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How to Make an eBook: XML and other mysteries revealed
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How to Make an eBook: XML and other mysteries revealed


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This half-day workshop covers, in plain language, what you need to know to get started producing ebooks. It’s designed as an overview that will help you understand the technical issues, the process …

This half-day workshop covers, in plain language, what you need to know to get started producing ebooks. It’s designed as an overview that will help you understand the technical issues, the process involved and some of the specific ways you can get started.

You’ll learn:

* What’s under the hood of an ebook
* The jargon you need to know
* Options for creating ebooks – DIY or outsource
* Some of the tools to do-it-yourself, their advantages and limitations
* Formats for ebooks, their advantages and disadvantages
* Managing combined digital and print workflows
* Design and cover design tips for ebooks

The session will also include an interactive Q&A in which you’ll be able to discuss your own issues and challenges and learn directly from others.
Workshop leader

Gerard Reid has a unique perspective and experience in book and ebook production. He is managing director of Pindar New Zealand, one of Australiasia's most experienced producers of books and other documents. Gerard has been involved with digital publications for 12 years and has a background in traditional book publishing stretching back many more years. This places him in an ideal position to understand the requirements of both traditional and digital publishers, how to maximise the value of their content assets, and how to manage the multi-format production process that today’s publishing environment demands.

Venue: Jubilee Hall, Jubilee Building, 545 Parnell Rd, Auckland.

Date: 3 September 2009

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
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  • Intro of all Involved including PD in Welli Firstly we will give you a bit of background on what lead us to develop the tools and workflows we are about to show you then we will go over there functions and benefits one at a time.
  • Transcript

    • 1.  
    • 2. eBooks Revolution or evolution?
    • 3.
        • Ink on paper is a book
      But so is digital images on screen
    • 4.
        • Oh no, not again!
    • 5.  
    • 6.  
    • 7.  
    • 8.
      • The arrival of a new medium
      d oes not replace existing media i t only displaces them r elative to each other Theory of Relative Displacement of Media
    • 9.  
    • 10.  
    • 11.  
    • 12.  
    • 13.  
    • 14.
        • If the form doesn’t define the book what does?
      The content!
    • 15.  
    • 16. Raw content; sometimes in Multiple word files or locked Documents Images format variables and conditions Combine all content Books XML E-PUB Web based POD Content creators Production resource Multi-purposed output
    • 17.
      • Standard Generalised Mark-up Language
      1998 XML eXtensible Mark-up Language 1980s SGML
    • 18.
      • The separation of logical and physical structures
      The availability of grammar-based validation (DTDs) The separation of data and metadata Mixed content The separation of processing from representation The default angle-bracket syntax < >
    • 19.  
    • 20.
      • Working group’s goals:
      General-purpose usability SGML compatibility Easy development of processing software Minimization of optional features Legibility Formality Conciseness Ease of authoring Internet usability
    • 21.
      • What XML is
      An environment that allows a clear separation between content, structure and format
    • 22.
      • Content is what the author delivers to the publisher
      Structure is what the editor does to it to make it comprehensible Format is what the typesetter does to make it legible and appealing
    • 23.
      • DTD (Document Type Definition) or Schema
      • Describes what the various components of the mark up do and how they relate to each other
    • 24.
      • opening and closing tags, e.g. <head></head>
      the angle-brackets they are encased in entity codes for unusual characters e.g. &oq; for opening quote
    • 25.
      • <?xml version=&quot;1.0&quot; encoding=&quot;UTF-8&quot;?>
      • <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC &quot;-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN&quot; &quot;;>
      • <!mimetypeapplication/epub+zipPK META-INF/container.xml<?xml version=&quot;1.0&quot;?>
    • 26.
      • What XML is not
      a good database tool a typesetting or formatting platform
    • 27.
      • What XML does
      N othing at all itself E nables things to be done to the file A stable legacy format A robust base for multi-purposing
    • 28.  
    • 29.  
    • 30.  
    • 31.
      • Software tools
      Microsoft Word for input Adobe InDesign for structuring BBedit for GREP Oxygen for error-checking and validation Adobe Digital Editions Apple script Adobe Photoshop E pubcheck Stuffit
    • 32. Visual inspection
      • Make sure text is all styled
      No missing links Images are grouped with their captions
    • 33.
      • Visual inspection
      • Export through filter to rough XML
      Clean up via custom script Create file of entity codes Create master file Final clean up Validate against DTD/Schema Generate XML ids Package files
    • 34.  
    • 35.
      • What is ePub?
      IDPF standard Free Non-proprietary
    • 36.
      • Open Publications Structure (OPS) 2.0 for formatting of content
      Open Packaging Format (OPF) 2.0 for the structure of the ePub in XML OEBPS Container Format (OCF) 1.0 collects files as a zip archive
    • 37.
      • Making an ePub from XML
      Transform tagging Run tidy-up script Create ePub file structure Create content.opf file Create toc.ncx file
    • 38.
      • But wait … we’re not finished
    • 39.  
    • 40.
      • Last minute checks
      Check spine Page turn Road test Google test
    • 41.  
    • 42.  
    • 43.  
    • 44.
      • Problems and issues
      Keep each file below 100kb Use only free open type fonts Special rules relate to use of macrons Not all readers treat fonts the same Always consider file size issues Hyphenation
    • 45.  
    • 46.  
    • 47.  
    • 48.
      • General comments