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Journal mcgrew's Journal: ePub Blues 5

I woke up early yesterday, and as I do on early days I turned on the TV news and opened Google News on the laptop. After I opened a dozen or so tabs, the notebook ground to a screeching halt. Obviously its 1 gig of memory was completely full. It took a full five minutes for task manager to come up.

I rebooted it (the ancient Linux box with 750 megs never needs rebooting!) and did something I should have done years ago -- I installed Flashblock. After whitelisting KSHE I opened the news back up, and the notebook performed flawlessly.

After reading the news I opened Mars, Ho! for editing. I'll go through the whole book, reading and editing, and when I get to the next chapter to be posted here I post it. Thirty seven was Monday, I reached chapter 50, the last chapter, yesterday.

I've been struggling to get books into e-book format for almost a year now. The trouble wasn't Calibre, even though it has its quirks. It was Open Office's confusing documentation (in fairness, Microsoft documentation sucks, too). It made an incredibly easy and simple procedure seem obscure and convoluted.

I'd decided that on the next pass through Mars, Ho! I would format the typeface and size of chapter names and numbers, and mark it so I could easily convert it to the ePub format.

I had struggled with and experimented with converting Nobots while not exactly sober, but Oo's documentation was as confusing full of coffee as it had been when I was full of beer. But when I opened the file in an eBook reader it became apparent; it was dirt simple. I spent as much time on Nobots yesterday as I did on Mars, Ho!.

I did run across two minor problems with Calibre. It wanted to remove paragraph indents and add blank lines between paragraphs. A little mousing around the interface and I found where to fix it.

The other was a bug in Calibre. You're supposed to be able to drag and drop image files for the cover, but it simply didn't work. It displayed the cover in Calibre, but not in the eBook reader. However, there's a button that lets you choose a file, and that worked.

This morning I converted The Paxil Diaries, uploaded the ePub files and edited the index files. So if you would like an eBook version of either of these books, they're available for free download at my web site. A little googling showed that the Nook and Kindle and about all eBook readers support that format. I neither know nor care if Sony's reader supports it, and in fact would rather people not be able to read them on a Sony device; I've hated that company with a passion since my daughter infected my PC with Sony's XCP malware. Their CEO should have gone to prison!

I'm taking a different approach with Mars, Ho! than with my previous two books. Having them printed is terribly expensive and I'd at least like to make the money back on copyright and ISBN registrations, so I'm going to release it as a two dollar Amazon eBook first, with PDF and HTML versions still free.

If you want an eBook version of the two finished books, rather than making you visit my web site I'll just link them here:
The Paxil Diaries

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ePub Blues

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  • I'm lazy. $2 to Amazon is worth not having to open calibre.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      What's your favorite eBook format? What reader are you using?

      • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

        Amazon kindle.

        And seriously, as long as it doesn't cost you anything, I'd be happy to pay $2.

        • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

          Thanks, just did a little checking and it appears the Kindle doesn't support ePub, so I've added Amazon's AZW3. Actually, it looks like since Mars, Ho! will be an Amazon eBook, AZW3 will probably be the "officially" supported version.

          Here are AZW3s for the two finished ones:
          Nobots []
          The Paxil Diaries []

          I just now updated my web site to add these.

          Amazon gets $.99, so I'll get a dollar and a penny from each sale. It will probably be quite a while before I'm done editing "Mars", though.

Make sure your code does nothing gracefully.