Published on September 30, 2014
PROOFING EBOOKS Gareth Haman
WHAT WILL WE COVER? • Hardware and software you'll need • Files, formats and useful resources • What to look for and how this differs from 'regular' proofreading • What you shouldn't have to do... • Unless you want to offer extra services!
WHY DOES IT MATTER? The case of the Casual Vacancy… View slide
HARDWARE View slide
HARDWARE (VIEWING ON A NATIVE DEVICE) • Amazon Kindle range • Apple iBooks device (iPhone, iPad, Mac) • Kobo, Nook, Sony... • ...and of course (if you want to offer more services) a Mac or PC
DO I NEED THEM ALL? • No! (Phew!) • Best single option for hardware proofreading: iPad • Can use software tools to plug gaps: • KDP Previewer & others (Amazon's KDP tools page) • ebook format conversion software such as Calibre (calibre-ebook.com) • ...or book creation tools themselves • BUT ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR CLIENT!
SOFTWARE & FORMATS
MAIN FORMATS ARE: • EPUB (open standard) • IBA (iBooks Author) • AZW/KF8 (Amazon - same as Mobi, different DRM) • MOBI/PRC (open standard, but older and now less popular - PRC the same but with DRM) • PDF • TXT • HTML (EPUB and MOBI are basically HTML) • Wikipedia page on ebook formats is a great resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats
SOME POPULAR EBOOK CREATION TOOLS/SITES • KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing: kdp.amazon.com) • Smashwords (www.smashwords.com) • BookTango (http://www.booktango.com) • Kobo Writing Life (http://www.kobo.com/writinglife) • Blurb (www.blurb.co.uk) • iBooks Author (www.apple.com/uk/ibooks-author) • ...and about a million others!
SO WHY DO SO MANY SITES JUST ASK FOR MS WORD? • Simplicity, BUT… • This is simplicity for the author • …but this is where you come in (if you want to!)
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO LEARN? • Trial and error - cut & paste some text, convert it, see what you get from various sites • Good tips on creating EPUB files on: http://www.agentquery.com/how_to_create_e pub_file.aspx
GOING INTO MORE DEPTH • Many ebook formats are essentially self-contained websites • For real control, get hands-on with HTML • Some errors in 'meatgrinders' just won't go away - conversion is imperfect
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR? • Formatting is usually the biggest problem - in the original and in the end product(s) • Function also needs to be checked - hyperlinks • Remember, ebooks are dynamic - you need to check the same thing at different sizes • Tools have their own issues - the same source file can create different errors in different formats
STYLES MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
HOW DO I MARK IT UP? • Varies by client but can present its own issues - some ideas are: • Spreadsheet • PDF sticky notes/markup • Comments in Word file (if you have one) • Hardcopy as a last resort! • Use a two-screen setup • Remember: ebook are dynamic - page numbers are meaningless!
REMEMBER • The simpler the formatting, the more likely you’ll get a clean conversion - if in doubt, strip it out • Make notes by Chapter/subhead etc. - not page number as it’s meaningless for ebooks • Give it a go! People pay for expertise, so become an expert!
“Touchscreen e-readers will never catch on” –Bill Gates (1998)
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