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EPUB Straight to the Point: Creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders (One-Off) Kindle Edition

31 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • File Size: 7104 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (July 28, 2010)
  • Publication Date: July 28, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004519O4I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,479 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I moved to Barcelona in 1987 to study bilingualism but found a job in a computer company instead. After managing the translation of many different computer programs (FreeHand, PageMaker, Illustrator, and more), I started a publishing company to translate and publish computer books in Spanish. In 1993, moved back to the US to write my own books. Started with Netscape, and then moved on to HTML, Perl, XML, Blogger, iPhoto, and most recently EPUB. You can find more personal info about me at my blog A Year in Barcelona (http://www.ayearinbarcelona.com). My regular blog is Pigs, Gourds, and Wikis (http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com). I spend a fair bit of time on Twitter (@lizcastro). And my full website is www.ElizabethCastro.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Jones on September 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've been a designer since before there was any designation between print designers and web designers, the web in its current form hardly existed. The way design has changed over the past 20 years is amazing, and now we're heading towards the other extreme where there will be no print or web designers again, all designers will know both. The world still needs us to help keep things looking good, even if design is often only noticed when it's not done well (much like housework). With the advent of ereaders there is yet another system to learn, and the available information on ebook formatting is sketchy at best, or it was until the EPUB guru Elizabeth Castro's latest publication, EPUB Straight to the Point: Creating ebooks for iPad and other ereaders. This is the definitive book on EPUB formatting. As an experienced designer/intermediate coder this is exactly what I wanted, and as I also teach InDesign I'm quite familiar with the beginner's perspective and wanted something for my students. This book is very well organized and the information is clear and easy to understand, covering the entire range beginning with defining what an EPUB is to advanced formatting techniques. While I think knowledge of HTML and CSS is really necessary to be successful at working in EPUB, someone who wants to self-publish could learn enough here to manage their own book (though still, at least a smattering of HTML and CSS is going to be needed). At the same time, experienced designers and coders will find plenty of advanced formatting features to make this book indispensable.

The first chapter is about using Microsoft Word to write EPUBs, something I personally wouldn't want to tackle, but obviously this is going to be great for self-publishers and for non-designer coders who don't use InDesign.
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful By T. Jung on February 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
I found the book interesting but clearly way behind the times in what is being done with EPUB in the Open Source community. The author complains about lack of tools and documentation when she clearly hasn't pulled up the technical spec. docs for the standard which lay everything out. She also talks about creating EPUBs by hand when this clearly isn't needed. She clearly isn't aware of Sigil. It is a full WYSIWYG EPUB editor and creator. You can use the default CSS it provides or include your own to create and edit an EPUB. I have my own CCS for Sigil/EPUB and it works great. The author talks about converting EPUB to mobi. I would never bother to do that by hand. There is a great Open Source program called "Calibre" which will manage your e-book libraries and convert between dozens of different e-book formats (as long as they don't have DRM). It is very flexible and lets you control how the conversion is done, or let it use defaults and edit the result later. More and more people are going to become aware of EPUB since it is starting to become the default standard format for e-books. It is quite powerful and there are a lot of different options available with it that most people aren't aware of. I should also mention that Calibre has the best EPUB reader out there, and it comes in Linux, Mac and Windows flavors.

I would also mention that every single problem the author complains about with EPUB is solved by default in Sigil. It is very easy to edit, mark, and change any of the information in the EPUB and associated metadata files. I would suggest that perhaps the author should have done more research before writing this book, as there are many obvious technical errors in this book such as this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Hinds on December 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've been going to Liz Castro's blog, [...], for a while, as I tried to teach myself ePub creation out of InDesign. This book collects all of that great information, getting down to the nuts and bolts of the coding you will need to do to make your eBook work like you expect it to. Being used to computer books that you have to wade through 1000+ pages to find the information you want, I was pleased to find out how complete this book is with 192 pages. I would have like to have seen a couple of pages explaining proper sizing and original resolution of pictures for an ePub design (to avoid getting "the head of a pin" photo in your ePub). Other than that one omission, this book covered all the other questions I had on fixing the ePubs I've created.

One of the other reviewers here, Cari Jansen, gave a great explanation of the photo sizing on her webpage, [...]
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Bergsland on October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
As usual, Liz has put together a superior book. The only problem I have it that it proves to me that the current state of EPUB requires more code writing than I can comfortably attempt. The information is very good, though. My prayers are with the next version of InDesign.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cari jansen on November 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Liz has done an amazing job in moving past the EPUB basics in this book. She touches on many behind-the-scenes aspects that are relevant to getting your EPUB to display as anticipated. It is the only book of its kind presently.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Lynn Jorgensen on July 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
There are two ways to interpret the title of this book. One is that it gets "straight to the point" of the ePub standard. The other is that this is what you need to get going. The second interpretation is correct. I approached this book thinking it would be a breakdown of the standard and a tutorial on producing compliant ePubs. It is, but it takes time getting there.

For the vast majority of people approaching the problem of ePub creation this will be the easiest way to get going (especially if you already have produced material in Word or InDesign you want to convert). I wish the book had eschewed the Word and Indesign entirely and taken an application agnostic view of file creation. Even as I was reading this the writing on InDesign and Word seemed dated. The author covers IDCS4 and IDCS5. ID5.5 is now out. If there was a mention of which version of Word was being used I don't recall.

In the end this book was helpful and that's what I needed. I would have gotten there eventually, but this made it faster. It's a great resource for getting up and going.
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