- Series: One-Off
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (August 7, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321734688
- ISBN-13: 978-0321734686
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,424,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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EPUB Straight to the Point: Creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders (One-Off) 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Almost overnight, EPUB has become the favored standard for displaying digital text on ereaders. The EPUB specification is a powerful method for creating gorgeous ebooks for EPUB-capable readers such as the iPad, Nook, and Kindle. Alas, it is far from perfect, with frustrating limitations, sketchy documentation, and incomplete creation tools. This extensively researched guide to creating EPUB files by best-selling author Elizabeth Castro shows you how to prepare EPUB files, make the files look great on the screen, work around EPUB weaknesses, and fix common errors. In this essential book, Liz shares her hard-earned experience for how to:
Create EPUB files from existing Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign files, or from scratch.Tweak EPUB files to take full advantage of the power of EPUB in each respective ereader.Control spacing, indents, and margins.Insert images and sidebars and wrap text around them.Create links to external sources and cross-references to internal ones.Add video to ebooks for the iPad.
Top customer reviews
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I published a Wildflower iBook last year and this year am taking on the task of porting it to work on iPhones. Luckily for me her iPhone sample is almost totally photos, mine when it is done will be 75% photos but I will need to add identifying text for each photo. My main conceptual struggle at this time is Apple's 11 mg per chapter file size limit.
After the iPhone this falls task will be porting to Kindle format.
1. I decided partway through the process of converting Microsoft Word files to HTML that it would be easier to start with HTML-free files and tag them myself. Admittedly, I have Adobe Dreamweaver, so marking up is something I'm fairly used to. But, honestly, the process described in this book of cleaning up Word HTML is not only extremely tedious, but, inevitably, the explanations here can't possibly cater to all the whims of Word's HTML creation, so leave you having to reach for other resources to make head or tail of it all. I reached a point where starting from scratch became a more viable, efficient and comfortable option to trying to keep afloat in a sea of Wordy HTML gunk. This book did not prove a wholly adequate life vest.
(I don't have Adobe InDesign, but a friend tells me the HTML InDesign generates isn't the best either. However, I can maybe understand persisting with clean-up of InDesign HTML simply because tagging HTML and writing CSS to achieve what InDesign achieves could well be the harder option.)
2. I encountered a huge problem in the creation of my epub file that this book could not solve: the compressing of the files and folders into an epub-friendly .zip file. The crux of it is that the mimetype file must be the first file to be read upon decompression--and if it isn't, the epub doesn't work. I would upload my finished epub to validator.idpf.org/, and every time the first error would be something like "The first line of this file should be only [A FEW] characters, but yours has [MANY MANY] characters!". This is proof that the first file to be decompressed was not the tiny mimetype file, but another, bigger file. How to make sure that the mimetype file will be read first? The author does try and provide a solution in a deceptively brief and blithe section called "Rezipping after Edits" which involves typing commands into Zip 3.0. If you go to the Zip 3.0 website she sends you to, downloads for the software are "frozen," it says. So that's no good. I tried it with 7-Zip, but that involves having to use the Windows Command window if you want to control the order of file addition. I labored for at least two hours trying to get 7-Zip working via Windows Command window, but no amount of YouTubing or anything else could get me there, so I gave up. (May I add here that, if a Windows user, you are at a slight disadvantage with this book compared with a Mac user.) It's the file compression problem that made me give up trying to do it by hand, and seek an automated solution, which I found in Sigil. Sigil eliminated the file compression on Windows problem, and I finally got 8 hours of sleep last night after a whole week of late night computer bugeyedness. Nevertheless, Sigil is not the be all and end all. The toc.ncx created by Sigil, while it worked, had issues and had to be laboriously edited by hand to get it completely right. At least this book was helpful for knowing how a toc.ncx file is configured.
3. This book is all about making EPUB 2.0 files, but it came out in 2011, the same year as EPUB 3.0 came out, so you'd expect the author to say something about it. EPUB 3.0 has yet to really catch on, and even my solution, Sigil, is an EPUB 2.0 solution, but making no mention of EPUB 3.0 in a book all about epub creation seems a little isolated from where it's at. It's odd that she doesn't mention it in the context of incorporating video into EPUBs, too. The author promises updates etc. on her website, but apart from a short list of errata, I can't see anything there in the way of updates.
The best things about this book:
1. it gives you an understanding of the structure of an EPUB 2.0 folder.
2. it covers the basics of HTML and CSS for those not familiar with them, and provides numerous specific formatting tips and instructions, many of which are very helpful.
3. there are downloadable example files on the author's website
In other words, it's an okay start if you use Windows, no doubt a better start with a Mac, but still not as "straight to the point" as you might be given to think.
I may just be too new to this, but I found the guidance on using styles, both how and why, was extremely important. And of course, the book helped to understand working with photos. I think I would have really struggled without this book. I am definitely going to read her other guides as I explore more about working with epub files.
it explains what many might take for granted, is giving me the tools that i need
I love it, and would recommend this book to anyone needing to know where to begin