Monday, March 7, 2011

Okay, I have made an Epub version of THE CIRCLE CAST, suitable for iPads. And a MOBI version, suitable for Kindles.

That took some doing. Calibre, the very fine free software that converts your document into an Epub, translates your input into XHTML. So the easiest way to control the formatting of your ebook is to turn your document into HTML, fuss with the HTML, and then convert from HTML into the ebook of your choice.

So I recoded the RTF document I got from the graphic designer into HTML using Word, cleaned up Word's horribly messy HTML, and then massage the HTML using TextWrangler.

I'd really like to figure out how to get the original fonts to appear. The book's beautiful title treatment is CCNearMythFables font, not a font most people will have on their computer. (I had to pay $50 for it.) Can Epub embed a font? Some say yes, Virginia, there is a way that you can embed a font into something called an LRF file, using the CSS @font-face element. But I don't know how to do that.

I also don't know how to center something vertically on a page, e.g. the dedication? And it may not actually be possible. The MOBI and EPUB formats don't include everything you can do in Word or PDF. Word and PDF are meant to format for a specific size document. EPUB and MOBI are meant to be "reflowable" for different sized tablets and readers.

But I've got an Epub. It is professional-looking and readable on my iPhone. And I've got a MOBI, that looks nice on my antique Kindle.

Is this is the wave of the future? We'll see. There were a couple of reviewers who wanted a digital review copy. It would be great if you could get your ARCs out digitally -- hella cheaper and faster. More often I see reviewers specifically saying, No, please, no digital review copies. So into the mail it goes.

I suspect the formats will get more robust and the software will get cleverer. For now, it's a cranky bit of work.

Theoretically I ought to be able to sell the Kindle edition, or actually my publisher ought to be able, if he sets up an Amazon Kindle publisher account. (That, at least, is trivial to do.) I think the MOBI I made looks legitimate, but I'm not 100% sure I've done all the formatting I'm capable of. So I'm holding back. Darn fonts.



You can embed the font fairly easily, but it is only suppported on some readers (sony, ADE, for instance). The kindle does not support embedded fonts, nor does the iPad as of the time of this posting.

You can contact me at "chrishallx hotmail" for more details on how best to accomplish this and an example ePub file.

By Blogger web, at March 24, 2011 at 3:28 PM  

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