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Old 10-31-2009, 11:22 AM   #1
pdurrant
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An ePub I'm proud of

I've recently finished the ebook version of a book I've previously published in PoD format.

I'm rather pleased with the ePub version, and so I attach a sample here for others to examine.

The cover is a PNG image in an SVG wrapper. The title page is a SVG graphic incorprating text and a PNG graphic. There are two embedded fonts, encrypted with the Adobe encryption method. Each chapter starts with a drop-cap graphic that resizes with the text, up to a maximum 60% width.

Unfortunately epubcheck doesn't understand the Adobe encryption, so the ePub fails epubcheck. Before the font encryption is applied (using my script uploaded here) the epub passes with no errors or warnings.

I'd be interested to get feedback on any of the formatting.

Does anyone else have an ePub they're proud of? If it's in the Mobileread library, just a link to there would be good. I'm only uploading as an attachment because it's a sample, not the full book.

(If you are moved to buy a copy of the full book, it's available at Smashwords in various formats, but none quite so nice as this hand-crafted ePub, which isn't yet on sale anywhere directly. But if you buy at Smashwords, I'll happily email the full version ePub to you.)
Attached Files
File Type: epub Desbarollda Sample.epub (3.22 MB, 536 views)
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:32 AM   #2
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I just *have* to check this out. I'm hoping that the Adobe encryption of the fonts does not require using ADE and that I can just load the ePub book directly onto my reader. I currently have two readers that understand ePub: Sony PRS-505 and BeBook Mini. And, of course, I have Calibre installed -- which gives me a Calibre viewer on my PC.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
I currently have two readers that understand ePub: Sony PRS-505 and BeBook Mini. And, of course, I have Calibre installed -- which gives me a Calibre viewer on my PC.
If you want a third for your PC, try EPUBReader for Firefox. It's already making some fans...
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:04 PM   #4
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You will need an ePub reader written by Adobe. But as that includes the ones in the Sony PRS-505 and the BeBook Mini you'll be fine.

You don't need to have Adobe Digital Editions installed on your computer. It's only the fonts that are encrypted, not the ePub itself. (Just like you can have non-encrypted PDFs that have encrypted fonts embedded.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
I just *have* to check this out. I'm hoping that the Adobe encryption of the fonts does not require using ADE and that I can just load the ePub book directly onto my reader. I currently have two readers that understand ePub: Sony PRS-505 and BeBook Mini. And, of course, I have Calibre installed -- which gives me a Calibre viewer on my PC.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
I've recently finished the ebook version of a book I've previously published in PoD format.

I'm rather pleased with the ePub version, and so I attach a sample here for others to examine.
...
I'd be interested to get feedback on any of the formatting.
Well, you obviously put in a lot of work... But...

On FBreader and Stanza, I'm afraid your work was for nought. The pretty initial caps are missing completely, leading to isspellings. My jetBook is a little kinder, the initial caps do display, but as separate graphics.

On ADE, there are still many misplaced bits of text, including: "The Author, Kingston, Surrey" which is displaced to the right. The upper right hand corner page numbers are inconsistent, sometimes appearing, and sometimes not. A few of the imbedded pictures appear in odd places, such as being alone on a page.

I'm afraid you're a victim of the disparate interpretaions of epub.

Good Luck,
Jack Tingle
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:33 PM   #6
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Oddly enough, once you unzip the file, Opera reads each chapter fine. It can't put the parts together, but the individual xml and xhtml files show perfectly. Go figure. Makes me wish I liked Opera better.

Regards,
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Old 10-31-2009, 07:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Tingle View Post
On FBreader and Stanza, I'm afraid your work was for nought. The pretty initial caps are missing completely, leading to isspellings. My jetBook is a little kinder, the initial caps do display, but as separate graphics.
I can only think that FBReader and Stanza are not handling the float CSS property correctly. Browsers and ADE handle this correctly, and it's in the ePub spec. I can't think of another way to do the graphical drop caps. Hopefully they'll be improved with time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Tingle View Post
On ADE, there are still many misplaced bits of text, including: "The Author, Kingston, Surrey" which is displaced to the right. The upper right hand corner page numbers are inconsistent, sometimes appearing, and sometimes not. A few of the imbedded pictures appear in odd places, such as being alone on a page.
"The Author" is intended to be on the right, and "Kingston, Surrey" is supposed to be on the left - that's not an ADE flaw, it's correct.

The page numbers are an insane idea of ADE - they're not in the epub itself.

Some of the pictures are intended to be full page pictures. But I take your point that the inconsistency is odd in an ebook. I might revisit that decision.

Thanks very much for taking the time to have a look and give feedback.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
I can only think that FBReader and Stanza are not handling the float CSS property correctly.
FBReader does not have a complete implementation of ePub. It does not handle SVG at all, and images are always centered with no adjacent text. In this case, Windows FBReader seems to be confused by the CSS and the graphical 1st letters are not displayed at all. However, OpenInkPot's FBReader does display the graphical letters (stand-alone and centered) and this works reasonably well because the graphical letters are so large.

It would seem that Stanza and Windows FBReader should use the "alt=" option which is present, although I don't know how that would come out on the page.

I agree that it is perfectly ok for ePubs to assume complete implementation of the standard in the Reader. If an ePub has Adobe DRM, all it really needs to do is work in Desktop and mobile ADE.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:01 PM   #9
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If you want a third for your PC, try EPUBReader for Firefox. It's already making some fans...
Though oddly enough the plugin only displays the first screen of the title page and not the dedication or first illustration (comparing between ADE and Firefox plug).
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:32 PM   #10
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That's one pretty amazing looking epub. Great job pdurrant.
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:48 PM   #11
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thank you so much for sharing this with us, pdurrant ! it is truly a beautiful book and an inspiration to see.

i highly recommend taking a look at the code as well ; that is what epub code should ALWAYS look like !
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Old 11-01-2009, 02:08 PM   #12
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Looks awesome in Adobe Digital Editions for Mac. Great job, pdurrant! I agree, all books should look like this!
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:03 PM   #13
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Quite spectacular! You deserve to be very proud of that, and it's a lovely showcase for the sort of stuff ePub can do. I'll be keeping it on my 505 so I can show people.

I only wish more publishers devoted this sort of attention to their eBook editions, adults also appreciate a book that's been laid out with care.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:23 PM   #14
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An extremely high quality production.

Thanks for posting the sample, an excellent source of the standard to which should be attained by all who produce e-books.....

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Old 11-03-2009, 02:03 PM   #15
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I'm grateful for your kind words, and the other compliments. The criticism is also welcome.

And today another outlet for ePubs opened up. Lulu.com now allow upload and sale of ePubs!

Now if only Amazon would open up to non-US publishers /and/ reduce the ridiculous 65% cut that they demand.

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An extremely high quality production.

Thanks for posting the sample, an excellent source of the standard to which should be attained by all who produce e-books.....

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