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creation of ebooks
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Yarlington
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Apr 14, 2012, 06:40 PM
 
My wife has written five novels over the last years and I wish to put them out as ebooks, I have researched a number of sites and they seem either too complex or too take over and not enough control (having to fit their ideas of what is wanted) I want to be able to incorporate images along with the text, they are quite long novels 80 to 100,000 word.

Many also seem Windows based

Years ago I had designed my own web site but since flickr, Red Bubble and all the other photo hosting sites i have not bothered with it so I have not kept up with the best software to use.
I am hoping to design the books in XHTML or whatever is best (still reading up and seeking info) and then convert to epub or pdf or whatever is needed from there.
Once i get the finished product I am thinking of creating a web site and , hopefully using Kaga (they still around?) or a Paypal system to market the books

But first I wish to get onto the best, most mac friendly software for the purpose i have , creating mainly text books , with covers etc and a smattering of images , perhaps a dozen or two per book

From a point of near ignorance of today's software is something like Indesign suitable or is that just a graphics for adverts type of soft ware?

Any and all ideas and recommendations would be appreciated I am an open book to ideas , IA m moderately capable with Photoshop and word processing but this is a new game for me I would like to do it well, I am willing to purchase software but want to make it the best value for the task and not a compromise job that hampers and restricts freedom by imposing its own set of rules

years ago Apple had some software (or was it Adobe's?) I think it was Pagemaker? you designed your pages on the desktop with images text etc and it converted it to HTML , it worked really well but is no longer compatible with the latest OS (I am on 10.6.8 by choice, bought 10.7 but uninstalled it , not a pretty task!)

hopefully this is the right forum and place to find answers to these questions
many thanks if you read this far

regards from the old guy in Tasmania
Ron Co
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 14, 2012, 07:29 PM
 
Apple makes a free ebook creation application called iBooks Author. You can then export it as an Apple-style epub, a pdf or plain text. If you want, you can publish to Apple's iBook store right from iBooks Author.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Yarlington  (op)
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Apr 14, 2012, 09:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Apple makes a free ebook creation application called iBooks Author. You can then export it as an Apple-style epub, a pdf or plain text. If you want, you can publish to Apple's iBook store right from iBooks Author.
Thanks for the heads up on this option unfortunately I live outside the USA in a little place south of the big island called Australia in Tasmania :-)

The iBook option apparently is not available to us folks from the antipodes yet, perhaps is time it will be , darn it first we were the colonies to UK (England) and now we are persona non gratia to USA , cannot win :-)
Also my main desktop is still on 10.6.8 and it is only available to 10.7.2 and above while i have 10.7.3 on the laptop (MacBook) the MacBook is my least preferred work place

thanks though i will review the situation re availability in Australia that at least may change and if it proves worthwhile i can upgrade the desktop (already paid for it)
Ron
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 14, 2012, 10:10 PM
 
InDesign is what professional print designers use for books, magazines, and mailers as well as adverts. It replaced PageMaker a while back.

If you are willing to learn InDesign, you should be able to pour your wife's word docs into some templates, apply style sheets, and go from there. Indesign will export PDF formats. You can use most types of image formats in your layout. I believe it can export to HTML, but I've never used that feature so not sure how accurate the export is. If all you need is a PDF I'd stick with the layout options.

You may be able to create something also with Apple's Pages application, a simpler layout/word processing deal. I've never used it but know people who are happy with it.

For that matter Word itself will export PDF, although making a nice layout would be torture.

Not sure what ePub tools are out there beyond that... probably something I should look into! let us know what you find.
     
Yarlington  (op)
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Apr 15, 2012, 01:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
InDesign is what professional print designers use for books, magazines, and mailers as well as adverts. It replaced PageMaker a while back.
..............
Spent most of the day searching not much joy yet, found that old Pagemaker is still on offer so downloaded it but it would not open so I downloaded unStuffit from Alladin and then was told Pagemaker is classic only and will not run on this Mac ,I knew I should have kept one mac on the old OS darn it (we have 3 iMacs of varying ages plus the MacBook) , should not have upgraded them all to OS 10.6 or 10.7 !
Not to worry .Press on :-)
............


If you are willing to learn InDesign, you should be able to pour your wife's word docs into some templates, apply style sheets, and go from there. Indesign will export PDF formats. You can use most types of image formats in your layout. I believe it can export to HTML, but I've never used that feature so not sure how accurate the export is. If all you need is a PDF I'd stick with the layout options. .
...............
I also spent time reviewing various Adobe offerings but really they are so much more than I need it is like buying a walk in refrigerator (cold room) to keep one ice cream cold , a lot of waste and overkill.
Basically i need software that can convert text to epub which I would have thought a common need

Apples iBiook sounds good but it expects the user to have video and music to entertain folks too????
Can't people read without being stimulated via music?
..................



You may be able to create something also with Apple's Pages application, a simpler layout/word processing deal. I've never used it but know people who are happy with it.
..................
I have been using that but it has proven inconsistent and files may work on one device but not another.
I have an Sony ereader I tested it on , sent the file to a friend who also has one and it was all garbled , mixed up!
............
For that matter Word itself will export PDF, although making a nice layout would be torture.

Not sure what ePub tools are out there beyond that... probably something I should look into! let us know what you find.
......................
I'll go back to searching the various publishing sites and see what I can find , fingers crossed!

thanks for trying
Ron
     
TETENAL
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Apr 15, 2012, 05:44 AM
 
Apple Pages does ePub export and it runs on 10.6. ePub supports images. You would only need iBooks Author if you wanted to do interactive books, but novels are usually not interactive.

If you can do without DRM you could sell your books yourself in ePub and/or PDF format from your website even. ePub is an open standard and is widely supported (maybe not by Kindle though). It works in the iBooks app for example.

I'm pretty sure Apple accepts Australian authors for the iBookstore. Read

Apple - iTunes - Partner Programs - Book Publishers
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 15, 2012, 07:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Yarlington View Post
Thanks for the heads up on this option unfortunately I live outside the USA in a little place south of the big island called Australia in Tasmania :-)
Of course it is: you can download the app for free and use it. Perhaps you cannot distribute your ebook via Apple's iBook store, yes, but you can create an ebook and distribute it some other way.

As far as more or less preferred »work place« (10.6.8 vs. 10.7.3): IMO you should use whatever gets the job done.
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Yarlington  (op)
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Apr 16, 2012, 12:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
Apple Pages does ePub export and it runs on 10.6. ePub supports images. You would only need iBooks Author if you wanted to do interactive books, but novels are usually not interactive.

If you can do without DRM you could sell your books yourself in ePub and/or PDF format from your website even. ePub is an open standard and is widely supported (maybe not by Kindle though). It works in the iBooks app for example.

I'm pretty sure Apple accepts Australian authors for the iBookstore. Read

Apple - iTunes - Partner Programs - Book Publishers
OK now that is just plain weird I am sure i saw the option to export in epub when using Pages but now I am only getting options for PDF,Word,RTF and Plain Text???

Thanks for the lead I have not got to the stage I am ready for selling yet but it appears one can have either a free account (you give your work away) or a paid account at which time you need to register with the USA IRS and get appropriate paper work sorted so you can pay tax on your 20 cents per year profits :-)
Tough call
The interactive bit is interesting, still trying to work out how to by pass that lot
err what is DRM that one escapes me ?Googled it Digital Right Management, something about copyright protection?
thanks for your help
appreciate it
Ron
     
Yarlington  (op)
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Apr 16, 2012, 12:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Of course it is: you can download the app for free and use it. Perhaps you cannot distribute your ebook via Apple's iBook store, yes, but you can create an ebook and distribute it some other way.

As far as more or less preferred »work place« (10.6.8 vs. 10.7.3): IMO you should use whatever gets the job done.
Thanks OreoCookie
I decided to give it a try and downloaded iBook Author this morning on the MacBook which has 10.7.3 on it .
Interesting , at this stage it is a suck it and see experience I managed to mock up a cover and title and post in 40,000 words of text to see how it worked , looks good , the main hassle is in bypassing ( hopefully deleting) the need for interactive media and a glossary , these are not normally needed for novels
I also figure i can use the macbook for creating the ebook and still use my desktop for other purposes and transfer files as needed via bluetooth or memory cards, seeing they are side by side on the desk no big deal either way
thanks for you help
regards
Ron
     
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Apr 17, 2012, 02:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Yarlington View Post
OK now that is just plain weird I am sure i saw the option to export in epub when using Pages but now I am only getting options for PDF,Word,RTF and Plain Text???
Yes, Pages definitely supports ePub export.

Creating ePub files with Pages

Thanks for the lead I have not got to the stage I am ready for selling yet but it appears one can have either a free account (you give your work away) or a paid account at which time you need to register with the USA IRS and get appropriate paper work sorted so you can pay tax on your 20 cents per year profits :-)
Tough call
Maybe they just need a tax number to file that you don't need to pay taxes. I don't think you need to pay income taxes in the US if you are working outside the US and are not a citizen.

The interactive bit is interesting, still trying to work out how to by pass that lot
err what is DRM that one escapes me ?Googled it Digital Right Management, something about copyright protection?
Digital Rights Management is "copy protection". It prevents people from reading your books if they haven't paid for them. Of course you have "copyright protection" without it, but it is probably impossible to enforce this right. If you can do without copy protection you can sell your books yourself from your website. But if you need DRM for copy protection you probably would need the help of Apple, Adobe or Amazon.

Originally Posted by Yarlington View Post
Thanks OreoCookie
I decided to give it a try and downloaded iBook Author this morning on the MacBook which has 10.7.3 on it .
Interesting , at this stage it is a suck it and see experience I managed to mock up a cover and title and post in 40,000 words of text to see how it worked , looks good , the main hassle is in bypassing ( hopefully deleting) the need for interactive media and a glossary , these are not normally needed for novels
iBooks Author is for interactive books only. Don't use it for novels. ePub is the right format and you have the option to sell through other channels than Apple as well.
     
Yarlington  (op)
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Apr 18, 2012, 05:04 AM
 
Thanks for the extra input, it is not important but very puzzling , for some reason my Pages (version 9) no longer offers theEPUB option under "Share" --"Export" , I may need to reinstall it, cannot think why it has disappeared I thought i had used it before but the last couple of times it is no offered as an option? Go figure?

meanwhile I have found a group called Smashwords, they work from Miscrosoft Word .doc files and do al the converting for the writer into about 9 different formats to cater for kindle, sony, iBook and so on .
Smashwords — Smashwords Style Guide — A book by Mark Coker
Sounds very promising , they also sell, distribute and so forth, and seem to have a realisitic approach , under the FAQ about expectations they warn writers they may not sell one book , it is refreshing to meet such candour :-)

hopefully I will be organised enough to give it a try in the next few days, I downloaded a trial version of Word (sorry about that Apple)
regards from Tasmania
Ron
     
Yarlington  (op)
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Apr 20, 2012, 06:10 PM
 
Just a follow up , I am using Microsoft Word to do the word processing to give 100% compatibility with the requirements of Smashwords, I have no doubt it could be done with Pages or other software but it is not worth the aggravation of not having full compatibility.
Smashwords takes the file and with its "meatgrinder" (their term) transforms it into about 8 or so different formats to cater for most types of e-readers. They also distribute to many outlets on your behalf so all in all it looks like a good place to be for people interested in getting into e-book publishing.
I managed to put up four books in the last 2-3 days ( they were of course all already written)
I am posting this in case others are facing the same problem as I was , hope it helps
This us a link to my one FREE book so far , you set your own price, this was a test to see how it handled images and text ,very simple really
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/153441

many thanks for those who helped and offered advice
Ron
     
   
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