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How to present a book online?

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by TupperLake, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #41
    I'm curious here. If you put this book in a web-based version wouldn't all those color screen shots slow down the load time? If so, that might turn people away.
    SEMrush
     
    JoeSpirit, Jan 27, 2019 IP
    SEMrush
  2. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #42
    I went through my bunch of E-readers, and found one that auto-converts PDF to an E-book format. I'll admit I am surprised. I usually read PDFs in a — wait for it — PDF reader. :rolleyes: Will have to try it with some files I have.
     
    kk5st, Jan 27, 2019 IP
  3. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #43
    I like them fine. They have a purpose, and reading them on a screen is not it. Print is. Use appropriate format(s). I am not averse to authoring in Emacs, typesetting with LᴬΤΕΧ and exporting to PDF if it is to be printed.

    I do not have any e-purposed hardware. I use either my desktop or laptop with applications. I have Document Viewer, E-Book Viewer and ePDFViewer. I also have calibre , a library that allows creating, editing, and conversions among e formats and from pdf or html to ebook and a whole bunch of other stuff. See the manual for all the goodies.

    I'm pretty much agnostic on that. Both EPub and MOBI are OK, as is Kindle's AZW3. I pretty much avoid anything Apple. They've gotten as bad or worse than Microsoft about trying to lock you in with their proprietary b.s.

    g
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
    kk5st, Jan 27, 2019 IP
  4. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #44
    I wonder what % of people own a kindle or an ipad. Does anyone really enjoy reading an e-book in .pdf format on their computers / laptops? Personally, I do not. Even plain text files (.txt) are more fun to read.
     
    qwikad.com, Jan 27, 2019 IP
    kk5st likes this.
  5. TupperLake

    TupperLake Peon

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    #45
    If I split my book up into one chapter per web page, and I optimize the screenshots using Photoshop, I wouldn't expect any load issues on a web page.

    However, no wthat you mention it, I would be concerned that all of my screenshots wouldn't render properly in a Kindle and that they might bring it to a scretching halt. Can anyone speak to that point?

    Also, could a Kindle hand even a 500 page book that is heavy with screenshots and gaphics, let alone a 1,000 page book??
     
    TupperLake, Jan 27, 2019 IP
  6. TupperLake

    TupperLake Peon

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    #46
    I'm confused by people comments about PDF - especially Gary.

    I may be wrong, but I always thought the reason PDF's were created was so that you could PDF something (e.g. Word doc or web page) and then easily share it across the Internet with others AND easily read it regardless of computer type.

    If the are created properly, I have never had an issue reading a PDF on my laptop/computer. Furthermore, I don't see any problems reading from a PDF, although a web page if done properly is usually much easier to read and navigate.
     
    TupperLake, Jan 27, 2019 IP
  7. TupperLake

    TupperLake Peon

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    #47
    So the consensus that I am getting is that converting my word document to a web page(s) would not likely be desireable to readers/customers, and that I should offer my book in some eBook format, or possibly as a PDF, right?
     
    TupperLake, Jan 27, 2019 IP
  8. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #48
    That may have been the idea, but the fact that PDFs have explicit sizes unless scaled kills that purpose, just as it damages that purpose for MSWORD and other word processors. It does not flow. I should emend that to as far as I know; Acrobbat may do it. I have not used Acrobat PDF reader in almost 20 years. When they had so many security issues, I dropped it. They may have fixed the flow issue. :shrug:

    BTW, since my previous post, I downloaded a statistics text book (990 pages in PDF), converted it to EPUB format and opened it just fine in the E-Book reader. I don't think another ten pages will make it crash. If you create an EPUB from scratch or more likely convert your HTML it should look even better. The main problem with converting a PDF to an ebook format is that PDFs are similar to HTML's <pre> tag, and line wrapping is clumsy.
     
    kk5st, Jan 27, 2019 IP
  9. TupperLake

    TupperLake Peon

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    #49
    I think it is ironic that you talk about the importance of scaling yet aren't a fan of my book as a web page.

    One of the many benefits of doing my book as a "responsive" web page s that it would adjust automatically and fit on any device from big screen TV to tiny smart phone or even iWatch?!

    I understand the issue that you have to be online, but as far as scalability goes, a well down web page should be on par with an eReader format. Just sayin...


    So it looks like in addition to a web page, I will offer my book in popular eReader formats like ePub and MOBI.

    However, my next concern is this...

    From the little I know, I have gotten the sense that eReaders are really only designed to work well with straight up prose like you'd find in a novel. And that if you have a book that has more of a page layout to it and images and graphics, that can serious hamper things in an eReader.

    Is this true?

    I wrote my book using OpenOffice Writer, and while it has an insane number of photos and screenshots in it, I think the layout is pretty "vanilla".

    
    Go to the ABC screen...
    Your screen should look like this...
    Click on DEF...
    Move GHI...
    Adjust KLM...
    Now your screen will look like this...
    
    Code (markup):
    Basically think of any How-To computer book you've ever seen at the book store.

    That being said, will that format work on an eReader? More importantly, will it scale/adjust?

    My "responsive" web page will adjust to any device. Not sure about an ePub or MOBI...
     
    TupperLake, Jan 28, 2019 IP
  10. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #50
    Don't conflate scaling and responsiveness. When scaling, the entire page is treated as an image and enlarged or reduced in size; that means the print, too. A comfortable column of text for most people, reading on a screen, is a 12pt type face and a line length of about 60-75 characters. With a proportional font, that's a little less than 600px on a common monitor. If you scale it down to fit the width on a 320px phone (the extreme), the text size will be about 6.4pt, which is illegible. That is the scaling issue I have with PDFs.

    A responsive approach does it differently. The narrower width calls for a narrower text column and font size remains the same. The lines of text are reflowed and are then only ~35 characters each. Still fully legible.

    True, but that's not my argument. If you insist that HTML is the way to go, make it one page that includes a menu and maybe a small index with links so that people can quickly find what they want without going back and forth with your server.

    Keep in mind that your images will require scaling quite often. Will an image retain its value when shrunk?

    You're right, having to be online to study the book is a stopper. My own habits with reference material involve reading and rereading before doing. The main thing is that when I buy something, I expect it to be mine to do with as I please. Maybe I'm the only person in the world that feels that way.

    Maybe, in some cases. Any conversion, such as html to xml (ebook's protocol) will require some tweaking.

    Html and xml adjust automagically to the device. You need to set up responsiveness when you do stuff that breaks the defaults. Images dimensions may need to be adjusted. My ebook viewers handle color images fine.

    See the html code below. The only constraint limits the width so that the line length stays easy to read.

    
    <!DOCTYPE HTML> <html lang="en">
      <head>
      <meta charset="utf-8">
      
      <meta name="viewport"
        content="width=device-width,
          height=device-height,
          initial-scale=1">
    
      <title> Test document </title>
      
      <style media="screen">
      /*<![CDATA[*/
    
      body, html {
       font: 100%/1.5 sans-serif;
       margin:0;
       padding: 0;
      }
    
      html {
       padding: .5em;
      }
    
      p {
       font-size: 1em;
       margin-bottom: 0;
      }
    
      h1, h2 {
       font-family: serif;
       margin-bottom: 0;
      }
      
      h1 {
       text-align: center;
       text-transform: capitalize;
      }
    
      #main {
       margin: 0 auto;
       max-width: 32em;
      }
    
      /* end boiler plate */
    
      .logo {
       font-size: 2em;
       letter-spacing: normal;
      }
    
      .logo span {
    
       letter-spacing: -.25em;
      }
      
      /*]]>*/
      </style>
    </head>
    
    <body>
      <div id="main">
      <h1>A guide to<br>
      <span class="logo"><span>Lᴬ</span>&nbsp;Τ<sub>Ε</sub>Χ</span>
      </h1>
    
      <h2>Preface</h2>
      <p> Nullam eu ante vel est convallis dignissim.  Fusce suscipit, wisi nec
      facilisis facilisis, est dui fermentum leo, quis tempor ligula erat quis
      odio.  Nunc porta vulputate tellus.</p>
    
      <h2>Chapter One — Introduction</h2>
    
      <p>Nunc rutrum turpis sed pede.  Sed bibendum.  Aliquam posuere.  Nunc
      aliquet, augue nec adipiscing interdum, lacus tellus malesuada massa, quis
      varius mi purus non odio.  Pellentesque condimentum, magna ut suscipit
      hendrerit, ipsum augue ornare nulla, non luctus diam neque sit amet
      urna.</p>
    
    
      <p>Curabitur vulputate vestibulum lorem.  Fusce sagittis, libero non
      molestie mollis, magna orci ultrices dolor, at vulputate neque nulla lacinia
      eros.  Sed id ligula quis est convallis tempor.  Curabitur lacinia pulvinar
      </p>
    
      </div> <!-- End of book -->
    </body>
    </html>
    <!DOCTYPE HTML> <html lang="en">
      <head>
      <meta charset="utf-8">
      
      <meta name="viewport"
        content="width=device-width,
          height=device-height,
          initial-scale=1">
    
      <title> Test document </title>
      
      <style media="screen">
      /*<![CDATA[*/
    
      body, html {
       font: 100%/1.5 sans-serif;
       margin:0;
       padding: 0;
      }
    
      html {
       padding: .5em;
      }
    
      p {
       font-size: 1em;
       margin-bottom: 0;
      }
    
      h1, h2 {
       font-family: serif;
       margin-bottom: 0;
      }
      
      h1 {
       text-align: center;
       text-transform: capitalize;
      }
    
      #main {
       margin: 0 auto;
       max-width: 32em;
      }
    
      /* end boiler plate */
    
      .logo {
       font-size: 2em;
       letter-spacing: normal;
      }
    
      .logo span {
    
       letter-spacing: -.25em;
      }
      
      /*]]>*/
      </style>
    </head>
    
    <body>
      <div id="main">
      <h1>A guide to<br>
      <span class="logo"><span>Lᴬ</span>&nbsp;Τ<sub>Ε</sub>Χ</span>
      </h1>
    
      <h2>Preface</h2>
      <p> Nullam eu ante vel est convallis dignissim.  Fusce suscipit, wisi nec
      facilisis facilisis, est dui fermentum leo, quis tempor ligula erat quis
      odio.  Nunc porta vulputate tellus.</p>
    
      <h2>Chapter One — Introduction</h2>
    
      <p>Nunc rutrum turpis sed pede.  Sed bibendum.  Aliquam posuere.  Nunc
      aliquet, augue nec adipiscing interdum, lacus tellus malesuada massa, quis
      varius mi purus non odio.  Pellentesque condimentum, magna ut suscipit
      hendrerit, ipsum augue ornare nulla, non luctus diam neque sit amet
      urna.</p>
    
    
      <p>Curabitur vulputate vestibulum lorem.  Fusce sagittis, libero non
      molestie mollis, magna orci ultrices dolor, at vulputate neque nulla lacinia
      eros.  Sed id ligula quis est convallis tempor.  Curabitur lacinia pulvinar
      </p>
    
      </div> <!-- End of book -->
    </body>
    </html>
    Code (markup):
    gary

    ps I hate the editor on this site for code ~g
     
    kk5st, Jan 28, 2019 IP
  11. TupperLake

    TupperLake Peon

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    #51
    Okay, that maks sense.


    Thanks for clearing that up!!


    Do you know what a "hamburger menu" is?

    I was thinking of having ne of those with "Table of Contents" in it. Or, I could have a top and bottom menu bar with things like: Home, Cover Page, TOC, Top, Bottom


    What is the typical form-factor on a modern eReader?

    More importantly, put yourself in my readers' shoes...

    If you bought a 1,000 compendium to teach you how to do things on your computer, and because it's purpose to to teach you in a "Show don't tell" manner, would you be willing (and able) to read all of that including a boatload of images and screen-shots on a tiny eReader??

    (That is why a web page viewed on at least a laptop seems like a better way to read my book, but we already discussed why that is a deal-breaker for people like you.)

    So what would you say to that?


    No, others have said similar things.


    So an eBook in an eReader is a document marked up with HTML? Or XML? Or something else?

    And if it is HTML, then can you use accepted modern practices of web design using HTML5?

    What about using CSS?

    And what about "responsive" web design?

    If creating an eBook is as simple as marking up a written manusscript in proper HTML, then basically you are just creating a web page using HTML but instead of putting it on the Internet you are uploading it to the eReader, right?
     
    TupperLake, Jan 28, 2019 IP
  12. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #52
    Yes, and I avoid them like the plague. Here's a site that covers most of my reasons and a few I didn't get down to. It supposedly saves space on mobile devices, but from what you've said, that's too small a screen anyway.

    I don't know, but the ones I've seen are approx the size of a closed hardback book. Surely if your stuff fits a dead tree book, it'll fit an e-reader.

    Where do you get that e-readers are tiny? They're not flip-phones.

    No, you're not paying attention. My objection is to not being formatted as a book in either html or e-book so that I can download easily to my machine to read

    I gave you the link to Calibre's manual. All these questions you're asking are answered more authoritively there than I could do.

    g
     
    kk5st, Jan 28, 2019 IP
  13. TupperLake

    TupperLake Peon

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    #53
    So to clarify...

    1.) Would you read a how-to computer book - which has hundreds of screenshots - on an eReader?

    I ask because an eReader would satisfy your need for "mobility", but I question how legible/useful my book would be in a B&W format on something like a Kindle?!


    2.) Are you averse to reading on a tablet? A lot of people seem to like Kindles because they do not project light outwards and thus are apparently easier on the eyes.

    Something like an iPad could host eReader software so you would still get your mobility, but I believe it would also allow for COLOR and for the ability to dsilay IMAGES/GRAPHICS like a web page on a computer would be able to do.

    Thoughts?
     
    TupperLake, Jan 31, 2019 IP
  14. TupperLake

    TupperLake Peon

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    #54
    The plan is to split the book up into a series of webpages that are hyperlinked together. Probably by chapter.

    So Ch 1 might only be 20-30 pages, and the hope is that would load in a reasonable amount of time.

    Of course, I haven;t thought too much about how to tackle this for mobile users, but then again, if you read even a 100 page "book" on a smartphone then you get what you deserve!
     
    TupperLake, Mar 30, 2019 IP
  15. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #55
    I refer you to an earlier answer: "I gave you the link to Calibre's manual. All these questions you're asking are answered more authoritatively there than I could do."

    N.B. All of my ebook clients render in color just fine. I think you've decided on your answer and are looking for justification.

    g
     
    kk5st, Mar 30, 2019 IP
  16. madmn

    madmn Well-Known Member

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    #56
    Provide a .txt file of it to go with the website display of your book
     
    madmn, Apr 8, 2019 IP