They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

A Lulu Of A Weekday

Ugh. Egad. eBooks.

I must really like some of you a lot. Because I did this all for my Beta readers -- just as I am not self-publishing the hardcopies, I am not selling the eBooks either. But I'm cheap and some people have access to eReaders. Plus there's always the merry hunt of the chase of a challenge. I mean I was going to play with all this someday anyway -- I just had the time here in August 2015.

If you don't want geek adventure details, just scroll down to the pretty picture further down and start there. (practical-grin)

Early Monday morning, I posted that I had achieved generating the proper files and order four copies of the Beta 1 reading copy of Book 1 from Lulu(DW) (LJ). I've done some work with eReaders before, mostly for readings at cons. RTF files downloaded onto my Sony eReaders. More recently PDF files onto my Kindle Fire HD. Some earlier playing with files on an HP Jornada 548 PDA.

Since I'd just set up the files for Lulu and Lulu also does eBooks, I thought I'd check there. Surely they have a Convert Print Files To eBook option. Nope. There was, however, an eBook Creator Guide -- a free EPUB format download. Great. "Buy" it for $0.00 and download it to ZEPPELIN... and I can't open it. Nothing on the machine can eat an EPUB.

(Okay, I can sort of see it Lulu's way -- if you're going to make eBooks, you probably have a way to read them. But still...)

I know I've read EPUB eBooks on WINTER and SUMMER, but those are both Windows XP Pro machines and they have the full version of Adobe Acrobat Professional installed -- I think EPUBs were read by Acrobat. Alas, the Acrobat Reader DC on ZEPPELIN under Windows 7 Home Premium can't and it looks like maybe the EPUB functionality of Acrobat has been spawned into Adobe InDesign, maybe?

So, next thing is to look at reviews on CNET and PC Mag for free Windows 7 eBook readers. I finally settled on Calibre (64-bit). (An Aside: Really guys, both CNET and PC Mag have their download pages littered with big green DOWNLOAD buttons -- most of them are for installing other Windows utilities crapware. This is how you get infected machines. And frankly, given that people come to CNET and PC Mag for good info, this doesn't reflect well on them.) Download the 68.2MB installer and end up with some 196MB of application. Gee, I hope it isn't just an eReader -- that seems excessive.

Good news. Calibre is perfectly happy to read Lulu's eBook Creator Guide in EPUB format. Alas, as I expected, Lulu is doing due diligence in making sure you're creating valid eBooks for fun and profit. Like their Word style templates for print, it's overkill and not what I want to do. Again, I'm not self-publishing here. Still, there was a lot of useful information -- including the admission that:
Do I Have to Use Styles?
We know many of you are groaning right now at the thought of using the Styles menu to format every paragraph in your book. We hear you, and have provided tips for quickly applying styles in subsequent chapters. The good news is, you only need to use a few styles and most are available out-of-the-box in popular word processing programs. The most important thing to remember is that every chapter or section needs to use a Heading style, so we can ensure it shows up in the EPUB TOC.
The Table of Contents thing is understandable -- all the rest of the Style shit has to do with making sure your eBook dots all the T's and crosses all the I's to be commercially published. Not an issue here.

For laughs and giggles, I fed my PDF into Calibre -- and it barfed all over the screen when I looked at the default MOBI version. Not unexpected, since the PDF represents page images, so depending on window width, individual lines don't wrap.

Second attempt. Feed it the .DOC file. Despite Calibre saying it takes .DOC, my Word 97/2003 DOC file wasn't a readable format. Okay... on to creating an RTF file, which it will also take. And I might as well address a few other issues.

For Lulu, eBook default fonts are Times New Roman, Arial and Garamond. My PDF version has embedded fonts, since it is in Book Antiqua, Courier New, Modern No. 20 and Copperplate Gothic Bold. Time for Ctrl-H Search-and-Destroy:

change Modern No. 20 to Times New Roman Bold
change Courier New to Arial
change Book Antiqua 12 to Garamond 14
change Copperplate Gothic Gold to Garamond Bold
delete indents (5 spaces)
change Garamond 14 to Paragraph | 1st Line Indent 0.3"
remove Gutter
delete old manual Table of Contents
remember to rename Title on Summary Sheet ***

Note the Book Antiqua 12 to Garamond 14 font change. I've always found Garamond to be a small font, and so on the screen, where I normally write in 12 points -- Garamond 14 looks better. And in fact, using the same 6x9 paper size, the 336 page printing version of the book ended up as 337 pages in the eBook version -- so I'd say I've got the size question right. (grin)

I also changed my Chapter Title lines: Starting from the end of the book, I used Shift-F11 to go backwards through the AutoNum fields from 25 to 1. "25." was highlighted, so I type a hard "25.", click on the whole line and apply Heading 3, then do the next. Make a new Table of Contents using the Header 3 info. Boom... That was WAY too easy. It made a TOC in half a second. Okay, that's ONE use I have for Styles in Word. One. Only.

New attempt and Calibre did in fact make a MOBI eBook, which Calibre could read. Next try to make an EPUB. This could be read by both Calibre and Kindle for PC. Now we're getting somewhere. But I really couldn't get them to run on the Kindle Fire HD -- which was the whole point of the exercise. (double-trouble-grin)

So I went to Der Google and asked it what is the file format for a Kindle reader. Turns out, it's currently AWZ3, though MOBI also works. And Calibre makes an AWZ3 file, which not only can be read by Kindle for PC, but also gains a Kindle icon. But...

Here's where Big Brother and closed ecologies comes into play. You cannot download an AWZ3 file to a Kindle. acts as a gatekeeper for downloading books. So it's their way (or sideloading). Some more Googling reveals that you CAN Send-email-to-Kindle a MOBI file. Each Kindle has an email address-- which you can find under Account | Settings | Managing Your Kindle at -- and you email the file as an attachment. Then Whispernet takes over and downloads it to your Kindle.

Damn. It worked. There is my Cover sitting in the Carousel on my Kindle Fire HD. Each Kindle has its own email address, but once something is in Amazon's cloud, you can Whispernet it to another Kindle -- so my 2nd Kindle Fire HD got the file, too.

Now, the Kindle doesn't consider it a Book -- it's a Document -- so the only place it shows up on the Kindle is on the Carousel. But, it does all the usual things about finding your last place and synchronizing between readers.

All in all, a pretty respectable day's work. It's not perfect. The Table of Contents worked perfectly in the .DOC and .RTF files, but is screwed up on the eBooks. This is not a priority for me. Maybe the Bug Fix Committee here at Princess Central will get to it Real Soon Now. (yeah-right-grin)

Now I have PDF/Lulu Trade Paperback, EPUB, MOBI, and AZW3 versions.

Negating, as always, that my several days of time don't count in this experiment (grin), the printed books from Lulu cost me money. The PDF (L) is exactly the same as the printed copy (LL), including page numbers and I think the map is more readable, so it is useful to me and I recommend it if possible. The AZW3 can be downloaded and run in the Kindle for PC program. The MOBI can be Send-to-Kindle and show up in the Carousel on my Kindle Fire HD -- though it is not a "book" but a "document" -- but it does my have book cover mockup. Yay.

Presumably owners of other devices, such as Nook and Kobo, could tell me what format they want and figure out how to get it onto their machine. Sigh. Standardization -- not for computer users, alas.

The files:
08/10/15  02:01 2,486,772 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13L-pdf.pdf
08/10/15  02:05 2,132,527 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13LL-pdf.pdf
08/11/15  01:57 4,947,471 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13E.rtf
08/11/15  02:02   986,967 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13E - Dr. Philip Edward
08/11/15  02:03   475,660 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13E - Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon.epub
08/11/15  03:11   851,762 PLK-Reading-115-1-1c13E - Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon.azw3
Voila! Like the process for creating the Lulu book, once one had enumerated a Procedure, it will all go smoother The Next Time. We hope. Maybe. (sly-grin)

Dr. Phil

*** NOTE that the Book Title comes from the Summary Info Title and NOT from the filename or the title line of the book.

Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
Tags: dr phil stories, e-books, hidden history, lulu, secret history, the lost kingdom, writing

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