Tag Archives: Kindle

4 Ways to Create an Ebook

This is the second in my series of blog posts about ebook creation. It was originally posted on Joel Friedlander's wonder resource site, TheBookDesigner.com.

Last time I talked about just what an ebook is — a website in a box. Ebooks come in a number of flavors, but for the purposes of this discussion I’m going to stick with the most common and most malleable format of ebook, the ePub file that is the basis of all of the major retailers’ ebook offerings.

There are four basic ways to create an ebook (that is, an ePub file):

  1. From scratch
  2. Saving from a word-processing or page-layout application into ePub format
  3. Using a conversion app or online service
  4. Hiring a designer

The trade-off among these methods involve quality, time, and price. As the old saying goes, you can generally pick two. In order to get all three, you’re going to need to become an ebook maven yourself, which will take a fair amount of time, but which will allow you to control all of the variables yourself. Let’s look at the options, and you can see whether that’s the road you want to take. Continue reading 4 Ways to Create an Ebook

What IS an Ebook?

bigstock-Woman-Holding-Traditional-Book-91915880Recently, I was honored to have been invited to post on Joel Friedlander's The Book Designer on the subject of ebooks -- a subject I love talking about, having been designing ebooks since 2010. (In this industry that makes me practically an old-timer.) This is the first of a monthly series of posts on the subject. It was originally released here.


There are lots of very complex questions when it comes to ebooks:

  • text and image formatting,
  • different file formats,
  • various workflows for creating ebooks,
  • and much more.

Defining “eBook”

For this post, before we get into the more esoteric issues of ebook design and publishing, I'd like to start by defining the subject: just what is an ebook?

This may sound like a very simple question to answer, but it isn't as straightforward as you might think, and being able to answer it correctly will make many of the thornier issues of creating ebooks just a bit easier.

Continue reading What IS an Ebook?

Kindle for PC (Win8) — Bug or Feature

KIndle for PC by Amazon

This is a bit technical; forgive me.

So, the Kindle app for Windows 8 doesn't seem to accept "personal" documents. That includes the PDFs and such that one can read on other Kindle platforms; it also includes .mobi files sold through retailers other than Amazon.

Bug or feature?

If a bug, how badly do we want them to fix it?

If a "feature," do we think that we'll see it spread to other Kindle platforms? And how can we discourage that?

I'm a little worried -- as someone who sells Kindle-compatible .mobi ebooks on other sites (including my own) -- that our monopolistic friends are closing the sandbox.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

ETA: Apparently, it's a "feature." Kindle for Windows 8 is based on the Amazon Cloud Reader -- no local storage, and also no "personal documents." So no Smashwords (or Stillpoint) downloads, for example.