ePubs and self-publishing

Hoo boy! I have so much to learn. I enjoy these little forays into Unknown Territory to pick up new capabilities. Now I need to understand what’s required to prep an MS doc for printing as a softcover book and as an ebook. And decide whether a PDF will suffice.

This is a common situation. I’ve published Lulu books in the past but the last time was so long ago I’ve forgotten the details. Also, Lulu is forever changing. Yesterday i discovered that have a variety of pricing options, some of which will come in quite handy.

With epubs, I need to find out what’s different from a plain old pdf and whether that difference is worth investing in now.

I’m also going to need to explore other avenues for distribution. Lower rates? Giving me the names of buyers? Ease of creating cover and so on? Handholding? How many venues?

I’ll start with Robin’s site, which I need to add to the book, and check out things people have suggested. Someone must have a good curation on this.


Robin’s great on the big picture of epublishing. This is the context of the changing field:

The key changes and transformations that I have been able to catch sum up to a publishing ecosystem that is much less difficult to use, and where interfaces gradually disappear to become a “just-in-time” utilities. Commands and options are there only when you need them – just in time, otherwise invisible.

Design intelligence becomes part of the tools we use, so that you need not learn about design and graphics to produce professional-looking content. Publishing online itself becomes an activity that is not necessarily bound to a specific web site, but more and more to create content that will be shared and used in many other different situations and contexts.

From static pages we are rapidly moving to a stream metaphor, and within it to cards, tiles and pins as our basic unit of information reference.

Curation, preservation and working with collections will rapidly become an important area of growth for anyone publishing online.

Link: http://www.masternewmedia.org/future-webpublishing-trends-beyond-2014/#ixzz3ftLwAH9k

ibooks author for ipad

I read Robin’s future of web publishing but was sucked into looking at lot of other material. An hour has passed.

Judging from this article, PDF beats ePub as a format. pdf supports hyper links, is easy for graphics, more control over layout.  Makes me wonder what ePub is good for.



  • You can download and read PDF titles using Adobe Digital Editions.
  • There are two types of PDF titles: protected and Open PDFs.
    • Open PDF eBooks are compatible with more devices and applications than protected PDF eBooks.
    • Learn more about downloading and reading Open PDF eBooks.
    • Adobe PDF eBooks require you to authorize your computer with an OverDrive account or Adobe ID before you read them.
  • PDFs have a static layout with set page breaks, so you can’t adjust font size, and they don’t automatically adjust to fit your screen. However, you can zoom in on a page or graphic.
  • PDFs work well with graphic novels, illustrated eBooks, and other titles with specific formatting.


  • You can download and read EPUB eBooks using Adobe Digital Editions on a computer or OverDrive’s app.
  • There are two types of EPUB eBooks: Adobe EPUB and Open EPUB.
    • Open EPUB eBooks are compatible with more devices and apps because they don’t require you to authorize your computer or app.
    • Learn more about downloading and reading Open EPUB eBooks.
    • Adobe EPUB eBooks require you to authorize your computer or device with an OverDrive account or Adobe ID before you read them.
    • Learn more about authorizing and reading Adobe EPUBs on your computer and reading Adobe EPUBs on your device (Android, iOS,Windows 8/RT, Windows Phone).
  • EPUB eBooks will automatically adjust to fit your screen.

I’ll go with pdf for now because it requires no special skills and it an automatic by-product of hardcopy publishing.

Now. Need to learning how to format (I’ll do Lulu for this) and how to distribute. I’d like to capture names so sign up will probably be directly through me, not the publisher. Security: maintain a single read-only copy online

Not only the digital signature allows you to proclaim the authority of the PDF files, but also the open password and owner password set to the PDF can protect others from copying and printing, even opening.

→ Mobipocket (.mobi or .prc):Amazon Kindle uses a modified Mobipocket format for its e-books. You can create Mobipocket files by using the free Mobipocket Creator (mobipocket.com), which allows you to import Word and PDF files.

→ calibre (calibre-ebook.com): Free software that converts e-book files from more than two dozen different file types.

→ Sigil (code.google.com/p/sigil): Free editing and formattingsoftware for e-books in the EPUB format; you can start with plain text files saved from Word.

→ Amazon: As of this writing, books for the Amazon Kindle accounted for at least 50 percent of e-book sales in the U.S. and sometimes as much as 70 percent, depending on the category. Your Amazon page (especially as displayed on a Kindle) may be the first and only page a reader looks at when deciding whether or not to purchase your book. Reviews become critical in assuring readers of quality. Also, the Kindle bestseller list can be a key driver of visibility and sales—and is watched closely by just about everyone in the business.

→ Price + Amazon: Amazon is well known for paying 70 percent of list price to authors who price their e-books between $2.99 and $9.99. The percentage plummets to 35 percent for any price outside this range, which is why you find authors periodically switching their price between $.99 and $2.99. They maximize volume and visibility at the lower price point (and attempt to get on bestseller lists), then switch to $2.99 to maximize profits.

→ Digital Book World (digitalbookworld.com): This site (by F+W Media, parent company of WD) offers news, analysis and interviews about e-book publishing. Start by reading the series of articles about maximizing sales through the Amazon Kindle by Carolyn McCray.

→ The Book Designer (thebookdesigner.com): Joel Friedlander offers practical advice and information on self-publishing digitally or in print. (Editor’s Note: You’ll also find Friedlander’s article about savvy self-pub strategies on Page 28.)

→ Kindle Direct Publishing forums (forums.kindledirectpublishing.com): While most digital publishing
services offer their own forums, the Kindle forums host some of the most active and comprehensive discussions. Whatever your question is, you can probably find it answered here.


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