Blog to eBook?

So you run an online serial until the story is pretty much told...then what? No more feed, for one thing.

It seems like a logical next step would be creating an eBook version and trying to sell CD's and downloads.

We're looking at that, with some innovations, but it's not as easy as it looks, especially with a non-sequential book like ours. How to you re-create a tag cloud in an ebook. (we're working on it)

But for normal chaptered books, it seems almost inevitable.

How many have done this, or are looking at it? And how did/are you approaching it?

Adobe's Acrobat Pro Extended has - apparently - some pretty impressive features which can be put into a PDF. 3D graphics which can be rotated and clicked on for informational snippets, etc.

But personally? I've only done one ebook as yet. Pretty standard, boring word processor document, uploaded it to Smashwords - lo and behold, an ebook :-D

I prefer POD format as I find ebooks really annoying. You know, nothing compares to having a book on the bookshelf you can flip through at any time, throw in your bag, whatever.

Plus if you put some effort into it and make it look nice and professional I think it adds much more value.

Buying that $400 Adobe program seems extreme. Open Office can make pdf's for free.

We're looking heavily at auto-exec .exe files. One drawback, only for Windows.

Modipocket and ePub and those are B&W, too static for us. We may end up sticking to hard copies on CD.

POD/eBook is sort of apples and oranges, isn't it? Quite apart from costing three times more and delivering a much smaller writer profit. We've been thinking that people who will read a novel on line have no problem with reading an ebook off a screen. Guess we'll find out.

Has anybody done anything for Blackberries, etc?

Hmm, that's interesting, nonesque. Certainly covers a lot of bases format wise.

But have you considered making it a little less boring and more readable by having a clickable table of contents? Take you about an hour or so to do.

And how about opeing to a cover shot. Easy enough with most of those formats.

Do you get readership stats off that site?

This is a bit of a thing for me, becuase I can't readily get the hang of serialised blogging. If I write something, I want to finish it- now!- before I let anyone see it. Otherwsie I feel I'm just going to be showing people half a thing. It isn't a whole thing. Thing.

So I tend to go for... well, if not exactly ebooks, then at least eChunks (i.e. large slabs of story), and I've always felt that PDFs look nice. Most academic Ebooks seem to be just plain PDF with no extra frills. Though this new features that Nomesque mentioned seem quite interesting. Really, though, all you need to make a good PDF seems to be Office/Word and a couple of spare minutes.

I like cover shots. They're fun to make and look novel-ish. For instance:

But Isa is right. Nothing compares to having a book you can take off the shelf, with that wonderful Book Smell.

Hey Team,

First - Acrobat Extended mentioned simply because you're talking fancy content. It has a lot of capabilities that OpenOffice doesn't. If it was just plain ol' PDF generation, then I agree, OOo all the way!

DEAD(ish) did originally have both a cover page and a hyperlinked ToC. But Smashwords' auto-formatter didn't cope well with either, and really, the cover isn't at all necessary and the ToC is hardly wanted in a 40-something-page document. So I just biffed them, rather than worry about trying to fix it or cutting out some formats.

Readership stats - yes, with a couple of huge buts. Download numbers and View numbers... but no idea where they came from, and no info on WHICH format was downloaded.

Cool. We're a Team now.

I hate auto-formatters.


Smashwords' auto-formatter isn't too bad, all things considered. It IS easier for most people than attempting all the different formats manually. HOWEVER, I wish they'd let ppl upload specific formats by themselves, without having to go through the auto-formatter. Meh. Considering it's a free service (they do take a cut of any sales, btw), and they allow non-Americans to use it, I'm not whingeing too loudly :-D

We're pretty impressed with what you can do with executable exe documents, downloadble or shippable on a CD with extras.

We're trying different compilers, some freewared, a rather nice one called a "Baler" out of Norway for like $20 shareware that isn't quite customizable enough for us, some really top-end $100 programs, and a lot inbetween.

We like the idea that you've got just one file, nobody can "see your work", but you can have all the links and flash inclusions and stuff, closer to a webpage than a normal book..which is EXACTLY where our heads are at on Mayan Calendar Girls.

Only trouble with CD/ end up having to have them "printed" and boxed and shipped...which ends up being just as much an expensive pain in the neck as paper books.

(And we don't really see where paper books even enter a discussion of online literture, actually. That's "meat world" this site's novels are all about online.

(Turns out, from our investigations so far, that you take a CD, and the box it comes in, and the duplication fee...and the most expensive part of the whole thing is printing the title/logo on the CD. Which is totally non-essential to the reading process, off course. But the sort of weirdness you run into in publishing and/or selling.