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Showing posts from December, 2010

Delivering the goods … 1, 2, 3 (PDF, Kindle and ePUB)

I've been busy working on style sheets and formatting guides for eBooks as you can tell from my previous posts. I now have the first free eBooklet from Gylphi online. It can be downloaded from for those of you who are interested. Simply scroll down the right column until you reach the free download section. Add the Kindle and/or ePUB versions to your cart and click checkout. You will be asked to enter your name and then the free download will proceed. If you wish to download straight to your device you can try: and I know using the first link in Safari on the iPad (with software fully updated) you will be prompted to open in iBooks, but in Safari on a Mac you will be faced will a jumble of code, and it will be treated like a text file even with a right(ctrl)-click. Here is probably the place to note the final tweaks needed to get the books online. First

Kindle, EPUB, text-indent, and p + p

Kindle and EPUB can often seem like siblings: one likes peas and the other likes carrots. When it comes to text-indenting paragraphs, the Kindle automatically indents each paragraph, and must be told when not to. Whereas EPUB's default is to have paragraphs full-out and to leave space between each. This makes it tricky to find a solution that suits both. The most minimal way I have found is to add <p class="first"> to the beginning of each paragraph you would like full out - e.g. at the beginning of an article or chapter, after a heading or after a blockquote. Then link this to the following Kindle-only CSS: p.first { margin-top: 1 em; text-indent: 0em; } It won't hurt the EPUB to leave the class attribute in the EPUB XHTML, but it is superfluous because I would recommend that all paragraphs are simply tagged using <p></p> and then the following CSS used: p { margin-bottom: 0.00em; margin-top: 1.55em; text-indent: 0.00em; } p + p {ma

EPUB and Kindle, have you got them covered?

The purpose of these blog posts is not to provide you with all the technical detail of how to complete the task of creating EPUB and Kindle format books, but to point out the finer points of detail that you might miss and which could end up leaving your book looking less than its best. Today's post is about getting covers to look and behave correctly. An EPUB requires that you have a file labelled cover.xhtml and this will simply place the image (cover.jpg) on a page. I'm not going to copy out what the entire file looks look, there is an example by Keith Fahlgren on the Three Press Consulting blog. What is important though is if you want your cover to work in all viewers and in the Adobe Digital Editions thumbnail, then once again you'll need to turn to Liz Castro's book EPub Straight to the Point: Creating Ebooks for the Apple IPad and Other Ereaders . In Chapter 3 of her book (p. 114) @lizcastro advises adding style="max-width: 100%" to the xhtml for yo

Mirroring images in EPUB and Kindle

The most effective ways of placing images in an EPUB are outlined in Liz Castro's book EPub Straight to the Point: Creating Ebooks for the Apple IPad and Other Ereaders at the beginning of Chapter 4 (pp. 173-6 for readers of the print edition). Castro informs us here that 600px x 860px is the perfect size to force a picture to consume an entire page, and she also provides her excellent <div> solution that enables pictures to float. Unfortunately, if you simply pass this same CSS and xhtml through KindleGen then the image firstly won't float, because the Kindle doesn't do image or sidebar floats, and also it will appear too small because of the way the Kindle interprets Liz Castro's CSS for getting floating images to play nice on all EPUB readers. In the Kindle your options are limited, but simple to achieve. Images will automatically be aligned left. If you would like them to be centred use the tag <p class="center"> with the CSS {tex

EPUB and Kindle friendly endnotes

This is a series of rough and ready irregular posts on how to get Kindle and EPUB formats to work. These are written as I work on real projects that are being edited to be imported into InDesign as XML and formatted using "Map Tags to Styles", and will also be imported into Sigil where a CSS stylesheet will be added (there will be two ePUBs one with CSS suitable for iBooks, Adobe Digital Editions, Sony Reader, and another with a Kindle friendly CSS to be transformed into .mobi format using KindleGen). The posts should suit people working with academic books, since that is my profession. However, the posts while helping you to make attractive books won't be pretty, since I'm leaving all that for a later date or another person. These notes are scratched out as I work with little styling, and hand-holding left to a minimum. First up endnotes. ENDNOTES Kindle and EPUB respond to hyperlinks leading to anchor points in your book in two different ways. The Kindle jumps

RT if you own a Kindle

I've never had a tweet RTed as much as the one above, with the exception of "RT if you own an ePUB compatible eReader". Yesterday the whole idea of declaring affinity to one format/device or the other caught on with the Twitter community, and if you were one of those who RTed these tweets, then I suspect you will be interested in the result. So here we are: ePUB is the clear winner now that the RTs have dried up, or so it would appear with a score of 45 vs 9. This isn't the whole story, however, since many tweeters instead of simply clicking RT performed a manual RT, which doesn't register. So we need to take into account those people too. Here are the full "RT if you own a Kindle" results: and here are the results for "RT if you own an ePUB compatible eReader": You need to look carefully at these because you will notice that there are additional RTs, but the final totals with these RTs included are 30 to Kindle and 55 to ePUB. Agai