webs divine: design notes

Just like most web designers, we learn something new every day. Some of the insights are fairly simple, while others are more complicated. As we go along, WEBS DIVINE plans to share our tricks, hints and tips in Design Notes.


Kindle and Nook Book are perhaps the most popular e-book readers at the present time. In short wake are the Mobipocket and Sony readers. Mobipocket can also read Kindle books, or vice-versa.

E-books have grown in popularity by astonishing leaps and bounds, often outselling their printed counterparts. The phenomenon has led to a massive influx of self-published authors, including well-known writers with proven track records. Stories about famous authors turning down lucrative publishing contracts to sell their own work have become commonplace. If a writer can take in 90% of their book sales as opposed to 15-25% royalties from a traditional publisher, why not take the plunge? The prospects can be exciting for new and unpublished authors as well, leaving the field of books wide open.

While the news is good for those wanting to publish a book for the first time, it also opens the gates to absolutely anyone with a computer and word processing program. True talent will out in the long run, of course. At one time or another, all of us have read a poorly-written or edited book and wondered: "How on earth did this novel make it to print?" I'm sure the same will happen with the flood of e-books sooner rather than later.

Pros and cons notwithstanding, there are several ways to convert a text document to the currently popular e-book reader formats. For the purpose of our hints and tips, Microsoft Word is the default word processing program.

PDF to E-PUB: "E-PUB" is the accepted file format for Nook books. After the text document is ready, it can be converted to PDF (Adobe Acrobat) and then saved as an "E-PUB" file using the free program PDFtoEPUB from DNAML Software, which can also covert PDF's to html and Mobi (Kindle).

Mobipocket Creator: To create an e-book for use in the Kindle Reader, try the free Mobipocket Creator. Text documents need to be carefully formatted without headers and footers, images or hard returns before being saved as a "Web Page, filtered" in Microsoft Word. The document can then be imported into the  Mobipocket Creator and built as an e-book. Mobipocket Reader is also a useful program.

Calibre E-Book Management: Calibre is an open-source (free) e-book library management program. It can also convert documents to most major e-book formats, including EPUB, FB2, OEB, LIT, LRF, MOBI, HTMLZ, PDB, PML, RB, PDF, SNB, TCR, TXT, TXTZ.

Sony PSP e-book creator: The PSP E-Book Creator converts any text file (.txt) into a customizable formatted e-book that can be read on a PSP (Play Station portable). In addition, Sony offers their Reader Software for PC for free.

Whatever a budding or seasoned author intends to do, perhaps one of the most important aspects of publishing your own work is to thoroughly edit each and every manuscript intended for release. People aren't likely to forget poor quality and unprofessional presentation when they spend their hard-earned money on reading entertainment. It's doubtful they will come back for more.

Need a text file converted into an e-book but don't have time to undertake the process yourself? Visit our e-Book Conversion Services page.

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