Here’s an idea that I’d like some reader feedback on.

Would it be worthwhile to put together an EPUB e-book, about as long as a 200-page paperback, of selected blog entries of mine? I’m thinking I’d organise it in thematic sections and sort each section chronologically. And publish the thing for free on Smashwords.

If I go through with this, what EPUB authoring software should I use? Preferably for Linux.

Comments

  1. #1 samarkeolog
    March 14, 2011

    Is Smashwords any good? Most/all of the front-page titles when I visited were reeeally unappealing. Is there another site you could publish it on, like scribd?

    I’ll try and think of the blog-to-book software I saw when I first added this to the ever-longer list of things I haven’t got round to yet…

  2. #2 Mike Haubrich
    March 14, 2011

    I would love to have something like that. I could take your blog to work with me if you put it in .epub.

    As for software, Calibre is an open-source application that works very well for converting pdf’s to epub.I am sure that it has other uses, as well.

  3. #3 Martin R
    March 14, 2011

    Sam, I mentioned Smashwords just because it’s integrated into Aldiko, the ebook reader I use. I’ll check scribd out!

    Mike, thanks for your support and the suggestion. Don’t know if there’s anything to gain by going through PDF on the way to EPUB. They are two formats with very different purposes.

  4. #4 Victor
    March 14, 2011

    Mike, Calibre will allow you to pull the blog at user defined intervals and load it onto your e-reader. It’s a nice piece of sw.

    As to epub sw, I’ve been fiddling with putting at e-book together for a few weeks. There aren’t really any ideal open source programs, but there are a few usable ones.

    I’ve used Sigil in Windows (also available in Linux). It just about worked, although I couldn’t get it to format the chapter headings so that a reader would recognize them. You’re going to want that if they book is organized into themes. It’ll allow the reader to jump to sections that catch their eye.

    In my second experiment, I used Open Office, saved the file as an html, then converted to epub with Calibre, which worked a bit better, being that epub is basically a specialized use of html.

    B&N will also published self produced ebooks through their “PubIt” service. Not sure of all the details on that, though.

  5. #5 Martin R
    March 14, 2011

    Thanks Victor!

  6. #6 Mark Coker
    March 14, 2011

    Hi Martin, Smashwords is an ebook distributor, so simply by publishing your book at Smashwords and formatting it to the requirements of the Smashwords Style Guide, you can get your book distributed to most of the major ebook stores. You’ll format the book as a Word .doc file, and then we’ll handle the conversion to the other formats.

    Mark Coker
    Founder
    Smashwords

  7. #7 Jeremia
    March 17, 2011

    Yes, Martin, I think you should!

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