odonata7's Posts

The New Blurb Ebooks
General Interest

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
 
The New Blurb Ebooks
General Interest

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
 
The New Blurb Ebooks
General Interest

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
 
Tell us your ebook interests
General Interest

My first post here.

I’ve been using Blurb for a while now, made a few books, 7X7 Hardcover and Softcover, Standard Landscape Softcover and most recently my first 12 X 12 Hardcover. They are beautifully done; I have nothing but good things to say. The 12 × 12 rivals anything I’ve ever seen in quality of printing and this being a photo book, the photos at that size take on an entirely different nature than at smaller sizes.

I love printed books, but I do use E-books. I’m not sure that when it comes to photobooks that E-books will ever match print, but for some things E-books have some advantages over printed books. Especially reference books and cookbooks, because you can search them, cut and paste snippets, etc.

The thing is, print on demand books (compared to mass produced books) are still relatively expensive. My 12 × 12 book, with no markup is over $100. Sure I could make smaller versions, which – while more affordable – are simply not the same thing. Even a 7 × 7 version is upwards of $30, plus tax and shipping. I understand why they cost what they do; I’m not complaining at all, it just makes them out of reach for a-lot of people. At over $100, I personally can’t even print very many of my 12 X 12 to give away.

This is why I am thankful that Blurb has the "online preview" feature and allows the entire book to be viewed online, not only does this make it so others can view the book without purchasing it – it works on any machine and doesn’t require an E-book reader. I’ve been following your blog on the new E-pub developments and agree that books based on HTML5 would solve a-lot of problems with compatibility and even production.

I would like to see you offer E-books, or at the very least, offer the option in BookSmart (even if it has to be unlocked for a fee). Even just giving us access to an E-Pub ready PDF output from BookSmart so we could make our own elsewhere would be immensely helpful.

Not only would this open up a-lot of distribution avenues for everyone, it would allow people to give their books away or sell them at much more accessible prices, and people could own them and view them without having to go online or even have an Internet connection at all.

My 2 cents.

- Nate

My Blurb Book:

Kentucky: A Culinary (Photo) Journal
http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1897750

Posted by
odonata7
Mar 23, 2011 9:04am PDT
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odonata7