OLLI Course: E-books

OLLI Course: E-books webadmin Wed, 02/23/2011 - 09:15

Course Description

  • ebooks? next: Ask Steve to offer this again (I'd need to update, reorganize)
    previously offered: 2012 Fall: Ashland; 2012 Spring: Medford; 2011 Fall: Ashland; 2011 Fall: AshMUG
  • Sessions: 5
  • Course URL: http://communicrossings.com/olli-course-e-books
  • Are you curious about electronic books (e-books): what they are, how they work, when they arose and why you should care? We will learn about E-book history and formats and how to assess current eInk and tablet devices, such as Kindle, Nook and iPad -- and demonstrate eReader apps. We will explore self-publishing trends, tools and resources for authors. Depending on class interest, we will discuss impacts of E-books on readers, authors, publishers, newspapers, bookstores, libraries, schools and society. More about course topics and style below.

About the Instructor


Course Topics

Course Materials

  • Resources: where to find course materials
  • Navigation: using this web site
  • Handouts: how to create your own printed (paper or .pdf) version; ask me how to create .epub or .mobi version

E-books: Why?

E-books: Why? webadmin Wed, 09/21/2011 - 11:16

hate reading

  • "A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic." ~Carl Sagan
  • "When I close a book
    I open life.
    I hear
    faltering cries
    among harbors."
    ~"Ode to the Book" by Pablo Neruda 4/19/2013
  • "1. When you were little, books were your best friends in the world; 2..." ~from "25 Signs You're Addicted to Books" 9/2/2013
  • "Reading is the work of the alert mind, is demanding, and under ideal conditions produces finally a sort of ecstasy." ~E. B. White, on the Future of Reading: Timeless Wisdom from 1951.
  • "The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing." ~Douglas Engelbart
  • "Tomorrow's illiterate will not be the man who can't read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn." ~Alvin Toffler, 1970
  • reading experience: font size, links, definitions, search
  • ebooks vs. printbooksportability, e.g., textbooks, libraries
  • new content, interactivity: multimedia, social,...
  • cost and speed of publishing/distribution process for E-books, e-newspapers, e-magazines
  • see: iPad demo, Features, ...

gutenberg first editions


E-books: History

E-books: History webadmin Thu, 07/14/2011 - 15:50

reading devicesA brief, selective history of publishing and e-book developments.

Wikipedia: books; History of books; Publishing; E-book

scribes vision


ereader of 1935


  • 1935: Smithsonian Paleofuture: The iPad of 1935 3/2012
  • 1938: World Brain [ebook version] by H. G. Wells. "Without a World Encyclopaedia to hold men's minds together in something like a common interpretation of reality, there is no hope whatever of anything but an accidental and transitory alleviation of any of our world troubles...The time is close at hand, when any student, in any part of the world, will be able to sit with his projector in his own study at his or her convenience to examine any book, any document, in an exact replica."
  • 1939: How Paperbacks Transformed the Way Americans Read Half a century before e-books turned publishing upside down, a different format threatened to destroy the industry; PocketBooks; 8/12/2012
  • memex1945: Vannevar Bush: As We May Think, Memex [animation: 2:30]; "[The Memex is a] sort of mechanized private file and library...a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory." Wired article
  • 1946: ENIAC
  • electronic library1947: Making Books (video; 9:55)
  • 1959: [image: Home Electronic Library]


  • 1960: Project Xanadu: "Hypertext", "Hypermedia"
  • stone wheel late adopter1961: electronic book store in Return from the Stars by Stanislaw Lem: "I spent the afternoon in a bookstore. There were no books in it. None had been printed for nearly half a century. And how I have looked forward to them, after the micro films that made up the library of the Prometheus! No such luck. No longer was it possible to browse among shelves, to weigh volumes in hand, to feel their heft, the promise of ponderous reading. The bookstore resembled, instead, an electronic laboratory. The books were crystals with recorded contents. They can be read the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it. But optons were little used, the sales-robot told me. The public preferred lectons - like lectons read out loud, they could be set to any voice, tempo, and modulation. Only scientific publications having a very limited distribution were still printed, on a plastic imitation paper. Thus all my purchases fitted into one pocket, though there must have been almost three hundred titles. My handful of crystal corn - my books... The robot that served me was itself an encyclopedia, in that - as it told me - it was linked directly, through electronic catalogs, to templates of every book on earth. As a rule, a bookstore had only single "copies" of books, and when someone needed a particular book, the contents of the work was recorded in a crystal. The originals - Crystomatrices - were not to be seen; they were kept behind pale blue enamel the steel plates. So a book was printed, as it were, every time someone needed it. The question of printings, of their quantity, of their running out, had ceased to exist. Actually, a great achievement, and yet I regretted the passing of books."
  • space odyssey tablet1962: The Robot Who Wanted To Know, Harry Harrison; A Filer is an amazingly intelligent robot and there aren't many being manufactured. You'll find them only in the greatest libraries, dealing with only the largest and most complex collections. To call them simply librarians is to demean all librarians and to call their work simple. Of course very little intelligence is needed to shelve books or stamp cards, but this sort of work has long been handled by robots that are little more than wheeled IBM machines. The cataloging of human information has always been an incredibly complex task. The Filer robots were the ones who finally inherited the job. It rested easier on their metallic shoulders, than it ever had on the rounded ones of human librarians.
  • 1968: Looking at sci-fi tech as prior art: 2001: A Space Odyssey tablet computing; 8/29/2011
  • video 4/2/2012
  • NLS (oN-Line System) (links, mouse, windows at SRI)
  • just booksFRESS (File Retrieval and Editing SyStem) hypertext manuals at Brown Univ.
  • Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs. iPad 2 vs. Clarke's Newspad 5/13/2011
  • 1969: ARPAnet; Internet: History: 1960s

project gutenberg





E-books: General Trends

E-books: General Trends webadmin Thu, 03/22/2012 - 09:54

borders and internet

E-books: Tablets and eReaders

E-books: Tablets and eReaders webadmin Tue, 10/18/2011 - 10:41

which readerThe following sections discuss devices, describe features, provide initial comparisons, and review a few "major" eReaders and tablets from companies with associated eBookstores; "?" marks models that may be discontinued or not yet announced.

  • eBook-only device
  • black&white "eInk" display (diag. size); light*; buttons/keyboard; WiFi,3G?
  • battery life: days, weeks; weight: ~8 oz.; ~$70-
  • 5": Kobo Mini
  • 6": Kindle (Keyboard; Paperwhite*); Kobo (Touch; Glo*); Nook SimpleTouch (Glowlight*)
  • sticky note PCeBooks (via eReader apps) and other apps (including 'enhanced' eBooks)
  • color LCD display (diag. size); touch interface; WiFi,3G/4G? web/email access, apps, games, ...
  • battery life: hours; ~$150-500
  • 7": Kindle Fire; Kobo Arc; Nook HD; iPad Mini (7.9")
  • 9": Kindle Fire HD (8.9"); Nook HD Plus (9.5"); iPad2, iPad w/ Retina Display (9.7")
Other Devices
  • phone featurescan be used to read E-books -- to be discussed briefly later
  • smartphone, MP3 players: small (or no) screen?
  • desktop, laptop computers: portability?
  • non-major/non-publisher eReaders, general tablets: support?
General Discussion

E-books: Features

E-books: Features webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:55

you vs. technologySome features and assumptions to consider when deciding among tablets and eReaders:

you, the reader
readers' needs are different -- "one size does not fit all; your mileage may vary..."
evaluate hands-on if possible
Checkbox Syndrome: Why We Spend Money on Things We Don?t Need (and How to Avoid It) 5/15/2012
paper featuresthe eReader or tablet
more than the sum of its specifications and reviews
part of a "reading system", including you, books, stores, environment, ...
there are always design (and environmental) tradeoffs: no 'perfect' information system/device: desktop, laptop, tablet, eReader, smartphone, media player, wristwatch, ... even paper (including eyeglasses, lamp, shelves, search, ...)
book vs. batterybattery life
hours (tablet); days - weeks (eReader)
iPad family aces battery tests while Android tablets lag 12/7/2012
weight, portability, travel
eReaders are lighter than tablets
FCC urges FAA: Let passengers keep gadgets during takeoff 12/7/2012
Do Our Gadgets Really Threaten Planes? The ban rests on anecdotes, not on hard evidence?because there isn't any; 9/7/2012
The FAA is studying expanding device usage on flights but don?t worry, voice calls are off limits; 8/27/2012
airplane turn off ebooks booksWearable Gadgets Upset F.A.A. Curbs on Devices 6/17/2012
The Mystery of the Flying Laptop (TSA screens laptops but not netbooks, tablets, e-readers, phones, ...); 4/6/2012
Q. When an e-reader is loaded with thousands of books, does it gain any weight? (A. yes, on the order of an atogram, or 10-18 g.); 10/25/2011
download apps before breakfasteReader: books only vs. tablet: enhanced books, apps, media
storage capacity for books, documents -- and apps, video, audio?
Finding Your Book Interrupted ... By the Tablet You Read It On (distractions: e-mail, Facebook, videos, ...); 3/5/2012
Reading Books on a Tablet Is Dumb (single device vs. distraction); 3/5/2012
can't tell screen by coverdisplay
display area: phone (4-5"); eReader (5-6"); tablets (7-10")
contrast, brightness (indoor vs. outdoor use); optional light; fonts
resolution (pixels; ppi:pixels per in.)
iPad2: 1024x768 @ 132 ppi
Kindle Fire: 1024x600 @169 ppi
Kindle Fire HD: 1920x1200 @ 254 ppi
'new' iPad: 2048x1536 @ 264 ppi ('Retina display')
eink vs. lcdblack&white (eInk) vs. color (LCD)
Light Reading: How the Kindle Paperwhite Works 12/26/2012
The New Old Age: The Gift of Reading back-lit screens and adjustable font sizes may lead to faster reading by older adults; 12/12/2012
E-readers grapple with a future on the shelf e-reader (eInk) has become a transitional technology; 10/28/2012
LCD vs. E Ink: Which is better for e-reading? 5/31/2011
How Electronic Ink Works
cat prefers mousenavigation
keyboard and/or buttons vs. touch (and gestures)
page turning, scrolling, Table of Contents (TOC), library, store
ease of search, definitions, annotation, bookmarks
Apple Granted Patent for Their Page Turn Animation 11/15/2012
product announcementsnetworking
desktop(USB), WiFi, 3G-4G (cellular); bookstore-only or web?
online stores: book -- and app -- availability; samples; lending
file formats: open (ePub) or proprietary; Mobi; PDF; other?
how many apps available? from vendor only? security, e.g., screened for malware?
Android's Tablet Troubles 10/14/2012
How Compatible Are Rival E-Readers? 5/10/2012
book sampleDigital ecosystems: an in-depth comparison Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Sony: movies&music, reading, gaming; mobile, desktop, shopping, social, integration; 4/18/2012
Informal e-reader library comparison (book and periodical availability: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad); 10/28/2011
content: quality, adware (e.g., E-book 'missing content'? Amazon must do better); 9/30/2011
reliability, support; software upgrades
it's generally a good idea to wait a little while after a new model is first available to learn about any hardware omissions or issues, or software problems that can (or can't) be patched
OS and app upgrades may be non-existent / infrequent, esp. for generic devices
Android Orphans: Visualizing a Sad History of Support 10/26/2011
additional unsupported features may be accessed by "hacking", "jailbreaking" or "rooting" your iOS or Android device
however, this requires technical skills, increases vulnerability to malware, and may void your warranty -- not recommended, and not covered here
error 404DRM (digital rights management, i.e., copy protection)
usually specific to publisher, author and/or book: text-to-speech?
loan? print? email? copy/paste?
users "DRMed" if E-books do (incompatible across platforms);
authors "DRMed" if E-books don't (more difficult to create revenue)
Read E-Books On Multiple Devices 3/8/2012
iBook?s DRM Defenses Are Now Only for Show (Requiem); 2/25/2012
Our relationship with e-books: It?s too complicated (Balkanization, ebook hell; sharing notes/passages: OpenMargin, Readmill, Findings; sharing books, unavail features, DRM); 11/1/2011
reading audio transcript in bedText To Speech (TTS)
Text to speech on the iPad Tutorial (with iBooks, etc.); 4/8/2010
Random House shuts down Kindle text-to-speech for their titles 5/15/2009
Disability groups demand full return of Kindle's text-to-speech 3/20/2009
Kindle Read-to-Me
Kobo, Nook: TTS not currently supported?
coloring bookmedia: pictures, animation, video, audio (music, narration), esp. children's books
So Now What Will iPad Rivals Say in Their Commercials? (Adobe drops support for mobile Flash); 11/9/2011
Booktrack adds sound effects and music soundtracks to eBooks 9/7/2011
Vook digital book with video, ...
smells like the timesaccessories, other hardware features
speed, camera, GPS, storage cards, ...
Is the iPad making men effeminate? ...sales of manbags are soaring, because men need somewhere to put their iPads. At the same time, women's bags are getting smaller?; 10/14/2012
Furniture Meets the Digital Age (adapting to E-readers and tablets; 3/29/2012)
Dressing Up an E-Reader for Style and Comfort (lights; screen management; audio enhancement; stands); 2/16/2012
Tablets: What Amazon and Apple know that all the CES tablet peddlers are still missing (services rather than features); 1/10/2012
why to buy tablettotal cost
device, books, advertising 'tax', subscription/carrier lock-in, accessories, ...
save money on older models / competitors' products discounted when new models are introduced
save money on refurbished models (w/ original warranty)
Kindle Fire HD: Amazon's anti-Apple profit engine Bezos: "We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices"; 9/6/2012
Why Not Carry Different E-Book Readers? 9/5/2012
"lifetime value" 10/26/2011; (razor and blades business model)

E-books: Formats

E-books: Formats webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:15




moses tablets




pdf converter


  • Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • public format (but controlled by Adobe)
  • source issues: reflow text, extract images
  • destination issues: fixed layout & page-size on smaller screens

moses: no audio or ebook format

Other Formats

  • "app" (book embedded): flexibility vs. "standard" navigation (possibly different from eReader apps); less portable across models/devices/versions: developer/author may need to rewrite/retest
  • Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx, .rtf): public format (but controlled by Microsoft); source: for ePub conversion; destination issues: file, user interface (& maybe font) incompatibilities across Word versions/installations; app large, complex & expensive, though free alternatives are available (Open Office, LibreOffice, Google Docs, ...); user ability to modify the "book" could be disadvantage
  • Wolfram CDF: Wolfram launches its own interactive document format 7/21/2011

E-books: Comparisons

E-books: Comparisons webadmin Fri, 03/16/2012 - 12:56

questions nook kindleThis and the following pages present an evolving snapshot of devices, features, prices and companies -- be sure to check dates of reviews and comparisons. This is not a complete survey: there are many similar lesser-known eReaders and tablets (in addition to desktop and smartphones) that we will not discuss. Please let me know about any new products, rumors, or obsolete web links.

E-books: Kindle

E-books: Kindle webadmin Sat, 10/22/2011 - 14:32

kindle table


kindle fire 2

Reviews and Articles

E-books: iPad

E-books: iPad webadmin Sat, 10/22/2011 - 14:31



iPad carbon paper

Reviews and Articles

iPad tablet moses

E-book Apps


News Apps

Slideshows: Introduction

The following 3 slideshows illustrate selected apps on the iPad. Most screenshots are in portrait orientation, though most books/apps can be rotated to landscape. An iPad eReader app (e.g., Kindle) will appear and behave somewhat differently from its respectively named eReader device, e.g., access to an E-bookstore will occur via web browser and not directly "in app" (to avoid Apple's fees and policies). There are many apps included below for demonstration purposes; minimize the number of eReader apps you actually need and use in practice -- to minimize learning about different navigation controls, and remembering which app (and library) to access in order to find and read a book (there is no unified library across apps)!

  • apps (eReaders: Apple): iBooks (books, .pdf), Newsstand
  • apps (eReaders: 3rd parties): Goodreader (.pdf), Google, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Overdrive
  • apps (enhanced 'books'): Alice, Crosswords, Epicurious, Leafsnap, Lonely Planet, Marvel, Seafood Watch, Shakespeare, Topomaps, Toy Story, SF Travel, Unesco, WebMD

E-books: iPad: iBooks and Newsstand apps

E-books: iPad: iBooks and Newsstand apps webadmin Thu, 10/27/2011 - 03:37
  1. iPad Home screen; folders of apps
  2. Books folder: eReader and custom apps; open iBooks
  3. iBooks bookshelf view; view icons at upper right; book samples
  4. Collections: Books, PDFs or your own folders
  5. iBooks list view; open Winnie-the-Pooh
  6. First page
  7. Turn a page slowly; note animation and transparency
  8. Upper right controls: display, search, bookmark; Display: brightness; font size, family, theme
  9. After making font larger; Font Theme
  10. Font Family
  11. Side-by-side pages (landscape view by rotating iPad)
  12. Search book; note: TOC icon at upper left
  13. Table of Contents; tap Resume reading
  14. Tap on word; context commands: Dictionary, Highlight, Search
  15. Dictionary definition
  16. Turn on highlighting; optional: add a Note
  17. Note (saved with book)
  18. TOC also lists Bookmarks and Notes; Notes: Email or Print; (Buy button)
  19. Notes: Email
  20. Search results for word
  21. bottom: navigation ('scroll') bar, section headings, page numbers (# of 'pages' depends on font size, screen orientation)
  22. iPad Settings: Accessibility: Voiceover
  23. Voiceover settings: any text on screen, and image descriptions!
  24. Click Buy button within (sample) book
  25. full iBookstore, via Store button (from Library): Featured ebooks
  26. NYT Best Sellers
  27. Top Charts (paid, free)
  28. Authors
  29. Categories
  30. iBook: Yellow Submarine
  31. TOC
  32. embedded audio
  33. embedded movies
  34. iBook: Life on Earth; textbook by E.O. Wilson; cover w/ movie
  35. Chapter 1
  36. Interactive diagrams/movies
  37. List of PDF documents
  38. First PDF page
  39. PDF Table of Contents
  40. Zoom in/out on a page via open/close gestures
  41. Actions: Email or Print a PDF
  42. Newsstand rack
  43. Newsstand store
  44. NYT: tap in Newsstand folder
  45. NYT: TOC
  46. Wired magazine
  47. cover
  48. TOC
  49. The Week: list of issues
  50. TOC and main articles

E-books: iPad: eReader apps

E-books: iPad: eReader apps webadmin Thu, 10/27/2011 - 03:37

iPad Books folder: various eReader apps

  1. list of PDFs (when iBooks isn't enough...)
  2. PDF page and many commmands
Google Books
  1. Library view
  2. upper right: typical commands; bottom: nav bar
  3. Table of Contents
  4. font options
  5. book info
  6. ebookstore (via Google web site)
  1. books in library
  2. library as list
  3. opening a book
  4. navigation options
  5. font options
  6. commands for a highlighted word
  7. online bookstore (via Amazon web site)
  1. books in library
  2. library as list
  3. first page of a book
  4. Table of Contents
  5. font options
  6. book overview
  7. app settings
  8. notification messages
  9. bookmark settings
  10. online bookstore (via KoboBooks web site)
  1. Nook
  2. books in library
  3. Table of Contents
  4. font options
  5. commands for a highlighted word: Highlight, Notes, Look Up
  6. online bookstore (via Barnes & Noble web site)
Bluefire Reader
  1. library
  2. page with commands
  3. TOC
  4. settings
  5. formatting
  1. library contents; check out eBooks from public libraries
  2. add a library
  3. select Ashland
  4. login to Library2Go web site with Jackson County library card
  5. eBook categories
  6. Science Fiction & Fantasy
  7. 3 books (1 ePub, 1 Kindle, 1 Audio) added to cart
  8. checkout
  9. ready to download
  10. download Kindle version (via Amazon web site)
  11. ePub and audio appear in Library
  12. ePub Table of Contents
  13. ePub page and controls
  14. Audio Table of Contents (after downloading only 1st section)
  15. Audio playing
  16. Kindle library after sync (borrowed book at upper left)
  17. book page

E-books: iPad: other book apps

E-books: iPad: other book apps webadmin Thu, 10/27/2011 - 03:36
Alice (Lite)
  1. cover
  2. Table of Contents
  3. watch swings, using iPad motion sensor
  1. change font, download puzzles, check answers
  1. featured recipes
  2. Vegetarian Main courses
  3. recipe
  4. ingredient list
  1. interactive tree guide: Blue Spruce cone
Lonely Planet
  1. 1000 Ultimate Experiences
  2. stack of 1000 info cards
  3. category: Top Mountains to Climb without a Porter
  4. category: Top 10 Off-the-Beaten-Track National Parks
  5. parks
  6. Crater Lake
  7. Crater Lake info
Marvel Comics
  1. Marvel
  2. list of comics
  3. cover
  4. page
Seafood Watch
  1. by Monterey Bay Aquarium (iPhone app)
  2. best choices
  1. library contents
  2. Henry IV Part 2, with Table of Contents
  1. from Scholastic; library
  2. Stop That Hamster: cover
  3. Stop That Hamster: TOC
  4. Stop That Hamster: illustration and commands
Topo Maps
  1. Mt. McLoughlin; + Pacific Crest Trail waypoints
Toy Story Read-Along
  1. cover
  2. page with read-along narration
  3. menu
  4. fingerpaint activity
Triposo: San Francisco Travel Guide
  1. all categories
  2. sightseeing, and filtered map
Unesco World Heritage
  1. TOC
  2. Chile
  3. Valparaiso
  1. main page
  2. First Aid topics
  3. treatment for burns

E-books: Nook

E-books: Nook webadmin Sat, 10/22/2011 - 14:35



Reviews and Articles

E-books: Google Books

E-books: Google Books webadmin Sun, 10/23/2011 - 14:07

google nexus 7


Reviews and Articles

E-books: Kobo

E-books: Kobo webadmin Sun, 10/23/2011 - 10:46



Reviews and Articles

E-books: OverDrive

E-books: OverDrive webadmin Fri, 10/28/2011 - 11:35




  • Jackson County Library2GoJackson County Library: Download Books, Audiobooks & Videos (via Overdrive & Library2Go); [from Mail Tribune] "Learn how to use libraries' multimedia reader services. Jackson County Library Services will host introductory presentations on Library2Go, Jackson County Library's downloadable e-book, audiobook and video service.... Attendees will learn how their e-reader or audio device works with library software, and how to use it to access thousands of books anytime. There will be an introductory session to give an overview of Library2Go, as well as time for questions and one-on-one assistance. For information, call 541-774-8679."
  • library 2 goLibrary2Go: Oregon Digital Library Consortium

no late fees

Reviews and Articles

E-books: Other Devices

E-books: Other Devices webadmin Sat, 10/22/2011 - 14:34

meet the narrator


no computer state of grace

Desktop, Laptop: General


Desktop, Laptop: Applications (alphabetically)

newt's cape on newton

eReaders, Tablets, Other

E-books: Future

E-books: Future webadmin Tue, 10/18/2011 - 11:13

future of book


e-ink and ants


E-books: Publishing Business

E-books: Publishing Business webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:17

money making trash books not so great

E-books: Pricing: General

E-books: Pricing: General webadmin Fri, 09/21/2012 - 13:13

used etextbooks

E-books: Price Fixing, Monopoly

E-books: Price Fixing, Monopoly webadmin Fri, 09/21/2012 - 13:14

publishers apple save us

E-books: Censorship, Inequality

E-books: Censorship, Inequality webadmin Fri, 09/21/2012 - 13:18


E-books: Copyright, DRM (Digital Rights Management), Piracy

E-books: Copyright, DRM (Digital Rights Management), Piracy webadmin Fri, 09/21/2012 - 13:16

parchment copyright

E-books: Authors

E-books: Authors webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:51

signing screen with ink


  • "E-books are here and here to stay. Later than a lot of people, I for the first time downloaded e-books and it?s miraculous for travel and for children in particular. I feel great about taking Harry into this new medium." ~J. K. Rowling, 2011
  • writing: different genres/content/length, e.g., republished blogs; essays, "spam" (duplicate); expectations (media), reader interaction
  • (self-) publishing: faster process; role of publishers, agents, editors
  • marketing plan oprahselling: lower cost; royalties; excerpts vs. browsing; copyright; piracy
  • see earlier Features caveats
  • amount of your effort; easier than a few years ago
  • DIY or use an aggregator
  • amount of your $ to invest
  • covers book design made easywhich source editor, e.g., Word, Scrivener, Pages, etc.: ease of editing, conversion, final layout control
  • cost for software, conversion, other services (editing,...)
  • price of your eBook, discounts, Amazon Select, give-aways?
  • intellectual property rights
  • royalties
  • self-publish cloud not sure which onequality, control of layout, design
  • file formats and eReaders
  • POD (print on demand) instead of paper inventory?
  • which eBookstore(s)
  • buy an ISBN?
  • marketing, publicity: DIY, word-of-mouth, blogs, book clubs, ...
  • book as "product": monitor sales, revise title/cover?
  • ...
  • vellamunn.com (she spoke to class on 11/5/2012)
  • novelists, inc.; see: Guide to the New World of Publishing, The Future of Publishing

E-books: Writing

E-books: Writing webadmin Sat, 09/22/2012 - 12:24

brain to book

E-books: Self-Publishing

E-books: Self-Publishing webadmin Sat, 09/22/2012 - 12:23

self publish recluse no blog

E-books: Royalties, Selling

E-books: Royalties, Selling webadmin Sat, 09/22/2012 - 12:22


E-books: Applications and Services

E-books: Applications and Services webadmin Wed, 03/28/2012 - 13:18

paper to computer
Final E-book quality can depend on:

Below is a draft, incomplete, alphabetical table of selected E-book authoring & conversion applications, and web services.
If you have experience with, or review articles for these or others, let me know.

Name Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
application or publishing site web-based
Win: Windows
Mac: Macintosh
Lnx: Linux
license, royalties, fees web: HTML, blog
.doc: Word
.odt: Open Office
.pdf: Acrobat
.epub: ePub
Mobi: Kindle
A Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
Adobe: see inDesign
Amazon: see Kindle Direct Publishing, KindleGen
Anthologize WordPress free blog ePub, PDF
Apple: see iBooks Author, iTunes, Pages
Atavist ? free, pro ? ePub, Mobi, web
B Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
Barnes & Noble: see PubIt!
BlogBooker web donation WordPress, LiveJournal, Blogger (.xml) .pdf
Blurb Bookify &
? ? .epub
BookBaby web $99+ Word, HTML ePub, Mobi
  • publishing service
  • service provider
Book Studio web free(eval); $ .doc, .html .epub
C Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
Calibre Win,Mac,Lnx free .doc, .html .epub, Mobi
Convert a Book web .pdf,.doc .epub, Mobi
  • publisher?
E Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
eBook Architects
  • conversion, consulting
EpubCheck web free .epub
  • format validator
ePub Bud web free ? ?
ePubConverter web free .doc, .pdf .epub
  • converter
F Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
Fast Pencil web
  • publisher
Folium: see BookStudio
G Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
H Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
HyperInk web ? blog ?
I Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
iBooks Author Mac free ? ".epub"
inDesign Win,Mac $ .epub
iTunes .epub Apple iTunes Store
K Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
KindleConverter web free .doc,.pdf Mobi
  • converter
Kindle Direct Publishing Win,Mac .doc, .pdf, ... Mobi
KindleGen Win,Mac,Lnx free .html,.epub Mobi
  • Amazon: converter
Kobo web
L Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
LibreOffice Win,Mac,Lnx free
  • desktop office suite; see also OpenOffice
  • use Writer2ePub extension to convert to ePub
M Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
Microsoft Office Win,Mac $ .doc
  • desktop office suite; does not create .epub directly --
  • use a converter app (.doc input) or online publisher.
  • you might also consider using a more "author friendly" writing app, e.g., Scrivener
  • -- or a free office suite, e.g., LibreOffice, OpenOffice -- with ePub export
O Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
online Kindle Converter web free epub, pdf, html, docx Mobi
OpenOffice Win,Mac,Lnx free
  • desktop office suite; see also LibreOffice, NeoOffice (Mac-optimized version)
  • use Writer2ePub extension to convert to ePub
P Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
Mac, iPad $$ .epub
Pandamian web free? ? ? beta
PdfMasher Win,Mac,Lnx free? .pdf .epub, Mobi
PubIt web free Word,PDF,HTML .epub*
Publish Green web $399+ Word,.pdf,inDesign .epub, Mobi
  • publisher
R Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
ReadList web free? web site ePub, Mobi
S Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
Scrivener Win,Mac
  • authoring application; workspace for chapters, maps; templates for character sketches
  • review 2/4/2011
Sigil Win,Mac,Lnx free .epub, .html .epub
SmashWords web % Word ePub, Mobi
Storyist Mac,iPad $ .epub
  • desktop application
W Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
Writer2ePub Win,Mac,Linx free .odt .epub
  • extension to convert LibreOffice & OpenOffice documents to ePub
  • discussion
Z Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
ZinePal web free, pro blog, feed, web .pdf, ePub, Mobi
1-9 Platform(s) Costs Source Formats Dest. Formats Features
2EPUB web free .doc,.html,.odt .epub, mobi
  • converter

E-books: Gallery. Creating E-Books

E-books: Gallery. Creating E-Books webadmin Mon, 10/31/2011 - 17:01

Since creating an ePub file is an important step in ePublishing, I explored how to convert two of my existing "eBooks about eBooks" to ePub format as a demonstration. Since both books existed and were already in HTML format, I didn't need an authoring tool such as Word, Pages or Adobe inDesign. Since I had no plans to actually publish the books to stores, I tried the desktop tools: Sigil and Calibre, rather than other ePub export, conversion tools or services -- your needs, skills and budget may be different. The iPad and various desktop eReader apps displayed the resulting ePubs. Three examples:

  • {EB} this E-book course: I entered content in forms using Drupal book module; Drupal server software (a Content Management System (CMS)) generated HTML for pages automatically. Pages were designed with a wide 'slide' presentation style. Although the layout is flexible (e.g., resize browser window), graphics may not fit well on narrow screens. Screenshots were not updated after Sept. 2012 site redesign. Steps I followed (on Mac):
    • browser (e.g., Safari): main E-books course page
    • browser: Printer-friendly version (command at lower right) concatenates all sections; omits page header, footer, menus; slideshows become lists of photos
    • browser: File: Save as HTML (text only)
    • browser: File: Print; Open PDF in Preview (Safari browser includes links)
    • PDF viewer/tool (e.g., Preview): Save as .pdf -- with Reduced File Size for galleries (otherwise, resulting .pdf too large)
    • text editor (e.g., TextWrangler): open HTML file
    • text editor: remove most HEAD tags, e.g., META, BASE
    • text editor: assuming "images" folder contains graphics files, fix IMG attribute SRC="images/..."
    • text editor: replace 4 gallery image sequences with links to gallery pages (otherwise, resulting E-book too large)
    • text editor: Save HTML to same folder containing images/
    • Sigil: open HTML file; Save as ePub (note: Calibre could have been used to create ePub, but I think Sigil is faster and has a cleaner user interface)
    • Calibre: open HTML file; Convert to Mobi; Save
  • {NC} Newt's Cape documentation: I created HTML pages manually (this was in 1990s); each file a chapter, with few, small embedded graphics. Newt's Cape is a web browser for the Newton PDA; Newt's Cape displays web pages (including its own documentation) via the built-in Newton book reader, and could save the book as an application directly on the Newton.
  • {CO} Cocoa Fundamentals: free existing ePub. Opening E-books from iTunes
  • In the descriptions below , a 4-part label, e.g., {NC; ePub; iBooks; iPad} summarizes:
    • 1) the source example (EB, NC, CO)
    • 2) the source format (HTML, ePub, ...)
    • 3) the application (Firefox, iBooks, ...)
    • 4) the device (Mac, iPad).
{EB; HTML; Firefox; Mac}
  1. course as a web 'book'
  2. eBook course in narrower window
  3. ...too narrow(?) layout, scrolling issues
  4. bottom navigation: TOC; and prev/next sections in hierarchy; cmd: Printer-friendly version
  5. printer-friendly version displayed: sections merged, with no TOC (left or bottom), page header or footer
  6. Save As local HTML file
{EB; ePub; Bookle; Mac}
  1. Bookle manual
  2. EB in Bookle
{EB; HTML-to-ePub; Sigil; Mac}
  1. Sigil converted HTML file to ePub; left: files; middle: eBook; right: TOC (derived from headings)
  2. good page layout, images, links
  3. HTML code view below eBook; possible fixes: TOC nesting, slideshows, page footer? (not now)
{HTML-to-ePub; Calibre; Mac}
  1. Calibre can import a single HTML file (I had problems w/ multiple files for NC)
{EB; ePub; Calibre; Mac}
  1. Converted ePub in built-in eReader
{EB; ePub; Firefox; Mac}
  1. ePub in ePubReader addon
{EB; ePub; iBooks; iPad}
  1. ePub on iPad; missing images due to import/export error
{EB; iBA:iBooks Author; iBA; Mac}
  1. iBooks Author textbook templates
  2. cover page
  3. chapter
  4. section
  5. subsection
{NC; HTML; Firefox; Mac}
  1. Newt's Cape documentation
{NC; HTML; Newt's Cape; Newton MessagePad 2000}
  1. docs(About) in NC browser (c.1996) on Newton MP2K
{NC; HTML; Safari; iPad}
  1. docs in iPad's Safari browser
{NC; ePub; Bookle; Mac}
  1. ePub in Bookle
{NC; HTML-to-ePub; Sigil; Mac}
  1. Sigil converted NC HTML files to an ePub-format eBook
{NC; ePub; Firefox; Mac}
  1. ePubReader addon
{NC; ePub; iBooks; iPad}
  1. ePub on iPad
  2. TOC
  3. another eBook page
{CO; ePub; iTunes; Mac}
  1. iTunes Books folder
  2. ctrl-click, Show in Finder; note: no built-in iTunes reader!
{CO; ePub; Finder; Mac}
  1. Finder: within Music/iTunes, author folders for ePub files
  2. ctrl-click, Open with... an ePub-compatible application
{CO; ePub; Adobe Digital Editions; Mac}
  1. Adobe Digital Editions
{CO; ePub; Calibre; Mac}
  1. Calibre
{CO; ePub; Sigil; Mac}
  1. Sigil
{CO; ePub; Firefox; Mac}
  1. ePubReader: Firefox addon

E-books: Bookstores

E-books: Bookstores webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:47

Brick And Mortar Bookshops by Leigh Beadon for techdirt.com

  • physical bookstores must evolve to survive, e.g.,
  • Print On Demand (POD)
  • author and community events
  • personalized attention; emphasize browsing the aisles experience (despite showrooming threat)
  • sell e-readers
  • promotions: print plus e-book
  • "A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking." ~Jerry Seinfeld
  • "I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, 'Where's the self-help section?'
    She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose."
    ~George Carlin

Buildings & Services

E-books: Online Bookstores

E-books: Online Bookstores webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 17:19

coffee table

E-books: Amazon

E-books: Amazon webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 17:21

amazon bookstore

E-books: Apple

E-books: Apple webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 17:23


E-books: Barnes & Noble

E-books: Barnes & Noble webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 17:27

E-books: Libraries

E-books: Libraries webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:48

library early www

Buildings & Services

E-books: Academia & Journals

E-books: Academia & Journals webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 18:17

E-books: Lending

E-books: Lending webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 18:20

Jackson County

E-books: Online Libraries

E-books: Online Libraries webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 18:24


E-books: Library Censorship

E-books: Library Censorship webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 18:27

E-books: Learning, School, Textbooks

E-books: Learning, School, Textbooks webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:19

posture textbooks

E-books: Textbook Pricing, Rental

E-books: Textbook Pricing, Rental webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 18:34

E-books: Textbook Open Source

E-books: Textbook Open Source webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 18:36

E-books: Textbook Apple

E-books: Textbook Apple webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 18:39

E-books: Textbook Examples

E-books: Textbook Examples webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 18:41

E-books: Children

E-books: Children webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:21



holds alphabet


E-books: Reference, Manuals, Cooking, Other

E-books: Reference, Manuals, Cooking, Other webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:24

air force manual


what's encyclopedia

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries

child mastering french cooking


commandments on tablet


dictionary HD


E-books: Fiction, Literature

E-books: Fiction, Literature webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:23

rekindle romance novels

E-books: Book Clubs, Social

E-books: Book Clubs, Social webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:49

E-books: Newspapers, Magazines, Journalism

E-books: Newspapers, Magazines, Journalism webadmin Fri, 09/23/2011 - 14:45

newspaper on tablet

E-books: Subscriptions, Paywalls

E-books: Subscriptions, Paywalls webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 11:52

newspaper paywall

E-books: Tablets, Mobile

E-books: Tablets, Mobile webadmin Thu, 10/25/2012 - 11:54