ePub schmeepub

Well, I finished my book and it is beautiful, in the nearly universally acceptable .pdf format.  Then I found Lulu, and signed up.  Sell my ebook!  Great.

 

Well, what on earth is epub.  I've been reading books on my phone for years, never heard of it.  Luckily professional publishing software Adobe InDesign exports to ePub format.

 

OOPS!  Lulu's import wizard doesn't like my book.  Distribution channels need XML things to be different.  OK

 

Guess I need to buy Microsoft Word?  Weird...

 

Ok so I found Open Office.  Went into InDesign, exported all pages as .png images, and placed them as full pages in OpenOffice, (absurdly difficult/tedious process), saved as .doc.  That was a pain, but the book is still beautiful that way.

 

But Lulu wizard still doesn't like my book.  Improperly formatted table of contents.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS?  MY BOOK HAS NO WORDS IN IT.  IT IS A BOOK OF PICTURES.

 

So I added a Title/Copyright page with ugly Times New Roman Heading 1 Style formatting, and huge, weird looking Heading 1 copyright notice.

 

Mind you, I do not want a title page, and I do not care about copyright.

 

Now my book is ugly.  THE FIRST PAGE IS UGLY NOW.

 

But Lulu wizard likes it!

 

So Lulu wizard took my beautiful, 0.5 MB .pdf and converted it to an ugly, 5.5 MB .epub.

 

Better take a look, so I open the .epub.  SORRY you must download a program to use this wonderful epub format (that is supposed to be more accessible than pdf?).

 

So I take a look.

 

There is no scrolling in .epub.  So my pictures are split in half on every page.  Go to the next page, see the other half of the picture.

 

Yay international standards.

Comments

  • You need to adjust the image size and resolution so that the images fit perfectly on one screen. No pages in ebooks.

     

    You must have a title page and copyright page if you would like your book to be mass distributed.

     

     


  • Maggie wrote:

    You need to adjust the image size and resolution so that the images fit perfectly on one screen. No pages in ebooks.

     

    -----------------------------------

     

    Thanks, my understanding is that it is impossible to create an image that will fit perfectly on every screen in existence, as screens are different sizes.  The epub format doesn't want to resize images, it wants to flow text, and therefore cater to books with words, while neglecting the needs of books that use pictures.

     

     

    ------------------------------

    You must have a title page and copyright page if you would like your book to be mass distributed.

     -----------------------------

     

    Yes, that's an arbitrary requirement that the distribution channels have set, I would guess because they can scan text with computer algorithm to reject en masse, and so DRM can log and database titles, authors.

     

    For a guy like me, making a book of pictures, with no desire to restrict copyright, with no desire to have my name on the book, with no table of contents needed, .epub is no good.

     

    In summary, .pdf works for every kind of book anyone would ever want to make, and more, and preserves all of the artist's desired formatting perfectly, in an amazingly small filesize, and is accessible to nearly every device ever.

     

    While epub works for some kinds of books, if formatted to exacting standards, with an absurd filesize, and requires obscure programs to open.

     

    Thanks for the response.  Not sure how my words sound but I'm venting with a smile Smiley Happy

  • Lulu etc will not allow books that do not have a TOC, but as Maggie says. just having a Title and Copyright Page listed in it will get through.

     

    I have no idea about OO, but to create a TOC in Word you have to tag headings, chapters, etc with Heading Style 1. Note that ePubs do not have page numbers, Headers or Footers. You also have to remember that they can be read on anything from cellphone to a PC.

  • Well, make each image maximum 6 inches in width and 96 dpi and see the result.

     

    I see your point though, but there is a way to make a book of images look good despite the restrictions.

     

    Try it and let us know.


  • Maggie wrote:

    Well, make each image maximum 6 inches in width and 96 dpi and see the result.

     

    I see your point though, but there is a way to make a book of images look good despite the restrictions.

     

    Try it and let us know.


    That's a good idea, but the pictures are designed to be printed on a full 8.5 x 11 page.  The problem isn't that they are too wide, it's that they are too long when viewed on widescreen.  And I don't know what epub readers will allow what kind of printing.  I do know .pdf you just click print and select what page you want to print.

     

    Imagine trying to publish a book full of teacher's worksheets that include high resolution graphics in .epub.  I don't believe it's possible.


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    Lulu etc will not allow books that do not have a TOC, but as Maggie says. just having a Title and Copyright Page listed in it will get through.

     

    I have no idea about OO, but to create a TOC in Word you have to tag headings, chapters, etc with Heading Style 1. Note that ePubs do not have page numbers, Headers or Footers. You also have to remember that they can be read on anything from cellphone to a PC.


    Thanks, yes I added a title and copyright page with the proper style headings, and it passed through, and is now published.

     

    The problem is that if I make the images small enough to fit to any device, they won't print well.  This book is not designed to be read - it's designed to be printed.  Amazon, ibook etc evidently aren't interested in that kind of book - i.e. a book full of activities for kids, coloring books, crossword puzzles, etc.

     

    As you can see, this is a major snag in my plan:

    http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/homeschoolbooks

  • You are right. However, I have done it for teachers, university professors, etc.

     

    Get rid of the images (of sheets) and all tabs, sacrifice the layout and publish as straight text. Simplify everything.

  • Hmm...crossword puzzles and activities... just reduce the size of the images to 4x 5 inches and publish as epub. It's up to the parents if they want to buy it. It's possible.

  • Thanks maggie, I will try it.

     

    If this works, will customers be able to print just one 'page' (picture) at a time from an epub reader?  I downloaded every one I could find and none of them print, yet lulu's product page says 'printable: yes'.

     

    I don't want people to have to print 100 pictures to get the one they want!

  • I'm not sure if they can print individual epub "pages." Take one epub and test it on your device.

  • Calibre allows you to print.

    However, there is absolutely no print capabilities on my Nook. Also, EPUBs do not allow people to interact - i.e. complete crossword puzzles in situ.

     

    For this type of content, I would suggest you stick to PDF format.


  • Glenn_Lulu wrote:

    Calibre allows you to print.

    However, there is absolutely no print capabilities on my Nook. Also, EPUBs do not allow people to interact - i.e. complete crossword puzzles in situ.

     

    For this type of content, I would suggest you stick to PDF format.


    Thanks all.  I reread this and you all are so nice while I'm trying to be cynical/funny but sound like a typical customer service problem Smiley Happy

     

    I believe I'll stay with pdf. 

     

    When I 'retire' the epub version from my projects, will I lose the ISBN number that was set up during that upload?  (And does that matter if I want to offer print copies of the .pdf later?)

     

     

  • You do not need an ISBN for the PDF.

     

     

  • The problem is that if I make the images small enough to fit to any device, they won't print well.  This book is not designed to be read - it's designed to be printed.

     

    Printed? I don't think people buy ePubs for that, they buy them to read. I doubt most e-reading devices even have a print option.

     

     Amazon, ibook etc evidently aren't interested in that kind of book - i.e. a book full of activities for kids, coloring books, crossword puzzles, etc.

     

    Well they sort of are. You can publish almost whatever you want and even via KDP or CreateSpace which are Amazon's self-publishing POD arms. (Interestingly enough, Amazon staff even seem to read content before they pass them).

     

    If you mean that Amazon does not support e-books that can be printed out? they don't because Kindles do not have a print option that I know off.

     

    PDFs do have that option (unless being read on a device with no printer output or drivers), but Lulu do not distribute PDFs and Amazon do not stock them.

  • Imagine trying to publish a book full of teacher's worksheets that include high resolution graphics in .epub.  I don't believe it's possible.

     

    I think there's a newer version of ePub types, but I am not sure what it is capable of, however Lulu do not support it yet.

     

    Of course the easy answer is to recreate your PDF as a Printed book that can have an ISBN and distribution then buyers do not have to print it off.

  • When I 'retire' the epub version from my projects, will I lose the ISBN number that was set up during that upload?  (And does that matter if I want to offer print copies of the .pdf later?)

     

    ISBNs are tagged to individual books and are unique to them, and cannot be used for any other book, but you are not losing it, you simply have no need of that one once Deleted/Withdrawn, and as Maggie says, PDFs here cannot have an ISBN or Distribution.

  • There's a new program, Playwrite. A native EPUB desktop publishing program. It's for OS X so if you have a Mac this could work.

     

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/playwrite/id650042821?ls=1&mt=12#

  • That may work for direct upload to Apple but I doubt it will work at Lulu.

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