Resources for Making eBooks


Text

Gutenberg Online (free public domain books as text and epub): www.gutenberg.org


Images (for covers and interiors):

Asian and American Art (free, non-commercial use only): http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/edan/default.cfm

Free vectors: http://www.vecteezy.com/


Fonts (for covers):

http://www.1001freefonts.com/

http://www.dafont.com/

https://www.fontsquirrel.com/


Production Tools

Converting to ePub:

You can convert your doc to ePub using Calibre. You can download it here: https://calibre-ebook.com/download
Once downloaded, open and:
  1. In header navigation, go to “add books”
  2. Find your Word document on your desktop and add
  3. Click “convert books” and set the output to “EPUB”
  4. You should then have an editable ePub document (follow “path” link on right hand side)

Zipping and Unzipping eBooks:

On a PC, you can simply change the .epub extension to .zip, and then unzip your file the way you would a normal zipped folder.

On a Mac, it’s not as easy, but there are many free programs that allow you to do so. Here are a few options:

  • EPub Unzip/Zip (which I have been using for the last 5 years): here
  • eCan Crusher, which comes recommended by a few colleagues: here.

Preflighting / Checking eBooks:

To check for errors in your ebook, you can run EpubCheck, downloadable (and with instructions) here.

To validate your ebook (also checks for errors), use the online validator here.

Previewing eBooks:

There are many previewers available that make it easier to see what your ebook will look like on different devices. These previewers are not perfect, however, and do not perfectly mimic the device view, so I encourage you to test on actual devices whenever possible:

  • Adobe Digital Editions previewer
  • Kindle previewer: Kindle Previewer converts your EPUB to Amazon format, and it also shows you what your files will look like on the SIX (!!) different Kindle platforms (Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, Kindle DX, Kindle iPad, Kindle iPhone, Kindle).
    How to use it: Open Kindle Previewer, then File–>Open–>select your EPUB.
  • Nook previewer
  • iBooks (for iPad/iPod/iPhone): The easiest way to check your EPUB is to email the file to yourself, and then click on the file from your iOS device. Your device will ask you what program you’d like to open it in.
  • Kobo (for iPad/iPod/iPhone): If you have Kobo installed on your iPhone/iPad, then easiest way to check your EPUB is to email the file to yourself, and then click on the file from your iOS device. Your device will ask you what program you’d like to open it in. Choose Kobo.

Sample E-book, sample CSS, and step-by-step walk-through: here

Production Tools, Misc.:

Other eBook production tools, cheats, etc.: here.