Category: Ebook production

12
Dec

Ebook Templates – A Waste of Money?

Many people argue that ebooks don’t have to be beautiful: the ebook readers or apps will ‘strip’ their formatting anyway, letting the user set their preferred font and line space. But, on the other hand: why shouldn’t ebooks be beautiful? A book that is not only written well but also visually appealing to the reader has a better chance of enchanting customers and get them to come back. We are not even thinking about bad formatting.

There are many steps between a book that provides bad user experience (has, for example, forced line breaks, or is unreadable) and a book that is beautiful. Creating beautiful ebooks, however, can be easier if you have an ebook template. It can also come handy when you are a beginner in ebook formatting and would like to check your book against a ‘professional’ example. When to use an ebook template? What are the common formats? Is using a template for everyone? Read on.

Too cool for school? Download our valid epub sample made using Sigil and use it as a template.

This article lists some ebook templates you should never use, and a few that formatting beginners can use in order to produce valid epubs. To use the templates we provide below we recommend that you download and install Sigil, the free to use professional ebook editor. Many freely available or low cost ebook templates will require to use Adobe InDesign.

What is an ebook template?

Ebook templates are ebook layouts filled with ‘dummy’ text (like lorem ipsum) and stock photos or free to use photos. To use an ebook template, just download it, open it, click ‘Save as’ and name it as your book. Then change the text and the images: delete the old text and add your own. Most cases, you can simply copy and paste your book from Word chapter by chapter.

Remember to change the metadata as well: check the language code, date of publication, contributors and the title. Once you have changed everything, don’t forget to update the table of contents.
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04
Dec

Reedsy Book Editor: Write, edit, and convert a beautiful book for free

Following the success of our last article on ebook editors, we decided to create an Ebook formatting 101 with the most popular converters. If you are aiming for a valid epub, we usually direct people towards the professional Sigil. Although it is not difficult to use, many people feel disheartened when they are asked to edit some html or change something in the css. I don’t blame them. Creating beautiful epubs is a serious profession, especially if you are trying to convert picture-heavy or interactive books. Today, however, there are multiple great, accessible and easy-to-use options at the table.

You don’t need to learn how to code (or how to set the margin, for that matter), as Reedsy Book Editor can do this for you. The online author-marketplace (pairing writers and publishing professionals) has a free and easy to use ebook editor. It exports into a valid epub or print-ready pdf: there is nothing more I can dream of.

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14
Nov

The Self-Publishing Journey: How to Self-Publish an Ebook

It takes a village to raise a child. Similarly: writing a novel is never the work of one person only. We all know how every book ever published by traditional publishing houses has months of work behind it by editors of different responsibilities, designers, and illustrators. Additionally, publishers often have a dedicated team of marketers working on photo shoots and Facebook campaigns. But what are the options self-publishers face when deciding to publish a book? Do you have to do everything by yourself, or are there dedicated ebook publishing services helping you along the way? And the most important question of all: You wrote a book. What now? Read our article to learn the steps of the self-publishing journey. What are the necessary and recommended steps? How to make the most out of your publishing experience?

With more and more authors every day deciding to self-publish, a guide like this has become increasingly necessary. Please note that we’re only outlining the steps; for details, please check the recommended reading after each main chapter. If you are at the beginning of your self-publishing journey, come and join our Facebook group to exchange ideas and experiences.

If you are not yet sure whether self-publishing is the right fit for you or don’t know the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing, check this article.

(Article was updated on July 16, 2018.)
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10
Nov

Import your books straight from Pronoun

This was not an easy week for indie publishers and self-publishers: Pronoun has announced to shut down, effective immediately.

We have built an importer to help migrating your books from Pronoun.

We are sorry to see an innovative competitor go: competition drives the industry to provide better service and keep improving. However, we understand that authors are frustrated and worried. These are bad news, especially before Christmas: losing your reviews and rankings sounds awful just before the most important sales period. There is a lot of confusion: should you remove your books from sale already? Do you need a copyright statement to confirm your rights?

pronoun import

PublishDrive is here to make migrating your books easier. Our development team was busy this week working on an import tool for former Pronoun authors. You upload your ZIP file and we do the switch, keeping your reviews.

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27
Oct

Create an Ebook Cover with Canva or Adobe Spark: Which is Better?

Who would have thought that the design giant Adobe will create their own Canva? It is easy to see why the simple-to-use and user friendly ebook cover design tool Canva is so successful, and it is actually not that big a surprise that Adobe – usually known for endless options, hidden settings and taking years to master – decided to join the flow introducing Adobe Spark.

Read on to learn how to design a beautiful ebook cover with this easy to use tool on your computer, tablet, or straight from your mobile, and compare Adobe Spark to Canva.

If you are a newbie to cover design, we recommend that you also check out our cover design masterpost to help you avoid common mistakes.

(Article was updated on May 22, 2018.)

Adobe Spark: what is it?

Adobe Spark is a powerful Creative Cloud tool priced from free to £10 a month – it is already obvious from the pricing that this one tool is not aimed at professional designers but students, marketers, bloggers and small businesses (including writers and publishers) for their smaller scale design needs.

The suite contains of Page for web stories, Video for graphic videos and Post for any kind of graphic material you would normally use PhotoShop for.

Platform: iOS (Spark app), cloud using any browser

Uploading your own images: yes

Stock images: access to Adobe Stock and free images (around 90 million pictures)

Pricing: free (with Adobe logo), 10 GBP per month

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20
Sep

How to Convert Your Book to Get Accepted by Shops – Sigil for Dummies

Following the success of our last article on ebook editors, we decided to create an Ebook formatting 101 with the three most popular converters: Sigil, Calibre and Vellum. The series starts with Sigil, that being the one true professionals use and the one our team recommends for instant success – and the one we receive the most questions about. If you always wanted to try it but never dared, stay with me: I’m just as a beginner as you are.

Sigil: The first steps

While I consider myself highly computer literate, I was always reluctant to use it: why should I switch to a code based editor to create ebooks when Calibre can do it for me with one click?

But then our in-house ebook editing superstar, Csilla convinced me to give it a go. She argued that I won’t only get clean code (about which I as a reader and writer couldn’t care less) but my books will display more consistently across devices and apps. I documented my journey, so you can follow it step by step. You can download the file I made by clicking here and use it as a template. Sigil can obviously do much more than this: I just wanted to help you get started on your journey and give a guide for using it. I’ll try to use the html editor as little as possible – it really gives me the heebie-jeebies anyway.

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13
Sep

How to Publish Internationally – Author’s Tips

Nobody knows better how self-publishing works than our self-published authors. In our series, Self-Publishing Success Stories, we ask our authors about topics we believe they know best. In the first post, we talked about how to self-publish a cookbook with Kendall Harrison. Today, internationally acclaimed author Jean Joachim is sharing her tips and tricks with us about publishing internationally: she conquered the Italian and Spanish market. Do you agree with her about how to publish internationally? Did you have similar or different experiences? Share with us in the comments.

How did you decide to go on the Italian and Spanish market? Did you know in advance that you are going to be successful there?

One never knows in advance if he/she is going to be successful. Every new venture, big or small, is a risk. If the reward is big enough, then the risk becomes worth it.

Through the urgings of a Facebook friend, I had become curious about getting my books translated, but didn’t know where to begin. Italian translation fell into my lap. My former publisher, still a dear friend, had commissioned an Italian translation of one of her books. The translator requested other authors to work with and my friend recommended me. That’s how it began. The translator looked over my work and came to me with a request to translate one of my books.

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04
Sep

What’s an ebook? Beginner’s Guide to Ebook Reading, Creation and Distribution

It is the content that matters, not the format – while reading on e-ink readers, tablets and smartphones is an important part of millions’ lives, there are still other millions who wouldn’t ever consider downloading a book. Despite their increasing popularity, there are still several misconceptions about ebooks worldwide. This article aims to provide a beginner’s guide to those who still believe that the smell of ink and paper is an essential accessory of reading. What’s an ebook? Read on to learn more about epub.

The article has been updated on January 3, 2018 with changes.

Book and ebook reader

1. What’s an ebook?

This should be straightforward to answer, you would think. At first glance, we could say that an ebook is a book read on an electronic device (computer screen, tablet, smartphone or e-reader). But this description is somewhat vague and wide, including many things that are not an ebook. Therefore it is better to approach this question from the perspective of what is a difference between an epub, a word document and a PDF file.

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23
Aug

Interactive Ebooks: What Are They and How to Make Them

The widespread of interactive ebooks coincided with me getting into publishing studies: I couldn’t be any happier to live in this wonderful age. I still remember my disbelief in 2009, when I first heard about hypertext and interconnected books. My professor seemed to be telling an incredible tale about a future where all quotes, references, and mentions will be easily searchable in all works of literature. Also: where we can create our own story within the book, breaking up the linear order of reading.

Almost a decade later, we have all we could only dream of and so many things we could have never imagined. But are we using it as we should? Do interactive ebooks and enhanced ebooks get all the awe and respect they deserve? And most importantly: are they the future? In the following, I am debunking five misconceptions about interactive books and show everyone how amazing they are. (We also mention fixed-layout ebooks briefly.)

(Article was updated on June 13, 2018, with substantial changes.)

1. Interactive books are a new invention

Even if we don’t count coloring books, pop-ups and all kinds of hands-on books for kids, traditional printed books that allow the readers to interact or change the story some way or another have been around for a while now. Do any of you remember the gamebooks that came with dice and you had to decide where to go next, whom to fight and whom to avoid?
It was just a question of time that traditional linear storytelling gets combined with the reader’s desire to get involved and to get an enhanced story, that “steps off” the pages.

Although the first Kindles coming to the market didn’t look anything like the future (being heavy, black and very-very basic), interactive books and interactive ebooks conquered the market nevertheless. When interactive ebooks first emerged, several companies tried to stick the label “interactive” onto anything they published. Let’s be clear here: hyperlinks, clickable endnotes and linking outside resources should be basic features of every ebook. Enhanced ebooks and interactive ebooks should include some extras that add to the reading experience.
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18
Aug

The Top 10 Most Useful Ebook Writing Software

The age of handwriting your ebook and typing it up later is long gone. While I am a lover of beautiful stationery, ebook writing software can be much more useful.

In our selection, we review the best editing, writing, dictation, and converting tools currently at the market. Some of them practically take you from the first idea to the virtual bookshelf, and others import your manuscript and transform it into a beautiful ebook. Of course, everyone knows Blurb, and we write a lot about Sigil, that being the favorite editor of our technical team, but people have different needs and there are many reasons why you would want to look for an alternative to these apps. What is more important to you: ease of use or number of options? Do you need somewhere to write and edit the text, or just import it from a doc file? Did we leave out your favorite? Drop us a comment, and we’ll do our best to write about it.

Contents

1Dictation tools
2Ebook writing software
10 best ebook writing software

(The article was updated on July 16, 2018.) Continue Reading…

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