Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guest Author: David Coles


Creating an eBook: How To Kindle Yourself


The following means of creating an eBook is offered by David Coles, one half of the David Coles and Jack Everett partnership and author of several novels including : Jihad-Britain, the Last Free Men, Merlin’s Kin, Last Mission, The Abbot & the Acolyte, Venturer, Faces of Immortality and To Rule the Universe. Their latest book The Tourist is due out in August, 2011 and is a thriller involving an American Special Forces soldier on a killing spree in England.


It’s easy to create an eBook: type your manuscript in a word processor and save it as a Word .doc file, then upload it to the CreateSpace website where it will be converted to Kindle format.


Of course, your Kindle eBook will be in plain vanilla format. At this time of writing, much of your style and formatting will be ignored, chapter headings may not be emboldened or centered, italics or bold text may remain plain and so on. In short, you lose control of the formatting. These details can best be satisfied by converting the text to a HTML file. Warning - not by saving it as HTML straight from the word processor! That way lies madness and a file big enough to fall into and drown!


No, there’s an easier way where you control exactly what you need. It’s not difficult, you can do it within the word processor and save it as a Text file and then merely change the .txt extension code to .html and that’s it. We have a free document describing how to do it in detail, it’s available as a Word .doc file or as an Adobe .pdf file; you can choose which and download from the home page at www.DavidBColes.co.uk .


This is not a cut and dried issue though. The technical aspects and possibilities for eBooks are changing weekly. The Amazon/Create Space converter available at the Kindle upload page appears to be getting smarter and there is talk behind the scenes of the Amazon Kindle reader being upgraded to display .ePub format books.




The situation is a little like the early days of compact disc recordings when there were several competing formats; ePub books seem to be gaining in popularity, the format is used by Barnes & Noble, Apple and the Sony reader to name only three while Kindle is Amazon only. Unlike the Kindle format though, where the author/producer can centralize chapter headings and separators and force a new page start at chapter headings and so on, the common ePub formats do not provide for this. This is disappointing because use this sort of design element makes a rather satisfying product; however, as mentioned, the situation is evolving.


The freeware Calibre eBook management system will produce ePub format files using many other file formats as input. The simple HTML file described at the beginning can also be used as input to the Calibre software and can produce a highly compliant ePub eBook file which passes stringent verification tests - check out the suggestions for both ePub and Kindle files at the DavidBColes homepage.




Useful internet resources…


Amazon/Create Space: http://forums.kindledirectpublishing.com/kdpforums/index.jspa
… select “Bookshelf” to go to the upload section to try it out
Calibre eBook System: http://calibre-ebook.com/download
ePub verification Test : http://threepress.org/document/epub-validate
Free ‘how-to’ doc      : www.DavidBColes.co.uk






2 comments:

....Petty Witter said...

Not a fan of the ebook myself, I never the less found this an interesting post, thanks David.

free magazine said...

Awaiting your next topic. Thanks for sharing this great idea

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