Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ebook Progress

After a long pause and much procrastination, I've resumed work on hashing out my wee little ebook. A few things I've learned:

1. Calibre works wonders for rendering .odt files into something resembling an ebook. So far I've done a few test drafts that I've been able to look at on my iPhone and iPad in three different reading apps (Stanza, Kindle and iBooks) to catch and mend the flaws and glitches.

2. Optimal size for an ebook cover image is 600 x 800 pixels. This allows it to play nicely with the Kindle and looks fine on iBooks as well. My test cover was originally rendered as 6000 x 8000 pixels (slow going, but still functional) and then scaled down to fit. PNG looks better than JPG, by the way.

3. Get rid of the double space after the period. It looks funny when rendered on a page, even an electronic one.

4. Make sure there are no gaps before the page break, or you may wind up with a blank page in the middle of everything, depending on how the pages come out.

5. Don't break your brain worrying about widows and orphans, because every page is going to come out differently depending on the size of the screen and which end is up.

I'm thinking about doing an HTML rendition so I can get under the hood to tweak the code directly and then running that through Calibre to see how it looks. I'm glad I picked such a short book to start this experiment with--I think if I'd tried this with my novel I'd be close to dead by now.

I'm going to resume the practice of excuse notes on this blog until the thing is complete and available for sale to the public. Which means I'd better get some work done on it if I don't want to write an excuse note for today.

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