eBook authoring : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary

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eBook Authoring
Introduction Books
Major eBook Formats Links
Tools

Introduction

Writing an eBook is very much like authoring an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) document. Usually you are requested to use some specific version of HTML and adhere strictly to a set of additional style rules. Then you use a utility to bundle your HTML documents into one eBook. You can then use other utilities and web services to convert your document into various other formats. You can then:

Major eBook Formats

If you own a Kindle, you will buy your proprietary format AZW/KF8 copy-protected eBooks from Amazon.
If you own a Kobo, you will buy your ePub eBooks from Kobo.
If you own a Nook, you will buy your ePub eBooks from Barnes & Noble.
If you own a Sony, you will buy your ePub eBooks from Barnes & Noble or Kobo.

Formats Supported by Various Readers
Reader AZW KF8 MOBI ePub acsm pdb pdf
Kindle
Kobo
Nook
Sony

Old eBooks sold at Barnes and Noble are in pdb format. New ones are in ePub.

This is just a rough guide. Before you buy, double check the abilities of the particular model you are considering.

DjVu format has advanced compression technology that makes it very good at handling high resolution images of scanned documents and photographs. With DjVu you can take a 300 DPI (Dots Per Inch) high resolution scan and store it in less than 100 KB. Unfortunately, none of the eReaders currently support it. You have to view it on a computer.

ePub is an open format. Kindle AZW (Amazon Word) and KF8 are proprietary to Amazon. AZW is MOBI (Mobile pocket eBook format) plus weak copy protection. Apple eBook stores use ePub format. BlackBerry uses MOBI format. All else being equal, open: good, proprietary: bad. The two most important formats to create are MOBI and ePub. Apple currently has book-reading software for its iPhones and iPads.

Tools

Tools help you edit your book and convert it to some eBook format. They may be utilities, websites or services.

The tools I found most useful were the free eCub to create an ePub format eBook then convert it to the kindle MOBI format with Online-ConVert, a free service to interconvert formats. The kindlegen MOBI creator auxiliary program for eCub is buggy.

ePub format is just your tree of HTML zip compressed with a few extra XML (extensible Markup Language) documents to provide a table of contents toc.ncx, meta-information about the eBook content.opf and a manifest container.xml. Kindle’s AZW and mobipocket are similar. To troubleshoot, you can unzip your eBook or others known to verify properly.

Before you even think about converting your website to eBook format, convert it to strict XHTML 1.1 and validate it. Use this DTD (Document Type Definition):

You will have to replace old HTML tags and replace them with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) equivalents.

Then, if you have any sort of macros or dynamic content, create versions of them that generate stripped down vanilla text. You can’t put tags directly into <body>. You must contain them in something such as <div> You will discover many bulk transforms you have to do and macros will make that much easier. Further, you can use your macros to put the code back to normal after you have created your eBook.

Jutoh

Jutoh was the best behaved editor. It generates multiple formats. If your files change, you have to reimport, which basically makes you start over. You have to redelete files and images you don’t want to include and correct the order. When you import, it copies all the text into one giant binary file. You are probably best to write a bat file that copies just the files you want to a directory tree and reimport from that. Ideally it would just reimport the files it already had, remembering what you had deleted. Oddly, it does not handle tables, something other simpler program do, though there in a general purpose kludge to import HTML unmodified.

eCub

I found the eCub program easy to use. You dump your entire directory tree in a project directory, write bat file to prune it of anything you don’t want included in the eBook (e.g. sitemaps, perhaps the index.html page…) and it finds all the HTML and image files. It creates the table of contents from the title in the HTML header. It generates forward and back navigation buttons. It builds a simplified miniature style sheet. It strips your HTML and put it in a build directory in a tree of files matching the original. Then it zips it up. You don’t find out about your errors until you run the verifier after the ePub file is constructed.

Maximize eCub before use, or various features for adding, removing and reordering files will not be visible.

You can force eCub to notice your changes by deleting all files in the build directory,placing the replacements in the project directory and recompiling. To change which files are included you must manually edit the list of files in the eCub GUI (Graphic User Interface).

eCub via Kindlegen does a terrible job of converting the ePub file to mobi format. Use Online-convert instead. It does a much better job.

Mobipocket Creator

MobiPocket eBook creator is a free program to take your HTML or a few other formats and convert them to *.prc eBook format. I was not impressed and quickly gave up on it in favour of eCub.

I found I needed to strip out all the fancy HTML , navigation buttons, ads, JavaScript etc. Otherwise it crashed. I did my headings with simple <h1, <h2 and <h3. It is easiest to collect the pages you need with drag and drop. You have to add them one document at a time.

It can build you a 3-level Table of contents.


Tag name Attribute Value
First Level: class title
Second Level: h2
Third Level: div class level3

In the example above, major headings are marked with <span class=title>…</span>.
The second level are marked <h2>…</h2>
The third level are marked <div class=level3>…</div>

It is simplest just to use <h1, <h2 and <h3 Note you specify the tags without the <>

The program itself is quite cryptic. Try reading the online documentation.

I could not get it to do anything but the simplest, short test documents.

Books

book cover recommend book⇒Publish Your Book On The Amazon Kindle: A Practical Guideto book home
by Michael R. Hicks 978-1-4404-5694-7 paperback
birth 1963 age:53 B001KYG5AY kindle
publisher CreateSpace
published 2008-11-14
A practical guide to publishing your book for the Amazon Kindle.
Australian flag abe books anz abe books.co.uk UK flag
German flag abe books.de amazon.co.uk UK flag
German flag amazon.de abe books.ca Canadian flag
Spanish flag amazon.es amazon.ca Canadian flag
Spanish flag iberlibro.com Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
French flag abe books.fr abe books.com American flag
French flag amazon.fr amazon.com American flag
Italian flag abe books.it Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag amazon.it Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
India flag junglee.com Kobo American flag
UN flag other stores Google play American flag
O’Reilly Safari American flag
Powells American flag
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
book cover recommend book⇒Plug Your Book! Online Book Marketing for Authors, Book Publicity through Social Networkingto book home
by Steve Weber 978-0-9772406-1-6 paperback
publisher Weber Books B001NPD2AQ kindle
published 2007-02-25
How to plug/market your eBook without spending a lot of money.
Australian flag abe books anz abe books.co.uk UK flag
German flag abe books.de amazon.co.uk UK flag
German flag amazon.de abe books.ca Canadian flag
Spanish flag amazon.es amazon.ca Canadian flag
Spanish flag iberlibro.com Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
French flag abe books.fr abe books.com American flag
French flag amazon.fr amazon.com American flag
Italian flag abe books.it Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag amazon.it Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
India flag junglee.com Kobo American flag
UN flag other stores Google play American flag
O’Reilly Safari American flag
Powells American flag
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
audible.com: audible books for MP3 player
book stores
Calibre: to manage an eBook collection. Convert formats. Download news
comparison of eBook formats
DAISY audio eBook format
E-book conversion utilities
e-ink
eBook
eBook connectivity
ePub format specifications
ePub reader for Firefox
eReader
eReader connectivity
FullBooks.com
future of eBooks
future of electronic online authoring
google ePub toolkit: to prepare eBooks
ibooks author
iPad
Jutoh: editor to prepare eBooks
Kindle
kobo
Lulu
Lulu conversion service: to prepare eBooks
MobiPocket eBook creator: free, for PC), home edition
MobiPocket eBook creator: free, for PC, publisher edition, creates copy-protected books
Mobipocket eBook format
MobiPocket eBook reader: free, for PC
Nook
Nook: Barnes & Noble eBook reader
online bookstores
Online-ConVert: free service to interconvert formats
Overdrive: Amazon’s eBook system for libraries
overview of ePub format
PDF
PEAVI.ca: Professional Editors of Vancouver Island, editors to correct spelling, grammar, wording
Personal Bookshelf
Project Gutenberg
Publishing an E-book at Lulu
Safari online and eBooks
self publishing
Self Publishing at Amazon
Smashwords: indie eBook publisher
Sony eBook Reader
Sony eBook store
TechBookReport
Trafford
Wattpad: 100,000 free eBooks for BlackBerry
Which formats which readers support
Wikipedia comparison of eBook formats

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