How to Create an Electronic Book

Written by anne cagle
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How to Create an Electronic Book
Creating an electronic book is an easy way to publish your document. (work in office image by salimar6 from Fotolia.com)

Creating an electronic book is an easy way to publish your manuscript or share it with colleagues. Two of the most common and easiest formats to make are PDF and EPUB. You can create these forms with open source or free packages, which will not put a dent in your budget. However, all of these packages may not run on the operating system you use on your computer, or give the professional results you need for publishing.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • E-publishing software

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Create PDF files in Windows and Linux. This is easy when you have the right software. Download and install OpenOffice. Download the .exe in Windows and click on the file to install the software.

  2. 2

    Install OpenOffice on your Linux distribution depending on the distribution. Each Linux type has its own installation method.

  3. 3

    Open your document in OpenOffice. Click “File” >”Export To PDF”. Choose the PDF perimeters under “General” such as what “Pages” you need from the original document such as “All” for all the manuscript pages in the final PDF. Choose “Pages” and “Selection” choices if you need specific document pages to make PDFs. If you have graphics in the manuscript, choose the necessary boundaries for loading the graphics in “Images”. Finish with the PDF type you will make such as a plain PDF or FDF, which allows writable forms.

  4. 4

    Choose “Initial View” that shows how the reader sees the first page. Set the perimeters for “Magnification” that will give the reader text size. Under “Initial View”, choose “Page Layout” to show how the reader will see the PDF such as single page or continuous.

  5. 5

    Choose “Links” to set boundaries for “Links”. Choose “Security” to make your manuscript password protected or not, depending on if you want the reader to have permission to change the document or want to prevent changes.

  1. 1

    Create your document in a Scribus friendly form such as .csv, .html, .txt, .odt and .pdb. 

  2. 2

    Download and install Scribus-NG either in Windows or Linux, or Mac distribution. Open this application after installation.

  3. 3

    Click “Insert” > “Insert Text Frame”. Drag the text frame across the document to set the perimeters for the manuscript width and height.

  4. 4

    Click  “File” > “Import” > “Get Text”. Choose the previously created file from your computer and click  “OK”  and “OK” under “OpenDocumemt Importer Options” after choosing the perimeters for the paragraphs like “Overwrite Paragraph Styles”.  

  5. 5

    Click “File”> “Export” > “Save As PDF”.  You have the choices of “General”  that will give you “Export Range” of how many pages you will take from the manuscript for the PDF. “Fonts” will give you the fonts that can be used in the final document, “Extras” for presentation effects, “Viewer” for document layout and “Security” for password protected PDFs. Choose “Color” to optimise the PDF for screen, web, printer or grayscale.  Choose “Prepress” to create “Printer Marks” or “Bleed Settings”. Click “Save.” 

  1. 1

    Install eCub, which is an open source  software for Windows, Mac, Linux and other operating systems to create EPUB files, Create a document in XHTML or a text file, Create a specific folder for the file and any graphics that you will need for the document.  

  2. 2

    Open eCub. Click “New Project”. Fill in the form in the splash screen like “Book Title” and other required information. Click “Next."

  3. 3

    Choose “Project file folder." Locate the file you earlier created and use. Choose either “EPUB” or “Mobipocket” for your e-publication form. Click “Next” > “Choose Import Method” with “From existing text or HTML in the project folder."  Click “Next” and convert the text files to HTML with “Convert to HTML immediately."

  4. 4

    Click “Next” > “Next” > “Finish” > “Compile” finally at the top of the menu. 

  5. 5

    Open the initial manuscript folder to find the EPUB file, The e-publication will be saved in this designated folder. 

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