Category: Ebook production

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.

(If you need your manuscript converted to an epub before distribution, PublishDrive can do it for you: simply save it as a .docx file, and drag & drop it to the “Content file” field.)

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.

One quick note before we begin: If you need your manuscript converted to an epub, PublishDrive can do it for you! Simply save your manuscript as a DOCX file and then head to our free ebook converter. (We also offer free ebook conversion at the book upload process within the platform).

Contents

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

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

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07
Jul

Do Not Get Caught Un-Quote

Do you remember the eighth commandment? Do not steal. Everybody knows that, and yet: sometimes we get caught off-guard, and even with the best intentions, we end up hearing the worst word a writer could ever hear: plagiarism.

Citing your resources is incredibly easy, and in this article we are going to help you out. It is extremely important to mention the sources you were using when doing your research or who inspired you, especially if you are writing nonfiction (you don’t want to be sued for plagiarism, do you?). The article is roughly based on my favorite publication ever, Chicago Manual of Style , and the extremely useful The Punctuation Guide . Please note that the traditions differ by country (US English vs UK English) and all big publishers have their taste in referencing. When in doubt, please don’t question your editor.

Mentioning others’ works

Underline, italics or quotation marks

When mentioning someone’s work in your text, you should ask the following question: is this the title of a standalone work? If the answer is yes, use italics: for movies, series, books, websites.

correct: I was reading The Jungle Book, when my brother came in.

incorrect: I was reading ‘The Jungle Book’, when my brother came in.
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22
Jun

A Guide on Book Title Punctuation

For the trained eyes, there is nothing more annoying than looking at a book which is just one letter away from perfect. It is possible that you have made a capital mistake when not checking the rules of capitalization before publishing. It can be a tricky business, but nothing you cannot master by following a set of simple rules. In this article, we are writing about right capitalization and punctuation of titles (of your own books) on the cover and on the title page, with special regard to consistency.

Capitalization of your book title

This is probably common knowledge, but main titles in English are capitalized. (If you are not writing in English, follow the typesetting rules of your own language: anglicisms are generally frown upon.) Unfortunately for us, the rules of capitalization, commonly known as Title Case couldn’t be more complicated.

Capitalize Don’t capitalize
 

The first and the last word of the sentence

The word after a colon

All meaningful words (verbs, nouns etc)

Subordinating conjunctions (as, because etc.)

 

Articles (a, an, the)

Coordinating conjunctions (but, and, or, if, nor etc.)

Prepositions under 5 letters (at, to, from, etc.)

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23
May

How to Publish a Book on iBooks

If you’re an author, you probably want to leverage multiple channels to increase your visibility and boost your ebook sales. You can definitely make some money by publishing your book with iBooks. In the following, you’ll learn about some Apple tools to make your life easier when publishing a book on iBooks.

iBooks Author

publishing with iBooks author app

iBooks Author is Apple’s book-creation app that helps you develop Multi-Touch books with interactive elements such as 3D video, embedded web widgets, interactive diagrams even Keynote presentations. These multimedia elements can be useful for non-fiction books like cookbooks, history guides, picture books, etc. iBooks files are a special Apple-only version of the epub standard, they can only be created using the app, and they can only be read by the iBooks app. The software supports EPUB and PDF formats. If you have used Apple’s Pages and Keynote before, you’ll be familiar with how iBooks Author works.

How does it work?

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13
Apr

Complete Guide to Book Cover Sizes – Why Do They Matter?

In the first part of the series, we looked at some cover design services and tutorials to help you design the best cover possible and showed you how to 3D it. In the second part, we talked about typography and layout design. Today we are covering some less creative but just as important elements of cover design: book cover size in terms of dimension, file size, format and colour modes.

If converting a picture file gives you the heebie-jeebies, you are at the right place: let us guide you through this maze of guidelines and rules. We also have some good news: when you are done with this, you are good to go! Your book will attract readers and be accepted to the stores.

If you get it right on the first try, you save yourself all the pain and suffering that comes with being rejected from the stores and having to format and resize and save and upload all over again.

How large should my cover be? (Guide for dimensions)

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