General Interest

Locked The New Blurb Ebooks

I just want to thank Blurb, you really listened, the new eBook options are great, affordable, automatic, and beautiful. I like that you could sell them in the bookstore if you like or simply produce one and distribute it however you like, good call. I’m also glad you made them ePub format, they look great in iBooks on an iPad – and though that is probably where they will look best – ePub makes them compatible with most everything. Also – the photos in photobooks are big and zoomable – another plus. I’ve only run into 1 glitch – the file loads as "Untitled" in iBooks. Otherwise, a great start.

If anyone would like to see – at least logistically – how a Blurb generated eBook turns out. Mine is free. Was made and published with Booksmart in 2010 – eBook generated yesterday.

http://www.aculinaryphotojournal.com/kentucky-a-culinary-ebook

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1897750

Posted by
odonata7
Oct 20, 2011 8:59am PDT
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odonata7
 

Just downloaded your ebook to my laptop and opened it with Adobe Digital Editions which reads epub files (don’t have an iPad) and sadly it doesn’t display properly. Only shows part pages, text is misaligned and some pages have a large black box superimposed upon them.

Do you have any idea if this Is just an ADE problem, or does it mean Blurb ebooks can only be displayed on an iPad and not any other epub reader? Would like to know as I’m about to purchase my Blurb books as ebooks.

Looked at your book in Blurb preview mode to see it properly – loved it, beautiful pix.

Wendy

Posted by
waf1
Oct 21, 2011 1:28am PDT
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waf1
 

Same here, I downloaded and send the book file with email to my Iphone. Opened the book with Stanza and it was a complete mess. Also the mail aplication of my iphone was chrashed by the mail. I could not delete mails until I had restarted the phone.

 I do not dare to publish e-books on the apple platform unless Blurb gets these things clarified. 

They should give us authors the option to see the book before paying too! Now I have paid only to know that something does not work.

 

 

Posted by
editionh
Oct 21, 2011 6:13am PDT
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editionh
 

The way I read the announcement of the new ebooks it made it clear that this first version was for the iPad and iPhone only, though they are working on future version for other platforms.

…..Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Oct 21, 2011 8:35am PDT
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tfrankland
 

Hi Tony,
so how do I read an ebook on the iphone? As author I have to download and purchase from blurb server first.
I also believe that any e-book I buy with Itunes requires an e-reader like Stanza, which is a kind of standard.

Martin

Posted by
editionh
Oct 21, 2011 9:32am PDT
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editionh
 

I should clarify that I have ONLY tested on the iPhone and iPad. as Tony said, it was my expectation from the beginning that these would only display properly on those devices. While I understand that the ePub format of the file technically makes them compatible with anything that will read an ePub file – I don’t have any expectation that it will display properly in all readers. Maybe someday – but because every reader will have its own quirks, that will be problematic. Having worked on similar projects in the past, I can say it would almost be a miracle. I’m personally happy with this first step.

If you click the link to my book download page above and then click the link to download the book from an iPhone or iPad – it will take a while for the device to download the file and then you will be prompted to “Open in iBooks”. When you select that option it transfers the downloaded book directly to iBooks. I’ve done this on iOS 4 on one iPad and in iOS 5 on and iPhone and an iPad and had no problems. ( I suggest only doing this connected to Wi-fi though – the file is 20 MB – so that should be a given). You also, obviously, have to have the iBooks app installed.

While clarifying I should point out that my book is purposely very simply designed, it’s almost like a Flickr slideshow with all the text turned off or even an iPad/iPhone slide show. One big photo on black, next big photo on black, some fill the page, some don’t. No text – not even page numbers. I took a hard look at some of my favorite photobooks and decided on this route, the emphasis is on the image, the design is invisible. My first Blurb book was 300 pages of random page layouts to see how they looked and to check the print quality of the images, second book was single images of different sizes in different positions, with text on the page. Third book was single image centered on one page on black – text on the opposing page on white. I finally arrived at this non-designed book after all this. It just happened to turn out that the square format and large isolated images fit the screen format of iOS devices nicely.

I appreciate the kind words – and definitely – I only expected my book to look right on an iPad or iPhone, I can’t vouch for anything else – but I will check other things just to see.

Link Again:

http://www.aculinaryphotojournal.com/kentucky-a-culinary-ebook

Posted by
odonata7
Oct 21, 2011 12:32pm PDT
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odonata7
 

Ok it was the reader. You have to use the IBOOK reader on the iphone. Thanks

Posted by
editionh
Oct 21, 2011 1:41pm PDT
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editionh
 

I am wondering why I would have to paid to see my book on my ipad ???

Look, I can see my book on a PC for free why do we have to pay for Ipad?

Thanks

Posted by
gpt1plon
Oct 21, 2011 6:36pm PDT
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gpt1plon
 

Opened the book with Stanza and it was a complete mess. Also the mail aplication of my iphone was chrashed by the mail. I could not delete mails until I had restarted the phone.

 I do not dare to publish e-books on the apple platform unless Blurb gets these things clarified.

Posted by
jasonvin
Oct 22, 2011 12:29am PDT
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jasonvin
 

Hi jasonvin,

Our ebooks are best viewed in Apple’s iBooks app. Any other third party app may not display the book correctly.

-Craig

Posted by
csm
Oct 22, 2011 9:05am PDT
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csm Icon_staff
 

This actually inadvertently answered one of my questions about the ebooks. I was able to open the file provided by Odoneta7 with no problem and remove images at their original resolution from it… I would like to offer eBooks but it takes all of 30 seconds on Google to determine how to extract the image files and no special software needed… I guess I’ll have to look at other options if this is the norm.

Posted by
tismark
Oct 22, 2011 10:23pm PDT
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tismark
 

I have gone through the process to sell an ebook on blurb and had to accept some apple store TOS on the way.

Why is this? Is the book submitted by blurb to apple store? Support says something different but has not answered my question. If I need to submit the file to Apple directly why is Blurb requesting me to accept the 30% commission taken by Apple etc?? I am confused.

Posted by
editionh
Oct 24, 2011 1:02am PDT
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editionh
 

SO does this mean there is another charge as well as buying your own e-book (for which you may or may not possess and i instrument , Apple then take a cut of whatever premium you charge on top .

It would be nice if all of this was made clear

 market research from my target audience suggests that take up wouldn’t be very high so i’m holding back at the moment

 Also on an e-version what copyright control is there around the images ?

Posted by
Martincreese
Oct 24, 2011 4:29am PDT
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Martincreese
 

Hi editionh and Martincreese,

When talking about selling your ebook there will be two eventual ways to do so, one is on blurb.com and the other is Apple’s iBookstore (this option is not yet live). If you choose to sell in the Apple bookstore Apple will take 30% of the earnings (if you only sell on blurb.com you keep 100% minus the PayPal processing fee).

 
Martincreese- The same copyright applies to ebooks as your printed book (you own the images).

Hope this helps to clarify.

-Craig

Posted by
csm
Oct 24, 2011 9:03am PDT
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csm Icon_staff
 

So, no response to my post?

Sorry if this is naive, but all it takes to extract images from an eBook is to change the extension of the file and they can be removed at whatever resolution was provided? For photo-books, this is an issue. I’m not as concerned with people sharing books as I am them having photos that they can choose to print themselves. Are there no safeguards to prevent this?

Posted by
tismark
Oct 24, 2011 11:48am PDT
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tismark
 

Hi tismark,

When sharing digital content  there will always be the risk of copyright infringement. Unfortunately, there is no surefire way of preventing this from occurring. Keep in mind that you still own the copyright to your content so this should provide some solace when sharing an ebook.

The only way to completely prevent people from stealing your content is to not share it in the first place. But as you can probably guess, this doesn’t exactly help with spreading the word about your work. It’s an issue that all artists will face and one that we can’t really help with unfortunately.

-Craig

Posted by
csm
Oct 24, 2011 1:10pm PDT
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csm Icon_staff
 

That’s what I gathered… It’s no solace to still own the copyright if someone in a country that doesn’t honor our copyrights has gotten their hands on our images. At least with a printed book, this would require some laborious work of scanning, etc. To hand them a file with higher resolution images for likely less than $10 is not the answer.

I feel this should be pointed out more clearly in the documentation for ebooks. People should know the dangers instead the ebook documentation points out how great it is that people can look at your work in high resolution on their iPad without equally pointing out there’s an inherent danger in losing control of your hard work. I do choose to share my work online where people can find it but not high res.

Thanks for the confirmation at any rate!

Posted by
tismark
Oct 24, 2011 2:22pm PDT
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tismark
 

Hi Blurb
I have had complete satisfaction with my eight hard copy books (78 copies) published to date but I am disappointed with conversion to ebook—
Font substitution occurred.
PNG files do not show transparency.
I discovered this issue only after receiving my ebook and then searching the FAQs where you list the acceptable fonts and mention the PNG issue.
If these details had been on your ebook information page I could have amended my book to comply before uploading.
I know this is still a work in progress and commend you for your initiative in taking book publishing to the elevel. I look forward to further refinements.
Alex

Posted by
asaywell
Oct 24, 2011 3:17pm PDT
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asaywell
 

@blurb staff
thanks for the clarification as to apple store.

@tismark
I am grateful that you pointed out to the copyright infringement issue.

The potential damage that I see for photographers and other visual artists is that people buy the high resolution ebook and use the files to get a reproduction print on one of the POD sites at a cheap price. The visual artist might wonder why his prints do not sell anymore (on same sites?) but the ebook circulates a lot.

I would expect that Blurb is interested and motivated to provide an ebook format that makes such scenarios impossible. There should be a way to lock images in an e-book away from being printed.

Posted by
editionh
Oct 25, 2011 2:02am PDT
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editionh
 

When I order a Blurb ebook I get an epub file. Epub is supposedly an open format. The benefits of the use of an open non-proprietary format are so substantial for customers (i. e., none of the frustration expressed in this forum) that one can only assume that Blurb has some Microsoft-like interest in making its eBook format proprietary.

Until Blurb corrects this (if past performance is any indication it will take years) folks will be searching for alternatives. A little Googling suggests that for the price of a small Blurb book one can buy software that will convert pdf files to epub files (I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has done this from InDesign or Quark). If I can do this successfully my next book will be distributed at cost as a generic (non-Blurb) epub file.

 P.S.,  Add the Firefox epub reader to the Blurb unsupported list.

Posted by
argusmike
Oct 25, 2011 8:13pm PDT
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argusmike
 

so with the ebook, someone can copy the pictures? whats the dpi on the images?

Posted by
justingreen
Oct 26, 2011 2:17pm PDT
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justingreen
 

I love the way my books look on the iPad.  What’s really cool is you can even show them on your t.v.! In my opinion the books are a bit too small on the iPhone.  It’s going to be really great when they are available on more devices! 

Posted by
FairyCourt
Oct 27, 2011 10:54am PDT
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FairyCourt
 

So…when will the iBookstore publishing option become available? Will the publishing be automatic or will we be notified first?

Posted by
slacey
Oct 29, 2011 1:23pm PDT
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slacey
 

Well done!

I am thinking of producing an app/ebook in order to sell it. There are several commercial (and by factor 1000 more expencive) services to do so. Like www.magbooks.com 

On the first sight I can’t see I difference in performance, so I would tend to the redistributable Blurb epub solution, but:

 

How can I sell it in the Istore and make sure that it won’t be redistributed by "my" clients ? The problem with the Blurb shop is:that it isn’t that handy as the Istore (to the mayority) of Apple users

 

Thanks, Sebastian

Posted by
sebastianbur
Oct 30, 2011 1:46am PDT
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sebastianbur
 

I take it that Blurb will not be offering to move books into the iBookstore? I see a few show up, but I notice no mention of it being officially supported as an option anymore. Or is it?

Posted by
markfearing
Nov 9, 2011 5:24pm PDT
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markfearing
 

Just made my first ebook and I am very impressed.

Can I ask how you manage to link to it in the first message on here, it’s not a link direct to blurb so did you somehow copy the file and upload it somewhere else?

Posted by
simonatkins
Nov 11, 2011 9:03am PDT
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simonatkins
 

Simon,

Yes I downloaded the ePub and uploaded it to Google Docs and shared it.

The URL is very long, so I shortened it with the Google URL Shortener, which is very useful in that it both generates a QR code and provides ongoing stats about the number of times the link is clicked as well as the country, device, browser and platform it was accessed from.

http://goo.gl/

Since my short link goes directly to the file – it automatically starts the download, so the number of clicks is an actual measure of the number of downloads, rather than just a clicks.

Hope that helps.

- Nate

Posted by
odonata7
Nov 11, 2011 12:07pm PDT
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odonata7
 

hi there, i have created my book as an ebook but it wont open on my mac, any ideas anyone?

Posted by
dejahu
Nov 27, 2011 2:55pm PDT
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dejahu
 

Lovely pictures and book.I was able to download and read on my iPhone just as I have with my own ebooks and others I’ve purchased.

Here is what you do if you are Mac based and have an iPhone or iPod.Possibly and iPad too.

First download from iTunes the program,‘DROPBOX’ and Ibook reader onto your Mac. Both are free.Then sync your device to your Mac. Dropbox will be installed on your device and on the upper bar of your Mac. Now download the ebook.Click on the ‘DROPBOX’ from there,put the ebook file into there.Sync your iPhone. Find Dropbox,click it on..You’ll see the Kentucky book.Use the arrow to forward it to place in iBooks. You will then see it on the iBooks Bookshelf on your iPhone or similar device.Click it open and tap the page on the right toview each page.

Linda Matlow

Pix International

Posted by
lmatlow
Dec 6, 2011 1:02am PDT
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lmatlow
 

I was delighted with my first attempt at converting to an Ibook, I read that the font needed to be changed and spent hours and hours converting it, (tho booksmart actually made this quite difficult, inserting lines and spaces where there shouldn’t be any) The pictures and print were beautiful and clear, HOWEVER the Iaook has font marks on the pictures which apparently can’t be eradicated until you get the optimise tool and there seems to be no idea when this will be available, tho I was originally told it would be June, and marketed my book as being availalbe then! And NOW, just when I reconcile myself to the fact that although it is slightly substandard I will go ahead and sell it anyway, I find I suddenly get download failures. This could be a very good option, although for customers I think it needs to be made much clearer that it will only work on IPads (I doubt it would work well on an IPhone either) as many customers will probably not realise UNTIL AFTER they download to their Kindles, Nooks or whatever, and will blame the author. So I really hope Blurb will get this sorted out quickly as my book is time sensitive and this idea has wonderful potential. But, I do have to say a thank you tio Blurb as without them I would probably not ever have self-published. It may not seem like I,have sold many books but 48 iant a bad start. The Ibook option would, I think, boost sales considerably, but PLEASE get it working again quickly! I NEED it!

Posted by
poetloretta
Jul 3, 2012 4:32am PDT
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poetloretta
 

Just downloaded my first ebook. The format/quality is excellent…BUT as mentioned above, it turned all my fonts into some generic font (probably Georgia). :( I figured they would do a ‘printing’ type conversion, not something electronic that actually took the data and converted it. Just a warning to those others out there who use more than standard fonts.

Posted by
bigairbecca
Jul 5, 2012 11:29am PDT
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bigairbecca
 

I wish there was a timing bar so that I could see how long the ebook conversion is taking. I’ve sat here for 15 minutes but have no idea if the book is really converting or not apart from a small spinning wheel.

Posted by
wasajourno
Jul 11, 2012 5:11pm PDT
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wasajourno
 

I’ve just converted my first book to an ebook. I received the link so I can download it on my ipad. I download it and then it says "open in iBooks" and then nothing happens. No matter how many times I click on the link, nothing happens in iBooks. I’ve tried it on 2 different ipads, one is the original ipad with an older os and the other is the ipad 2 using the current os. Any suggestions?

Posted by
pizor
Oct 17, 2012 9:09am PDT
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pizor
 

Hi pizor,

You may have a large ebook that the iPad is taking time to process (even though it doesn’t appear to be doing anything). Try downloading the .epub file to your computer, then import that file into the iTunes account paired with that device (and then sync of course). If you continue to have trouble let us know.

-Craig

Note: Locking post due to age.

Posted by
csm
Oct 17, 2012 9:55am PDT
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csm Icon_staff