Create Fixed Layout Epub Books On the iPad

Fixed layout is the format of choice for many designers of picture-laden ebooks. Until very recently, the tools for such ebooks were few or highly technical. The format options are fairly broad for ebook authors of non-fiction and fiction books that are primarily text-based. Epub is the format used on iPad and many other tablets. Kindle uses their proprietary AZW format. Other formats include CBZ for comics and of course the ubiquitous PDF. The PDF is a standard for print publications and is often used as a container of ebooks requiring a fixed layout. However, PDF is not the ideal format for picture-style ebooks.

Designers of coffee table-style ebooks have had to jump over some hurdles before they could see their creations appear on e-readers. Successful picture books usually required coding beyond the typical ebook. Since most independent artists & photographers have neither the interest nor time to learn to write software, the examples we’ve seen of picture books in the app stores have been developed by start-ups or large publishers whose has relied on talented and savvy coders and technical staff to create their ebook. Read more »

Kindle Tablet – More Opportunities for Enhanced Ebook Authors & Designers

It appears that it’s now more than rumor that Amazon will soon release a Kindle tablet.  Tech blogger, MG Siegler reported on TechCrunch that he has actually laid hands on the Kindle tablet.

What Will a Kindle Tablet Offer to Authors & Designers of Enhanced Ebooks?

Possible Kindle TabletThe sky is opening up for designers and authors of enhanced books. Some authors will look up at the sky and see clouds. They are quite content to paint the scenes and make the sounds simply but elegantly with words. There should always be a place on our electronic bookshelves for these talented writers. At the same time, other authors will look at emerging technologies and see sunshine. The new book tech allow collaboration among artists of various stripes; writers, filmmakers, designers, illustrators and others. The iPad has allowed some amazing ‘books’ to open up to bibliophiles. Now that the premier ebook device producer, Amazon, will soon release the Kindle tablet, the vista is about to expand to more everyday readers. Read more »

Promoting Your Ebook: A Real-Life Example

promoting my ebook aDena Dena with Google AdsHere’s a real-life example of how I’ve begun promoting my ebook, aDena Dena. I trust this will be useful in you promoting your ebook.

This past weekend, I began promoting my ebook aDena Dena. I introduced the ebook at a small festival in my home town. Leading up to the event, I placed a full-page color ad for my ebook in a business directory of the sponsoring organization. Since this was an ebook, I made a mock-up of it, about the size of a paperback trade book, which I showed to people who stopped by my booth. I also had half-page flyers for people to take away with them. It was reported that approximately 2,000 people attended the event. Of that number, I probably interacted with 100. All of the handouts, the ebook mock-up as well as the ad had the url for the book. Read more »

The Demise of the Dust Jacket at the Dawn of Digital Books

Dust JacketThere are many things to celebrate and some to lament regarding the emerging digital book technology and the vanishing printed book art. One thing I’m beginning to look upon nostalgically is the demise of dust jackets. The cliché, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ is only partly true part of the time.

Publishers of print often print first runs of their promising titles as a hardback edition. The book itself is sandwiched within numerous materials. It’s anatomy was so unique as to require specialists of various stripes to properly fit the cover with the content.

Print books compete for attention on bookstore shelves among other titles. Therefore publishers usually pay special attention to the covers. The dust jacket provided the flexibility to afford a designer a creative palate with an open imagination. Read more »

Self-Publishing – Ten Steps to Completing Your Book – Part 1

Technology has made self-publishing relatively accessible to everyone. This is especially true of e-books. The big question now is, “How do I complete my book?”

Have you ever awaken from a dream that self-published on your mind. You probably didn’t ask for that dream, it just showed up one night. If you didn’t write your dream down the moment you awoke, chances are you won’t remember it as the day’s mental activities crowd out the ol’ timers.

Today, we’re picking up from the previous post, which could have been entitled, ‘Boots On the Ground, Butts in the Chair‘. If you’ve dreamed about publishing a book, but don’t have a completed manuscript, it’s time to take action.

Dreams are a mysterious part of our existence. In our dreams we can fly, sing before a standing-room-only audience of kings and queens, and even get chased by man-eating turnips. Dreams are seeds of our waking imagination. We’re given only a short time to record our dreams before they fade away. Fortunately, the ideas that come to us in our waking hours are not as fleeting, but like a butterfly, they will eventually flutter away. You know you can’t trap in it a jar, so the best thing to do is paint a beautiful word picture while it’s there before you.

Here are ten practical things to do if you’ve been stalled or are struggling with your book:

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Self-Publishing a Book. Are E-Books Right for Me?

Choosing the right vehicle to self-publishing a book should be given serious consideration. There are so many self-publishing options available today that it can be either a blessing or a hassle to pick the right one. Hopefully, you’ll begin to have a better understanding from this moment forward.

Self Publishing: Putting Butts in the Chair by KeniI mustn’t assume that everyone reading this has a finished manuscript in their hand, so I’ll start from the beginning; the writing process. If you have completed your book, then you might want to return a few posts down the road.

First, I’m going to shamelessly present you with some clichés. Cliché #1: ‘In order to win a war, you must put boots on the ground‘. One might think that in this age of high-tech warfare, you just send in the drones. However, a well-waged war depends as much on winning the peace as on fighting the enemy. If you do not win the peace, you will continue to have hostilities. Alan Boyle’s article, The High’s and Lows of High-Tech Warfare looks at some of the effects of technology of war.

Writing a book, for e (electronic) publishing or otherwise has many similarities to the scenario just described. For many authors, writing a book is much like fighting a war. Second cliché: ‘In order to write a book, you must put butts in the chair‘. I’ll give you a real-life example.

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God’s Water Falls in the Hands of Friends

God's Water Falls: an E-book Here’s an update on my e-book, ‘God’s Water Falls’.

I completed the artwork in the third week in August. I assembled it all on my iPad on a soon-to-be-released-app called ‘Book Creator, which I’ve had the pleasure to beta test. I’ll tell you more about the app once it is in the Apple’s App Store and is released to the public.

Since the artwork shares center stage with the text, I found myself tweaking it almost endlessly. Then I woke up one morning and had a wild idea to make major adjustments every piece (could have been something I ate the night before). So, I spent the entire day with that. However, when I compare the book now with the way it looked before, I’m glad I did it.

Next, I sent it out to my friends to get their feedback. I’ve discovered that regardless of how ‘great’ we think our ideas are, there’s always room for improvement. It’s nice to have people you trust who will say things to make us better. Once I get their feedback, I’ll make any necessary changes, then start up the marketing machine.

It should be available to the public in about a week from today.

Why We Don’t Need Another Killer Tablet

Before a new e-reading device makes its way to consumer wish lists, tech journalists start asking, could this be the (insert name here) killer tablet. The name most often wedged between the parentheses is the iPad.  Unless some developer/manufacturer leaps five years into the future, it appears that the best any of them can do is simply compete with the iPad.

For a brief time, bloggers made comparisons between the iPad and Kindle and pondered who would kill whom. As time move on, it became apparent that the two were content to coexist. They do, after all, serve different functions even though there is some cross-over. For example, both devices are e-readers. However, if you want to lean back in your easy chair and enjoy a novel, the Kindle is the better choice. Laura Owen of reports on Amazon’s  promotion deals, showing that Amazon is further defining the e-reading experience with its book discounting deals. Read more »