Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Previewing EPUBs on your computer and devices, part of InDesign CS5 to EPUB, Kindle, and iPad.
So far we've only been using Adobe Digital Editions to preview our EPUBs, but that's not the only EPUB reader out there. In fact I would venture to guess that there are people that hardly ever use ADE to look in EPUBs. What I want to show you in this video are the different choices that you might have. Now this field is exploding, all right. So there are always new ereaders coming out on deck. But in preparation for the title I asked a lot of people who are in the business what they prefer to use to preview the EPUBs that they're working on for distribution.
So let me go through a few. Now Adobe Digital Editions is great for quick checks, but also a lot of people like to use this program call Calibre. And Calibre is an open source program also available for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux computers. And when you install Calibre you can have it set to automatically be your library, your organizer of all of your EPUBs. Not just on your computer but also on a lot of connected devices like iPads or Android phones. Now Calibre is also used for converting EPUBs, and PDFs, and MOBI files from one format to another.
And in the videos where we talk about converting, especially like converting to Kindle, we'll be talking about using Calibre and seeing how that works in converting an EPUB to Kindle format. But Calibre is also just a wonderful EPUB reader. I've already added by clicking Add books the Brief History of San Francisco, book that we've been working with before. And if you double-click it, it opens up into Calibre's E-book Viewer. And you can hide this other view behind it if you would like. But here you can just click the Right Arrow and Left Arrow to move from page-to-page.
There are also keyboard shortcuts for all these, and here are the contents and the pages just appear. So this is a really good way to check to see what your EPUB looks like outside of Adobe Digital Editions. And there are a couple that I'd like to use that are available online. For example, Ibis Reader is developed by a Threepress Consulting, the same company who worked on creating the EPUB Validation Checker, and they're very well-known in the field as EPUB gurus. They have their own online EPUB library where you can keep your books all in one place and they're stored in a cloud.
But you can also download the books to your computer. So it's not a completely online way to manage your e-books. Now here I've added A Brief History of San Francisco, and if you click it, it opens up in the Ibis Reader. And here is our navigational table of contents on the left. You can click No distractions and it hides a lot of the chrome from around the browser for you, and click the NEXT and PREVIOUS to go from page-to-page. I'll go back to the site. And then also Firefox itself has a plug-in that came out in late 2010 called EPUB Reader.
And I've installed it in Firefox and what happens is that if you click on a link to an EPUB in Firefox, it automatically opens in Firefox. Or if you want to preview what an EPUB looks like that's on your computer in Firefox, you just go to File and then choose Open File. And then navigate to where your EPUB is. Select it and choose Open and it opens directly within Firefox. So anywhere that Firefox runs, including Firefox Mobile, you can install this plug-in. I don't know if there's any uber- geeks out there but it also runs in the SeaMonkey suite, which is a new open source Internet suite developed by the same people who worked on Firefox.
So it's called EPUB Reader. It's a free extension. And again here's the navigational table of contents, and you can save books to your desktop and move from page-to-page. It's got little tips that pop up when you want it to. It's pretty cool. And then on a mobile device, other than like using the Nook Reader, or the Kindle Reader, or something like that, or even the iBooks Reader, the generic EPUB Reader that most people that I know use on any kind of iPad or iPhone or Android device is called Stanza. You may have heard of it. They've been around for long time.
And it's an EPUB reader and also an EPUB library organizer along the lines of Ibis Reader and Calibre. Unfortunately Stanza Desktop has been discontinued. So you can only really use Stanza on an iPad or iPhone or other mobile device. And after you've downloaded it, you download it and install it through iTunes, here's how you can get your EPUBs on there. Now you can always through Stanza app, it has access to the Feedbooks library and some other library so you can actually download a lot of free EPUBs directly into Stanza, or if you have EPUBs on your computer like in this video what we're talking about developing your own EPUBs, you want to see what it's going to look like in Stanza, then you would add it to Stanza by hooking up your device.
right now I have my iPad hooked up. And then you select the name of your device, click Apps at the top, and when you scroll down you'll have a list of apps that let you share files. So I've selected Stanza at the bottom, and then you click Add, and then it just adds your EPUB, which I've already done. So once this has been added, when you click Sync then the EPUB is added to your device. Now let's take a look at this EPUB as seen on Stanza on my iPad. After I double-click it, here is one of the pages and it's kind of interesting to note the differences.
You see how the paragraphs have lost their first line indent. So these are the kind of things that you would check when you create the same EPUB that's seen in different ereaders, so you have an idea of what your readers are going to see. It's kind of like testing a website on different browsers. And it's nice that the table of contents still appears and the links still work. Then I click one of the links and jump to Early History. And Stanza, just like other ereaders, has its own navigational table of contents. So if I just tap on this button down here, the table of contents appears.
So don't think when you are working with EPUBs that you are limited to working with the Adobe Digital Editions. There are a lot of choices out there and you should be running your EPUBs through a few of them at least.
- Understanding ebooks and ebook publishing
- Examining the EPUB format
- Creating linked navigational TOCs
- Formatting with paragraph, character, and object styles
- Optimizing graphics for the EPUB and Kindle formats
- Streamlining production with free InDesign scripts and plug-ins
- Creating drop caps, pull quotes, and text wraps in the EPUB
- Reviewing best practices for book cover images
- Using cross-platform EPUB editors and utilities
- Validating EPUBs
- Proofing ebooks in iBooks, the Kindle, and the B&N Nook
- Acquiring an ISBN for ebooks
- Distributing ebooks with resellers and aggregators