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Read Aloud EPUB for iBooks Paperback – September 14, 2011


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Read Aloud EPUB for iBooks + EPUB Straight to the Point: Creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders (One-Off)
Price for both: $31.13

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Cookwood Press (September 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611500176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611500172
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,449,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I moved to Barcelona in 1987 to study bilingualism but found a job in a computer company instead. After managing the translation of many different computer programs (FreeHand, PageMaker, Illustrator, and more), I started a publishing company to translate and publish computer books in Spanish. In 1993, moved back to the US to write my own books. Started with Netscape, and then moved on to HTML, Perl, XML, Blogger, iPhoto, and most recently EPUB. You can find more personal info about me at my blog A Year in Barcelona (http://www.ayearinbarcelona.com). My regular blog is Pigs, Gourds, and Wikis (http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com). I spend a fair bit of time on Twitter (@lizcastro). And my full website is www.ElizabethCastro.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Fox on October 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading Liz Castro's "Read Aloud EPUB for iBooks Miniguide" and found it incredibly helpful. I had already completed and published my own iBook with the Read Aloud feature. Even though we're an Apple approved iBookstore publisher, the explanation and samples Apple provided were sadly lacking and I ended up spending days trying to get it to work. If I had Liz's book then, those days of frustratingly fruitless debugging would have been eliminated (and I'd have more hair as well!).

Liz takes you through the process from start to finish, provides a very clear explanation of each step, has lots of great photos/screengrabs, code samples and even provides a working sample Read Aloud ePub file that you can take apart and emulate.

If you want to create your own Read Aloud iBook, then I strongly recommend this guide!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Jones on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
NOTE: this book is a companion piece for both Castro's "EPUB Straight to the Point" book and "Fixed Layout EPUB" miniguide. This book will not serve as a standalone, and you'll need the others in order to follow the information in "Read Aloud EPUB for iBooks." Fortunately they are both excellent, and are the only references of their kind available.

Liz Castro writes books for people like me: designers and other content creators who have a bit of technical knowledge but want the ability to tweak and look 'under the hood' themselves. The design community is very fortunate to have Liz figuring stuff out for us, then documenting and sharing the information.
In the late 90s, I used an early version of Liz's "HTML for the World Wide Web" book to create my first website, and I've referred to it (and subsequent editions) many times over the years when generating and tweaking HTML. I consider her an expert and mentor and have really appreciated what she's taught me.

Now, about "Read Aloud EPUB for iBooks": Talk about getting the keys to the kingdom! Liz Castro has provided here the tools for creating iBooks with narration, word highlighting as the text is read, background music and controls for audio playback. She's right on time too, since this capability was only added by Apple a few months ago.
While the information presented in "Read Aloud ePub for iBooks" is technical, a reader doesn't actually need to have the technical skills--just the ability to cut and paste, since Castro has provided all the necessary code for enhancing iBooks with read aloud capability.
Castro's style is straightforward and factual, which is refreshing. She really does get 'straight to the point.' Lots of screen shots with helpful call-out arrows accompany the text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erica Gamet on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Like every other book of Liz Castro's that I've read, Read Aloud EPUB for iBooks Miniguide was thoughtfully organized and clearly illustrated. Whether it's a screenshot to illustrate a dialog box in an application, or a snippet of code that needs to be entered, her text becomes even clearer with her examples.

So many tasks in creating and manipulating EPUBs involve 3rd party apps and Liz does a great job of letting you know what she uses and what other options are out there. She has also done a great job of creating mini-modules that "plug" nicely into her larger books, such as EPUB: Straight to the Point. That book gives an in-depth look at how to create EPUBs and the mini-guides are a great way to get up to speed on this fast-changing field of e-publishing.

I haven't even attempted a fixed-layout EPUB yet (which is what you need to work with to make a read-aloud EPUB), but her quick overview of what a fixed-layout is and the basics of what's involved was enough to give me a firm grasp of what sort of animal I'd be dealing with. Also, for someone not well-versed on creating audio files, I feel very confident that I could attempt the Herculean task of creating a read-aloud EPUB. Liz makes it look so easy!

I'm an InDesign trainer and I use Liz's books to easily grasp all the new ins and outs of the EPUB world and to better explain things to my students. Her straightforward language and laid back approach will make even the most trepid of designers feel like they can dig into the code, work with an audio file, and make a great read-aloud book for the iPad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Blatner on October 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Creating a read-aloud epub for iBooks is can turn a book in a stunning and compelling experience. Unfortunately, building a read-aloud epub is not for the faint of heart, involving precise html and css code. Castro has laid out not just the details of the format, but also offers unbelievably valuable steps (involving grep find/change that you can easily copy) to create the epub with much less hassle than the normal hand-coding method. Note that you will need her other books ("Straight to the Point" and "Fixed Layout EPUBs for iPad and iPhone") to completely understand the workflow.
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