The saddest thing is, it's the best ebook editor we've got right now.
have you taken a look at some of the more recent book creation tools coming out lately, for instance ecub ? (full disclosure : i have not yet tested ecub, although it's on my list of projects). there is also the feedbooks online interface if you have no illustrations to add. and of course if you know html and css there is the option of hand-coding your books or using any code editor. these tools will make epub books but these can then easily be converted to other formats if necessary. i agree that book designer leaves a lot to be desired.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:52 PM   #13
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have you taken a look at some of the more recent book creation tools coming out lately, for instance ecub ? (full disclosure : i have not yet tested ecub, although it's on my list of projects). there is also the feedbooks online interface if you have no illustrations to add. and of course if you know html and css there is the option of hand-coding your books or using any code editor. these tools will make epub books but these can then easily be converted to other formats if necessary. i agree that book designer leaves a lot to be desired.
I've tried ecub... seems nice, but could use more work. Also, it's closed source, and I'd rather not get stuck with another ebook editor I can't improve myself. The feedbooks interface doesn't interest me because I want a desktop application, and because I do want to add images.

I know html and css, and although I've created a few epubs by hand, I'd rather have an editor. And this is one of my major gripes with BD: no epub support. I've mentioned a few times on this forum that I intend to create an epub editor, and then slowly work on extending it to full BD output capability. I've already set aside time to work on it in February and beyond... how it turns out, we'll see. I'm working on a Master's in CS so I know my way around software engineering.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:56 PM   #14
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I've tried ecub... seems nice, but could use more work. Also, it's closed source, and I'd rather not get stuck with another ebook editor I can't improve myself. The feedbooks interface doesn't interest me because I want a desktop application, and because I do want to add images.

I know html and css, and although I've created a few epubs by hand, I'd rather have an editor. And this is one of my major gripes with BD: no epub support. I've mentioned a few times on this forum that I intend to create an epub editor, and then slowly work on extending it to full BD output capability. I've already set aside time to work on it in February and beyond... how it turns out, we'll see. I'm working on a Master's in CS so I know my way around software engineering.
oh, i would be very interested in a new tool to create epubs, particularly if it includes image support !!! and i think there would be quite a lot of people interested in that, in fact. have you seen some of the suggestions in the epub poll thread ? (for instance jellby's). i hope you do find the time for it. please keep us posted. i don't care about bd support so i'd be interested even in early versions with just basic features.
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:11 PM   #15
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I've mentioned a few times on this forum that I intend to create an epub editor, and then slowly work on extending it to full BD output capability. I've already set aside time to work on it in February and beyond... how it turns out, we'll see.
An ePub editor is something we really need, but I suggest using Calibre for import and export. Calibre's any2epub is already pretty good and it does not need to be perfect, because your editor then cleans up its mistakes. Calibre's (eventual) epub2any does need to do perfect format shifts in order to use the ePub as the "master", but it only needs to be perfect on ePubs from your editor and this will happen automatically if the editor is widely used.
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